Tuesday, November 2, 2010

140 Characters or Less

I never thought I would succumb, but I have. One thousand, seven hundred and forty times over.


My first Twitter encounter was at work. I had to register several accounts to correspond with our many splinter companies. It was these splinter companies which would later become the source of the group's financial ruin. Voluntary liquidation aside, I thought it'd be great if I could start a personal account @missy_el, for it didn't seem as reactionary as status updates on Facebook. I had experienced the cruelty of impatient friends, proclaiming that they didn't care how many words I had written or if I had just eaten a truly delicious sandwich. Twitter provided for those momentary thoughts, those passing giggles that would otherwise be too stupid and inconsequential for Facebook. Maybe those thoughts and giggles are too stupid and inconsequential for Twitter, but none of our followers can be bothered to @us to tell us this is the case.

Another allure of Twitter is the prospect of connecting with celebrities we love and adore. I speak, particularly, of @StephenFry, who commands a rather sizeable chunk of my heart. Whenever he expands, explains or elucidates on QI, whenever he smirks knowingly as Jeeves or else dancersizes emphatically on Fry and Laurie, I know I am in love. My passion for his wit, warmth and intellect touches me deep inside. I once dreamt he was my boyfriend and he swooned, "Oh El, you're so clever..." It makes me chortle, the thought of his intellectual giant towering over my low-to-mid range intellectual stature. I would love to talk with him one day. Of course, my Dad would have to be there too, he is the only one I know who could ever compare to Fry. We would drink tea and talk about J. Arthur Rank comedies. This would make me happy.

In spite of these feelings, I try not to tweet him. I refrain from such delirious activities as best I can, but sometimes I cannot help but write a few characters and click "Tweet". You can't expect a response, he receives tweets every few seconds. But even in respect to someone such as Vince Clarke (@thecabinstudio), a person who manages to follow his followers, to reply to every question he's been asked, what could I possibly say? How could I possibly convey the personal consequence of a recording like Erasure's Innocents? In 140 characters, no less (how could you waste a single letter?). I would need pages, books to adequate describe its beauty and consequence and even then I don't think I could do it right. Perhaps I need to edit my thoughts somehow, compress them and make them conducive to a thoughtful response, or else forget the whole idea of making contact altogether.

I find it difficult to let go of the idea of making contact, although. As Stephen faces a seemingly endless assault of vicious personal attacks for what could only be described as an opinion, I feel totally powerless to stop it. What can I do? What can I say? He is not the antichrist, nor is he a misogynist. To even contemplate such a notion ruins me. He is entitled to his views on heterosexuality, as I am entitled to my views on homosexuality. This is completely fine. Misquote or not, irrespective of any defence whatsoever, I still support him wholeheartedly. For all the understanding and inspiration he provides, I could never do anything but support him wholeheartedly and tell him I love him.

I apologise for my heinous display of rueful gushiness, but there it is. I'm sorry I couldn't make the 140 character cut.


  1. Twitter is a great tool for distilling words. I, like you, set up an account to keep track of various record labels, friends, minor celebrities, etc. However, I last logged in about 4 months ago, hard to keep enthused about some of the unaccountable fluff that people post. Where did you find that poster? Reminds me of Ghost Box...

    Still, I managed to get some responses from one or two of the people & entities I followed, so it wasn't a completely bad experience.

    Isn't Jeeves & Wooster brilliant?

  2. I know what you mean. It is a challenge to make things succinct sometimes. But even though it is such a social network which capitalises upon notions of brevity, it is a massive timewaster.

    I found the poster via Nothing Elegant, it is by Retrofuturs! Isn't it lovely?

    Heart Jeeves & Wooster. Nearly accosted someone reading PG Wodehouse on the bus the other day, but I had ran into an old friend and I thought better of it.

    Thank you for your comment!