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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Is it a sign of the apocalypse that Ashton Kutcher is the King of Twitter?

A million people care about what Ashton Kutcher thinks about everything. Actually, as of this writing, it’s 1,289,675 people now Following Kutcher on Twitter. Here’s a sample of the wit and wisdom bestowed upon those Followers:

If there ever was a second coming of Christ and some lady came up to you and was like “yo I’m Jesus” would anybody believe her?

success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self satisfaction in knowing U made the effort 2 bcome the best U R capable of bcoming

Any one see a good movie this weekend?

Our dogs just took us for a walk.

The good thing about the flu is the weight loss. It’s like the master cleanse with out that lemon syrup crap.

As Simon Dumenco at AdAge snarked, “If this guy’s at the pinnacle of the Attention Economy, then the Attention Economy needs a bail-out.”

Is it a sign of the apocalypse that Ashton Kutcher is the King of Twitter?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me.)



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  • Ralph

    Twitter… Who gives a f**k, anyway? We are all so incredibly taken up in our own importance that we think that our every brainfart is an epiphany to anybody else. Lighten up, twittering people, it is not. You are just as clueless as everybody else.

    And if Ashton Kutcher is your guru, well, then the world is really going to the dogs. So while I don’t blame the guy personally, I do blame that whole culture of mobile gadgets and the constant call for attention they enable.

    Spend your time thinking about real issues instead of twittering that you will probably be eating a Whopper within five minutes. I mean, what the f**k? I know someone suffering from ALS. She was perfectly healthy a year ago (gave birth to her third child), and now she is waiting for her death, unable to move, write, sit, walk, piss, vomit or even breathe independently.

    Shove your Twitter where the sun don’t shine, it is all incredibly petty and painfully self-centered. It does not contribute to world peace. It does not contribute to anything, except a tremendous waste of time and energy.

    *end of rant*

  • Anne

    If that makes him King of the Twits, so be it.

  • I’d use this little space to voice my contempt of the whole concept of Twitter, but I’m not sure I could physically endure the irony.

    …Whoops, too late. ;)

  • Ryan

    I have Twitter. I don’t follow Ashton Kutcher. I DO follow MaryAnn though.

    In any case, I don’t like it when people poo poo on a new fad just because it’s new, a fad, or a few bad apples. With any new technology there will be some good and some bad.

    If a million people want to follow Ashton Kutcher, what is it to you? I follow my close friends as well as other people like MaryAnn who I want to know more in this other level of social network.

  • Poly in London

    Poopooing twitter is like poopooing paper because some people write nonsense on it. It’s a medium, it’s fun, it’s what you do with it. It doesn’t fit some people’s lifestyle and that’s fine, it doesn’t make you a moron if you don’t like it. But you are not a moron if you like it (although there are a lot of morons in twitter, and they are very easy to spot. Like in the non-virtual world). I could go on defending twitter, but I am not that invested in it. But some people here are very angry.

    I have twitter but I don’t follow Ashton Kutcher. But that makes it sound like I am trying to claim the moral high ground and I am not. To address the original question, no it’s not a sign of the apocalypse that Ashton Kutcher is the King of Twitter. Clicking a button to follow a famous person for a bit of silly gossip doesn’t make a big statement for you, or the state of the universe.

  • Michael

    I guess what annoys me about it is how futile it seems for those people who AREN’T public figures. Okay, so maybe your friends like to hear when you’re off to the gym or pondering the ceiling, but it seems rather egotistical to me. A blog is different: blogs allow room for thought and development. Yes, I know this is America where we don’t have the patience for anything that can’t be distilled down into a single phrase or two (just look at the majority of the political system and news media), but Twitter’s value as anything but a toy for most people fails to register with me.

    It’s not that its existence bothers me, really, it’s just that I’m so sick of hearing how “everyone” is doing it, with the implication that I should be, too. (It’s the same reason I detest American Idol ads.) :)

  • I love Twitter!

    I follow Aston Kutcher and as a celebrity on Twitter, he’s not that bad to follow. He doesn’t post too much and it seems like he is using Twitter just like everyone else is. He just has tons of followers because he is famous.

    I don’t see anything wrong with what he has twitted. I like him more now that I have followed him than I did before. I don’t believe in everything he says, but he seems earnest and upbeat. I say stupid things on Twitter too, that’s what it’s for.

    I’ve loved Twitter since before it was cool and being on Twitter has made my life better. No joke. I’ve made online friends that’ve turned into real-life friends without missing a beat.

    Now Oprah is the one we will have to worry about. She has been posting on Twitter only since last Friday and she already has more than 450,000 followers.

  • I’m on Twitter and I don’t have a cell phone.

    Does that make me a techie troglodyte?

  • Paul

    Twitter?

    I looked it up in the dictionary and this website, as described, seems accurately named, so I’m okay with that. Truth in advertising is pretty good by today’s standards. And since my dictionary says a “twit” is a fool, then one shouldn’t go there expecting wisdom.

