May 18, 2010 § 1 Comment
I first started reading @ShitMyDadSays because people kept re-Tweeting it & I kept misreading it as “Shit My Sad Days,” which is definitely something I’d watch on television. Still, despite the fact that I was wrong about this particular Twitter feed’s ability to mirror my emotional state (which means I’m back to waiting for Kirstie Alley’s sitcom deal), @ShitMyDadSays is a satisfying read, mostly because it demonstrates the exact way Twitter ought to be used: find something that not only can be rendered in 140 characters, but that should be, & let the tweets speak (tweet?) for themselves. Each tweet is a perfectly packaged nugget of old, jaded dude. What else is there to want?
The way I see it, Twitter’s a delightful way to receive barely-there narrative. It & things like it—Facebook status updates, Foursquare, all those flares we send up in the name of ‘ambient awareness’—give everyone an education in the fragment, require some kind of participation in a narrative-building process, & maybe they make us a more sensitive or at least active audience as a result. Say what you will about the inanity of all of it—& you will—& I’m sure I’ll read the sentence “I don’t give a shit about your tuna fish sandwich/how drunk you are/your laundry” a million more times. Those of us, & there are many of us, who keep reading these things keep reading them because we think there’s something more to it, & whatever that “something more” is resembles narrative, one that we as readers must be, at least in part, filling in gaps to create and sustain.
Am I making a “Twitter, &ct. makes us smarter” argument? Maybe. Or maybe I’m just over William Shatner. Either way, I’m not quite ready to give up the exciting thing Twitter’s been allowed to do for the last few years, & I’m sorry to see it go the way of conventional, marketable narrative.
Virginia Woolf knows what I’m talking about.
I attain a different kind of beauty, achieve a symmetry by means of infinite discords, showing all the traces of the mind’s passage through the world, achieve in the end some kind of whole made of shivering fragments—to me this seems the natural process, the flight of the mind.