Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Wossy And the West

Another day of Manchester and I’m ugly and tired. I’ve also spent too much money on an external hard drive from Dabs. I’ve had enough of losing work or suffering the torture of last night, thinking that I’d lost work. I’m going to automate the damn thing with a terabyte of disc space to suck up my nonsense overnight. Not a single one of my pointless posts, cryptic cartoons, or unread blogs will be lost.

My mood is probably exacerbated by the letter in today’s mail reminding me that I have to fill in my self-assessment tax return. I’m registered as self-employed given that I did some cartoons last year for ITN, earned a little, and continue to devote a huge portion of my week to my ‘career’. Ho hum. I also thought I might have started to earn money from my book or other writings. It now seems rather sad to be filling in a tax return for a sum as miserable as my earnings so far. Are there any self-employed writers who earn as little as me? I doubt it but I’d be happy to stand them a drink.

I’ve also been trying to write something funny for the other blog but my energy runs out after about a paragraph. It makes writing this blog quite a pleasure. I find that writing the other blog almost a physical activity, like holding my breath and swimming down for a kind of deeper state from which to write as somebody else. I only had the energy to post a couple of new Twitters as Him.

Playing the Twitter game amuses me enormously. Or at least, in short periods of about thirty seconds. Twitter is like blogging but in minutia. It’s a place to write in aphorisms or to attempt to be funny through brevity. I think that’s why Stephen Fry is so good at it. He’s genuinely eloquent and always worth reading. I’m trying my best to make every one of my Twitter posts funny. It’s hard to get an idea into 140 characters but I hope my Twits are more amusing than the usual rubbish I read posted. I’ve probably moaned on about social networking before (and if I haven’t, I’d happy do so right now) but I really don’t want to read puffs for other people’s projects or links to things they find interesting on the web. I’m not actually that interest in knowing if somebody is on his way to pick up the kids. Do people really think that it’s interesting to tell me that their train is ten minutes late but they’ve bought themselves a pasty from the station canteen? As far as celebrity Twitterers go, John Cleese has it about right. He’s always worth reading. And, as I said, Fry is fun, if only to read his ejaculations. Ejaculations? Bless me! Heavens. I don’t think. Tut, tut. Shudder!

I notice that Jonathan Ross (Wossy) is enjoying his new Twitter account. 5000 followers and rising. Ah, the blessings of fame! He can’t stop offering to text/email/ring his celebrity friends to check to see if they are ‘a fan/nutcase’. Those are his words, not mine. Well, actually, they’re from somebody who asked him what celebrities think of fake Twitters pretending to be them. Interesting reply. ‘Most famous people really [l]ike their fans, but pretending to be you then that's clearly strange and unwanted’. That’s probably a good reply to the wrong question. Or at least, the premise is somewhat misleading.

Fake Twitterers are probably neither fans nor nutcases. There are a few who are probably more fun to read than the people they spoof, such as Will Self’s double who is delicious arch. Even if there are a few attempts at spoofing that are genuinely strange, most are probably just like me: people who find it laughable that a system exists by which every mental bowel movement can be recorded for posterity. Twitter is a haven for mediocrity and it’s hard not to want to parody it. That’s not to say that it sometimes worries me that I’m perceived as a ‘nutcase’. It makes for such heartening moments when people understand my game. On the other hand, I do get tired of people missing the joke and being unbelievably nice to me because they think of what I can do for them. It’s embarrassing to see it happen across Twitterspace. They turn up, big grin, slide across the room, a hand slips around my shoulders. ‘Richard, you’re looking so good... Listen, chum, I’ve got this project if you’ve a moment or two to wag chins.’

The one surprise of reading Wossy’s twitters is the realisation that some celebrities do actually live in that insane world where every friend is another celebrity. He has them all on his mobile and texts them to see if they Twitter. Charming but rather sad, I think. Celebrity is a drug and I think some people are liable to overdose.


Andrew said...

I'm deeply mistrustful of Twitter, for reasons I don't fully understand. Having a facility to blurt out any stupid little thing that comes into your head at any given time can only lead to trouble, in my view. It sounds like far too much fluff and verbal diarrhoea to wade through to get to anything of substance or humour, in my view.

David said...

You're absolutely right. Which is why I wouldn't be able to do it if I were taking it seriously. The 'social networking' experts are a sight to behold. And everybody seems to be a web guru, an IT expert, or pundit on one thing or another.

BrianMolayo said...

Wossy's Twitter reads like it was ghost written by Alan Partridge. Very pathetic til you think about how much this pinnacle of mediocrity earns. I'm really starting to wonder just how anal the internet has to get before people start throwing up their hands en masse and declaring enough's enough.

David said...

I was having that conversation last night and it was pointed out that most of the people I know know are leisure consultants (I'm not, God forbid, one myself) and that their friends are probably leisure consultants too. Sad to say but I think we're blessed or damned according to what we do in life. It's not that X is better at their job that Y. It's just that they've got their break in that field. Writers seem to know writers. I suppose it defines who they are and why cliques form.

You're right about the Alan Partridge. He'd have texted Sue Cook, of course.

Brit said...

Twitter is a step too far for me. I'm not even on Facebook. Come to think of it, it seems that if I'm not in right at the beginning of a trend I don't want to know about it. I gave up Sudoku when everyone else started doing it.