Wednesday, September 24, 2014


by Steven Boone

Like my bruva-from-anuva-muva, Big Media Vandalism editor-publisher Odie Henderson, I have an ambivalent attitude toward Twitter. We both hate it, and yet we're on it. Fear of missing out?

Twitter offers sample-sized thoughts, ephemeral quips, self-promotion and petty outrages subbing for discourse. It turns all of us into chirpy salesmen and 13 year old wise-asses. And yet, some have worked wonders with it. BMV friend-hero-mentors Matt Zoller Seitz and Roger Ebert mastered the powers of Twitter for good, not evil. They've lent it a casual, stately, cool. In return: success! (Odds are you first heard of this blog because of something one of those guys or others in their networks Tweeted about it.) Millions of other sharp minds have done the same over the years. And people fighting for freedom all over the world have gotten the word of their struggle out in the talons of that stupid little bird. Most important to this fool, Twitter links you to brilliant reads and rich content.

So I will speak only for myself when I say that maybe I hate Twitter so much because, as Eddie Murphy said of the Moonwalk, I can't do the shit. I'm as clumsy and inarticulate at Tweeting as I am in real-world small talk. As a medium of expression, it best suits party people.

This space at BMV is my personal alternative to Twitter, by the grace of H.N.I.C. Henderson. On Wednesdays I will share links to stuff and offer some brief comments--but with no arbitrary character limit. It's up to me, not the ADD police force, to be as clear and concise as I care to be. I will also strive to be as untimely and untopical as possible. In the current scheme of things, this only means you might see items a week after everybody's done chewing on them, or ten years...

Finally, following the example of computer programmer-polymath Odie, I have a design in mind for this thing which will emerge only over time, as a pattern. Tap out at any time.


-Laura Bogart basically says Joan Rivers was the Sergeant Waters of misogyny.

-This fearless Andrew Schenker essay put something in the air this summer. A lot of searching, confessional pieces after it seemed to catch its vibe.

-Chaplin Today (beautiful)

-Radical Fred Rogers

-Wild Bill

-ABC's "Mission Mind Control"--with commercials!

-Courtesy of Gydnia Film Festival Artistic Director Michal Oleszczyk, delightful handmade cinema by a young marvel.

-Don't assume that the sudden availability of this masterpiece on YouTube will dissuade folks from buying it. This movie is an essential you wanna stock up on for emergencies.


odienator said...

I can answer why I am on Twitter with two words: Roger Ebert.

Roger wanted me to promote my pieces for his site on Twitter. I had avoided getting on it for years, despite not only working in the same building Twitter did back in their infancy, but actually interviewing there for a job.

I hate it. I've said it was "the height of narcissism," "Hateration Central" and "completely fucking useless" many times in print and in person. The only reason I'm still on it is out of respect for Roger. But it makes my skin crawl, and someday soon I'll ask Roger's forgiveness and run the hell away from Twitter.

Steven Boone said...

You mean you had the chance to CHANGE HISTORY (destroy the original Twitter master plans) and you didn't take it!? Eh, I guess it was inevitable anyhow.

Kartina Richardson was the first person to insist to me that Twitter is good shtuff for a film writer. I tried it, hated it, canceled my account. Nearly two years later, I got back on, resigned to the fact that most of our peers "live" there. It still feels like a naked drug cult and I'm the only one standing by the door in a tweed suit, sweating like Gene Wilder in Bonnie and Clyde. A weird strain of puritanism, mine.

odienator said...

Truthfully, I didn't think Twitter would last more than 6 months. It was such a stupid idea to me. Shows you what I know! I'm too old to have worked there anyway. I would have wrung some 22-year old's neck for sure.

You're right about our peers "living" out there in Twitterland. A few of them I only see on Twitter. But the site itself is a hotbed of faux outrage, erroneous information and manufactured drama. Seems like everybody got time for dat but me.

Move over in that doorway, Gene. We're both going to need enough room to run outta here.

And welcome back. The site's missed ya.