People tell me quite often that Twitter has no purpose, is stupid and is only for people with the most miniscule of attention spans. I don’t agree with a lot of this, and I also disagree that it makes us feel more connected than we actually are. I’ve never felt really, truly bonded to someone on Twitter the way I do in real life, but I digress. The real point I’m getting at is that people who bash Twitter aren’t bashing Twitter for what it is. They’re almost never just admonishing it for putting an artificial restraint on communication–surely there are avenues left for unrestrained expression where you could rewrite Atlas Shrugged in lojban for all I care–nonono. People who bash Twitter are bashing it for being Minecraft or for being something like Saints Row II (entirely uninformed analogy)–they’re criticizing it for doing anything you want it to do and not having an instruction manual. Twitter will do absolutely anything you can think of.
Are you looking for a place to publish the minutiae of what you eat and wear on a daily basis? Congratulations, you can do that. Are you looking for a poor man’s RSS feed for people who don’t know how to work RSS feeds so that your webcomic can reach a broader audience? You can do that, too. You can use Twitter as a forum to engage with people about things they might not necessarily publicize otherwise. You can use it solely to publicize new blog posts–OR, my favourite use of Twitter, you can do all of those things at once from the same account. By following one account, a single user can get the personal stories of the author, updates on new blog posts and projects as well as political news from around the world that they might not necessarily be tuned in to.
BREAKING NEWS: this reappraisal of Twitter has now been interrupted by the fact that Canada just elected a Conservative majority government.
I wanna say this as clearly and calmly as possible, while still meaning to offend anyone who would naturally be offended by what I’m about to say. But this shit, Canada, is why we can’t have any nice things. I don’t give a damn who I’m offending here. If you don’t want to read foul language, congratulations, you just elected a government where the words from my mouth will be policed. You elected a government who campaigned based on fear instead of facts or policy. They told you to be afraid. They told you to fear the gays and the artists and the Muslims and the fragile economy and that only one leader could get us out from under the oppressive weight of gay sex, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and–
I am so angry about so many things right now that I have actually shut down almost entirely. I am perfectly calm. I am perfectly calm, and perfectly angry. I am a perfect storm of rage at the moment. And this moment has come through due to two things: young voters somehow being convinced that fear and cynicism are the right things to vote in and that cynicism is the perfect thing to let cloud your opinion of the electoral process. It may not be obvious to any of you, but I’m actually a gigantic hippie. I like to believe in the best in people and that if we all band together, we can do great things. Great things like provide universally accessible health care to our citizens. Great things like fund the arts and see an expansion in the number of people taking visual arts seriously again. And a rise in independent Canadian films–maybe even establishing our own cinematic identity in a world where it seems we’re the last developed nation to do so.
But instead, you all have come out and said, clearly and decisively, that none of those great things we could do matter. We could finally stop polluting our world more than we ever deal with, we could finally stop the politics of fear from taking over our once proud nation. We could. We most certainly could, but we’ve chosen not to. And for what? For what, Canada? So that you wouldn’t have to pay more taxes come this time next year? Time for some honesty, Canada: which one of you honestly gives a fuck how much you pay at tax time, or do you all just pay whatever’s deemed necessary? Cos that’s what I do. That’s what I thought we all did, until I heard from the rest of you. And when I’m looking for a job as a movie critic, when I’m looking for help staying alive in a country whose cost of living is downright criminally high thanks to you assholes taxing the middle class instead of the rich, I’ll accost you on the street and tell you that it was me you betrayed today.
It was me, and I have a face. It was me, and I have a name. I have a face, a name, sicknesses, friends, family. I have thoughts, ideas and opinions. And when you slapped your majority in, when you gave in to fear and apathy, it was me you fucked over.
I know a man who has had anal sex with an aide to Stephen Harper. Personal aide to Stephen Harper. I know a man who voted Conservative after fucking another man in the ass–or getting fucked by him, I don’t know which and I don’t care to. What goes on in his bedroom is no business of mine, and I came to this knowledge without wanting it. But I know that a young Conservative has participated in homosexual sex with a personal aide to Stephen Harper and that the Conservative Party is the party that wants those two young men to feel ashamed of themselves for having sex. I don’t. I don’t care if they have sex, and I voted accordingly. They obviously do care if they have gay sex, and they voted the opposite way.
All for lower taxes.
Fuck you, Canada.