Friday, 28 March 2008

Upper Class Twitter

I've done something I swore I'd never do: I've joined Twitter.

The fact that I don't know if the correct expression is "joined Twitter" or "signed up for Twitter" or just "Twittered" shows how unhip I am. (I do know that in the future every word will be a noun, a verb, an adjective and an adverb: "I Twittered the Twittery Twitter Twitterly.)

For those unfamiliar with it, Twitter is an application that lets users answer the question "What are you doing" by sending brief messages in just about any format: Web page, e-mail, instant message, phone text message. I've been skeptical about Twitter (do we really need to be more connected than we already are?) but decided to give it a try. I can see some benefits already. It's a good way to broadcast information that doesn't rise to the level of an e-mail or a blog post.

(I met Twitter co-founder Biz Stone at an event in Oxford last year. He's a Silicon Valley wunderkind and people wanted to touch the hem of his garment as he walked past.)

If you're a Twitterer you can find me at JohnKelly. And for a really good introduction to Twitter, check out a new(ish) blog that's part of PBS. It's called PBS Engage and it covers social media. Clicking there will take you to a link to a nifty YouTube video that explains Twitter.

As Patrick McGoohan might say, "Be Twitting you."

BritNews RoundUp
What can one say, really, about David Batchelor, the Scottish man charged with indecent exposure after walking down the street with his thong on backwards? For starters, it's not a surprise he's not only named Batchelor, he is one. The 58-year-old had left his house to feed the pigeons, not understanding that wearing a backwards thong might startle passersby, which included some schoolgirls. Not that Batchelor felt sexually attracted to them. If he'd really wanted sex, he told police, "I would just go down town and get a whore."

Feeding the pigeons. In a backwards thong. In Scotland.

Speaking of whores, The Post's Kevin Sullivan had a nice story this week about a Brit denied entry into the United States on the grounds of "moral turpitude." Sebastian Horsley is an artist, reformed drug abuser, frequenter of prostitutes, and general all-around debaucher. When he arrived in Newark to celebrate the American publication of his book "Dandy in the Underworld" he was questioned by U.S. authorities and put on a plane back to Blighty. "I'm an artist," Horsley said. "Depravity is part of the job description."

The news media here has been full of stories about French president Nicolas Sarkozy's state visit. It's an excuse to write about his wife, the lovely Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, whose Italo-Gallic pout and letter-opener cheekbones have been gracing front pages everywhere. The contrast with Britain's rather stodgy first family has been telling. The Browns are Weetabix to the Sarkozy's sugar-dusted crepes suzette. Sarah Brown has been described as "matronly" but she comes off better than poor Gordon, whose awkward attempt at a European cheek kiss is deconstructed in the Daily Mail, complete with close-up photos of the maneuver. Gordon resembles a blind grouper trying to swallow a fishing lure, or as the Mail's Robert Hardman puts it, "Mr. Brown looked like a man walking into a lamppost while checking his watch."

And finally, a New Zealand man has been charged with wasting police time after calling authorities to say he was being raped by a wombat. He said he suffered no ill effects from the assault except that the experience left him speaking with an Australian accent. As you know, the wombat is a marsupial native to Australia but not found in New Zealand. My suggestion for getting his accent back? Get real friendly with a kiwi bird.

Gargoyle of the Week
There was little doubt where I would get this week's gargoyle: Canterbury Cathedral, of course, where we were for Easter services.

This fellow looks like he's really proud of his teeth and wants to be sure everyone can see them.

The rain is beating against the windows here, which must mean I'm in England. I think a trip to the library might be in order. Whatever you're doing this weekend, enjoy it.


SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Darn it - now I have to go figure out this Twitter thing - can't let you get ahead of me...

Candadai Tirumalai said...

More than a century ago, Oscar Wilde could get away with saying to Customs in New York, "I have nothing to declare but my genius." Sebastian Horseley has been less lucky.

mark from alexandria said...

Speaking of those who sell themeselves for money, apparently, yet another MSNBC talking head took a swipe and Chelsea Clinton using the previously disgaced "pimped out" reference. This time, at least, the host of the program slapped down the guest. Let's see if this talking head gets banned. Perhaps I'll twitter her and see what she is up to.

Anonymous said...

A great weekend in DC coming up. The cherry trees are beautiful. The annual kite festival. The Park Marathon. And the new stadium in DC. I hear that Giffords is having a stand in the new stadium -- 5 bucks for one scoop. Let's hope the rain stays away this weekend. Go Nats.

PS -- several weeks ago the "Mini Page" did a whole issue about newspapers. Is the newspaper industry in such great need to start them young?