Tuesday, May 05, 2009


I must confess, I don't quite 'get' Twitter. I mean, I understand the basic concept and how it works, but (in what has to be a sign that I'm becoming an old fogey) I just don't see the purpose for it whatsoever. Now, I realize that complaining about Twitter and contributing to the backlash is as outmoded as not using Twitter myself, but come on now, what's the big deal? Something like Facebook I can understand, popularity-wise --- people like to have a place to chat, tell people about themselves in nicely organized categories, post pictures, play Wordscraper, etc. Even MySpace I can understand, since people can blog and post pictures and really, who doesn't enjoy turning down friend requests from musicians and spam bots all day long? (btw, MySpace's new chat feature is the online application equivalent of your mom wearing shiny lipgloss and Juicy sweatpants in an attempt to prove she's still with it.)

But Twittering? Why bother? Why not just send a regular text or post something to an actual blog? What's the point of creating a whole new application that is, at best, a limited version of something else that's already available? It would be like having a microwave, and then suddenly being drawn to a new kind of microwave that has a maximum cooking time of two minutes. I think this microwave existed in my old apartment; needless to say, it led to some unsatisfactory bags of popcorn.

My friend Jordan points out that my real problem with Twitter is the 140-character limit since, in his words, I "just go on and on when I'm writing." He even had the gall to suggest that my team-ups with Kyle were too long to read in one sitting! Well, I never! I was so offended that I dropped my monocle and needed to be revived with smelling salts. How dare he suggest that I'm just some yammering doofus who doesn't know when to quit? Doesn't he know that I bust out Shakespeare's "brevity is the soul of wit" line at least once a week, following by a lengthy description of its usage in Hamlet and why line is so funny? (Jokes are always funnier when they're explained, you see.) Me, long-winded. Pfft!

And now, on an unrelated note, here's a bunch more random nonsense.


If I had Twitter this afternoon, you all would've read a posting from me along the lines of, "@Toronto Transit Commission, way to keep those cars in such nice condition, jackasses." On my home from the ballpark, my streetcar had just gone down into the tunnel leading into Spadina Station when we suddenly came to a halt behind another streetcar. Our driver gets out, goes and confers with a few other drivers roaming the tunnel, and then tells us all that there's a problem up ahead and we have to get out and walk. So my packed streetcar and about five other similarly packed trolleys' worth of people had to trudge through the capital-D Dusty Spadina Station tunnel navigating a walkway that was roughly two-thirds the width of your average sidewalk. I could manage since it was just me, but it was a real adventure of folks with baby carriages or carrying bags or, in the case of one blind chap, minding his seeing-eye dog. All the while we were walking (not a long jaunt....maybe five minutes), I kept hoping that the whole situation wouldn't degenerate into something out of Sylvester Stallone's Daylight and we'd be forced to fend for ourselves in subterranean Toronto. I'm not sure I could've made it. I'm no Sly Stallone. The best I've ever finished in an arm wrestling competition was fourth. Then again, I didn't have the extra incentive of having my son's freedom on the line.


Heh heh, I caught the tail end of an old Mercer Report episode and Rick Mercer signed off with 'See you next Tuesday.' Awesome. Way to be on the ball, CBC censors.


Read a fascinating article on the Wired website (available here) about a modern art piece in the courtyard of CIA headquarters that has doubled as one of the world's most ingenious codes. It's stood for 20 years and to this day, even top CIA cryptologists have been unable to figure out the entire thing.

The existence of the Kryptos sculpture has helped me solve another puzzle, one that has confounded me for years. For those of you who attended Western, you know all about the god-awful abstract art pieces that dot the campus landscape like moles on an otherwise Cindy Crawford-esque campus. I've always wondered why the university commissioned such pieces of crap, but now it all makes sense. It's part of a CODE! I'll bet we're just one or two more eyesore statues away from being able to look at campus from the sky and seeing that you can connect the dots between all the modern art pieces and spell out 'Thanks for the tuition fees, suckers!' Call it the Davenport-inci Code. Yes, I realize Paul Davenport isn't the university president anymore, but I don't know anything funny about the new guy. It's hard to top a somewhat befuddled French knight who speaks fluent press release.


I haven't been to the Scotiabank Theatre at Richmond/John recently, so maybe someone who's been there in the last month can fill me in. Is the giant banner advertising 'The Spirit' still hanging above the escalators? Even though 'Spirit' was in theatres for about five minutes last December on its way to being a huge bomb, that banner hung there until at least the end of March. What's up with that? Did someone at the Scohsh lose the ladder and couldn't find another? (Due, no doubt, to union regulations.) I'm kind of hoping it's still there, just so I can go to the theatre with someone named Michael and then as we're riding up the escalator*, I can point and say "Look at banner, Michael!"

* = Last year I went to a movie with my friend Sarah, who actually took the stairs since she was training for a hiking tour of Spain. Of course, no real man would take the escalator while his female friend walked alongside, so I joined her on foot. I should've remembered that I'm not a real man. If you've never been to the Scohsh before, it is one big-ass flight of stairs to get up to the main floor. By the time we got to the top, I was sucking wind while, since Sarah had made the walk with no problem at all, trying not to appear like I was sucking wind. My trick in such a circumstance is to mock bend over at the waist and 'pretend' to be exhausted, a la Homer Simpson in that gag where he chases Marge for about ten feet before getting out of breath. While Sarah laughed at the Simpsons reference, I inwardly laughed at myself for literally being as out of shape as a legendarily out of shape cartoon character.

It should be noted that the banner is a particularly attractive one, which may explain why it has lasted for months while 'The Spirit' itself is dead and gone. The banner highlights the movie's female cast, namely Eva Mendes, Scarlett Johansson, Jaime King and Sarah Paulson. Basically the premise is "The movie may be a pile of junk, but the chicks are hot!" As marketing hooks go, it's not bad. Especially when the cast can actually back up the claim. Whatever the Spirit's faults were, it will at least get an honorable mention in the 'Hottest Female Cast Ever' competition. I still think the top prize is held by Sin City, but I'm willing to listen to other suggestions. If anyone suggests a Julia Roberts movie, I will show up at your front door, slap you once in the face with a leather glove and then leave. If anyone suggests an anime movie, they have serious problems. If anyone suggests their apartment lobby viewing channel, I don't think you quite get the point of this contest.


Hal Incandenza said...

Feel like this is a Bill Simmons-esque first in a series of three posts on Twitter, going as follows:

1. Topic: I don't really understand this Twitter business.
2. Topic: here are some of the stupid things people Twitter about (and my snarky responses to them).
3. Topic: Why I decided to join Twitter (http://tinyurl.com/cz42rx)

Not that I'm defending it or anything (since I use it, but only half-heartedly, i.e. to pimp new posts...um, back when I, you know, wrote things). Anyway...

Agree completely re: the Scotiabank stairs--absolutely soul-crushing.

Hal Incandenza said...

oh, and also: I'm not a regular RMR watcher, but doesn't Mercer always end the show that way, or did they make him stop?

In a futile attempt to Wikipedia the answer, I literally just discover that he's gay--how about that?

Chad Nevett said...

Twitter's a good time waster or random thought place. Also good for running commentary on stuff -- in my case, wrestling and baseball. Or quick links to things.