Pun intended

Yet again some idiot celeb with a distended ego is throwing their weight around on twitter. I’d usually ignore this kind of thing but the victim of the cyber-bullying is a twitter friend of mine.

And let’s make this clear right from the very off shall we: Duncan Bannatyne is not a victim here. He read a tweet, while searching his name on twitter, that was quite obviously an attempt at a pun on Braveheart, but which used his name. It was a joke. Whether you find it funny or not, it’s still a joke. It may have been in poor taste, but it was a joke. It didn’t portray any reality that anyone could recognise, because it was quite obviously a joke.

The Dragon’s reaction? Laugh it off? Nah. Ask politely for it to be deleted because it upset him? No. The Big Man threatens to sue, and then unleashes his many thousands of followers to fight his battles for him.

He may not consciously have done this, but it’s what happens when celebrities have a bit of a tiff on twitter. He should have known this. But wait, it’s clear that Duncan Banantyne doesn’t understand twitter and how it works.

The epic piece of egotistical anti-twitter nonsense that was #DuncansDream is proof of that. Twitter is great for hunting out interesting people we’d like to hear more from, so we follow them. That’s also how we get followers. We don’t go begging; what’s the point? People will just unfollow you if you tweet pointless shite, anyway. Because that’s how twitter works. Not by having some wonderfully inane, pointless ‘dream’ where everybody follows everybody else. Where’s the fun/use in that? (By the by, Mr Bannatyne obviously doesn’t have much faith in his dream as he only follows 171 people)

I don’t have 30,000 followers because, quite honestly, I don’t deserve them. My tweets are random, usually quite dull and only intermittently funny when I can come up with a good pun. Which leads me nicely back to the real victim here.

I won’t name her as I don’t think she needs any more hassle, but more power to her elbow. She puns like crazy. Not all of them work, but enough do. Same with a lot of people I follow. Same with the vast majority of twitter, really. We all like a #Hashtag game or two, now and again, and the majority of these are pun based, because they work really well on Twitter.  

Her pun may have been in poor taste to some eyes, in which case un-follow her, block her, ask her to delete the tweet.

Just don’t flex your monied muscles like an over-reacting, cowardly prick, then run away leaving her to deal with REAL abuse from YOUR followers. Duncan Bannatyne, you are a disgrace and should call your dogs off and behave like a decent human being.

Posted in Grr | 15 Comments

All wrong things must end (part 1)

It’s been a long month, an August full of hate, ignorance, idiocy and just plain wrongness. It’s also been occasionally interesting and intermittently amusing. A bit of housekeeping first, though. Two of my blogs have mysteriously disappeared from here. I’m not suggesting a conspiracy of right-wing techno-terrorism as it’s more than likely I’ve been an idiot and not posted them properly. It makes you think, though, doesn’t it….

A quick précis of the first of the two missing blogposts in case I can’t find them and re-post.

 The first two weeks of #wrongtwitter saw a Sodom* of fundamentalist Christian Americans getting on my nerves an awful lot (see earlier blogs). For the sake of balance I started following a lot of BNP idiots in mid-August, as well as a general group of ethno-supremacists, Little Englander Xenophobes and white power-mongers. Let’s call them racists** for short.

It turned out to be an ideal time to follow the BNP, as the organisation appeared to be imploding. A leadership election was in progress, and the rank and file of the BNP didn’t seem too happy with Nick Griffin. Four people stood, Griffin scraped through, but not without rancour. A couple of self-proclaimed “progressive” splinter groups came into being, most notably under former senior BNP idiot Eddy Butler, and ideological debates about innovative and exciting ways of being racist took place. The present leadership banned all debate, party workers were sacked and massive debts were alleged. It seemed the game was up for the BNP.

And then it all went a bit quiet.

I’d said from the beginning of #wrongtwitter that if someone I followed asked me what I was doing, I wouldn’t lie. No-one questioned me at all, though. I tried tweeting individuals to get a bit of interest going, but only got a couple of half hearted replies. The BNP lot were nasty wrongheaded tools, but they had yet to start foaming at the mouth and ranting. I was hoping for the twitter equivalent of the Nuremburg rallies, but I got a Town Council sub-committee meeting instead. Was it because I had become immune to their twattish nonsense?  Quite possibly, such is the media presence of racists nowadays.

I was all set to throw it in when salvation arrived in the fuckwitted shape of the EDL, and their proposed charabanc day-out to Bradford. More on this in the next blog….

* The correct collective noun, I’m certain, though I’m happy to receive suggestions for better ones. 

 **because that’s what they are.

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I’ll see you all in hell, apparently.

It’s the end of the first week of my #wrongtwitter experiment, and the overwhelming feeling I have is not of disgust, shock or anger…it’s tiredness.

I’m knackered in my brain. It’s so arse-numbingly dull wading through some of the tweets I now have on my feed. One or two are worthy of a second read as they might make a decent stab at an informed opinion, but mostly they are dripping with tedium. They are all so uniformly the same. Hate filled ignorant bilge that really isn’t worth repeating. But repeat it they do. Ad nauseam.

