Cracker by Damian Christie


Of Tweets and Twats

The Sunday Star Times seemed a tad bi-polar yesterday didn’t it? The front page, detailing Tony Veitch’s latest alleged suicide attempt, with pleas from friends, family, professionals and Sara Chatwin to leave the guy alone, is followed up a with two of its star columnists, Michael Laws and Rosemary McLeod adding their own doubts on the subject of Veitch’s mea maxima culpa. If the paper held any esteem for the advice from Chatwin, it certainly didn’t show it.

I don’t normally agree with much of what Laws says, but I thought he hit the nail on the head on Sunday. He expressed doubts about Veitch, but said he should be given a second chance and get on with his life.

Speaking of Laws, a weird post-script to my Twitter experiment turned up in the Business Herald on Friday. Unbeknownst to me, three bloggers – two of whom I’d never heard of until Friday, and a blubbery one I don’t make a habit of reading, have apparently been giving themselves high fives and circle jerks for bringing about the end of my professional career and/or giving up Twitter.

Long story short: A couple of weeks ago after reading his ludicrous overreaction to the wHanganui debate, I sent an open tweet to a journalist saying I thought Michael Laws was a c***. According to these bloggers, that could spell the end of my employment. Fortunately my boss – a Mr D Christie – is pretty forgiving, and if he ever tried anything he would have a sexual harassment claim against him so fast…

Anyway, so when I decided to stop Twittering last week – I think anyone who read my initial post will realise I was a bit sceptical from the outset – these three took it as a personal victory, and the blubbery fellow even took it upon himself to mount my photo on his trophy wall.

Ironically, it took an old-fashioned newspaper article to alert me to all this on Friday. Actually it took someone saying “oh did you see you got a mention in the Herald?” I really must start consuming more media. Although it might have come to my attention quicker if any of these people could actually spell my first name properly – note to self: Must start self-Googling alternate spellings as well.

So a few points:

1. At least one of these bloggers seems to make the point that we “journos” don’t know how social networking sites work. He then goes on to suggest that the person I SENT the message to (another journalist and vague acquaintance) should also lose his job over it. ¿Que?

2. Do I even need to point out how sad it is spending your Saturday nights trawling Twitter looking for people who are only vaguely more well-known than yourselves saying something vaguely controversial? One of these tweets simply says “Gotcha!” Oh dear.

3. Not to mention the hypocrisy in trying to expose people for speaking their mind - no matter how base - isn't that kinda the principle behind your work against the EFA?

4. The fact I had to Google two of these blogs on Friday to even find out who they were would suggest it’s possible they didn’t have much to do with my leaving Twitter. Maybe the fact I wrote all of three Tweets in the ten days before I quit would indicate I wasn’t exactly a Tweeting duck to the water.

5. The entire idea is premised on the fact that I should be embarrassed for calling Michael Laws a c*** in a public forum. The Blubbery One has taken it upon himself to buy a few consonants, but that’s okay, because for the sake of clarity, it was definitely that C word I had intended to use (rather than the one that ends in a k). I’ve made my views on Michael Laws pretty clear before, and if these bloggers follow my writing as closely as they follow my tweets, they’ll know that. But since insincere public apologies are all the rage these days, let me say this:

I’m sorry that I called Michael Laws a c***. First, because c***s are beautiful and useful, not to mention fun and handy. Secondly, because thanks to Twitter, I wasn’t able to add any more adjectives to clarify exactly what kind of c*** I think Michael Laws is. Words like wannabe-Machiavellian, kneejerk, pompous and reactionary all spring to mind as a start. And I genuinely hope at this time when things are getting a bit rough for him at home, he stops to consider the joke he made about the Kahui twins on national TV, and considers whether he’d do the same again.

Looking at his blog today, I find it odd the Blubbery One spends so much time attacking Rachel Glucina, when they clearly have so much in common – a love of bile, lack of social skills, literary ability, and a general hatred for anyone who’s doing something they can’t. At least she’s finally found a way to get invited to those cool kids’ parties she always pined over.

Dude, if it makes you feel hard (in any sense), you can leave me on your trophy wall – those times you've "been particularly successful in hobbling or destroying public careers". You've also claimed victories against everyone from Winston Peters to Steve Chadwick. I dare say none of these people know who you are, or what effect you claim to have had on them. Who's next, Richard Nixon? Leave me there though – it's okay, we both know the truth – but could you please correct the spelling?

That's it on this one, for me at least, but I'm sure they'll be panting about this elsewhere for weeks to come. No links are provided here but if you want to read more you can do what I did and Google it. Just remember to spell my name wrong.

I'm off to interview Steve Coogan now – can't wait – it'll be on the radio this weekend.

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