(One of the posts I wrote on my Swell 24.7 blog in my previous life as a gift store owner in the busy tourist town of Provincetown on Cape Cod; posts that are grouped here under the category What Else Is Swell?, and are generally about life in Provincetown, life as a retailer, our fabulous dog Jack who sat outside the store for well over a decade, and other random things that grabbed me at the time.)
There is a considerable amount of animosity on twitter sometimes. People trying to have an argument about the existence of God, or the appropriateness of gay marriage, or the latest policies of someone standing for election (yeah, I'm guilty of that one I'm sure!). And frankly it's hard to make a cogent argument in 140 characters and I wonder why people try sometimes. And then there are the ones who spend their time bashing everything a particular celebrity says. There is an unfollow button, you know. Just hit that if you don't like what they are saying.
But there is a kinder, gentler twitter. Those whose posts don't offend, or provoke, but are just, well, nice.
First, one of my favorites on twitter @mygrandadsaid A friend of mine in the UK has the diaries of her Grandad Lee and every day she condenses his activities for that same date 50 years ago down to 140 and posts them on twitter (either that or he wrote very brief accounts of his daily life with lots of abbreviations). He lived up north or in the midlands or somewhere where the weather is a significant factor in day to day living, and he washes cars, and visits people, and it's all very serene and nice and British; 50 years ago British. I love reading them. Just takes you back to a simpler time; though some of those snow storms are quite something to deal with and the boiler seems to need a lot of attention.
They often remind me of a blog I heard about on the radio once where someone was posting transcripts of letters his grandfather wrote home during WW1. And he posts them exactly 90 years after they were written, so sometimes there are long breaks between posts and you don't know if the grandfather is OK or not, or if the letters got lost; just like if you were his family waiting to hear from him in the trenches. Grandad Lee's story is a little less dramatic, but who knows what is around the corner? Car washing can be a tricky business.
Another daily tweet I look forward to is from @maryannbragg who takes her dog for a walk every morning in Provincetown and finds something to photograph and puts the image on twitter. The pictures are generally from an unusual angle or vantage point, often part of a building or something dropped in the street or some overhead wires, but always an interesting look at her Cape Cod surroundings. I think she goes very early in the morning and the images do have a quiet, early bird peacefulness about them. These are a couple she posted recently that I really like.
About taking the pictures she wrote,
"Each morning we go to the dog park and then we drive around the neighborhood until something catches my eye. I may be thinking about it from the day before. I stop the truck. The hound stands in the passenger seat while I get out and take photos. It’s early. The truck is running. The heat is on. She waits while I turn the camera this way and that. This reminds me. I used to do this with my father. He would drive the back roads. I would be looking for something to catch my eye. We would stop. I would take photographs. The truck was running. He would wait until I finished. Then we would drive on."
How lovely is that?
And my last favorite daily (often 3 or 4 times a day) read on twitter is a must follow for anyone who was an avid fan of The West Wing in particular, or Aaron Sorkin in general. @sorkinese posts snippets of Sorkin dialogue, mostly from The West Wing but also his movies and his other TV shows. Whoever it is has an unbelievable memory for Sorkin scripts as well as an uncanny knack for posting a bit of Sorkinese that is totally appropriate for that day. Some examples?
–And a "perfect game" is good? –Listen, I know there's a lot of jargon, but some of these are pretty self-explanatory. Posted on April 21st, the day Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox became only the 21st major league baseball player to pitch a perfect game.
Indiana's voting for Ritchie. If there was someone less competent than Ritchie on the ballot, that's who Indiana'd be voting for. Posted on May 8th the day Senator Richard Lugar was defeated in the Indiana Primary by a candidate whose campaign focused on the fact that Lugar worked with members of congress from both parties, to get things accomplished. And apparently that is a bad thing. (OK that one isn't so 'nice' really, but it sure is appropriate.)
And on May 9th, the day Obama declared his support for same sex marriage, Let Bartlet be Bartlet. Classic. Perfect. Made my day. Well, it added to the fact that Obama had just made my day.
Do you have kinder, gentler people that are worth following on twitter? If so, let me know. I could use more of these in my daily twitter stream.