Highlights from a Twitter Series:
21st Century Rules of Political Science
(The Ugly Truth of the Actual Physics of Moving Modern People)
Now, if you have been following my Twitter feed (Don’t laugh some folks do), then you’ll recognize I have been putting out a series of little corny koans on the way the political process looks from the ground level of being a very public liberal in a pugnaciously angry red state.
&, of course, from the perspective of being a smart-ass.
Though my work predates the Internet and my now suspended blog probably contains more typos than true wisdom, for about 25 years I claimed to be a humor writer before becoming a candidate in 2012 and published a couple hundred political humor columns in a series I called "Current Comedy that started before the 90s. And every one of them was simply preparation for the challenge of communicating the world of politics in 140 characters. Yes I'm squawking about Twitter.
Now when I first learned of the world of the little blue bird and hyper-communication in telegraph length prose I railed against it. I dug a little just now and found my first mention of Twitter back in my “4/20” column from April of 2009. At the time, I was apparently ready to dismiss it as as vile internet fad as “two girls and a cup.” I railed against the way it creates a short hand of spelling and meaning that would ultimately distort English as we know it.
Four thousand one hundred and seventy-three Tweets later, I am now, quite obviously, a total Twit-aholic and truly do believe that in the world of 21st century politics, the activist, the candidate, even the observer are continuingly the stars of our own show on the internet. We have a responsibility to entertain as well as enlighten and enlighten means more than just beat into mind-numbed submission w an encyclopedic, though depressing, array of facts and figures.
The people already know the world sucks, we owe them more than merely reminding them. As leaders, lovers, parents teachers and statesmen, we owe our kinsman more than that. This challenge has always been the challenge for the candidate but in the age of technology we inhabit, we can do so much more than ever before to create, promote and honor the pageants the people use to erect their own frames for thinking about politics. We create a being for others to interact w and thus “become,” in a world that is little more that blinking lights, comments and likes. More and more, our society is an internet society. Having seen the revolution our cyber-space community has made on the way politicians operate w each other and w the larger public I believe that like in Egypt, a revolution can be fomented in 140 characters and a teenager in Meadview can make a meme to change the minds of millions in the course of one evening.
So, in preparing to make a speech to the Tempe gathering of an organization called Drinking Liberally, rather the bring out the sober sounding policy statements or the impassioned prose of pathos that turns out to simply be pathetic pleas for money, I thought I would spring these ditties on the unsuspecting public. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am about to attempt to be the first politician to ever spit out a speech devised entirely from stringing tweets together. I will probably be the last one to attempt this parlor trick as well.
Bloviation from twitter-bation? It could work.
Bloviation from twitter-bation? It could work.
Now since this blog post serves as notes for a speech and is not the speech itself. I am presenting the entire list of twitter posted rules, starring the ones I intend to share and highlighting a few topics I intend to expand on. When you read the list, like my presumed readers in the world wide inter-webs of the twitter-verse, please keep in mind I do actually know how to spell and have consciously chosen to embrace the shorthand possibilities of saying as much as 1 can as briefly as possible.
1. 21st century politics #1 If a tree falls in the forest and no one tweets an Instagram of it to their Facebook, who gives a f***?
2. 21st century politics # 2 You can’t know where the line is, if you don’t cross it sometimes.
3. 21st century politics #3 Don't act like you're above gossip or it'll be about YOU instead. Remember EVERYONE n politics is still 13yrs old.
4. 21st century politics #4 EVER into the Public. When faced w a choice, talk to the most people, the more potentially embarrassing the better.
5. 21st century politics #5 Call them on their Bullshit, but don’t bullshit about your own calling or folks’ll want the scoop on u2.
6. 21st century politics #6 Don’t forget the power of your oppression. The public can’t share your glory, but you must share their pain 2 end it.
7. 21st century politics #7 Thou Shalt Not Be a Train Wreck in Public.
8. 21st century politics #8 Be the biggest person in the room.
9. 21st century politics #9 Your supporters want to believe in you … let them.
10. 21st century politics #10 Tell the Right, they’re wrong … not your volunteers, not your allies.
11. 21st century politics #11 Let your opponents create your no’s, not your doubt.
12. 21st century politics #12 We can't expect 2 bring the world together 2 change 4 good when you can't even stop snipping at your allies.
13. 21st century politics #13 If clicking on a link is too much trouble, you can’t change the world .*
14. 21st century politics #14 Fn cuss or not cuss, speak the language of the people, if your words HAVE to condescend then just shut up.
15. 21st century politics #15 Give up on average or ordinary, only extra-ordinary will get this done.*
16. 21st century politics #16: No one listens, no one reads and they don’t return phone calls. You still have to get it done.
17. 21st century politics #17: Your resume won’t matter if you act like a jerk.*
18. 21st century politics #18 Campaigning is not a full-time job, you only really have to work 8AM-12AM; but sometimes there’s some overtime. (A nod to Mark Twain.)
19. 21st century politics #19 The more complex the process, the more chaotic progress appears. Don’t let the quest for simplification kill the impulse for answers. Many valuable, essential things cannot be reduced to simple terms. Don’t disrespect your topics by expecting to reduce them. Life is SUPPOSED to be complicated.
20. 21st century politics #20 Don’t confuse the beauty of your suffering w the beauty of achieving your goal.*
21. 21st century politics #21 If you can’t persuade your enemies, you must defeat them.
22. 21st century politics #22: when facing the impossible, don't give up, give it more time. What's actually "possible" is shifting all the time.*
23. 21st century politics #23: sure, sometimes think: "u haven't figured out how 2 do u yet & u wanna tell me how 2 do me?" But just keep quiet.*
24. 21st century politics #24: Embrace your ordeals. It's ok to break a sweat sometimes. Stressing your strengths is the only way to build them.*
25. 21st century politics #25: when it comes 2 having 2 fake it, when you just can't be real, your best bet is still trying 2 imitate yourself.
26. 21st century politics #26: while it's cool 2b able 2 explain precisely why you made a mistake, that's not the same as learning from it.*
27. 21st century politics #27: Reject "easy." Don't seek it, don't tell others any task, including your election, will be "easy." Failing is easy. Work!*
28. 21st century politics #28: A leader who only looks out for himself and/or his circle isn't much of a leader.
29. 21st Century politics #29: Ya know how nobody returns calls? Don't be a Nobody. Respect those respectful enough to contact you.
30. 21st century politics #30: The phrase "I never heard of him," reveals a lot more about your ignorance than the other person's accomplishments.*
31. 21st century politics #31: Avoid saying "never" or "always." Except 4 exceptions. The correct response 2 crises is virtually NEVER "do less."*
32. 21st century politics #32: If it’s really about the poetry, you can sleep on the floor sometimes.
33. 21st century politics #33: Real men need to be able to cry. That way we know they can still feel their own hearts and others' pain.
34. 21st century politics #34: when facing the impossible, don't give up, give it more time. What's actually "possible" is shifting all the time.
35. 21st century politics #35: even more important than being generous, b generative. The people look 2 u 2 make stuff happen. Not later, now.
36. 21st century politics #36: Guard ur attention: in general if u pay attention to the news stream for 15 minutes, u'll b pissed off 14 of them.
37. 21st century politics #37: people who talk about their past, things they own or others they "know," instead of the task, aren't helping.
38. 21st century politics #38: if u let others define u then the limits of their imagination is all you will become. Most likely their pawn.
39. 21st century politics #39 : If we all wait for someone else to do it, then we’ll never get it done .
--mikel weisser writes from the Left Coast of AZ