Friday, October 01, 2010

Twitter is for twits

My distaste for Twitter, Facebook, and most forms of online 'social networking', is by now no doubt well-known to my readers.  I was reassured to find the other day this graphic representation of the 'appeal' of these activities.  It would seem that I am not alone in my disparagement of this unlovely efflorescence of the Internet age.


Hopfrog said...

I love the pic! I refuse to partake of this phenomenon as well and I believe it is killing off the more in depth conversations that took place on blogs and really, who wants to waste hours reading about what so and so is doing for lunch, what they thought of their lunch, and what they plan on eating for lunch tomorrow. Most of the stuff I've seen on facebook is mindless drivel that seems to cater to bored housewives and teenage girls.

Twitter, ugh, with all the @soandso, and back @whomever, what a chore to follow 2 sentence conversations. I kept thinking both would be a fad that would die out, and I still have my suspicions that they will, save for the aforementioned housewives and teenagers. It can't come fast enough, so sick of hearing "follow us on twitter and facebook" constantly on tv and in print. Maybe 5 years from now I'll be lamenting how I missed the boat on all of it, but I have a sneaking suspicion I will be fine with that.

Oh, before I forget again, read your list of great westerns a while back, if you haven't seen Red River, check it out, one of the better westerns from the Wayne era.

One last thing, did you see the move Hamilton made on Webber in Singapore? What is your take on it?

Froog said...

Hi Hopfrog, I'm glad to find others with me on this. You might have noticed on one or two of those earlier posts of mine I linked to that I deplored these social networking things as 'a fad' and predicted (rashly?!) that they would wither and die out within a few years. Trouble is, they've got so well entrenched within a certain subset of the population that they're proving surprisingly resilient. I think they've run out of the momentum they needed to achieve near-universal uptake (my perception is that the enthusiasm for Facebook, at least, is severely on the wane, even amongst the people that use it), but might persist amongst a substantial sub-population for several years. And when/if they do finally die out, they'll probably be replaced by something even more irritating. Sigh.

I agree that Red River is one of The Duke's best roles (thought I'd already mentioned it in the comments to that post), but I found Montgomery Clift a little irritating in it. There were a few other John Wayne films that were bubbling under for that list - The Sons Of Katie Elder, The Horse Soldiers - but I'd already included 5 or 6, and I had to draw a line somewhere.

Froog said...

On the F1 incident - I didn't see the Singapore race, but I just checked out the footage online (without benefit of commentary or trackside microphone!). It looked to me like a straightforward 'racing incident', and it's strange some of the fans have been getting so riled up about it. It seems not even Lewis had much complaint to make, and the stewards scarcely thought it was worth looking at.

If you are going to ascribe some blame, I'd lay it at Hamilton's door: it was a misjudgement by him, cutting aggressively from outside to in through Turn 7 without making sure that he was clear of Webber. He's a great driver, but still young and impetuous at times; and mistakes like these could end up costing him this year's championship. I know drivers don't look in their mirrors much, and Webber might have been kind of in a 'blind spot' at this point, but, really, Lewis was never a full length clear of Webber and ought to have been aware of that. He was carrying way more speed and could easily have got well clear of Webber down the following straight, without trying to take the optimum line through Turn 7.

Poor old Webber had nowhere to go. You can't expect him to brake earlier or harder to let his opponent go through the corner first - that's just ridiculous. I suppose some people might be suggesting that he was making an aggressive late-braking manoeuvre to try to stay alongside Lewis, and was going too fast to hold the tighter line around the inside of the turn. But it certainly didn't look like that to me: he was going much slower than Lewis, seemed to have the car fully under control, and was taking the corner in a normal fashion. Lewis just cut straight across the front of him.

It was unfortunate that the the clash resulted in a retirement - presumably Lewis kinked his rear suspension bumping across that bitch of a kerb? It seemed far more likely that Webber, taking a hard jolt to his much more delicate front suspension, would be the one who might be unable to continue.

In racing terms, a pretty innocuous incident. But.... that's twice in two races for Lewis. I hope he's not "trying too hard".

By the by, I just happened to watch John Frankenheimer's 1966 film Grand Prix again on DVD the other night. I think I saw it on a re-release in the cinema in the early '70s, when I was too young to really appreciate it; and then maybe two or three more times in that decade on TV. I'd forgotten just how good the race footage in it is. There are some extended in-car shots: one almost-complete lap at Monaco, and long sections of the old road-based circuits at Clermont-Ferrand and Spa-Francorchamps. Terrifying to think these guys were driving at 180mph with trees, telegraph poles and brick walls right at the side of the track! It's actually a really good movie all around; despite having only seen it a few times, more than 30 years ago, I find that many, many scenes are still etched in my memory.

The film ends with four drivers within a couple of points of each other, all able to secure the championship with a victory in the final race. It seems an unlikely piece of over-contrived Hollywood scripting - but it does happen occasionally; it's looking like it might possibly happen this year. Let's hope so.

Hopfrog said...

In agreement with your assessments. I feel pretty certain that facebook (despite having a hollywood blockbuster out about it now) will fade away. Twitter, if I were to guess, will probably be around for a while. I can see its utility in sending quick updates to people who like to follow, for instance, certain sports teams, products, etc.. As a medium for dialogue, its terrible though and it will probably morph over its existence. Facebook, however, ugh, anyone can look you up easily and then you have a whole hodge podge of people commenting about anything they want on your page. Who would want that? Does anyone really want their mum mingling with their friends? After pressure from a friend I setup an account. My mother was the first to post and extolled the virtues of how its a great way for old friends to track you down and keep up. I immediately thought of all the old friends and acquaintances that I did not want doing precisely that. I immediately shut down the account that day.

Didn't see your comments on RR, must have skimmed through that entry. Agreed again.

I thought what Webber did was exactly what you need to do if your truly after a championship. With the points race so tight this year can you imagine if it comes down to the last couple of races, or the last lap (ala Massa/Hamilton), and your competitor knows that you will give way. You will be pushed around right out of the championship. Webber held his line and Hamilton had no right to expect someone who was holding the racing line to yield to his move. Honestly though, it appeared that Hamilton thought he was clear and the contact was so close to not happening, I don't think one could judge Hamilton too harshly on the move. Racing incident and all. Too me though, anyone who thought Webber was at fault or is spouting nonsense such as "when the car is past half the body of the other car... blah blah".. please, Webber held the racing line. After hearing about all the racial crap that was happening to Lewis a few years back, I was really pulling for him the year he won it. This year, I would love to see Webber take the WDC. 5 drivers still very much in contention with I think 4 or 5 races to go. What a great season this has been. One of the best in recent memory.

Watching Grand Prix is one of those things that has been on my mental to do list for years now. After what you wrote, I will put it on my written to do list and get it done. I fell in love with F1 watching Senna run a lap at Monaco, in car, at his peak. I didn't think it was even humanly possible to do the things he was doing on that lap. Didn't know Grand Prix had some cool in car stuff like that, will be checking it out soon. Thanks for that.