Twitter


Sarah Palin committed a bush in a recent Twitter battle cry to New Yorkers calling them to “refudiate” plans to build a mosque close to the 9/11 site.

“Refudiate” is, of course, not a real word in the same that “normalcy” was not a real word until President Warren G. Harding coined it a hundred years ago – give or take.

The offense against the American version of the English language was quickly seized upon by those who (quite rightly) fear Palin and held it up as proof of her already rather obvious lack of dexterity with a language we can only assume she’s been speaking since toddlerhood.

Although malapropisms out of the mouths of political leaders actual and wanna be are disheartening, out of the mouth of Palin, it’s not worth a footnote much less a bloggy storm.

What’s really eye-opening came on the heels of Mama Sarah’s predictable inability to be chagrined.

“Shakespeare liked to coin words too.” she twittered back at the elitist blogosphere.

And indeed he did.

All that glitters is not gold. As (good) luck would have it. Household words. Cold comfort. In a pickle. Devil incarnate. Eaten me out of house and home. For goodness sake. Give the devil his due. Heart of gold. Laughing stock. It was Greek to me. Naked truth. Wild goose chase.

What amazes me and seems to have sailed past everyone’s offended ears is that Sarah Palin knows that Shakespeare coined words and phrases that previously didn’t exist in the English language.

And I will concede that it’s very possible that her little Twuip was as ghostwritten as her book, but it was clever, and it’s past time her critics realized that she cannot be mocked and jeered away.

First, because Palin doesn’t blush unless it will serve a greater purpose.

Second, she has a gift for turning faux pas into the “aw shucks, I’m just folk like you ordinary people”. She spins her legend from the ridicule and frustrated rants of the left and the few on the right who see the damage she is doing to their politics – such as they are.

Refudiate? I think ole Will could have done better. The things that man could have done with a Twitter stream should leaving us weeping over the drivel that reigns as literary there now.

It’s not the worst thing she’s uttered in any medium, but it’s important to remember that she can’t be taken down by trivial nit-picking. She feeds on that like Nosferatu on village virgins.

Substance, people. She doesn’t have any. Criticism of her should.


is today. Or so Facebook and The Bloggess tell me. And that alone makes it true.

I’m not so sure the advent of Social Media as a primary venue for human interaction is something to get all “rah-rah” about. After all, it can only lead to this in the end:

If it hasn’t already for some of us.

Not knocking the brave new world. I met my husband on the Internet, as some of you know, and many good friends exist only across time and space with the help of powerful satellites and Al Gore.

Just a caution I’m throwing out.

So, happy social media day. IM or text your favorite virtual friend. Tweet goodwill to all and update that neglected status bar for the hundreds and hundreds of people you’ll never meet.

But consider taking a walk and doing some Sun Salutations while you’re at it.

Namaste.


And where were you? Certainly not glued to cable news or Tweeting/retweeting links to organizations looking for donations to aid the Haitians now that an earthquake has heaped insult on the misery of their lives.

In spite of his idiocy, the most soulless Rev. Pat Robertson, a great number of Americans will watch the drama du jour in Port-au-Prince via Fox News, or whatever channel their political ideology requires they watch, feel terrible. Because even if they are unemployed and technically squatting in their yet to be foreclosed homes, they have a sense of “there but for the grace of God, go I” and “at least I am being allowed to squat in comfort, because my bank is too afraid of economic collapse to evict me, and not living in a shanty shack on a mud hill”. Except for those things, they will be could be one of those poor wretches someday.

And they could. Remember Katrina? The Superdome? Thousands of soon to be abandoned strip malls have the names of the homeless of tomorrow written all over their walls.

So the privileged (like Will and Jada Smith who are bravely auctioning off some personal art) and the not so much anymore (who never owned art anyway)  will dig not too deep really or deeper than they probably should to send money via the growing number of aid efforts to line the pockets of the incredibly corrupt Haitian government, who might let a bit of this lottery booty trickle down á la Reaganomics to the crushed and dying in the mud-they-used-to-eat Haitian earthquake victims.

And I know how cynical I sound.

