10.13.2021 – despising someone

despising someone
feelings, that at the heart, are
large part of appeal

Reading and re-reading the article, Let’s not kid ourselves, we are all the Bad Art Friend, by Emma Brockes, I am trying to figure out why I am reading and re-reading this article.

For one thing the article itself starts, “The dignified thing, if you have to read it at all, is to read it and move on without comment. But, bored at our desks and seeking distraction, most of us can’t find self-denial with both hands.

For another thing Ms. Brockes goes on to say, “It happens every few months, somewhere or other, with a reliability approaching a new genre. Someone, usually working for a large media company, devotes considerable resources to excavating an obscure story of relatively low public interest.

From what I can tell Ms. Brockes is complaining or commenting about just such an story, Who Is the Bad Art Friend?, and at the same time, kind of apologizing for writing about just such an article and that the first article itself was barely worth the time it took to write, let alone the time it took to read.

But then Ms. Brockes WAS writing about it.

Two comments in the body of article caught my eye.

The first was, as Ms. Brockes tries to explain why she is writing, she second guesses herself with the line, “clearly some things are best left to Twitter.

In some ways that explains everything I have long felt about twitter.

Some folks use it.

Some folks read it.

But not as many as many people might think.

When I was in the news business is was well known that 90% of the world does NOT use twitter but 90% of those in News did.

As far as News is concerned, everyone must be using twitter.

Journalism often today is a headline that state, “TWITTER BLOWS UP OVER ….” and then the Journalist screen grabs a bunch of twitter comments from unknown people or known people or twitter accounts claiming to be written by known people or twitter accounts written by unknown people FOR known people and that is the story.

Notice I said screen grab, not just a quote, as a picture of the twitter account will show exactly what the account published to the world.

No editing, no second guessing no clarification allowed.

If typing on a small handheld device with your thumbs causes you to misspell or have a typo, you are dead where you type.

It is no wonder so many news stories about twitter comments end with the line, ‘DON’T PRESS SEND.’

Back in history at the Battle of Waterloo, as the forces allied under British General Wellington closed on the Napoleon’s French Army, the record says that the last organized French forces, Napoleon’s Old Guard, were called upon to surrender.

General Pierre Jacques Étienne Cambronne yelled back, according to the history books, “The Old Guard dies, but it never surrenders!”

Those on the scene reported that General Pierre Jacques Étienne Cambronne yelled, ‘Merde!’

Thank goodness General Pierre Jacques Étienne Cambronne didn’t have twitter.

So maybe some things are better left to twitter.

Someday, the written record will have history as the way it should have happened.

And someday someone will unplug twitter.

I said there were two comments that Ms. Brockes made that caught my eye.

The second on was a line where the author said, “That feeling of despising someone is at the heart of this and similar stories, and a large part of their appeal.”

Despising someone and twitter.

A match made in Hell.

Sorry to say that this was not a story about high school but a story, I think, about the publishing world, the world of writing and books.

There is a noting social about social media.

The last thing about the story was what I took to be a warning.

The author ends with, “the bone-chilling horror of imagining what would happen if one’s own private texts and emails came out.

Is anything private anymore?

Or is everything, anything open to the possibility that someone, usually working for a large media company, devoting considerable resources to excavating an obscure story of relatively low public interest will find something somewhere.

But hold on.

I started writing this thinking what a dark and scary world this has become.

With my brain chewing on the grit of this essay I got to thinking.

What is different?

History is full of people who burned their personal letters and diaries.

Who, really, wants, their most personal thoughts out there in the public.

Besides Theodore Roosevelt anyway.

TR’s biographer, Edmund Morris, wrote that you could NOT read TR’s letters without the feeling that TR MEANT for them to be read.

On the other hand, Mrs. TR, Edith Carow Roosevelt, the 2nd Mrs. TR, burned all of her letters.

Maybe it was just the way it was worded.

That feeling of despising someone is at the heart of this and similar stories, and a large part of their appeal.

What is the german word?

Schadenfreude?

Pleasure derived by someone from another person’s misfortune.

Even Jim Harrison wrote in his book, Sundog, about a writing writing a biography that, “Something essentially mean-minded in me wanted to probe deeper for a raw nerve, for the great leveler that is at the heart of all personal journalism, wherein the noblest human might be made pedestrian at least for the length of time it took to read the article: the school of “Faulkner was laughably short.”

Once again it comes to me that there is nothing new here.

We have new electronic mediums to do it to ourselves but the story is the same.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

Never mind.

Carry on.

Big brother is reading you.

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