Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Was it Jared or Was it Parody?

Here are the answers to yesterday's quiz, in which I asked the reader to guess which of the following narcissistic musings is a real tweet from Jared Cohen, a big-deal member of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff, and which is a parody by me, a lowly worker bee in one of State's vast cubicle farms.

Not that there is much difference between a real tweet and a parody, but here they are:

(a) Baggage claim in miami is annoyingly far away [Jared]

(b) No matter how much time I spend on an airplane, I still enjoy flying through the clouds [Jared]

(c) African Kitamu beans make awesome cafe au lait! anyone know if SBUX has a Fair Trade deal with Rwanda? [Me]

(d) There is literally a dark cloud over DC. So much for early summer [Jared]

(e) So hard to fill out customs forms legibly when the plane is landing [Me]

(f) Had a big idea this morning - green computers. electronics make up 70% of all hazardous waste! [Me]

(g) Hummus is just super! never knew that when I was growing up [Me]

(h) I'm desperate for Sbarro right now, not sure what that is all about [Jared]

(i) I'm scientifically fascinated by the ash cloud and it's whereabouts [Jared]

(j) So amazing to look down at all the plains and mountains between DC and Stanford. Super places I'd like to go someday! [Me]

If you're one of Jared's 310,800,561 followers on Twitter, then you already know that the world last heard from him three hours ago when he informed us of his lack of progress toward the San Francisco airport:

Stuck in traffic on the 101 en route to SFO. Typically not a good sign when u have come to a dead stop

I'm sure we'll get an update right after Jared lands at his destination. Maybe with some awesome Deep Thoughts about social media that were sparked by the in-flight movie, or about a super encounter with a Facebook Friend at the airport's Java Juice stand, or an awesomely super e-mail that he got while in flight. And, of course, there will be exclamation points and smilies involved.

I'm starting to see that Twitter is a window into a particular mindset, a totally subjective one in which the most interesting thing about any matter is the fact of the author's interest in it.

That mindset simply begs to be ridiculed, so I think I'll regularly poke fun at tweets. Maybe I'll sponsor an Imitation Jared Tweet Contest, with some kind of prize for the entry that best makes fun of self-obsessed policy wonks who live inside the wilderness of mirrors - a little T.S. Eliot reference there, since Jared's evidently a fan - of social media. Where could I find a corporate sponsor for that?

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