His fingers keyed feverishly:
Call me Ishmael.
It was a pleasure to burn.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
When Jem was nearly thirteen he had his arm badly broken at the elbow.
You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, but that ain’t no matter.
You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.
Wordslinger, his books stacked at his side, typed zealously as he toggled between Project Gutenberg and Google Books.
Damn them. Damn them all to hell. Heston as Taylor in a loincloth had it right—even with his cold, dead hands. They’d blown it up. The maniacs.
Right before his eyes, the whole damn world was vaporizing in the vacuum created by Twitter. 140 characters. Barely a well-crafted sentence. What could be the point?
But it became net napalm, an online firestorm melting the flesh and bone of human discourse.
A weapon of mass deconstruction, demolishing sanity with inanity. Replacing truth with the trite.
And it had defenders. Not just mindless politicians. Not just bandwagon enthusiast and fad-loving marketers.
It was vaunted as the tool of the 21st Century. The people’s tool. To take the world’s pulse. To empower and answer. To stir and rise. Revolution.
Twitter, a tool? Or the vanilla tapioca Bradbury warned us about. The sound without fury?
Opposable or not, could one really think with one’s thumbs? Was Twitter a hand tool of the devil? Our literary soul disembodied and sold 140 characters at a time?
Wordslinger, judge, jury and executioner, deemed Twitter the slippery slope to literary Armageddon. War. Declared. War. Waged.
In the final battle for clausality, the agony and ecstasy of Dickensian excess, Wordslinger needed to arm himself.
He armed himself with righteousness. Ramrod rectitude. Incontrovertible conviction.
Wordslinger knew certainty was an exasperating companion to the misguided. A necessity to the extremist.
He fortified himself into an impregnable bastion of patriotism. A veritable declaration of interdependence. Words could not be separated from thought.
Contemplation and consideration were inalienable rights to all words. The pursuit of meaning demanded it.
Thus armed, Wordslinger battled. The wasteland of words formed by the unfathomable trenches of tweets and retweets. No guns of August. He was much more cavalier.
He parried with Snippet, an audio file of erudite conversation. Lunged with Tome, with posts of nothing less than 140,000 characters. They produced not a blip on the Twitterscape.
No one took the feint. Wordslinger faced defeat and realized he couldn’t beat it, so he decided to exploit it—140 great characters at a time.
Why not? They were written that way. Who was to say? Not this twit. Wordslinger gave it away.