The Dissemination of Thought

Just because it's in print doesn't mean it's intelligent…

Posts Tagged ‘media

Five things you always wanted to know about Twitter but were afraid to ask

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Twitter. It’s enough to reduce grown men and women to blithering messes, and send those with a passion for grammar and correct spelling to the back of a dark cupboard to cradle themselves in a foetal position.

Given there are now more than 500 million Twitter users globally, I thought it was an opportune time to answer five questions new Twits have about the micro-blogging phenomenon but are generally afraid to ask for fear of being laughed at or mockingly retweeted. 

I admit it. I’m a filthy Twitter whore. But I use my hashtags sparingly. Source: blog.socialmaximizer.com

1. What should I tweet about?

Ah, the timeless question. I’m reasonably confident there was once a time when people would only tweet news, information and the odd filthy limerick. In 2012, Twitter has unravelled to the point where, as long as it doesn’t take up more than 140 characters, people don’t give a fuck what they tweet about. Unfortunately, that includes random sentences about what they are doing and excessive use of the #catsofinstagram hashtag.

As somebody – possibly the old dying guy in Spider-Man – once said, “With 140 characters comes great responsibility.” That responsibility involves not subjecting the Twitterverse to your lunch options. Or what your favourite moggie is doing every 39 seconds of the day, even if Fluffy happens to be writing a haiku on the wall while smoking a pipe.

2. What the hell do RT and MT mean?

Strictly speaking, RT stands for retweet, where you do nothing more than share someone else’s tweet with your followers. MT refers to a modified tweet, which involves shortening a tweet and adding your own witty or earth-shattering commentary before sending it back out into the Twitterverse.

For me, constant retweeting is the calling card of the sheeple. Or the sign of a labrador who is chewing on their owner’s iPhone. Sure, every Twitter user – including yours truly – retweets from time to time but if you stumble across a user who is all about the retweet, block them and retreat to Facebook to regain your composure.

While a modified tweet has the potential to combine personal opinion, news and information, many Twits well and truly miss the mark. Witnessing somebody adding “LOL” or “that’s so true” to a tweet makes me weep for humanity.

3. Why does that boring person have so many more followers than I do?

The simple answer to this question is the Sheeple Principle. What the hell is that, you ask? I’m not going to explain it again, so clicking here will bring you up to speed.

After an in-depth study* of Twitter, I’ve determined you should tweet prolifically about the subjects below if you are aiming to gather as many followers as Kim Kardashian has unsubtle endorsement deals.

1. Any band, musician or celebrity that makes a sane person cringe at just the mere mention of their name. Examples? Think One Direction, Justin Bieber or any flavour-of-the-month reality television star.
2. LOLcats.
3. Political retweets. For some reason, there are several Twits – who aren’t actually political journalists or commentators of note – who have accumulated thousands of followers because they apparently have the unique ability to press the retweet button. Just like 377,503,201 other Twitter users. Want to boost your numbers overnight? Just retweet everything @JuliaGillard and @BarackObama release into the Twitterverse.

* Author’s note: I looked at about seven random profiles. Hey, I was busy.

Yes, I’m kind of embarrassed about including a LOLcat animation. What the hell have I become? Source: lolcats.com

4. Is it okay to abbreviate words and essentially make up my own language in order to keep under the 140-character limit?

No, it is FKN not K 2 make wrds up & abbrv shit so U can make ur own version of War & Peace fit into 140 chrctrs. Poor form, a-hole.

Basically, if you can’t say it in 140 characters, find another way to say it. Better yet, if you are Alan Jones or Cory Barnardi, just don’t say it at all.

I lost followers for tweeting this, yet the Twit who shares a photo of their cat with its head in a jar will gain at least 407. Source: Twitter via @LyndonKeane.

5. How many hashtags I should use per tweet?

The only thing worse than being a Twitter whore is people calling you a hashtag whore. How you use hashtags speaks volumes about you as a Twit and you don’t want to get a reputation as someone who flashes their hashtags around for the world to see, especially after a few drinks.

Generally speaking, two hashtags per tweet is perfectly acceptable. 22 is neither acceptable nor healthy.

Now that your embarrassing questions have been answered, you have no legitimate excuse for making a fool of yourself on Twitter. That said, I have no doubt you will.

I’m officially a Twit (or is that a Twat?): blogging from the BlackBerry

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It’s finally happened. After years of avoiding the seemingly inevitable and pretending that I’m better than everyone else, I’ve become everything I’ve frequently professed to despise: a Twitter user.

As I signed up, I kept reassuring myself that I was only doing so to aid my journalism studies: budding journalists can’t not have a Twitter account, can they? My plan was to follow journalists, interesting celebrities (sorry, Kim Kardashian, you didn’t make the cut) and news sources. I had the genuine intention of remaining dignified and professional, but that aim had gone to shit by my third tweet, when I may or may not have mentioned gang bangs.

