THE HI­ERO­GLYPH­ICS OF GEN Y

How Twit­ter will let us be judged as a civil­i­sa­tion

Hindustan Times - Brunch - - HUMOUR SPECIAL - by Sorabh Pant

If his­tory is any in­di­ca­tor – and it usu­ally is the best in­di­ca­tor – a civil­i­sa­tion can be sum­marised by sen­tences un­earthed from its core. From hi­ero­glyph­ics, we dis­cov­ered that Egyp­tians wor­shipped cats, mum­mi­fied their dead and re­ally hated Brendan Fraser. From the tele­grams, we un­earthed the un­der­belly of an em­pire that was des­per­ate, squalid and had or­phans who couldn’t find soup (or maybe I read too much Dick­ens). From ‘words’ etched on stone from the Harap­pan civil­i­sa­tion, we gath­ered that they knew astron­omy, sci­ence and re­ally, re­ally loved toi­lets (un­like mod­ern In­di­ans).

Sen­tences from the past can tell you all you need to know about them. Which has me wor­ried about us, be­cause, Twit­ter I'm afraid the fu­ture will think we were a gen­er­a­tion of im­be­ciles who were ob­sessed with self­ies while the world around us fell apart. is our re­source of sen­tences. I’m

There are the gen­uinely funny people, there are oth­ers too who are in­ad­ver­tently funny: we call these ppeo­plep celebri­ties.

ThThe restt ttendd tto stum­ble t bl through in­co­her­ence, stu­pid­ity or just plain lack of gram­mat­i­cal struc­ture. Whether it’s to in­di­cate our po­lit­i­cal bent...

and,d off course, our flflow­ery

lin­guis­tic abil­i­ties...

ThThatt llastt ttweett gott 11,500 500 retweets – mean­ing 1,500 people shared Sal­man’s +limited thought pro­cesses with oth­ers.

I am not one of those to rip on Twit­ter: it’s got the fun­ni­est people on Earth. We don’t need John Ste­wart or Shekhar Su­man to mock the news, just co­me­di­ans...

Or even people who aren’t co­me­di­ans but prove that they’re al­most as funny...

It’s al­most im­proved the comedic level of In­dia. As a co­me­dian, you can no longer rely on the easy joke. Chances are, if Arvind Ke­jri­wal’s top­less photo trends on Twit­ter and you say, “Bro, I know you’re anti-cor­rup­tion but, that’s tak­ing trans­parency too far”, about 36 people have al­ready ex­pressed the same sen­ti­ment. That’s prob­a­bly in­clud­ing Modi, who says some­thing like, “I didn’t know AK-49s could sur­vive un­der wa­ter.”

Maybe then, Twit­ter could have helped ear­lier civil­i­sa­tions. Maybe Hitler, failed artist and fu­ture dic­ta­tor, would have found at­ten­tion tweet­ing about his shitty paint­ings. It could have solved so many prob­lems in the past. The Cold War would never have hap­pened...

Maybe the Ti­tanic, which couldn’t con­nect with the out­side world in time to ef­fect a res­cue, wouldn’t have sunk if Rose had tweeted a selfie...

Twit­ter is great. It not only has hu­mour but also drives people to watch me do my hu­mour live. Not sure if so­ci­ety would con­sider that a pos­i­tive or a neg­a­tive. Ei­ther way, I’m shap­ing his­tory. The Egyp­tian hi­ero­glyph­ics can suck it.

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