I’ve had some time to revisit the events leading up to last night’s Twitter ban because I want to approach this with a clearer, less angrier, and more rational head.
It is often the practice of an inveterate addict to deny his own culpability. And I don’t want to do that here. It would be supremely dishonest if I didn’t offer a more reflective account of where I was at and how I behaved last night.
I am a highly sensitive person who responds very strongly to injustice. And I watched an act of pure beauty — Bong Joon-ho, a wonderful man from Korea deservedly winning multiple Oscars for Parasite, the best movie released last year — become completely sullied and slandered in an act of barbaric racism and gleeful ignorance from Jon Miller, an attention-seeking jackal who is now exploiting his Twitter Enemy of the Week position with unbridled hubris and calculated opportunism. Bong was attacked for not speaking English very well and for addressing the auditorium in Korean. Miller’s callous disregard of Bong as a human and as an artist, taken with his gleeful ignorance, sent me into a piping hot rage. Because this awful man had taken a steaming load upon three principles that I hold very dear to my heart — the power of art, the power of multicultural inclusiveness, and the power of creating opportunities for future voices — Miller’s tweet hit me very much like a jaw sinking its ravenous teeth into my leg. And I reacted like a caribou who had been happily dancing in a forest just before a sudden attack by a ravening wolf.
I realize that my replies to various people in the wee hours, in which I was suggesting that Jon Miller supporters then replying back to me with various vulgarities could serve as seconds to Miller during our proposed boxing match, were very much on the wild side. I had been drinking and, because I’ve lost some weight recently, the beer went to my head a little quicker than I anticipated. While I remain firm about my open boxing match offer to Miller, I’m still nevertheless responsible for the latter tweets, in which I started reciting Guns N’ Roses lyrics to random people. Were I able to respond to them, I would apologize. But I can’t. I can see now how, out of context, the Twitter Police would perceive me as a blithe maniac when we were discussing a hypothetical rather than an actual. It’s another reminder that our world now relates to each other with grandiose cartoonish notions rather than subtle nuances. I’m certainly not discounting my own responsibility here.
I’ve figured out how to put in an appeal to Twitter. Nevertheless, the Twitter ban may be the best thing that ever happened to me this year. Even if my account is somehow restored, and I don’t believe it will be, I do not think I want to return for a while. The irony is that, before my Twitter melee, I was actually getting along with people even in that wasteland. There was a nice sign hanging on the factory floor reading 180 DAYS WITHOUT A TWITTER BRAWL. But that dreadful medium, which preys on dopamine hits and loneliness, has amplified my worst flaws so that my considerable strengths are occluded. That place turned me into a crazed animal last night, much as it turns the finest minds of our planet into insane monsters.
Friends have told me for a long time that Twitter is not good for me. And I suppose I had to blow up the bridge in my own ridiculous and dependably self-destructive way to get it out of my life. But it is now pretty evident that I cannot control myself very well on Twitter, especially when alcohol is involved. The instant rush to be first rather than right. The tendency to destroy someone before you have heard the full story. How is any of this good? So I’m going to move forward with a life without Twitter. I suspect it will be a happier and more peaceful one. Besides, I have an audio drama to finish.
© 2020, Edward Champion. All rights reserved.