I’ve never tweeted, having a deep aversion to the idea. Of course there was once, the medium of the telegram, where one paid for each word and which was delivered to the door by telegram boys. They were used to mark emergencies, deaths, births, or celebrations: telegrams from absent friends and family would be read out at weddings. The knock of the telegram boy during the war was a feared occasion. But tweets have none of that. They are chat. Yet they seem to be ruling the world of communication. So, here’s a first attempt.

Tweet 1: In Saturday’s Press there was an oddity: one of the columnists, instead of being witty or ironical about ‘whatever’, wrote of her current bout of depression.

Tweet 2: I had to read it twice, but yes, this was real – a cry from the heart. The context still overwhelmed- after all, we are generally represented by consumer desire…

Tweet 3: … desire for house, car, phone, clothes, holiday or achievement of goals or good works, perhaps temporarily handicapped by an injustice of ethnicity, gender or sexuality.

Tweet 4: The selfie is me somewhere interesting or with someone, preferably a celebrity, or doing something – exciting!!! The rest of the paper was still pushing these things.

Tweet 5: But me on Freud’s couch, where acting out is frowned upon as a barrier to self realisation? Where desire is a dream filtered through repression?

Tweet 6: Forget it. Uncool. This is a culture based on acting out. Desire is desiring an attractive object or being an attractive object to be desired (often the easier option).

Tweet 7: Who owns the words Trump speaks or with which he thinks? Who gives him the words? The images? Sony Corp? Google? Face book? Twitter?

Tweet 8: Actually, we give him the words which are our words fed back to him via algorithms. Some agency set up by yet another billionaire analyses social media for key words, themes, concerns.

Tweet 9: They then change the message or reinforce the message via banks of robotic twitter accounts. This explains Brexit. Trump.

Tweet 10: If our words are no longer our words but disembodied words owned by someone else who is not even a person but an algorithm, that is a description of psychosis.

Tweet 11: But psychosis is a matter of badly behaving synapses, a chemical imbalance. Even the words expressing alienation are alienated from themselves – as meaning.

Tweet 12: No wonder she’s depressed.

 

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