Monday, January 9, 2012

America. Home of the free, the brave, and the unintelligible.

Working from home has its benefits, I get to smoke at my desk, plague social media sites with a vengeance, I don't have to worry about awkward bathroom situations, and I get to watch T.V during my lunch, coffee, tea, and whiskey breaks. But therein lies the problem. Daytime T.V has never been top notch, but with the vast array of channels on offer, it now seduces viewers with programmes they would never have turned to before.
T.L.C is a new channel on DSTV, educating the overweight youth on how not to behave when sent to fat camp, showing mothers how to prepare their blonde babies for pageantry, terrifying women into believing that they're pregnant but don't know about it, and helping those of little shame to understand the extensive use of coupons. A gem of a channel, some might say.
Yet the more of it that I watch (and believe me, I watch enough) the more I realise that North America is a continent with incontinence of the spoken word. Grossly phrased, but bare with me on this one.
“He come over yesterday, and he spit on me!” The pink chintz armchair of a human cries to the host. Yes, this sounds simply awful, but lets stick to what's important here, “he spit on me??” whatever happened to tenses? “He come over yesterday?” No he bloody didn't, he came over. Came. Past tense.
When the forefathers wrote that damnable constitution was there any mention about strongly opposing the correct use of tenses? If not, then why, pray tell, why is this nation incapable of speaking properly?
I find it insufferable to listen to anyone talking about routes and staying calm on this channel. I'm trying to be sympathetic, but when someone says, “She followed me down Route 24. I tried to stay calm.” I'm going, 'route,' pronounced root, not 'rowt,' you moron. And nobody pronounces the 'L' in calm, nobody in the world except your incomprehensible nation.
And while I'm on the warpath with Americanisations, let's discuss the Z they substitute for S.
It's just plain lazy. It's like you're saying that you were too tired to properly spell a word so you just wrote it phonetically. Leaving out U's left right and centre too. If you speak English, you speak and write it the way the English do. I'll have no more of this dallying about with silly grammar use and cross-continental confusion.
Yes, I want to know how you managed to have a baby in your own bed one night without even knowing you were pregnant, and yes, I'm fascinated to see if Lola-Bell wins this years “Sexy Texan Toddler” competition. But please, tell me about it in a language I can understand.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

In which I become a Twit

Today I began my journey on Twitter. The frenzied whisperings of friends on the benefits of this, the one and only world worth inhabiting, has finally pushed me to setting my fear of the unknown aside and giving this damned Twitter thing a try.
I set up a profile, cute picture and all, clicked “follow” on an number of names, pressed my enter key and waited. Words in a language similar to Elfish appeared on my screen; mystical texts beyond my recognition spurting forth on a never-ending feed. Helen Zille said @something to something underscroll someone.
I am a copywriting graduate, am fluent in English, I passed matric, read books of consequence, hold eloquent conversation with other humans, and yet can't for the life of me understand how the degenerates of society are more capable of understanding Twitter than I. Britney Spears has over 12 million followers for Christ's sake!
I'm strongly reminded of the days I spent behind the steering wheel of my first car, my dad purple in the face yelling “If the bloody taxi drivers can control their clutch, why the fuck can't you?”
The horror, the embarrassment of knowing that everyone else can do something you can't. It burns a hole in my heart just to the right of the damaged artery left from the strife I suffered with my violin when I was six. (An instrument, I might add, that my mum swiftly removed from my possession shortly after buying me something called “The Squawky Parrot Violin Book.” Go figure.)
Yet now as an adult I see children the size of their own instrument, merrily belching out Mozart as though it were a undigested sandwich.
This, I'd hoped, this one piece of technology, will not fail me. I will navigate my way through Twitter like a pro, bearing insight and judgement down upon the lesser beings of the web. My words will crack like whips, followers would flock to me, begging for an audience and pleading for further wisdom. Writing jobs would fall into my lap, and job offers would be flicked off my shoulder like the piece of dust hip hop dancers always seem to find mid-hop.
Alas, it was not to be. Not today at least, and not, it would seem, for a very long time.
My biggest issue with this whole lark is that I staved off Twitter for so long, trying uselessly to convince people that it was a soul-destroying social media-bullshit excuse to prohibit actual human-to-human contact. “It dampens the brain!” I cried. “Let's go back to texting! And phone calls and emails, the way it used to be. The way it ought to be!” I should have known better.
So after years and months of internal battling, I finally did it, and look where I am now; 8 followers and not a growing brain cell to celebrate with.