Twitter is a mystery to me. Seems like some form of digitised narcissism. Twittering is what Arts correspondents do, Kirsty Wark and Paul Morley and Germaine Greer, twitter-twitter, any old frothy, pretentious bollocks, just as long as they get paid. Who would want to be a twitterer ? No, really, have you seen Paul Morley ?
Facebook, too, don't know what it is, don't want to; i-things, don't know, blackberry, that, too. Not a thing to admit-to in decent company but I don't have a mobile phone. There is no special virtue in this abstinence but neither is it being Luddite - although the Luddites had some socio-economic validity to their opposition, an early manifestation of It's not the economy, Stupid - I have some IT stuff, enough. This non-engagement with the latest IT wheeze is, though, a sort of discernment, a resistance. I would jump in my car tomorrow, even with its world-famous sticky automatic transmission, and drive to Moscow or Kathmandu, having managed all these years without satnav. Genghis Kahn did it and he was on horseback. It is in our nature to cultivate a sense of direction, or we could look at the Sun, or we could ask someone for directions, do some of that communicating shit that we're so good at. Satnav is an infantilisation too far, like Fatboy Jerry Clarkson and his simile-generating engine - this car is soooo fast that your hair'll catch fire, this car is soooo extraordinary that you'll want to own one, only you can't afford one, but I can, it's for big boys, see, like a sitemeter. My ancestors - and yours - sailed the world in paper boats, what the fuck do I want with satnav?
His Holy Grumpiness, my Highlands neighbour, Mr Bob Dylan, in one if his interviews of epic grievance, remarked that Aaah-Wontsa-Pohna-Time, if people wanted the sound of a handclap on a pop record they'd run up to the 'mic and clap their fucking hands, like decent Christian or in his case, artistically pantheistic people should, fucking self-indulgent idiot, one minute at the Wailing Wall, the next at the Vatican; nowadays, there's a button on the keyboard marked "handclap." What is the point of that ? Bob's rock'n'roll credentials may be as counterfeit as much - but by no means all - of his output, indeed, given his endlessly tedious Western Swing Rockabilly it is difficult and painful to recall that he authored Highway 61 Revisited (and should in all decency, therefore, shut the fuck up with his cheesy gnomic whining, vain, silly old fart) but he was right enough in being dismayed by the digitisation of everything, even spontaneity, by GlobaMusic; it's the human handclap for me, too. But not the Stetson.
It is as though we do this shit without even thinking Do we want to ? but just because some nerd lacking a proper job has dreamed it up - eg Vista. A sitemeter, for instance, counts the visits to this cyberplace, it logs the duration of and the geographical location of visitors. I don't know how it works, some instrument of Satan. I looked at it for a couple of weeks and found that it influenced what I wrote, as though I was the CEO of a global dissent corporation; Hmmm. things are a bit quiet in Malaysia this week, maybe do a piece about pineapples, or rubber. I now take a quick peek every couple of weeks, just to get an idea of how many people read this stuff, there is no analysis beyond that and actually I should disable it altogether, lest I be tempted. It wouldn't ever occur to me, though, that I should make it public, have it running down the side of the page, somebody has just come on and is from such-and-such a place and the last site he was looking at was so-and-so; what on Earth is that about? If someone signs their name and address in a comment, that's one thing, although no-one ever does but to have a piece of software identifying the reader's location and last-visited site is an impertinence worthy of government, isn't it, creepy, entirely contrary to the supposed anonymous nature of cyberworld, a staggering impudence, an overwhelming conceit. Not only is Big Brother watching you on behalf of the government, he is watching you on behalf of me, the Mighty Libertarian Blogger, look, that's you, City of London, or Frome, Somerset, down the side there; you can post but you can't hide, cheeky fucking bastard.
Some, of course, measure their hits as though they were their cock and the publication of site spymeters information just a form of exhibitionism, the IT-flasher, so to speak, but even that is wholly perverse, unsavoury, bragadaccio compounding an ever-indignant scattergun demagoguery, almost, actually, like a party political broadcast, innit, by some crypto-fascist grouping, it's all the wogs' fault, if there weren't any wogs we'd have decent politicians, seem to be the fatuous Chimes of Freedom, tolling through much of bloggery, the bedrock of much of this sort of stuff, wogs out, that's the thing, just watch how that ushers-in a new dawn of repectable and representative politics. Or maybe not.
If anybody wants their ISP revealed and where they have come from then just mention it; it'll only take me a second to publish it. But this being where it is, the assumption - or the default setting, as even Mr The Dyers Garden now says - will be that it is your comment and readership which matters and not your ISP.
And the moral of this story, the moral of this song is that if you see your neighbour revealing your details to all and sundry for their delectation and analysis and his own self-aggrandisement, make warmly to him the sign of Ruin and punch him, hard, in the mouth.
We will close with some community singing, led by the reverend Bob; altogether, now, You gotta lotta nerve to say you are my friend...