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Saturday 16th Dec 2017

I don't Twitter, nor do I Facebook. I never YouTubed, nor have I a MySpace, even though, based upon playing in bands, and writing on the Net, well, one would think those avenues for both hyping myself, and staying current with folks seems self evident.

The thing is, it’s just not me. In some ways I know I am cutting edge and go where no one else would dare. But, in other ways I am very, very private. I suppose we are all like this in one way or another, whether we wear our hearts on our sleeves, or need some peeling back like that onion head Shrek.

What prompted, however, the thoughts above, and the title, though, was indeed Twitter. The other day, in exchanging ex post-Tout Wars emails with Tim Heaney, he noted that the piece I wrote for the KFFL site earlier in the week, on buying an all or nothing team, had generated a nice Twitter exchange between Tim's fellow KFFL'er Nick Minnix and some readers.

Of course I love it when I know people read my stuff, and I love it even more when they enjoy it. But, even better is causing some controversy, because that means people not only read the piece, they thought about it too. Still, I guess the fact that I don't Twitter keeps me from being able to see exactly was those readers were thinking.

On the other hand, there are some reasons I don't Tweet, or Facebook or any of the aforementioned digital social exchanges. I mean, I am not that sure just how much anyone is really interested in when I get up and whether I am wearing my South Park or Simpsons leisure pants (sic: jammy bottoms), or even the ones with guitars (they say "nice axe" all over), or with pups (they say "let sleeping dogs lie"). I can blame my sister-in-law Jill Hedgecock for three of the four pair (I guess she does know me.).

I don't think people really care about my reaction to something, either, and the truth is I do a lot better when I think about things, rather than reacting and shooting off my virtual mouth, not that I have not done my share of mouth shooting more often than I wish.

But, I am not really that much interested in say people in high school "reuniting" with me, for most of the time I think if I really want to keep someone in my life, I will do it without the help of Facebook. For example, my dear friend Stephen Clayton and I met in 1956, at the pre-school his mother Bernice founded. Stephen and his wife Karen (whom we met in 1968) have lived in Japan and England for years, and all through college Stephen lived in Bangalore, India, and then in Spokane. So, it is not like we always saw one another, in fact sometimes it was once a year.

But, we stayed in touch, and we did it because we wanted to. In fact, I still remember a good 25 years ago when I had just set up a new desktop. This was pre-Internet, and I think I had 40 Megabytes and a 4800 Baud Modem that took me hours to figure out, but ultimately I got it going, and I set up my email address, and sent Stephen a missive online. He was living outside of Tokyo at the time, and a few minutes after I sent the note, I got a "ping" and lo and behold, there was a note from Stephen who had been at his desk in his office at the time (it was almost bedtime for me in California). It was great, though because for a few minutes--and now when I think about it--it made the world seem a little smaller. And I kept in touch with Stephen because I wanted to, and he with me for the same reason.

Anyway, I know I would have a hard time keeping up with posting things in Facebook, or sending off my Tweets, just because I have enough other stuff going on. And, truth is, I am not sure how interested folks are, and, I am pretty public as it is. I have had the same email address since 1994, and that has been posted, along with my home phone number and address, on my Website for 15 years as well. So it is not like no one can get hold of me, or that I am hiding.

Though I do play in bands, too, and MySpace would also be a perfect vehicle, I just have not gotten around to it either. Nor have I posted on You Tube, however my friend Steve Chattler has posted videos of me playing live--mostly from Performing Arts Camp at Cazedero--and there is a Fantasyland the film clip of me out there, too.

So, as I wondered about just what kind of buzz my KFFL piece generated, and when I started thinking about Tweeting, and I remembered the line "poo-tee-weet" from Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s terrific book (and it is a great movie, too, by George Roy Hill) Slaughterhouse Five.

The book is about a lot of things: destruction, survival, free will, evil, good, innocence, freedom, and much, much more. And though the book is simply written, it is a wonderful and powerful story.

A key phrase in the book is, "so it goes," suggesting the wonder and beauty and horrors of life are all part of the equation, and by simply being alive, we are forced--or is it allowed--to live through--or is it endure--all the ups and downs.

The last line of the book is a bird, making the "poo-tee-tweet," a song spoken with a backdrop of carnage following the Dresden bombings invoked against the Nazis in World War II.

And that connection--of Twitter and Vonnegut--really made me smile, because in a way, I think that is what the author was writing about in the first place. It is all loony. And mad. And crazy. And wonderful.

I suspect Vonnegut would have had some fun things to say about Twitter, and Facebook, and everything else our country and planet have evolved into, for Kurt was never shy with his words. And he was usually quite funny, and pretty much dead on, in my view.

I still do wonder exactly what those Twitter comments were. But, not that much.





0 #3 Scott McKinney 2011-03-26 22:54
"Cat's Cradle" is my favorite Vonnegut, and one of my three favorite books of all time. "The Sirens Of Titan" is probably my next favorite. Also some great short stories in "Welcome To The Monkey House". I read "Venus On The Half Shell" in college, thought the author had Trout's style down very well.
0 #2 Lawr Michaels 2011-03-26 21:37
great lance. enjoy kurt. cat's cradle (which is where the grateful dead got their publishing company name, ice nine) is great too, as is breakfast of champions. you might also get a kick out of "venus on the half shell," penned under the name "kilgore trout" a central character in a lot vonnegut, but it was actually written by phillip k. dick, who wrote the book "blade runner" is based upon. you might even spot the take off in the title of today's column if you dig around the vonnegut library deep enough! books are great. glad if you get some pleasure from kurt! kind of the mark twain of his age.
0 #1 Lance Turbes 2011-03-26 17:58
Thank you Lawr for turning me onto a man I may have missed, or at least took many more years to uncover on my own.

Although you do not "YouTube", I sure do, and will watch plenty of interviews with Kurt at my leisure in the coming months. Always nice to "discover" interesting people to possibly grasp their ideas. That is how YouTube is used best IMO. On-demand education. :-)

Thanks Again.


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