Friday, 23 January 2015

LOL, Internet

There was a classic Twitter row last week.
(A Twitter row is when something relatively insignificant happens, and up to twenty-eight million people comment on it, expressing opinions ranging from misguided to completely insane to bigoted to hilarious.)

Under the heading: This Response To A Mean Tweet Is Perfect, you might expect to find something interesting, or funny or enlightening.  Unless you’ve ever looked at anything on the internet with a title like Thirty-Three Reasons You Should Move To Suffolk, or This Kid Did Something That Made Everybody Shit Themselves.  (It’s only a small step from that to Use This One Crazy Trick To Shed 80% Of Your Bodyfat.  And from that to The One Question That Will Make Any Woman Fall In Love With You.)

One of the people involved used to be a famous musician and gobshite, and is now a famous gobshite (dunno if still makes music, I don’t watch Top Of The Pops anymore).  The other is one of these pop stars they have these days.  They don’t have to be good-looking anymore, which is a sign of how far we’ve come.  They do have to mouth bland platitudes in front of a wall of corporate logos, which is a sign of how far we haven’t come.

Anyway, the conversation was HILARIOUS, obviously.  Who wouldn’t want to read about an irrelevant former shite pop star slating a current shite pop star?  LOL.

Irrelevant former World’s Most-Over-rated Bland Band gobshite:
“I fooken can’t fooken believe that fooken ginger twat’s famous now…I can’t live in a world where he fooken sells out Wembley.”

Current World’s Blandest Musician:
“I can, it’s BRILLIANT ha ha LOL.”


It’s a classic example of a twitter storm: a famous person I don’t care about has a pop at another famous person I don’t care about and the second one responds in kind.  And people (inexplicably) lose their shit over it.

Some people might feel that Ed Sheeran makes the kind of music best suited to a post-apocalyptic nuclear holocaust situation where survivors are so traumatised they can only cope with the blandest sounds ever made, where any bright colours or character would cause unbearable flashbacks to the horrors of the recent past.
Others, of course, are far more scathing.

Personally, I don’t know enough about him to comment, and nothing of the little I know of the person or the music makes me want to find out more about either.  Life’s too short, isn’t it?

And THEN, THIS week, another shit singer had a public argument with an MP.  And both of them sounded like twats, and both of them made some fair points.  (The singer gained some respect by referring to his “shit songs and plummy voice”, as if that self-effacing humour somehow negated the truth of the statement).  
It’s like reading through personal letters, all this – that’s probably what it would have been, years ago, in the before time.  Thank God we’ve got the internet, so we can be instantly aware and constantly updated on what The Big Swinging Dicks of the entertainment business think of each other.

And yet, here I am writing about it.  Media is so self-referential that a tweet is now considered newsworthy – even to me, even though I don’t care about any of the people involved or anything they’re saying about the subjects, about which I also could not possibly care less.

The perfect thing about all this for loud-mouths like me – and more so for professional journalists –  is that whether you think it’s brilliant or rubbish, writing an article about it guarantees clicks on the host website.  And this is how The Daily Mail (and many others) operate.  It used to be called Moral Panic, when a columnist would be outraged about something nobody was concerned about, describing it as “sick”, or whatever, and then people would respond, and then the same paper would have license to comment on the comments and reaction, as if it were a legitimate news story.

Proof, if proof be need be, that the entire world is doomed, that capitalism will eat itself and the aforementioned geopolitical catastrophe is not only imminent but also entirely deserved, and even welcome.

Or maybe I was right the first time, and none of it matters.

There’s also the relentless swathe of comment on things that matter very much, like terrorist violence and freedom of speech.  And a lot of that is fucking awful as well.  (I, for one, had no idea that so many facebook users are experts in Islam, fundamentalism, British foreign policy, French satire, French law, the Syrian civil war, the Iraq war, drones, extrajudicial killings and the motivation and intimate thoughts of two murderers they’ve never met.  Naturally, I’m impressed by their learned and entirely rational output on these subjects.)

Of course, if I was in any way famous, this blog would spawn a twitter row equal to the one to which it refers, and Buzzfeed would post it with a title like This Blogger Just Summed Up The Internet in 1005 Words (And The Conclusion Will Make Blood And Puss Spurt From Your Eyeballs).
And eventually one of the broadsheets would pick up on it, and that’s how we would know the trend was all over.

“I don’t want to live in a world where Ed Sheeran can sell out Wembley”
Cool.  Off you go then, and don’t forget your champagne, and the bath you keep it in.

Still, I can relate to the sentiment: I don’t want to live in a world in which Sheeran or Gallagher or Blunt or Bryant are of any significance. 
Or a world in which Oasis are considered the height of subversive music.
Or a world in which Ed Sheeran is considered subversive.
Or a world in which any of it matters in the slightest.

Fortunately, I don’t.

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