Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Tweet Smell of Excess

I am frequently asked why I don't have a Twitter account. I don't have any use for Twitter. Twitter is like an Ionesco play--140 characters searching hopelessly for meaning. Twitter is hundreds of thousands of minds without a single thought. It's the viewing audience for the Super Bowl with keyboards. Twitter fills the universe with mindless chatter, allowing everyone to be Maury Povich or Jerry Springer or a troop of baboons. It reflects the culture in ways that aren't especially flattering; it's a funhouse mirror that distorts reality and makes small minds seem large and the trivial seem important. Aside from reading
HoseMaster of Wine, is there a bigger waste of time than Twitter? Sure, there's watching "Eat Pray Love," two hours of comma-tose (I preferred the Japanese original "Eat Play Rove"), and there's reading Lettie Teague, but not much else. Twitter is vuvuzelas played rectally. So don't expect to see the ol' HoseMaster on Twitter any time soon.

But if I were on Twitter, this might be what I'd Tweet...

@JayMcInerney Hmmm, JLoBrow, glad you loved Inception--not sure how much Cab Phelps put in it in '07.

DrinkNectar has something really important to say--"He's important!"

Love the new look over at Catavino! Like putting lipstick on a corpse!

WS admits mixup, put Meg Whitman on cover of "California's Greatest Winemaker" issue.

@HelenTurley I know! I can't believe WS insulted you. You're the Greatest Winemaker in The WORLD!

@JLaube I think she's buying it. I'll take a case of Marcassin Pinot Noir. I use it in my Prius every 5000 miles.

Can't wait for my new issue of Mutineer Magazine! Love how they never use words with more than three syllables.

@JayMcInerney Gamay is the grape used for Beaujolais. Camay is soap. Ellie May was on Beverly Hillbillies. Nitpickers!

Burying cowhorns in a vineyard to make better wine is like putting manure in a toreador's pants for a better bullfight.

@MarvinShanken Is that a Cigar in your mouth, or do you just really like racehorses?

Just loved the Vegan Wine Tasting today, sponsored by Natural Gas. You are what you eat!

@StephenTanzer You have a magazine???! Did you hear Parker's dead? Dr. Miller attending physician.

Catavino nominated for European Wine Blog Award in category Best Judges to Win European Wine Blog Award.

@LettieTeague Yeah, I know, he's pompous, but look at it this way, he makes you seem knowledgeable!

@JayMcInerney Yeah, I know, she's dull, but look at it this way, she makes you seem

@GaryV Sure, I do remember your grandfather. Madman Muntz! Shame you don't have his class.

@HuckleberryJackson Just because "Matanzas" means "slaughterhouse" doesn't mean...

William Foley has announced his purchase of Wine Enthusiast magazine for $100 and a Fred Furth bobblehead doll.

@WilliamFoley Oh, well, easy mistake to make. He's the same size as a bobblehead doll.

@HuckleberryJackson Suggested brands to buy and ruin--Caymus, Silver Oak, Steve Heimoff.

@HuckleberryJackson Sorry, hadn't heard about STEVE! Congrats. "Heimoff" means "homeless" in German.

@SteveH Really? As in "Heimoff to see the Wizard?" Loved the "Lollipop Guild!"

@JayMcInerney Rupert called. Wants you to write expose of Free Radicals in Wine. Excoriate the liberal bastards!!!

@JayMcInerney Means "denounce"


Thomas said...

Until now, I never noticed that Tweets have the ring of a Jack E Leonard routine.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


I had Henny Youngman in mind, but Jack E. works just fine. He was more of an insult comic.

If you think about it, it's also a little Bob Newhart, where you only hear one side of a phone conversation.

I always wonder, what sort of a sad interior life does one have to have to spend more than thirty seconds a day on Twitter?

Ah, I'm just an old fart.

Tweeting Daddy said...

@JoseMeister Luv new bit. Gud gig 4 u. But plz no STEVE! gags. Huck no like.

@BioD. If minerals get into wine, what makes you think that cowshit doesn't?

abc said...

I like both twitter and my sad interior life. Heck, I even replaced the fork with a picture.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

@PuffDaddy No minerals in wine, that's tartrates. So U no

@TweetDaddy Huck too busy ruining brands to read HMW. Mind somewhere floating down Mississippi.

Amy Love,

Replaced the fork with a photo? Well, it's about tine.

Arthur Esteban Franciso Maria Conchita Alonzo Conception de Corazon de Jesus de la Vina Przebinda, MD, PhD, PDQ, ret. said...

Tweet this post twice and call me in the morning.

off2wine said...


Thomas said...


The way I like to look at it: we aren't old farts; we are jaded adults who have gone through enough "next best technology to God" in our lives that we see through the hype and the commercial utility that is built into every so-called advance.

That, and we also see that Twitter is a step above grunting...

Tweeting Daddy said...

@Thomas In the year + since I have started tweeting, I have managed about 200 tweets. Some of them have even risen about the banal.

Most have run about 600 words and been rejected. So, I post them here with Jose or over at STEVE!

Thomas said...

Tweet Daddy,

600 words!

The 21st century considers that either a chatterbox or a windbag...

Samantha Dugan said...

I just can't tweet, (too wordy like Mr. Daddy there) and I have a hard time even trying to read tweets, it's like a whole other language and I have a hard enough time with this one. It all seems so insincere, feels like someone is burping comments...I'm gonna just hang out downwind.

Ron Washam said...

Hey Gang,

Well, predictably, my post has been all over Twitter. I intentionally didn't use the Twitter "language" because, aside from giving the piece a ring of authenticity, it wouldn't contribute to the comedy.