Okay, I didn’t actually mention gang bangs, I just used a #gangbang hashtag in response to a tweet by Heather at The B(itch)Log. Does that make it her fault?

Regardless of who’s to blame (Heather), it got me thinking about other useful – and offensive – hashtags that we could incorporate into everyday use, if for no other reason than to antagonise individuals who piss us off.

#thatlightisturningred – This one would have been handy for the taxi driver who drove me to the airport. For some reason, he thought that texting was a much better option than watching the road. He seemed to get offended when I suggested that we pro rata his fare, based on how often he actually looked out of the windscreen.

#putaleashonthatkid – As I write this, a kid is bouncing all over the seats in the departure lounge, much to the amusement of its parents. There will shortly be a need to use a #3reasonswhyithrewalatteatyourmunchkin hashtag.

#youarefuckingwelcome – I could have used this about 6,824 times during my time at the airport. Seriously people, are manners that foreign a concept to you?

#iknowthatwasyou – To the guy who farted while in line for coffee, and then proceeded to look around in disgust: we all know who it was. You should also see a medical professional about that smell.

#dutyfreerulessuck – What do you mean I can’t get cheap vodka if I’m only flying domestically?

If you want to follow me on Twitter, try
clicking here to be taken to my profile. If that doesn’t work, caress your mouse button on the link below.

Do you have any angry hashtags you’d like to see used?

That's right, it's a #gangbang hashtag. My mother would be so proud.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry on my BlackBerry Bold 9700

It’s time to call game, set and match on airtime for Margaret Court

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Sexual abuse can cause innumerable physical and psychological problems to those subjected to it, including homosexuality, if you subscribe to the views of tennis racquet-waving representative of God, Margaret Court.

In her interview in today’s The Sunday Mail, the three-time Wimbledon winner suggests that one of the things that causes gays and lesbians to be as such is sexual abuse, because, from her experience, “many, many of them have been abused.” Them? They’re people, Margaret, not carnivorous plants intent on overtaking the planet. As well as sharing this nugget of genius, Pastor Court has previously alluded to a belief that homosexuality can be cured, as if it was some influenza-like affliction.

As twisted and ludicrous as her views are, we shouldn’t be surprised: after all, this is the woman who tells us that the Bible “is our TV guide to life”. Really, a television guide? Can it tell me what’s on at 8:30pm on Monday? It is The Simpsons or Dexter?

I recently published a piece called ”When should free speech and personal beliefs take a back seat to the greater good?”, in which I defended Margaret Court’s right to free speech. That post was about freedom of expression and when the line should be drawn, not what she actually said. This article is about her opinions and what she’s said. Game on, my serve.

Television guide, or bible in disguise? Does the Bible show cleavage and have a crossword? Source: adrants.com

Why are the mainstream newspapers continuing to devote so much column space to this woman and her skewed views? Not only are they continually reinterviewing her and getting updated comments (Author’s note to media: her views will never waver, even in the face of evidence and common sense), the Herald Sun published her 975-word rant that’s about as balanced as me attempting a handstand. It isn’t an insightful, engaging piece. It’s nothing more than a sermon: a one-dimensional, religious vociferation that should have been trapped inside the walls of her church, and serves no benefit to the wider audience than to demonstrate just how unaccepting and uncompromising Margaret Court is. To the editors: are the increased sales and website hits generated by the controversy that she spews forth worth making your publications look like the personal journal of a bigoted, Bible-wielding sexagenarian? That’s right, Margaret, I said sex. While I’m not married. I also masturbate and count several of them homo folks as my friends. Strike me down.

In her article, she affirms that “a person’s sexuality is a choice”, and that the Bible states “homosexuality is among sins that are works of the flesh”. Is that the same Bible that says women shouldn’t speak in the church? I guess one way around that little doozy is to start your own church. Is there a chance I’ve misinterpreted the scripture? Yeah, the Bible’s funny when it comes to interpretation and ignoring the parts that don’t align with your personal agenda.

Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says. If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

1 Corinthians 14:34-35 (New International Version)

My favourite part of the piece is where she suggests that, if Australian society continues on its wicked path (a path that apparently includes wanting to treat people equally, regardless of their sexual preference) into damnation, “God will take his hand off our nation and the lights will go out”. No, Pastor Court. The Almighty doesn’t make your lights go out: that’s the lovely people at Synergy when you fail to pay your electricity bill.

With this publication in the Herald Sun, Margaret Court has gone beyond expressing herself freely. She’s now publicly preaching to the masses, aided by newspapers that seem happy to print narrow-minded, prejudicial and discriminatory opinions in the guise of newsworthy stories.