  • mortadella

    Wow… I hate Twitter.

    Then again, I’m biased…as a journalist. In a couple of months, I will be part of a massive layoff at my newspaper in which 40 percent of the editorial staff will be cut. In less than five years, the paper is expected to be shut down for good.

    Newspapers are antiquated and disposable but please, don’t pick on poor Twitter?

    (*bangs head on desk*)

    Excuse me…I suddenly have a headache.

  • MaryAnn

    I don’t wish unemployment on anyone, mortadella, but newspapers made themselves antiquated and disposable. They could have stuck to their mission of investigative journalism and in-depth analysis, but instead they decided that the fattest profit margin possible was the only way to go.

    The fact is that newspaper *are* still profitable, even in their current watered-down versions. They’re just not profitable *enough* for their corporate overlords. Blame *them* for your layoff, if it happens. Don’t blame Twitter, or bloggers, or anyone else but these greedy bastards.

    Did I say I don’t wish unemployment on anyone? Wrong. I wish it on these corporate assholes who put obscene profit and their own enrichment before all. Fuck them very much. They deserve whatever shithole they end up in. Except they won’t end up in a shithole — they’ve ensured that they get their golden parachutes.

    No punishment would be harsh enough for these parasites. Fuck them all.

  • anonymous (for real this time)

    I’m not wild about twitter since it encourages people to post their thoughts for the entire world to see, as quickly and easily as one would talk to a friend. I had this bite me in the ass recently. I was sitting around with some friends, talking about work, and I started complaining about my boss. Unknown to me, one of my friends was twittering at the time and mentioned what we were talking about, including my name and the name of said boss. Guess who reads her twitter? I got to find out about this from my boss at work the next day. It was awkward as hell — luckily my workplace is relaxed enough that there weren’t any serious repurcussions.

    Of course this isn’t a reason to hate the whole medium, and I’m sure that there are some people who use it well, for some purpose that fits the medium. But from what I’ve personally seen, most people on twitter seem to be saying little of substance, interest, or humor.

  • mortadella

    Hey MaryAnn, thanks for this:

    “Did I say I don’t wish unemployment on anyone? Wrong. I wish it on these corporate assholes who put obscene profit and their own enrichment before all. Fuck them very much.”

    I’ll just say ditto, to all that.

    And seriously, I wasn’t blaming Twitter fans and bloggers for the death of newspapers…I was just bemoaning, what appears to be, a general lack of interest in the death of newspapers. On the other hand, Ashton declares something on Twitter and the whole world goes quiet? Ugh. It just kicks my ass, is all. But you know, I’m jaded right now.
    I just purchased a t-shirt that reads: “Journalists Get Laid (Off)” for god’s sake.
    I’m feeling the wackness people….but maybe it’ll go away, like hives or something.

  • MaryAnn

    I think most people don’t care if newspapers die because they haven’t been worth reading for years and years. They’re already dead — they just haven’t admitted it yet.

    The death of newspapers doesn’t equal the death of journalism, though. (That’s like saying that music is dead because no one buys CDs anymore.) I do worry that journalism may die, and may already be halfway there. But we don’t need newspapers for journalism to survive.

  • If there ever was a second coming of Christ and some lady came up to you and was like “yo I’m Jesus” would anybody believe her?

    Well, would you?

    If nothing else, I suspect the late Philip Jose Farmer would have had fun with that concept–even if he didn’t use those exact words.

    Newspapers are antiquated and disposable but please, don’t pick on poor Twitter?

    (*bangs head on desk*)

    Come to think of it, the more I ponder that topic–and MaryAnn’s views on it–the more I feel I feel a headache coming on myself.

    * bangs head on desk *

  • Come to think of it, the more I ponder that topic–and MaryAnn’s views on it–the more I feel I feel a headache coming on myself.

    I meant to say this, of course:

    Come to think of it, the more I ponder that topic–and MaryAnn’s views on it–the more I feel a headache coming on myself.

  • MaryAnn

    Because you agree with, or because you think I’ve got the wron end of the stick?

    If the latter, please talk me down from my pessimism — I could use some cheering up.

  • Actually, I sympathize more with mortadella.

    But I wish for his sake that I could contradict you, MaryAnn, and say that newspapers aren’t likely to be going away in the near future. After all, it was very popular to say the same thing about big cities–and especially NYC–back in the 1970s, and that prediction has since been proved wrong.

    But in the case of newspapers, I don’t think so.

    And unlike you, I don’t particularly see that disappearance as a good thing.

    If there was any chance that newspapers would be replaced by a communications medium that was as just as accessible to the masses as newspapers traditionally have been, I’d be more optimistic.

    But we don’t seem to be going in that direction.

    And given that newspapers were traditionally the best way for an aspiring writer to earn a decent living, it’s odd that you–who spent so much time on another forum rightly bemoaning the future of American writers in today’s society–seem so blase about all this.

    Oh, well, if I agreed with you about everything, this would be a dull site.

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