By David Anderson, Tillicum
Elmer J. Fudd, one of the most famous Looney Tunes cartoon characters, aimed – quite poorly – to hunt down Bugs Bunny but usually ended up seriously injuring himself and others. Fortunately Chuck Jones, creator of the fictional-Fudd, had the ability to enable the fumbling fellow and friends to be back to full-health by the next feature. It appears some real life loony-tunes have that capability as well thanks to the fans that created them – and keep them – bigger than life despite their frequent foibles.
That Office Depot and customers have gone goo-goo over Gaga is an example – but by no means the only one.
Back-to-school backpack supplies are on sale at Office Depot featuring Lady Gaga note-pads, pens and autographed gift cards, all under the label “Born That Way.” No matter that Gaga has an album by that title which she introduced with a nude-from-the-waist-down-
Maybe few people got the whole picture – and still don’t. Either that or Gaga has been forgiven this, as it turns out, not-so-rare evidence of flinging decency – and clothes – to the winds blowing about what with her adoring audience making “Born That Way” the “fastest-selling single in iTunes history.”
Twitter can lead to trouble
Gaga and her gaggle of tuned-in groupies notwithstanding – which now evidently also includes Office Depot – there are nonetheless others who do in fact acknowledge that twitter can indeed lead to trouble.
Here’s a promo of what Twitter can do for you or, as you’ll read below, to you. “At the heart of Twitter are small bursts of information called Tweets. Each Tweet is 140 characters long, but don’t let the small size fool you—you can discover a lot in a little space.”
Boy can you.
Courtney Love for example abandoned her Twitter account several times, once after posting revealing picturesof herself.
In an article questioning why celebrities are leaving Twitter, Austin Considine this past Wednesday in the New York Times observed that it may be because of “Twitter’s ability to connect them directly to their audiences (making it) the garbage dump of choice.”
“Seth Meyers, a Los Angeles clinical psychologist who counts several celebrities among his patients, (said) “They quit Twitter, or their publicist tells them they need to quit for the sake of their career.”
But most celebrities and consumers alike are clueless
Celebrities are not the only ones whose careers could careen out of control. Political campaigns and even job employment applications can end abruptly as well due to the lack of control of twittering thumbs.
The very same day that “savvy celebrities (were reported as) deciding Twitter (was) becoming too much of a liability”, similar sour notes were being sounded in circles traveled by the poor commoners among us.
Cheryl Tucker, editorial board member of the Tacoma News Tribune, warned this past Wednesday: “Never post anything on a blog or send a tweet or email that you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of a newspaper some time in the future. Even in the far future.”
Turns out a “campaign staffer for gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna lost her job after it was discovered that she had tweeted offensive comments about Asians and the elderly.” Even though the tweets had occurred months before she’d joined the McKenna campaign, still she submitted her resignation leading Tucker to admonish adolescents “who seem not to have many inhibitions about what they put online” that what with “many employers now routinely conduct(ing) online searches of job candidates”, Tucker’s thought for teens:“mind your tweets.”
Meanwhile the Terry James show on Saturday, July 21, features this Twitter trouble topic as well: “Attorney General Rob Mckenna has a staff member whose gone rogue. Is Social Media to blame?”
The answer is ‘no’. We are.
Twitter-dee and Twitter-dum
“I think the people have gotten dumber.”
That’s the assessment of retiring Democratic Rep. Gary Ackerman of New York, reflecting on his 30 years in Washington.
Ironically the very same day that celeb’s were reported jettisoning their Twitter accounts was also the very same day a campaign staffer is called to account for her twitter was also the very same day all of us as a nation were accounted as just plain dumb.
“We have allowed ourselves to become a dumb nation,” writes Kathleen Parker of the Washington Post Writers Group as a result of her interview with Ackerman this past Wednesday.
Parker references “the rising generations who have spent a frightening percentage of their lives consuming data in a random world of tweets . . . . harder reads and deeper conversations” sacrificed along the way.
To twitter away is to fritter away precious, irretrievable time.
As a matter of fact if you are Joe-average, you spend eight hours per month on Facebook, another 32 hours each month on the Internet, and a whopping 120 hours during the month watching TV, for a total of 160 hours every 30 days.
That’s more time frittered away per month – nearly five times more – than volunteering in the neighborhood, cleaning house, playing with the kids, and educating your mind combined (6, 19, 6 and 4.5 respectively).
Are we twits then for twittering tweets?
Whereas “Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum were dumb, the absent-minded twin characters in the classic Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll” we’ve no excuse. We’ve got a mind; we’re just not using it. We’ve developed“a culture of ignorance”.
As a self-proclaimed “enlightened liberal” stated in his letter to the editor, “There is an unfortunate irony in liberal discourse these days: namely, that we don’t think critically about what it means to think critically.”
Is there a solution?
Sure. It’s called a hard-backed chair, an engaged mind, a disengaged twitter account, a good book or two, and a computer for research. In other words, we set aside time every day – borrowing from Elmer Fudd’s signature catchphrase – to “be vewy vewy quiet” while we hunt “wabbits”.
Only this way will “substance”, as Parker said, “trump the sensational”; intellect supplant idiocy; and our aim improve to avoid unnecessary injury of ourselves and others.
All of which helps ensure we’re around for the next feature.