There's nothing wrong with Twitter. It's a useful tool for marketing and communicating. It's just not useful in actual human discourse, which is all I care about. It seems to be used either to promote the Tweeter (I prefer Twit) or for things utterly mundane. I don't care about either.

It is, however, a lovely platform for comedy. I made this post as "inside" as I could--my wife told me she didn't understand it at all. Twitter, like FaceBook, creates the fantasy of a world where people pay attention to what you have to say when in fact they're tuning you out. Just like a wine blog. And it creates the illusion that you're connected to people more famous and more important than you are. That it's successful and popular demonstrates, once again, how easy it is to manipulate people. Twitter is constant subliminal, and not so subliminal, advertising. George Orwell would have had a field day with it.

My Gorgeous Samantha,

It's hard, as you point out, to be sincere in 140 characters. Imagine how our love would be if we'd written in 140 character letters. Twitter isn't about sincerity, or about anything human at all. But it will be with us until the next new phenomenon comes along.

If only wine blogging would vanish...

I love you!

abc said...

So I get to defend twitter?
But this: It's just not useful in actual human discourse, which is all I care about.

I disagree. I think when used well twitter is a conversation. But in order for it to work that way, one has to be engaged. I asked one night for restaurant advice on a Sunday night. I got 15-20 replies, with some very good suggestions. I replied to a few and had "conversations" about some of the suggestions.
Now that may not be what you enjoy, but it is discourse. And I could give many more examples like yesterday's pie query.
It is like blogging or any other form of communication really. Some tweet well, some do not.

Sip with Me! said...

I too have many fine examples of conversations I've had on Twitter, but better yet is how we can engage with people we have things in common with and then when we meet in person, it's like we're already friends. Have made many great wine friends via the twitter machine. Can't feel much more connected than that. It's easy to put down what we don't truly understand.

Charlie Olken aka Tweet Daddy said...

I have about 400 followers on the twitbox. I have posted about 250 twitterings over there. I have received fifty total responses.

As the inestimable ABC has just said. Some twitter well and some do not. Oh well. I suppose I will keep at it although I am not sure why.

Thomas said...

There are conversations and there are conversations--not all are meaningful.

Sip with Me,

Isn't it possible to understand something and to not accept it too?

I believe that Ron's description of Twitter is closer to reality than the reality of a Twitter conversation. In fact, I go so far as to claim that these so-called social networking devices are separating rather than joining us, as we selectively converse with those whose opinions match with ours, gaining no alternative world view and slowly closing our minds.

You could say that I feel that way because I don't understand the medium, but you'd have to argue with the fact that I have been in the communications medium for most of my adult life. It has been quite a study in the manipulation of humans, as Ron points out.

Ron Washam said...

Amy Love,

Well, perhaps I should have said "meaningful" human discourse. And, yes, by definition it is discourse.

I suspect it's not how well you Tweet, but how often. And for what purpose. It's just not for me. I'm dull. I rarely troll for restaurant recommendations or query about pies. My brain is too filled with chatter as it is. I have many voices in there all talking to me at once. I mostly converse with them.

Tamara Darling,

No, it's actually hard to effectively put down things we don't understand. Perhaps I've been ineffective.

Twitter has millions and millions of fans. I have eight. That says it all.

Folks who use Twitter and FaceBook have hundreds of "Friends" and "Followers," even thousands, some millions. Poor me, I only have a handful of friends, and no followers. I'm so lonely.

I dislike Twitter. But don't get me wrong. I don't dislike people who use Twitter. Nor do I think them all fools. But it sure would be hard to have this dialogue using Twitter. Which may be the point entirely.

Ron Washam said...

I'm actually just bitter because no one has started a HoseMaster of Wine Fan Club on FaceBook.

Unbelievable oversight.

1WineDude said...

@HMW LOL ur twts r the shiz bro ROFLMAO

pgrant8258 said...

I'm with you on this tweet thing, but I guess it serves a useful purpose for some. Take my GF....please.

If I'm not mistaken, Henny Youngman appeared on both the Match Game and Hollywood Squares. How many people can say they've done that?

Puff Daddy said...

Now, I know why I don't tweet.

What the hell's a "shizbro"?

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Puff Daddy,

He's YOUR son. Not my fault you raised such an inarticulate Dude-- fershizzle.

I do know ROFLMAO stands for Respect Our Fearless Leader, MAO and is some sort of Communist Chinese terrorist group.

Charlie Olken aka Puff Daddy said...

As for my son, you are responsible for that. You spawned him when you nicknamed me Puff Daddy, and he repeated it on another website where I had posted back in the early days of my blog-chasing.

I had some positive things to say about the young bloggers who, I think, will, sooner or later, replace my generation of writers. JoeDude, playing off the Daddy thing that you created and I seem to like, made a comment about not minding if I were his journalism daddy or something like that.

When I finally met him at the Winewriters' Symposium, we got to drinking (quel surprise, eh?) and got to joking about the name and his use of it. That was when I adopted him as my journalistic son.

But, if he keeps saying things like "shizbro", I may need to reconsider.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Puff Daddy,

OH, so it's MY fault you were taken in by a young grifter after your fame and prestige to use for his own gain. Sure, go ahead and believe that.

And, well, "Puff Daddy" was just the perfect nickname, I thought. Seems to have stuck anyway.

Mutineer Magazine said...

We can't wait for you to get our next issue, either. Not gonna lie, it is pretty epic!


Ron Washam, HMW said...

Nice spam job, Mutineer.

"...pretty epic." Yeah, that should attract your core reading audience. Frat boys with reading disabilities.

Matt Mauldin said...

The William Foley/Wine Enthusiast one was quite funny.