But Haiti was a hell-hole where people were so hungry they ate mud. The hills around Port-au-Prince were stripped to build shanty towns which promoted a topsoil erosion that literally has left a brown ring around the island that probably shows up on Google Earth. The government is corrupt and lest we forget, the Haitians are the ones piling into leaky boats and making the dangerous trek for the U.S. coastline back in the 90’s.

If there’d been no earthquake the other day, Haitians would be filling the empty tummies of their toddlers with mud today while Americans got fatter on fast food all the while totally oblivious to the Haitian plight.

And I am not against helping out a neighboring country in its time of need. We should do all that we can. My late father, for example, sent money every year to a Catholic church in Haiti and left instructions in his will for a final donation from his estate. Haitians deserved help before despite Pat Robertson’s misinformation about them having made a pact with the devil* and if they’d just embrace Christianity they could be as enslaved to tourism as their Dominican Republic neighbors.

I just find it sad, and telling, that we can ignore suffering that isn’t catastrophe based. Americans do love their drama. And a good disaster is better than watching the first rounds of American Idol, which I am assured are too boring to bother with.

This is sweeping generalization, of course. Like my father, there are people who care enough to help even when the in crowd isn’t paying attention.

*Which is Assembly of God-speak for being Catholic as 80% of Haitians are.


The Bloggess is the web persona of a Texas blogger named Jenny Lawson. Her posts run the gamut of oddball humor which her readers respond to in kind via comments. Everyone’s tongue planted firmly in cheek, The Bloggess is the kind of naughty, gross and irreverent humor we engage in as teens and young adults and sometimes, it’s fun to lose the adult outer layer and revel in that again.

Jenny has parlayed her Bloggessing into a popular Twitter feed, a gig as an advice columnist and various other kinds of web fame. Good for her. She doesn’t take herself too seriously – also good for her – but others do. Others who don’t seem to get the joke, or maybe they don’t appreciate being the joke.

Recently Willam Shatner found his Twitter feed was the repeated tagline on a Bloggess  stream of consciousness ramble for which she is well-known. The Shat, who has a gazillion followers* – though not as many as Ashton Kutcher  – did not appreciate the attention. Maybe it was the hookers? Regardless, he blocked The Bloggess. Which only gave her more material because the best way to cut a comic off is not handing them more ways to goon you.

The followers of The Bloggess, which number thousands more than mine but still less than Ashton Kutcher’s, being game and having too much time on their hands took to the hashtags and what was just a little joke at Mr. Shatner’s expense exploded on the twitsphere into an “on-going incident”.

Social media is interesting. Right now, Americans are in real danger of having Obama’s health care “reforms’ neutered into being a moot point and what inspires people to arms on the Internet is a “feud” between an Internet humorist and an aging celebrity.

Wow. Life in the lower 48 must be worse than the news up here makes it look, and they make it look bad.

 

*Unsurprisingly Shatner is on Twitter simply to self-promote because he follows only 9 people and one of those 9 is himself.


I don’t spend time wondering about the future I didn’t have with Will. Nor do I wonder much about the person he would be now. But I do sometimes see or hear or read things that I know he would have had an opinion about either positively or negatively.

He would have owned an iPhone, and I think he would have Tweeted too. I am positive of the first because the man had a cellphone addiction. I only ever got a cell in the first place because he nagged me into it.

Will upgraded his phone and switched plans to optimize features and get better coverage and rates all the time. He wasn’t much for the web but mostly because it required him to sit down. If he could have accessed it from his phone, he’d have been all over it like cheesecloth.

The only thing he did on line was play Fantasy Football. I was reminded that the season was starting up when I ran across a Facebook update pleading for FF assistance. A writer on the SVM network had signed up for her first ever season and was wondering what to do next.

I played FF for two years with a bunch of guys Will worked with in the warehouse. I was pretty good. I read the sports sites and Will would bring home the FF magazines from work (yes, there are publications devoted entirely to the play of a make-believe game). 

As I was reading today, I stumbled across an article on MSNBC about NFL players with Twitter feeds in training camp and one fellow with plans to tweet from the sidelines once the season starts. Will would have been beyond excited. Nothing drove him crazier than being away from the television on Sunday during football season. Since he was never physically parted from his phone, the tweeting and Internet access would have pleased him to his core.

Just a random thought track for Sunday.