Alice in Twitter-land

imageSince prehistory, sentient creatures have been using Twitter to filter out value, meaning, and substance from their lives, reducing their foibles to 140-word bursts of meaningless floss. And then Oprah showed the olds that Twittering is an activity they too can enjoy, and somewhere, a triceratops tipped over and died. Twitter has, in its relatively short time on this frantic planet, given us useful things like job opportunities and easy ways to stalk our neighbors. And yet, all of that pathetically pales when examining its latest, nay, greatest use: retelling the lore of Alice In Wonderland.

You may be wondering, how can such arbitrarily restrictive text limits capture the true essence of a sweeping epic that counts casual drug use, talking animals, and a morbidly obese queen among its cultural touchstones? Is it black magic? No, it’s just smart editing and a thorough knowledge of murky copyrights surrounding public domain literature. It’s as if, while wondering through Wonderland, Alice had an iPhone on hand to relay her antics in third person, 140 effing characters at a time. For example: “[W]hen Alice had been all the way down one side and up the other, trying every door, she walked sadly down the middle.” And if Facebook was to import this tweet, you can be sure that the Cheshire Cat would indeed “Like” this.

For cloistered prudish literary die-hards who go to sleep with Emily Dickinson under their pillows, these Twitter bursts of prose recall another time — a more quaint era when fat Victorian tomes were originally presented as serials in newspapers and magazines. That is, in brief, digestible chunklets. Back then (a lot like now), most people were too broke to buy books. Sadness! But that’s before the dead trees industry went the way of said dead trees. So if you’re coping with your unemployment with some healthy costume play, you’d be wise to suck in your gut, lace up your corset, pour yourself some Earl Grey, and follow along. Or failing that, admire what a universe where Alice In Wonderland colliding with Three Six Mafia might look like.

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