Wednesday, April 15, 2009

What A Swell Party This Is

I have been spending increasing amounts of time on Twitter, probably to my detriment, and I'm finding that my approach to it is very different from that of many Tweeple. I see it as a fun way to communicate creatively and largely inconsequentially, and restricting myself to haiku format keeps it interesting for me and, I hope, for those reading my tweets.

I follow those who interest me because of their wit, their charm or their accomplishments, and as a matter of etiquette I follow back those who follow me unless they appear to be spammers or if it's clear that I'll feel pain every time I see one of their pronouncements (the term #tcot is usually a dead giveaway). But as much as I enjoy having followers (nearly 300 as of this writing, of whom I know fewer than 25 or so in real life), I'm not obsessed with getting more.

Twitter seems like a big party to me: you chat with amusing people, you listen to their observations, and you find some you'd like to spend more time with. Yes, it's networking, but it's not work - I have LinkedIn for that, and trading marketing tips all day is not my idea of a good time. Especially if they're self-referential - most of the "helpful hints" I see are about how to make yourself more popular on Twitter!

It's like going to a book party and finding that the only authors there are Dale Carnegie and Tony Robbins. Not that there's anything wrong with that - I met Robbins once in the green room at QVC and he radiates confidence (and has an enormous head), and I have a first edition of How to Win Friends and Influence People that I got for 25 cents at a tag sale - but it's not my idea of a really good time.

An elegant bash is, of course. And when I came up with the title of this post, I was thinking of the classic version of the Cole Porter song by Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby from High Society.

But in looking for the video, I stumbled across this incredible gem, a companion to the very first Red Hot & Blue AIDS fundraiser album. (The latest installment in the Red Hot series is the highly recommended Dark Is The Night.) While Iggy Pop and Debbie Harry's rendition doesn't have Frank and Bing's panache, the video, directed by Alex Cox of Repo Man and Sid & Nancy fame, is the perfect combination of star quality and punk nihilism.

And its stars, besides being two of my favorite performers, are really fun at a party, as I know from personal experience.


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