Big Daddy

Big Daddy

Hey Big Daddy,
Can I follow you on Twitter?

Online in San Onofre

Hey Online,
Thank you for your letter. Or your e-mail. Or however the hell you sent this in.

As for Twittering, if you are looking for new, creative ways to waste your time, or absolutely have to know what Meg Whitman thinks of the weather in Redding, hey, more power to you. But any sort of time suck that leaves you still able to pass a field sobriety test is frankly of little or no interest to me.

No, Online, when it comes to Twitter, I’ve got about as many accounts as Bear Sterns, which is to say none at all.  I do e-mail, reluctantly, on occasion, but frankly, I just don’t see a whole lot of reason to tell the world what I had for breakfast.

But Twitter did get something right: the entire idea of communicating in 140 characters or less. Here’s an idea for a state holiday: What about introducing a day in which all legislative speeches have to be of Twitter length. Yes, I’m talking to you, Noreen Evans. And you too, Jim Nielsen. And to the rest of you bloviators, among which I count, oh, about 119 in the Legislature alone, give or take.

This may be hard for some of you elected officials to believe, but there actually are times when silence is golden. Here’s a little secret for you: There’s no local news network in your district that’s going to run snippets of your eloquence on the Assembly floor. Hell, last I checked there were hardly any reporters on the back of the Assembly floor anymore. And those who are there are writing about something that doesn’t involve you.

So please, think twice before you put that microphone up. Does the world really, need to hear what you’ve got to say about the Bay-Delta sport fishing enhancement stamp, or the interagency council on hazardous materials? Do we really need your input on workplace bullying or licensing requirements for sprinkler fitters?

Because if it’s all the same, there’s an NBA playoff game and a nice glass of Johnnie Walker Red with my name on it, thank you very much.

Now, I’m not saying that politicians should never speak. Just like I don’t believe that children should always be prohibited from speaking. But usually, when it comes to political speeches, less is more. When was the last time your boss changed their vote on a bill because of a member’s floor speech? Probably about the last time Ashton Kutcher had a thought that was more than 140 characters long. Needless to say, it’s been a while.

So, Online, while I can appreciate some things about the Twitter revolution, I’m going to sit this one out. Like the Cabbage Patch Kid craze and the Macarena before it, I’m going to sit back and bank on this whole Twittering thing being just a passing phase in our ever-more-narcissistic world the Internet has wrought.

And in the event that I’m wrong, did I mention that there was a glass of JWR with my name on it?


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