Life & Island Times: Twitter, Graffiti and Draft Rules for Modern Media Political Discourse

Editor’s Note: as part of a related research project, a colleague and I are looking at how the Millennial generation exchanges information and knowledge, and what their views are regarding things like security. The devices and social media appear to be actually changing our brains. Happy Veteran’s Day, the one the Government takes off from work while the Vets in the civilian sector report to the office.

Author’s note: I wrote this late last month before visiting family on the west coast. The trip was excellent. More on that later.

Modern media argue that we learn a lot about how people actually think from what they post on social media. Of that I am not so sure. Yet, one presidential candidate discovered and used the power of social media to becone the most powerful person on earth last fall. More importantly, I’d contend that bathroom graffiti has been replaced by Twitter and that the media is now focussed on the leavings of those who used to do their writing on bathroom stall walls.

If you use or follow Twitter, you probably suspect what I do: people tweet the most when they are sitting on the throne. Tweeters are not going anywhere for a while, they have their phones but no other means of entertaining themselves, and they’re on the throne, which is one of the the most philosophical places of human existence.

Twitter has changed the world’s political landscape. Now, instead of taking out a Sharpie and writing one’s thoughts on a stall wall, they taking out their iPhone and writing them on their feed. I have several issues with this:

  • Tweets are text-only for the most part. Drawings, especially of certain anatomical parts, were a big part of bathroom graffiti. Our earth withour art is just eh.
  • Lack of permanence. Sure, tweets are technically there forever, but once they fall on the feed, they’re essentially dead.
  • Exclusivity. You decide whom to follow on Twitter. Bathroom wall wisdom is forced upon you. Is it any wonder why today’s snowflakes are so surprised to confront something that is counter to their self selected twittersphere.
  • Price. Even if you don’t have a smartphone, you can still write on the walls.
  • Handwriting/color/size. You can’t personalize a tweet the way you can bathroom graffiti.
  • Anonymity. Twitter accounts at least have a handle name. Nobody knows who wrote what in the stall. That makes it timeless. Mark Twain could have written that haiku on the stall wall. You’ll never know.


I’m not saying that the media should abandon breathtlessly coveringTwitter. Just maybe next time someone types something odd, they could remember that they’re are affixing the phrase BREAKING NEWS to what used to be found on bathroom stall walls, while the author was likely breaking wind.

And now for some random draft rules governing current media political discourse . . . .


All of my side’s references and statements are to be taken in the coolest, hip-ironic, culturally aware, benign-metaphorical way possible that grants my side the full benefit of any conflicting interpretations.

All of your side’s references and statements are to be taken in the most mindlessly literal, threatening way possible.

Any charge against my side requires exquisite legally admissible proof of its accuracy.

Any charge against your side must be true if it was asserted by anyone, anywhere.

People on my side are responsible only for what they said personally, in full-quotation context.

People on your side are responsible for the inferred implications of anything said by anyone who ever held any idea vaguely similar to what your people think.

Sounds about right, no?

Copyright © 2017 From My Isle Seat

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