The same themes all the time. No discussion, just idiot soundbites, and tweets of agreement. It’s dispiriting and soul sapping, and it makes me tired.

(By the way, one lovely follower of mine did send their best wishes and was sorry to hear that I had to go through this. Though the sentiment was appreciated, I don’t want anyone feeling sorry for me…there’s nothing to feel sorry about. It’s my choice to do this to try to get a bit of blood pumping, that’s all)

So, back to the ennui.

Some of the more interesting tweets have been about President Obama, and his inability to do anything right. No, really, he can’t even change his socks without a massive right-wing outcry about how his socks are also worn by Muslims. His ineptitude means he’s like Frank Spencer, Homer Simpson, Stan Laurel AND Oliver Hardy all rolled into one calamitous bundle. Except that he’s black, which a few observant correspondents noted (in a restrained manner). Oh, and his middle name’s Hussein, which obviously means something. It can’t be a coincidence, can it? What with this mosque business at Ground Zero as well. Makes you think, doesn’t it?

I decided to leave those alone after a bit, partly because some of the things being tweeted were so idiotic even Dubya would think twice before saying them (oops, my ‘liberalism’ is showing), but mostly because the USA is not my country, and if I can say stupid things about David Cameron, I have no problem with stupid things being said about Barack Obama. Except for the racist things. Morons.

Abortion was the other big thing. I’m Pro-Choice, because I believe it’s the only decent way to deal with what is obviously an emotionally fraught subject. I don’t believe termination of a pregnancy is a cause for joy, but neither do I believe that it’s an act of murder. That is just plain wrong. I’ve tried to debate this with three of the people I followed, all of whom declined (two via DM, one on the comments to my last blog). Reasons given included my socialism, my maleness, my belief that science knows best and, quite bizarrely, my not being American. I’m no expert in this area, so these guys have missed an opportunity to destroy my argument with all their god facts, church research and bible studies. Tough luck, you lot, you had your chance…

So I’ve tried to just look at tweets generally, rather than specific subjects.

My eye was caught by this little beauty from @TPO_Hisself:

Congress: Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups

@TPO_Hisself has 54,826 followers. Figure out the punch-line yourselves.

The delightful @meganphelps from the Westboro Baptist Church has a thing for Justin Bieber. Why, I’m not sure, but I think it’s because God hates Canada http://twitpic.com/29k687 With me it’s his youth, ubiquity on twitter and his haircut, but hey, that’s just me being grumpily jealous.

 She hates Lady Gaga too. Or God does. Again, I’m not sure why, but the words ‘slut’ and ‘proud whore’ have been mentioned.

 Heading to our 3rd @ladygaga concert picket! It’s really a sight to behold: the vicious assaults of “little monsters” …bc *we’re* hateful

A friend/relative of hers held these signs outside the gig: http://twitpic.com/2be8z4  

 And here’s a little film they made: http://tweetreel.com/?tpf8r

 Obviously no incitement or provocation there. You may remember the Phelps family and the WBC from a Louis Theroux doc three years ago. Remember them picketing a shop because they sold Swedish vacuum cleaners? Sweden hates homophobes, and that’s the reason for the picket. I’m predicting the Indian restaurant down the road will be in for a hard time, as I believe Elton John once bought a hat in Mumbai. If I’m being kind I’d say the Phelps were odd. But as I’m going to hell anyway, I’ll just say they’re bigoted fuckwits with not an ounce of sense or humanity in the whole damn cult.

 By far the biggest ‘find’ I made on here (actually, it was via a follower who shall remain anon) is @Soldierjohn. The whole blog could be filled with his ‘thoughts’ on Obama, Islam, Christianity, taxes, liberalism, abortion etc. I recommend you have a look at his timeline. Really. It saves me writing it out, and you’ll also see what I’ve been seeing for the past week.

 I’ve had a couple of exchanges with people I’m following (who, to save time, I’ll just call the #chosen). Some have been pleasant enough, just wanting to know what I’m doing. Some have been argumentative, which is fair enough as I’m not following them because I agree with them. A couple of DMs to my account have advised me of my imminent trip to hell, and most sadly, my non-participation in the Rapture. I can’t be arsed with eschatological nonsense, but essentially it means that when he returns to earth, Jesus will blank me and I will be consumed by hellfire. And I thought he was supposed to be a nice fellow.

 Most, though have been boring, anti-scientific, closed mind twaddle. And so, tomorrow I’m dumping the American #chosen, and looking for new ones in Europe. Luckily @twitter is now advising like-minded lunatics for me to follow.

 Though I’m sure it should be ‘whom to follow’, and not ‘who…’

Posted in #wrongtwitter | 10 Comments

Violence, Money and Superstition

It’s the first day of my self-imposed #wrongtwitter journey, and I’m feeling positive about my desire to do this.

 I’d like to say thanks to everyone who tweeted me yesterday, retweeted my blog and left comments there. To quote Shakin’ Stevens, lovely stuff. The un-following of people last night was pathetically emotional. When all that was left on my feed were my own tweets, it felt very odd. Quiet. Like I’d gone out at 3 in the morning, wearing slippers.

