Fri, May 4, 2007
Twitter Nation: Nobody cares what you're doing
Ha! "Twitter hate is the new black."
Blame their parents, those touchy-feely post boomers who piled on the praise and positive reinforcement, lest they bruise little Dylan or Madison's budding self esteem.
I loved this part best. The post-Boomers (who were brought up by the Boomers, whom we can blame for this) have become so banal and predictable that their entire generation can be summed up by saying that their kids' names are bound to be "Dylan" and "Madison." I hope somewhere, someone whose two kids are actually named "Dylan" and "Madison" read this (which is, statistically, a near certainty), realized what they'd done, and then went and stuck their head in the oven.
Seriously. I took my daughter to the park the other weekend, and, there was a Little League baseball game going on. I heard:
And then I heard what sounded like a nickname ("Wellsey", maybe; I can only assume it was a kid named Mason, Preston or Dylan Wells), and a kid named John (which came right as I was wondering, "are there any kids here whose names don't end with the letter 'n'?", and I decided I'd let John's parents off the hook. Even if I'd like to have seen them think a little further outside the box).
I can't believe that this is innocuous, this horrible baby-naming that's going on in this country. I can't believe it doesn't bespeak something terribly wrong, and I can't believe that, if al-Qaeda thinks that they can push us now, what they'll do when our president is eventually named Kayden or McCayleigh (which is another statistical certainty).
Anyway. The baby-naming topic always gets me going. Loved the article, loved the two points that it made:
If you don't like Twitter, it's because you're old.
But still, Twitter is stupid.
(and by the way, for anyone reading this who doesn't know, my daughter's name is Anna. And what we've got picked out for the next kid – boy or girl – is just as good, if not better. I rule at naming babies)
This is funny because (hell it's always funny when we can get Joe ranting about baby names) I was just reading this relatively dull history of the name Wendy the other day.
Reading it, two things happened. 1) I really started craving a hamburger from Wendy's (not kidding); 2) I learned that, originally, "Wendy, along with the names Marian and Shirley were once boys' names."
So, as the ultimate rebellion, Dylan and Madison can name their son Shirley. On the surface, it's an even more fucked up baby name (take that, Mom and Dad!) but it's actually achieved by going back to tradition – rejecting the whole bullshit idea of inventing whacked-out baby names. Oh, Dylan and Madison's parents are gonna burn! (Assuming Dylan and Madison can have kids, that is. From all the gender evidence their names give us, it's fifty-fifty whether Dylan and Madison are a same-sex couple.)
The real stupidity of Twitter, as I see it, is that it seems specifically designed to be hated. Like a mass-scale Geek Test – it forces the outsiders to self-identify. But, like the Over-Clap or the "I Get That" Laugh, the people on the imagined "inside" are too busy high-fiving each other to realize the joke's on them. They think it reveals who's old – if hating it is "old," then we embrace oldness with both crotchety hands.
Think about it – if a service can be pitched as: "I already have a blog, a Live Journal, and a flickr account; how can I get MORE of my asinine observations online FASTER?" then those who sign up are the ones who deserve ridicule. I often call this the Yellow Arrow Syndrome, because that service was the first to make my head explode with this same hipster narcissism. ("Look at me! But only if you're in the club!") Not only does it litter the web with your vapid quips, but it involves actual litter scattered all over the world!
Or, take Dodgeball. Google bought it, and their direction irked its hipster narcissist creators. So they quit – and announced it on their flickr page. (Ooo, hip!) But Google did us all a huge favor! If I had Larry and Sergey's money, I'd buy these worthless bullshit start-ups a dozen a day, and auger them into the ground as fast as I could. A responsible use of the Internet's potential is not to see how many solipsistic, navel-gazing paragraphs we can jam into web servers and databases. It's to clear all that out of the way and do something interesting. (That, and porn.)
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