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Richard Crowson Commentary

Crowson: Leave Tweeting To The Birds


“Birds do it. Jerks do it. Let’s do it. Let’s tweet.”

When Cole Porter wrote those lines – OK, the first three words of those lines – he had no idea what sort of world would be wrought here in 2018. Not only do humans tweet, but their tweets make headlines, alter governmental policy and rile international relationships.

Lately the birds around my home have been unusually loud. I love hearing their songs and trying to identify them by their call. I’m not very good at it, but there are a few that I can pick out. The cardinals and the mocking birds have really been vociferous this spring in our maples and oaks.

I’ve not felt any urge to join the legions of tweeters among my fellow human compatriots. To my way of thinking, except for live coverage of news events, I just don’t see the value in putting one’s impulsive thoughts out for the world to ponder.

But I have noticed a similarity in birds’ twitterings and people’s twitterings: They are useful for identification purposes. For example, if the president of the United States issues a cheerful “Happy Memorial Day” message that’s a grotesque self-aggrandizing brag, one is able to quickly identify the tragic species of which he is a member.

Or if an actress, say Roseanne Barr, tweets that another woman looks like an ape, one knows immediately what sort of sadly insecure species emitted that tweet.

I’ll take the original tweeters of the feathered variety any day.