Here’s the thing, Margaret: you aren’t the self-appointed beacon of light for humanity. Those of us who believe that someone’s sexual orientation or lack of religious conviction doesn’t make them less of a human being are sick of you using your public profile pulpit* to continually tell us we’re all damned. Sure, we recognise your right to voice your opinion, but please use your inside voice. Inside your church, where people want to hear your views. Hell, I’ll even throw $10 at the Victory Life Centre if you just shut the fuck up.

* Author’s note: try saying that five times quickly while drinking vodka and juggling kittens.

Yeah, that's the face of someone with a rational perspective. Source: Herald Sun

So you want to be a reality TV star? Really?

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When I first clicked on Emma Ashton’s piece today on The Punch entitled “Top tips for becoming a reality TV star”, I was under the illusion that I was about to read a satirical article that poked fun at the ludicrous phenomenon that is reality television. How wrong I was. In hindsight, I should have never expected that someone who describes themselves as a “reality TV consultant” would make a mockery of the very thing that apparently funds their lifestyle, especially when they run a blog devoted to reality television and profess to helping people “make their reality TV dream come true”. I think I may have just died a little bit inside. When we reach the point of having dedicated reality television consultants, it’s a fair indication that society is well and truly fucked.

Why are so many individuals under the misconception that they deserve to be famous? At what stage did the collective group vote and decide that everyone was entitled to their fifteen minutes of notoriety? Lamentably, most people are as boring as hell and, whether they’d like to admit it or not, would continue to make reality television about as enjoyable as having a tooth removed with fencing pliers, should they be given the opportunity to let their star shine. Let’s face it: if “I’m so glad it’s Friday!” is the most riveting Facebook status update you can manage, it’s unlikely that you are going to set the reality television world alight with your wit and personality; no one wants to watch a show starring someone who’s as entertaining as a brick in a freezer.

I’m not entirely sure what the trend away from amusing, quality television in favour of televised stupidity means for humanity, but I’m going to go out on a limb and assume it’s not a good thing. If reality television is the future, bring on 21 December and the zombie Apocalypse.

That fact that this has run for six seasons should be a warning that the Mayans have their dates right. Source: chud.com

Seeing as the scourge on society that is reality television doesn’t look like vanishing in the foreseeable future, The Dissemination of Thought is pleased to provide its own useful, real tips on becoming a reality TV star; just bring a smile, and leave your talent at the door.

Tip 1: Have no discernible talent whatsoever

In this day and age you don’t need talent to be famous and, based on results from the Australian and American Idol franchises, you definitely don’t need to be able to hold a tune to release a record. It doesn’t matter that you don’t have ability, as long as you have sad eyes, a heartwarming story about overcoming adversity and/or human triumph, and an androgynous sexuality that appeals to both teenagers and their wallet-wielding parents. For the guys, maintaining a rugged growth of stubble will ensure that you are signed to a five-album deal and win two Grammys in your first eighteen months as a recording artist.

We SHOULDN'T know this guy's name, but we do. Source: williamhung.net

Tip 2: Be dumb and hate everything

If you’re a bigoted moron with an IQ similar to a telephone booth, don’t even worry about auditioning: you’re in. Should you be trying to develop a persona to convince producers and casting staff that you’re a narrow-minded twit, you need to hate everyone that’s different to you and despise everything you don’t understand, which, given that you are pretending to be an idiot, is most stuff. Immigrants? Can’t stand them. Any food that isn’t a pie or steak and chips? Foreign crap that gives you the shits. People with accents? Terrorists. For added impact, you should bleach your hair blonde and get yourself a Southern Cross tattoo. In the event that you are asked a question about politics or something intellectual during the audition, your standard answer should be “I dunno ‘bout that, but I can skol tequila and put my whole fist in my mouth.”

Tip 3: It’s all about the orange and the oil

If your aim is to be a reality star in a show that has anything to do with the beach, you’re going to need a tan and lots of oil; we’re talking about committing yourself to the point where you resemble a giant Oompla-Loompa who has bathed in baby oil. It doesn’t matter that you’re stupid and sound like Rocky after fighting twelve rounds with a mouth full of marshmallows: if you have a perpetual sheen not dissimilar to that of a roasting chicken, the reality TV world is your oyster.

A few more tips for those aspiring to be on the seventeenth season of Jersey Shore:

For guys: you’ll need to be ridiculously buffed, adorn yourself with stupid amounts of bling and buy a baseball cap with a stiff, unbent peak. To improve your chances of making the cut, get yourself a cool nickname like “Pauly D” or “Puffy P” and refer to yourself in the third person. A lot.

For girls: you’re going to need 74 bikinis that (unfortunately) leave nothing to the imagination, faux breasts that could double as floatation devices in the event your party boat sinks and a love of flashing the aforementioned floaties every time you see someone holding a camera, even if that someone is just your reflection in the mirror.

Entertainment in 2012: it's just sad. Source: buddytv.com