September 2, 2009

Have You Any Wool?

Here’s the thing about Twitter…


I could care less about what Ashton Kutcher is doing at any given moment. Seriously, my life can survive without reading that Señor Punk’d is “Thinking about growing beard for the winter” or that “There's a German in my kitchen making strudel.”


Yet I am not surprised that I am currently about 3,436,314 followers behind Ashton… (http://twitter.com/AJMass - let’s close that gap people! “300 followers by October 1 or bust!!!”)


Let’s face it – he’s a celebrity and this country has an overabundance of tweens and teens (a.k.a. “sheep”) who can’t wait to text message their votes repeatedly for the “cutest contestant” on a reality show that is attempting to determine the “most talented contestant.” They’re the reason shows like American Idol and their ilk are nearly unwatchable.


Where Twitter is extremely useful though, is for the almost immediate proliferation of news. One of the things the website does is show a list of “Trending Topics” that are being mentioned in the most tweets on the site at any given time. Usually, the newsworthiness of the top trends is readily apparent, like Swine Flu or Tropical Storm Erika. Recently, I have learned the news of several “famous” deaths simply by noticing “RIP Michael Jackson” or “RIP Farrah” in this list.


Sometimes it’s just the name of the dearly departed that makes the top trend, so when Ted Kennedy suddenly appears at No. 1 out of nowhere, I immediately click over to CNN.com to see what’s up. (Naturally, I don’t take the word of Twitter as gospel – if I did, Jeff Goldblum would have died twenty or more times already.)



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Early this morning, for example, the top trends consisted of “Charlie Gibson” “Diane Sawyer” and “ABC World News” – which made sense, since the news came out that Charlie Gibson was retiring in January and that Diane Sawyer would replace him in the anchor seat. “Whitney Houston” was also popular, since she performed today on Good Morning America, in advance of a new album coming out. Makes perfect sense. Totally reasonable.


But here’s where Twitter succumbs to the sheep – “Adam Farted” was also a top trend. Who is this Adam and why was his flatulence enough to surpass news of an earthquake in Indonesia (which I’m assuming his stink-bomb did not cause)?


Why, it was Adam Lambert of American Idol. Yes, apparently, those wacky AI-kids were tweeting away from their tour bus, and all mentioned that “someone farted.” The only one not to take part in this truly newsworthy reportage was apparently Lambert, who for some reason was actually “asleep” at the time. However, many of the sheep who religiously follow the tweets of Allison, Anoup and Lil Rounds, determined that since Adam was the only one who remained mum on the subject, ipso facto he must be the true culprit of this heiny – er, heinous – crime.


And so, they began to spread the word that “Adam Farted” to the universe, which of course, led to the inevitable backlash of tweets from shocked and horrified defenders of this honorable citizen’s reputation.


Good citizens of the world, mark my words. September 2 will go down in history. I can already hear the soundtrack of the future, discussing the greatest utterances of all time…


“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”


“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”


“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”


“How dare you impugn the reputation of such an upstanding American citizen, good sirs. Adam was Fart-Framed! Let there be no doubt.”




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