Several weeks ago Stephen Fry, bless his manic-depressive cotton socks, threw a wobbly and threatened to quit Twitter. I’m awfully fond of Stephen. His tweets are bathed in an intimacy so powerful that most of us actually feel we are his BFF and happily his followers are usually used as a force for good or occasionally as indulgent mood swinging stabilisers.
Most of you will know the story. Brummy bloke dares to call Mr Fry ‘boring’. Mr Fry gets emotional and decides to leave Twitter very publicly, but not before getting a toxic little barb in. Mr Fry’s hordes descend on Birmingham in a barbarous cloud. Brummy bloke gets quite famous out of it. Mr Fry apologises. Hordes retreat. Everything is fluffy again. Or is it?
Jan Moir wrote a very misguided and somewhat sensationalist article on Stephen Gately’s death and received the ‘Fry horde’ treatment. And, gloriously, corrupt government contracts were exposed and ‘evil’ lawyers thwarted with the Trafigura scandal. ‘Using’ your Twitter hordes to out alleged homophobia and government corruption is surely for the moral good. Well, it is until you unwittingly step on a big ego’s toes.
I used to follow John Cusack. For me, he is the ultimate in intelligent geek-hip. His films are quirky, robust and often seminal. I also quite fancied him. However, John Cusack is also a political activist. And his Twitter posts can be obscure and rather scary. He mentioned a ‘Judas goat’. Yes! That’s exactly what I thought too and asked for clarification. John thought I was being obnoxious. And clearly many of his followers did too. My inbox was suddenly full of furious Cusack apologists daring me to ‘say that again, you dolt’ and other really hurtful insults. Say what again? Please clarify what a ‘Judas goat’ is? And then it started ALL over again. Now, thanks to a few very helpful Cusack followers I am entirely aware of what a Judas goat is and will never have to ask for clarification again. I also received three apologies, which, patched up my bruised ego and restored my faith in political activists.
So Celebrity Twits. Please be aware that Followers Have Feelings Too (FHFT). And we are not chess pieces in your Twitter Universe. Okay, we are. But just be aware of that. All right? kkthnx.