A few people un-followed me, either because they couldn’t be arsed reading my #wrongtwitter tweets or they didn’t quite understand why I had (temporarily) un-followed them. Or, of course, they took this opportunity to sneak out the back door. A few, I know, have never really read my tweets and so hadn’t read yesterday’s blog. Oh well, they won’t be missed.

Lots of new followers though, all keen to see me disintegrate under the pressure of following people I really, really disagree with. And abhor.

Hello, you sick perverts. But thanks.

 On with the bastard motley.

 Today I followed forty people. I’m using my normal twitter site, so they can see who I am. I’m not going to lie to them if they send me a tweet. Eleven of them blocked me, which I see as a victory straight away.

 The people I followed are mostly from the USA. I’m not anti-American, loving so much about that country. It just seemed to me it was as good a place to start as anywhere else. Plus there is a kind of extremism to be found in the kind of people I wanted to follow. They don’t do things by halves.

 I found some well meaning people who I simply didn’t agree with, but respected. No use following them, I thought. The ones I’m left with are the business. Their world is based around violence, money and superstition, their doctrine “Fuck the world, fuck the heathens, fuck Obama and fuck you”. They like flags, guns, god and tea-parties. Their pin-ups are Palin, Bush and Reagan. I don’t like them, but I want to learn more about them and others like them.

 I also followed the usual suspects from the UK: BNP, ethno-supremacists, media idiots. I need more from the UK, please. Suggestions welcomed.

 My evening will now be spent reading their guff. Quick example: As you can imagine, there’s an almost violent pro-life thing with the US lot. This corker came last night:

 “Trying to sleep, but can’t stop thinking about all of those selfish fetuses (sic) attacking the rights of defenseless, selfless, #prochoice women”

 That was mild, trust me. It gets grim from here on…

Addendum 4/8/2010: I should have credited the quote I gave above. It came from the @SillyLiberals twitter account.

Posted in #wrongtwitter | 5 Comments

Goodbye nice, hello nasty.


I’m Sam.

I’ve been tweeting for a year and a half now, and I’d like to say I’ve enjoyed every moment.

Like to.

Recently, though, I’ve had less fun. It has a little to do with the people I follow (all of whom I enjoy reading, otherwise what’s the point in following them?), but it’s mostly people I don’t follow intruding into my feed, how twitter is being used by some people and the changes Twitter is making that have tarnished my tweetlife.

Let’s go back a bit, though. Why did I like Twitter in the first place? When I first logged on in January 2009 it struck me that Twitter was almost like a beautiful co-operative society. Paradise with dividends. People talked with each other, shared tips and links, and recommended others to follow. There was no hierarchy that I could see, which was really attractive.  

 (Admittedly I came to Twitter through a “celeb” in the shape of Graham Linehan. I was a frequent visitor to his “Why, That’s Delightful” site, and enjoyed the Friday conversations he’d have. When he packed up and moved to Twitter, I followed.)

 I liked the fact that @soandso of wherever had the same platform to amuse, inform and opine as @celebrityfunnyman. I liked that I could find out about music, books, politics, stories etc that I had no inkling of beforehand, and discuss these with people who did.

 I liked that I could connect with anyone on there, regardless of nationality, gender, sexuality, age or political persuasion. I obviously didn’t follow those I vehemently disagreed with for too long. Anyone who described themselves as being part of the “twitterati” got short shrift. Indeed, anyone who used that term was quickly blocked. There were no kings or queens, emperors or empresses.

 And it was fun. I laughed at jokes, discovered new music, made friends, got angry at Jan Moir and made some people laugh at things I tweeted.

 And here we are today. I’ve stopped appreciating the good things about Twitter. It may be because the 18 month honeymoon is over. It may be because I have melancholic bouts of over-analysing EVERYTHING. All I know is Twitter isn’t as shiny and lovely as it once was.

 I’m not leaving, though. There are still enough really smashing folk on here for me to stay.

No, I’m going to follow in the #wrongtwitter footsteps of @IanMartin. For those not in the know, Ian decided to unfollow everyone on his list for a month and instead just followed nasty types. These included right wing extremists, religious idiots and a combination of both. The updates were fascinatingly scary, anger-inducing pieces of reportage, albeit from the relative safety of a twitter feed.

From August 3rd, I will do the same for a month. This will purely be an exercise in learning to love once again, appreciating what I have, who I follow and those who like following me. It’s not radical, it’s no longer innovative, but it could very well save my tweetlife, as well as Twitter itself. Yes, I’m going to save Twitter. It’s my calling.

 I’ll be un-following people over the next day or two, but will re-follow again at the beginning of next month. If you want to un-follow me, that’s fine.

 I’ll post updates on here, and use my feed and the #wrongtwitter hash to notify updates.

 Finally, I’d be grateful for any accounts you feel I may want to look at for #wrongtwitter


Posted in #wrongtwitter | 14 Comments