Clarissa's Blog

An academic's opinions on feminism, politics, literature, philosophy, teaching, academia, and a lot more.

Why I Hate Twitter

It’s full of pompous fools. Example:


Yes, ’cause we totally have neither shrimp nor wine here in the US. We are all about to starve.


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12 thoughts on “Why I Hate Twitter

  1. Dreidel on said:

    You don’t read this as an anti-Trump jab following his “Swedish terrorism” gaffe?


  2. Veronica on said:

    I think the point is not “Look how hilarious I am,” but “Actually, nothing important happened in Sweden last night.” So saying “I ate shrimp” isn’t saying “Look at my interesting life!” It is mocking Trump by saying “I was able to do something utterly normal and boring because my nation was not being attacked by terrorists.” It isn’t especially funny, but most things on Twitter aren’t.


    • What, if there were an act of terror, people would stop eating shrimp? And eat steak instead? And her eating patterns are proof that nothing important happened? Gosh, I’m glad she spared us her pooping schedule.

      There are many ways to mock Trump but this isn’t remotely one of them.


  3. Veronica on said:

    At the risk of killing a weak joke by overexplaining . . .

    In Trump’s speech about the dangers that immigrants pose, he specifically said “We’ve got to keep our country safe. You look at what’s happening in Germany, you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden.”

    This, of course, strongly implies that something really bad happened in Sweden last night. The Swedes are going to town with this joke. I’ve seen dozens already with variations on “Last night in Sweden? I ate shrimp/took the dog for a walk/Listened to ABBA/Put together shelving from IKEA.” Translation: “I spent the evening doing ordinary, boring things because my country wasn’t being attacked by terrorists, no matter what the president of the United States may say.” It doesn’t mean “My shrimp-eating is so cool!” It means “Look! The president of the United States is making things up about my country!”

    The Telegraph collected some of them:


    • People do ordinary, boring things throughout acts of terror happening to somebody else and even wars. I have relatives who’ve been living in a war zone for 3 years. They are having babies, celebrating birthdays and making borscht. They are not tweeting about it because their consumerism is not as developed just yet but life goes on. And the fact that they have breakfast, lunch and dinner every day doesn’t disprove that they are living in a war zone.


      • Dreidel on said:

        “I have relatives who’ve been living in a war zone for 3 years. They are having babies, celebrating birthdays and making borscht.”

        Your relatives are living a “normal” life in a war zone because that has become their “normal” environment. If Sweden — or America — were suddenly engulfed in similar wartime conditions overnight, you can be sure that no one there would consider that life as normal.

        Read some of the panicked articles about Trump’s election on websites like Slate and Salon — and then tell me that scared-to-death authors like Michelle Goldberg and Dahlia Lithwich are calmly sitting down to relaxed dinners each night. Their hands are shaking so much they can barely hold a cup of coffee!


  4. Veronica on said:

    Context is everything. If today is Friday, and I tweet “I ate a ham sandwich tonight,” given different sets of circumstances I might be:

    a) a paranoid anti-Muslim blogger who thinks that Muslims are trying to impose halal dietary restrictions on everyone else.
    b) an ex-Catholic who is making a point that I will no longer let my eating choices be determined by the church.
    c) a foodie who is super-proud of myself for acquiring some kind of extra rare and expensive ham.
    d) that boring person who tweets about every meal they eat. (Tomorrow morning, I’ll post a picture of oatmeal!)

    Given the context (Donald Trump’s warning about “Last night in Sweden”) I think it is clear that the woman in question is mocking Donald Trump. She is not saying that people don’t eat dinner in difficult circumstances. She is saying “Donald Trump doesn’t know anything about Sweden, but that doesn’t stop him from making things up.”

    As I was writing this, it also occurred to me that her tweeting history might give me a better sense of whether I am correct in my interpretation or not. That is, if she is always tweeting about her food, her jewelry and her clothes, it would be a point in favor of “She’s proud of her consumerism.” But of late, she’s mostly posting and re-tweeting anti-Trump stuff.

    The joke wasn’t that great to start with, and it’s obviously not working for you. But I’m still confident that she doesn’t care about shrimp and wine in the least — she cares about making fun of Trump.


    • Problem is, this failed to make fun of Trump. The impression it made on me is, “Hey, I’m happy she isn’t living here, too, because what a boring, smug airhead.”

      Of course, I’m sure there are people who enjoyed this feeble attempt at smart-assery but this is a tiny minority that is very out of touch. I’m getting so tired of people for whom all that’s happening is simply an opportunity to show off on Twitter and Facebook, posting memes and preening. They feel so politically engaged and important, like tweeting about shrimp is some act of defiance.


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