When Twitter first made an appearance, I thought: “big deal. You can only write 140 characters. It is even possible to say anything meaningful in such a short space?”
Apparently, given the popularity of this social networking tool – it is. Having such a tiny space in which to share stuff has provoked a lot of creativity. I’ve subscribed to a lot of humor writers, both professional and hobbyist, and when there’s not enough time to read a chapter in a book, I’ll flip over to Twitter to read the latest stuff.
The latest craze on Twitter: people who have portrayed themselves as TV show characters, all interacting with each other. Notably, the series “Mad Men” and “True Blood”. So satisfying to see that they’ve actually managed to stay true to their characters too. “Mad Men” of course is a little more grown up than “True Blood” but both shows are entertaining. And this open character interaction on Twitter makes it seem as though another episode is playing, right before your eyes.
The best part is that you as a regular Tweeter (Twitterer?) can interact with them, sometimes with unexpected results.
The irony of characters from the early 1960’s using 2008-2010 technology to talk with each other doesn’t escape anyone either. Still, they manage to stay true, and it’s as if they’re actually talking with each other over the phone, and not via the computer.
Take this one exchange, between myself and one of the Mad Men characters, named Rebecca Pryce (played by that gorgeous actress Embeth Davidtz):
Rebecca_Pryce: “Oh, sometimes I loathe dining all by myself. But I shan’t indulge on self-pity.”
– via Twitter for BlackBerry®
(Noticing that she had posted it from her Blackberry, I thought it would be neat to note it, without noting it. By pretending she was talking about the fruit, not the messaging device)
Wolfshades: “@Rebecca_Pryce I love how you say ‘shan’t’. Noticed the ‘Blackberry’ thing too. Aren’t they delicious?”
Rebecca_Pryce: “@wolfshades God, yes. And terribly practical to boot! With this handheld thingy I can be connected anywhere! Even the tube! It’s fabulous!”
And so just like any good improv sketch, she turned something I intended into something completely different. A grown man saying that any kind of electronic device was “delicious” …..well you know how it goes. Don Draper would have surmised that I was “light in the loafers”, probably.
Still, it was hard not to laugh.
There is one character on Mad Men who is just as funny on the show as her fan-created character is on Twitter (or vice versa). She’s a crusty old broad, Miss Blankenship – known as MissB_SCDP on Twitter – who is very set in her ways. Although she works for Don Draper, it’s hard to tell who’s the alpha in that relationship. I’m frankly at a loss to describe her. She seems to defy explanation. She’s abrupt, completely oblivious to subtle nuances (I don’t even think she knows the meaning of the word “subtle”) and is likely to blurt out your worst secret to the entire staff. Innocently, of course (or is it?).
You can lose yourself for hours, visiting all of these tweets. Twitter turned out to be much more entertaining than I thought it could ever be. It helps too that you can put in web page links to your posts – thereby cheating the 140 character rule.
And then there’s Facebook. And its necessary companions: Failblog (http://failblog.org) and Failbooking (http://failbooking.com). The latter contains posts that were made on Facebook that probably should have been set to “private” – or better yet, not posted at all. Failblog contains photos that portray life failures. Today, I posted a couple of these to my Facebook account:
Now I ask you: is this the work of a zealous but incompetent store owner? Or is the final act of a desperately bitter clerk, on the last day of his job?
And then there’s this one. I looked at it at first in horror. Then I realized what the intent was, and couldn’t help thinking about how absolutely stunning a failure it was. For those who care: it’s a dental aid, designed to assist children in understanding how their teeth work, and what it takes to keep them healthy.
I’d like to congratulate any child who would not run away, screaming its fool head off after seeing this one.
(P.S. Credit where credit is due: both pics are hosted at http://failblog.com – as you no doubt guessed from the caption in the bottom left corner of each pic. You should read some of the reactions there too)
Both sites are listed in my “Funny” blogroll list to the right. Be warned: they can suck away all of your spare time if you aren’t careful.