… as the late Frankie Howerd might have said.
Apparently I have a new ‘follower’ on twitter. I know this because I received an email
telling me so, revealing his name as Tom Higgins.
I’ve no idea who Tom Higgins is, or why he wishes to
be a ‘follower’, but as usual I’m willfully missing the point, which is that the
whole purpose of twitter is to make friends and perhaps – to borrow Dale
Carnegie’s famous dictum – influence people.
I’m sorry to have to disillusion Mr. Higgins, who may
be someone with whom regular communication would prove to be of great and mutual
benefit, but I didn’t even know I had a twitter account. My daughter cleared up that mystery by
reminding me, in a tone of ill-disguised exasperation, that she set one up many
months ago, in the hope that I might change my mind, at the time hardened like reinforced
concrete against having anything to do with twitter, or any other brand of
Mr. Higgins may well be reading this, a deduction based
on the assumption that the connection between us is that he’s a regular reader
of Random Rants. If he is, I apologize
to him for being so uncooperative. I was
going to say unfeeling, but that would be illogical as Mr. Higgins is, and is
fated to remain, a complete stranger.
Ah, I hear you protest, but what if he’s a devoted
admirer of your column? Isn’t a writer
well advised to show the same devotion in return to his readers? Isn’t not doing so a mark of contempt?
Well, you have a point there. Let me respond in my defence by stating that
I’m open to Mr. Higgins – any readers – communicating their views to me, but
preferably through some more expansive channel than brief, and therefore pointless,
sound-bites to my already junk-encumbered telephone. Perhaps by email, though I realize even as I
say it that I’m tempting providence, since even that splendid medium is
cluttered daily these days with inane messages, so-called updates, and
exhortations to participate more enthusiastically from that other cloyingly
intrusive and annoyingly insistent social medium, Facebook.
Why then, you may well ask, do I bother to write a
column if I don’t want people to respond to it?
Or, in the current vernacular, interact with it?
The glib answer is that I’m not sure. I suppose RR is my version of a diary, and like
most diaries, it’s an exercise representing a form of literary therapy, in this
case for a frustrated hack with time on his hands.
Did Dr. Johnson and Mr. Pepys bother to explain
themselves to strangers? Not as far as
Please, Mr. Higgins, feel free to contact me with
observations, admiring or critical – but not on twitter.