I really hate the idea that
we judge the pulse of a country
by the way it tweets.
In a recent Atlantic Monthly article about the need for reform
in writing instruction in high schools in this country,
one claim that was made is that
young people in America
don't know their own language well enough
to articulate complex ideas.
As someone who teaches and reads a lot of writing
by young people entering college
I would agree with that.
if an individual's language facility is challenged,
so too is the quality and subtlety of
their thinking ability,
and of the ideas that they can convey.
And this is the problem with tweeting.
Nothing deeply thoughtful or complex can be communicated
in 140 characters and a few hash symbols.
So I was just amazed when
the first post-debate story I heard
was based solely on the Tweets
that occurred during and after
Tweet Tweet Tweet ~ ~ ~
My response to the political analysts who scurry to Twitter
the debate to determine what America is thinking is this:
it's tweet for twat:
The real issues are very very complex,
and no one who is working within
a limited language framework
can even begin to articulate
the true nature of the issues.
And here are some points that I'd love to hear one of the
candidates (preferably the one I support) talk about:
from: motor trend
1. The price of gasoline in the U.S.A. today will never go back
to $2.00 a gallon. Just say it. And at $4.00 a gallon we are still paying
substantially less that the rest of the world, which buys its fuel
by the liter, pays to fuel
their fuel-efficient vehicles.
What we need is a reality check: and it's one in which
America is educated, without prejudice, to the very real
fact that it's past time to get rid of those fuel-guzzling vehicles,
and to seriously invest in alternative energy research and programs.
(I also tend to believe that the war in Iraq,
which we all know by now was a war over oil.
wealthy oil people, and our side lost.
truly lost, and part of what was lost was America's
select standing among the oil producing nations,
and that's why we're going to continue to see the prices go up at the pumps.
And it's not going to stop.)
Tweet Tweet Tweet
2. Barack Obama is right: some jobs will never come back
to America. Indeed, the entire history of America can be looked
at as a history of cheating the cheapest work force that can be found --
for awhile, we imported slaves to do the work,
and when that turned out to be problematic,
we began importing immigrants - Italians, Poles, Irish -
who thought that the opportunity to climb down a mine-hole for play-money
that could only be used in the company town
was a ticket to their freedom. When that work force wised up,
the jobs were sent to Mexico, China, Indonesia,
anywhere where the work force didn't demand much.
And as long as a profit-driven corporate based mentality
makes all of the decisions about jobs in this country, indeed
in this world, that will continue to be the mentality.
If the Mars expedition discovered a race of red midgets
who were willing to build iPads and tennis shoes for small change,
you'd better believe corporate America would suddenly feel that
investment in the space program
was a profitable venture.
Tweet Tweet Tweet
3. And when folks talk about the deficit and the bad economy,
why don't they acknowledge that the horrible recession we've been experiencing,
so horrible I dare call it a near depression,
has not been local? This is an economic decline that has been felt
all over the world. This kind of economic decline cannot be bandaged over
with a few tax cuts and empty talk about bringing jobs back to the USA.
This kind of economic decline requires substantial repair
and reform, not to mention careful diplomatic long term planning,
and it requires sacrifices on everybody's part.
It is not a situation that could or can be remedied
in four years.
When George W. Bush left office,
he truly left the economy in free-fall,
and anyone who was paying attention at that time would have recognized
that the economy would fall for a few more years before it
bottomed out. So yes, the national deficit grew under Obama.
It would have grown under McCain, too, had he become president.
It would have grown under you or me or anyone had we stepped into that office
in 2008. Because that was the course that the national and world economy was on.
Which is why I think the Republicans gave Obama the last election.
They knew that who ever held the job after Bush
would ultimately get blamed for the mess the U.S.A. had become,
so they backed down, and gave the election to
the first black president of the U.S.A.
Why won't anyone say any of that?
you can't say it in a tweet,
nor can you say it
in two minutes.
Still we just keep tweeting,
filling the air with empty chirps
about nothing in particular,
while the true problem we are facing