Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Tweeting better stories, episode two: January 2021

Wanting to find a lighter-hearted way I offer readers this second post in a series.

I felt inclined to add a section here for bison man and Bernie but, wanting to avoid topical issues, most of the tweets in what follows have to do with books and movies.

Favourite resorts for people online. In socmed, at least. I’ll try to keep my promise and start with a tweet – with the familiar pets theme – seen on the 7th at 9.33pm. I cannot go past a dog photo – though probably would never own a dog – without needing to know more. Ray Martin was once a popular journalist in Australia and, since retiring, has garnered a wide following on social media. His salute to his followers, shown below, forms part of his new persona.

The following tweet appeared in my feed at 11.04pm on January 25. I have no justification for appreciating this tweet, but will offer the excuse that I just liked its evocative photos. I’m a big fan of the ITV show ‘Vera’, which is set in the north of England, and these photos have the same half-neglected, half-populated look as many of the shots you find in the show. I was reminded of Andrei Tarkovsky’s brilliant 1979 film ‘Stalker’ and of William Cowper’s ‘The Winter Morning Walk’, a part of a long poem titled ‘The Task’ that was published in 1785.

Serial oddballs

On 8 January at 7.30am I saw a post from Darcie Wilder that conceptually went AWOL. 

It has – topicality warning! – an environmental theme but Wilder is a serial humourist for whose posts sometimes the retweet function is set to “off”. She’s verified – as you can see in the following screen shot – and is based in the US – as you can tell from the use of the word “sidewalk”. Her posts are flippant and evasive and funny, resembling nothing so much as a butterfly with a megaphone.

Another serial nonsense tweeter is Dan Mellamphy. The following came into view at 8.17am on the 12th. The subject is a musician (marginally famous). It’s nice to see that people with hobbies also have a sense of humour. Going by the way that the majority of online denizens – not “dinosaurs” – behave, in the world laughter is a rare commodity.

The following tweet is pleasantly off-centre but unpleasantly conscious of itself as proposing entertainment outside the Canberra- (or Washington-) bubble. The self-reflexive glance is typical for Twitter but it takes most of the fun out of the promise of watching a dead movie star dance because it depressingly points to that topicality effect that takes so much of the pleasure out of browser sessions. Politics intrudes even when it’s not explicitly mentioned. 

This appeared in my feed at 7pm on the 9th with the original tweet coming from @BarnabyEdwards. His profile describes him as “Actor, writer, director, artist, Dalek. Home studio! Pronouns: he/him.” He also provides links to his acting agent (http://thebwhagency.co.uk) and voice agent (http://suzywoottonvoices.com). Keen.

The following tweet appeared at 6.55pm on the 10th. The account that retweeted it is a serial originator of off-beat content, and this post is hardly different. The subject is a famous writer and the poster of the original tweet has the handle @PetitTheatreJMP. This post should perhaps have been classified with my “literature” heading – see below in this article – and in truth I was of two minds about where to locate it.


I don’t have any excuse to be sarcastic about the following tweet, which appeared in my feed at 6.28pm on 9 January. It’s so goofy! The account that posted it is themed as is the account that retweeted it into my feed. In fact, that account is solidly comic-book related, so I *really* have no excuse. 

I just wasn’t being careful enough. 

At 8.07pm on the 19th the following weird little post appeared in my timeline.

I liked the accuracy I felt in the following tweet, which appeared at 6.55pm on the 20th. I miss my mum though, and realised this month that I’d only really just started getting over her 2016 death. 

The negative feelings that the event inspired in my heart had dogged my steps during the intervening years, making it difficult to trust others. I’d lost touch with a part of myself that had only in the previous few months come to be within reach. In my case I’d never disliked doing things my mother asked. I’d always been amenable to her suasion and had been a very obedient little boy. Even when I grew up and was looking after her, mum’s opinions calmed and reassured me and, now, when I want to have a healthy lunch I’ll slice up an apple and eat it with some Cheddar cheese – just the way she used to do when we were living near each other in a part of southeast Queensland.

The backward glance was also present when, on the 23rd at 5.50am, I saw the following tweet referencing a show I’d sometimes been watching on one of Network Ten’s secondary channels, ‘10 Bold’. In the afternoons before I get to watch ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ I often catch an episode – or part of one – of ‘Star Trek’. It’s magnificently corny and I love this aspect of the show, which has aged well despite the clunky plot devices – often involving attractive women – and all its silly technobabble. 

On 31 January at 1.15pm I saw this goofy screen grab from a guy named David Biancucchi.

The tweet didn’t have much more information – just a hashtag! Curious! What did the guy think of this vastly successful Netflix thriller? Did he like It? Hate it? Did he even watch the whole thing? Was he waiting for the next instalment? So many questions.


I was intrigued by this little effort put up on the 28th at 9.38am by a person called @DDM_Graham. The writer’s Amazon product link is here. This person’s tweet was so mesmerically whimsical and *hopeful* that I felt compelled to include it here. I felt deeply sorry for them, so followed them with one of my active Twitter accounts. Doing so justified the strength of my feelings.

At 8.17am on the 30th the following appeared in my feed.

At 7.58pm on the 17th the following cryptic tweet appeared in my feed. I didn’t know what to make of it, and still don’t, but I applaud the intent of the poster, whose handle is @77alesandoval.

At 12.28pm on 31 January the following little sally appeared in my feed via the #fiction hashtag.

Community announcements

On the same day at 8.31am I’d seen the following in the #poetry hashtag stream. It’s from an account that routinely publishes there quotes from the Bible, and I chose this one because it was chiming in with my experience on that day watching the feed from this and from other accounts – but I’ll stop there before I say anything topical! The account’s Twitter handle is @SevenShepherd.

Biblical echoes are often created by authors looking to imbue their works with gravitas. Other authors rope in phrases from dead colleagues in the hope of giving their offerings the cachet they link – in their hopeful minds – with financial success and with popularity. But what makes me smile with this account is the idea that the Bible is poetry. Many would object to such a view, but I think – given a working knowledge of all the evidence available on the subject to date – that this most accurately sums up the realities of the case. What we don’t know is probably larger in scope and – therefore – in importance, than what we do.

Here’s another community announcement, this one seen at 6.32am on the 16th. 

The story in the link is available here. The woman whose handle appears in this post has a profile that looks like this:

Another tweet on the 16th at 12.38pm went like this:


On 9 January at 8.42am I saw a tweet from a promoted account named Kueez containing a link to a story about the notes that people in offices leave for colleagues when they’re unhappy about something. Here’s the tweet:

It seemed strange to see this tweet in my feed just a day after the previous post in the series went up on the blog. It was like SOMEONE WAS WATCHING to monitor my conduct online, and was deliberately placing content in my timeline in response to such input. 


Surveillance takes many forms, and when it’s monetised this is what it looks like. This is the type of player you have to confront when all you want is to be entertained:

“Not followed by anyone you’re following” sort of sums up the case. I almost felt sorry for the operators.

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