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Forget-me-not / Three Ideas About Why Twitter

I’ve been away. The time now has come for truth.

A year ago I tried to plug in my writing career (whatever career that may be) to the internet as a response to the publication of GOODBYE CROCODILE and the advice that the cultivation of an online presence could directly correlate with higher numbers of sales for that collection of stories, which interested me, because cash money dollars. So I created this space, and a facebook page got made on my behalf, and I started a twitter account. Now I have the impression of an alternate school which says: we’re all whores, and twitter is our brothel.

So, I resurface. As ever, I ride the populist tide.

Of those three entities, the one I failed most with was (and remains) the Twitter. Here is my problem: I don’t know what Twitter is actually for. Out there in the bending glare of time are (say, political) events in which people have leveraged that platform to unify a voice, as voices are thusly unified in the acoustic (harmonic?) spaces of, (say), a church. Only big and, yeah, digital (digimal?).

In my mind the voice of Twitter is the white scream of a V2.

Like, Twitter isn’t for the Arab Spring, neither is it for reflections on feminine convexities. It may be for advertising.

Stay away? Yes, but also, How boring.

Looking at it there are all these values and modifiers, controls and variables. Quantifiable only through numbers of followers (which is a curious word, yes, to have been chosen, because chosen it was–but by whom? Followers. Has a religious zing.) Each element of each post (being: amount of characters used, hashtags affixed (themselves springs, creeks, and deltas of this river, to be tapped, even capped), twitpics attached, retweets harvested–) mutations each that bring us closer to null hypothesis.

What is a tweet, stripped of those variables? A tweet which uses each character as part of a whole structure? What is water kept out of the cycle? Is there a difference between what belongs in that space and what inhabits it? Is it possible to produce something meaningful in that space? Are we even meant to try?

So I am left with: I don’t know what Twitter is for. Or, more simply, whether it is for me. So I am doing the only thing I can do with it, which is to see what happens when I exist in it but also not in it. I am writing these:

Whether they are meaningful or not I don’t know. But I have come to understand that this is the way I reconcile whether I am in that space to sell books, or to piss into an ocean of piss, or to witness and respond to the digital and cultural landmass rising beneath our feet.

The only thing I’ll be doing on Twitter from here out is more like the above. Maybe lots or maybe five months apart or maybe never again. Maybe I’ll delete this post and the Twitter and all tomorrow. What then happens to Lee Hoyer?

You can, obviously, follow me. @conoriswriting.

Remember, kids, what your old pal Hal Incandenza says:

I am in here.


I forgot to mention that the working-class gentleman with a tattoo of a star on his hand, who wept on a coach full of London-aimed pilgrims (and about whom I wrote in the first paragraph of this post here), did, to my utter delight and surprise, after telling no fewer than three or four separate telephone conversation participants The Ballad of the Missing Keys, totally find said keys in the bottom of his duffel bag after dumping wholly its contents on the floor of the coach, ten minutes outside of London Victoria, while searching for some different object, and did cry out with delight to the telephone conversation participant of the moment, “the keys are here! They’re here with me!”, henceforth promising to “nip in to the post office just as soon as [he was] off the coach” to, presumably, send them back.

God forgive me, I didn’t have the heart to tell him it was Sunday.

Extra credit homework: That was one sentence, that first bit. But is it a grammatically sound one? I am curious.

Well! Well. All right. So.

Right now, I am doing two things. One of them is that I am listening to “Entre Dos Aguas” by Paco de Lucía. You can listen to that track right here while you read, if you want to. The second thing is that I am beginning this blog. So here we go.

I am Conor Patrick. I write stories. It’s important, they say, for you and I to get to be able to talk to one another. For the moment, let’s ignore them, because you know that I know that you know that neither of us cares yet where I came from or why I’m doing this. (That will come later). For the moment, let’s  cut to it:

If you want to read a story I have written, you can find a couple of them behind curtain #1 and curtain #2. They are “Goodbye Crocodile” and “Three Tigers”, respectively. Two very different stories. If one or the other  gets you going, (or both, forbid), you can buy GOODBYE CROCODILE, twelve stories by yours truly, for less than the cost of a pack of smokes. It is available in paperback right over here. If you’re the kind who likes the ebook whatsits, I got you covered there too: click for Amazon US or its UK compadre. The electronic version is cheaper, if you’re wondering. I would like it very much if you would give them a try.

Plug over. Moving on.

I am new to this. I do not understand–and therefore I fear–blogging, tweeting, snap-chattering, tumbling, and other forms of nuevo-talk-tech that simultaneously cultivates and strangles communication on a global scale.*  This is an attempt at understanding. To find the draw. I neither read blogs nor write them. Or I didn’t, until today. But if I am going to do this then I should embrace wholly the hog; by the time you read this there will be twitter and facebook and goodreads buttons somewhere around here. Click them if it pleases you. Also: if you have a blog I should read, then I will read it. Spare me the hunt and link it below in the comments.

A very little about me: I used to be into arguing about politics and arguing about the environment and arguing about lots of things like wars and guns and schools and which flavo(u)r Ben and Jerry’s is Emperor of Ice Cream, but these days I’ve learned to embrace modern life a little bit, and now I like to see what types of food I can ingest and how many hours of House of Cards I can watch in a row. I am still prone to iced cream-related discourse but otherwise I try to keep my ire in a jar under the kitchen counter. I enjoy particularly good books and sometimes great films and sometimes bad television. I particularly love bad food–anything which we are supposed to feel guilty for eating, or should not as adults allow ourselves to enjoy, is of interest, e.g. a peanut butter, Nutella, and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup sandwiches. In this blog I will not post about television but I may post about bad food. I have a vision of a chili-cheese hotdog post brought to bear not long from today. I will certainly post about stories and books and writers, but fortunately not exclusively so.

This blog is my Voyager 1. It is made to do one job, which is to provide a forum in which ye all can communicate with/to/at me about items which I will express electronically here and in which we share a mutual interest. It is exactly like Voyager 1, except in the many ways it is not like Voyager 1, such as the fact that I am not NASA, and this blog is not a space probe which has now left our solar system, and it was free instead of $250,000,000. So, it’s almost nothing like Voyager 1, except insofar as I am lobbing it out there to see where it goes, out past the heliopause, (the metaphorical one, y’dig), to see where we end up.

So that’s it. Comment below and let me know your favo(u)rite food/book indulgence. Or other indulgence. I want to know what makes you feel good and guilty. If there’s a blog you like, don’t forget to let me know about it.

Stick around, won’t you? You don’t want to miss the chili-dog thing.


Current Location: Muzambique, Algeristico.

Currently Reading: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. (Almost, thank Christo, finished. I will be talking about it when that blessed day hath arrived.)



*Which is to say: we are able to tweetursnap with our lover or sister or in-law on faceblast, but at what cost? This cost: your significant other, who is sitting there trying his damndest to get you to watch The Hunt for Red October, has to hassle and cajole you into witnessing what is undoubtedly Alec Baldwin’s tour-de-force performance when he shouldn’t even have to because Sean Connery was a traitor to Mutha Russia all along and that is some compelling narrative, man, but you’re just sitting there glaze-eyed in the blue light of your stupid phone.

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