i stopped writing here precisely because i didn't want to sound like this asshole. now, i think people who use "twitter" are fucking retarted. my anti-technology streak is so strong now that i struggle to stop myself from knocking perfect strangers' phones out of their hands, while they check their screens to look at a map which can show them EXACTLY WHERE THEY ARE!!!
William Bowers, over at the pitched fork, feels the same way. but he can't just say as much. he has to use a lot of space to make clear how sincere his luddite pose really is.
"You want gauche? I got no game console. I got no cell phone. I've never been in an American Apparel store, despite their advertising's relentless, almost artless ass-baiting. You want archaica? I still read books. In a rocking chair. On a porch." to which my response is: (1) who gives a fuck you miserably self-involved piece of shit?! you have a rocking chair? and a porch? you read BOOKS? and here i was thinking hundreds of millions of americans read books in chairs every single fucking day. (2) so you refuse to buy american apparel, bully for you. but short of a full-on consumer boycott, you're essentially doing their market research for them (i.e. since you've given no particular reason to avoid the company aside from your general disposition, and since you've indicated no opposition to "buying stuff" per se, the only conclusion to be drawn is that the brand doesn't resonate with you).
he also, of course, needs to anticipate his reader's reaction and pre-empt it with a subtle blend of self-mockery and masturbatory reference-dropping (no quotes necessary; follow the link if you don't already know exactly what this sounds like.)
among many other objections (the fact that a pitchfork writer is bemoaning our culture's deteriorating attention span is one; the fact that, "It champions impulsive utterance at the same time that it highlights the disposability of that utterance. It reduces communication to the parameters of an advertisement. Make your pitch, bark your slogan, get out," is written about twitter and not about pitchfork would be another), i'd like to point out that the word "populist" has been sucked dry of any meaning whatsoever.
consider: "It is a lot more populist and I think that can be attributed to Twitter's significantly larger userbase. Everyone from teenage Hannah Montana fans to Rachmaninov-loving college professors are on Twitter. So you get a pretty interesting diversity between the songs typically tweeted about." in this quote, from an unnamed executive at a private company, people who are too poor to afford computers simply don't exist. "everyone... are [sic] on twitter."
but many of us make exactly this mistake: technology that costs a hell of a lot of money to access is "democratizing". the ability for people with cell phones and computers to communicate with other people who have cell phones and computers -- of course that means "everyone can talk to everyone." who else is there?
with all the references that William Bowers tosses into the mix (bon iver, kubrick, voltaire, emily dickensen... you get the point, motherfucker's been to school and back), almost none of them seem to have any relevance to his argument, whatever that might be. they are, at best, tangentially related to tangents. so, i'm gonna suggest one, that could have saved the author a lot of mental gymnastics. (something tells me, however, that the gymnastics are precisely what he enjoys, in which case, has he tried twitter?)
a simple line from thoreau, which could really substitute for the entire article and still have more resonance: "can it be, perhaps, that massachusets and texas have nothing to talk about?"