Green Room

Tweet the Declaration of Independence in 140 Characters or Less; Jefferson’s Ghost Appalled.

posted at 8:22 pm on June 30, 2010 by

I can’t decide whether I think this is purely benign, hilarious, or further proof we’re losing our collective American minds.   For the sake of argument, I’ll go with the latter.

Slate Magazine has announced a July 4th Twitter contest, #TinyDeclaration.  With a nod toward Thomas Jefferson’s incomparable ethos (apparently his love of brevity and “youthful” age of 33 while penning the majority of the document), entrants are to tweet the entire Declaration of Independence in 140 characters or less. One example:

“All men should be equal, happy and free. Suck it, King George. We quit. Love, the U.S. of A.”

Neat, right?  Just a little fun with history.  Not like we’re plagued by reductionism already or something.

I’m all for twitter hash-tag games and participate often.   I don’t doubt that many submissions will be witty and, perhaps, insightful.  I’m also sure Slate and participants see this as a culturally relevant homage to our founding.  Yet, by condensing an already concise document to twitterspeak, doesn’t that show disrespect for those who lost their lives in its defense? Furthermore, how much does this (from the comments):

TJ: Dear George, Bite me. Er, us. Boo-ya Grandma! BF: Aww, snap! You did not just say that! GW: It’s so on. TJ: Bring it! #TinyDeclaration

reflect the shallow understanding so many Americans suffer and could this TwitCliff’s Notes comprehension of our nation’s history ultimately impact our political decisions?  Obama cultists, anyone?

So many questions for such a trivial thing.  Or, is it?

Cross-posted at Newsreal Blog and The Contrarian Bee.

Recently in the Green Room:

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Welcome to the jungle, Diane.

You can have anything you want, but you better not take it from me. ;)

MadisonConservative on June 30, 2010 at 9:02 PM

MadisonConservative on June 30, 2010 at 9:02 PM

Oh, hi! Fancy meeting you here!

Take what, exactly? You seem paranoid. :)

Bee on June 30, 2010 at 9:17 PM

Bee on June 30, 2010 at 9:17 PM

GnR Fail.

MadisonConservative on June 30, 2010 at 9:30 PM

If the Declaration had been on Twitter, who would have had the best tweet? My guess? Sam Adams.

Twitter + Beer = awesome.

Slublog on June 30, 2010 at 9:38 PM

MadisonConservative on June 30, 2010 at 9:30 PM

Oh gosh. WTF did I do now??? I’m totally green…er…in the GR.

Twitter + Beer = awesome.

Slublog on June 30, 2010 at 9:38 PM

Recipe for Bee disaster. Utterly.

Diane Suffern on June 30, 2010 at 9:54 PM

Good questions all, Diane. I agree with Slublog about Adams.

“God sez freedom rocks; representation talks taxation walks; bohica Geo3. DE USA AR”

J.E. Dyer on June 30, 2010 at 9:59 PM

(gahh…how do I post as Diane but comment as Bee? grrr.)

Diane Suffern on June 30, 2010 at 10:00 PM

J.E. Dyer on June 30, 2010 at 9:59 PM

Enter the contest immediately. :)

Diane Suffern on June 30, 2010 at 10:01 PM

My Tweet:

This is why we left Britain. You’d better remember this in 230 years.

That’s under the limit, right?

gryphon202 on June 30, 2010 at 10:23 PM

MadisonConservative on June 30, 2010 at 9:02 PM

OK, I totally got it an hour and 1/2 later. Google skills still suck, alas.

Diane Suffern on June 30, 2010 at 10:27 PM

This is why we left Britain. You’d better remember this in 230 years.

That’s under the limit, right?

gryphon202 on June 30, 2010 at 10:23 PM

GB death throes indicates they’ve forgotten. Great try, though!

Diane Suffern on June 30, 2010 at 10:34 PM

GnR was a guns n roses reference, I believe, as was the lyric Madison Conservative quoted.

I’m for it, if it gets anyone to actually read the document.

Stickeehands on June 30, 2010 at 10:41 PM

Stickeehands on June 30, 2010 at 10:41 PM

I know. I got it 8000 years later, which is what he knew would happen. :P

Bee on June 30, 2010 at 11:18 PM

Oh no! My comment got snagged cause of my hashtag. I’ll try again:

Rights: God given. Government: Protect and do not infringe upon said rights. People: Free to life, liberty, happiness. #AmericaF**kYeah

jimmy the notable on June 30, 2010 at 11:35 PM

Congrats on GR, Diane! :)

jimmy the notable on June 30, 2010 at 11:35 PM

jimmy the notable on June 30, 2010 at 11:35 PM

Hashtags get blocked on HA? haha. Twitter addict!

Thanks for the congrats!

Bee on June 30, 2010 at 11:43 PM

Bee on June 30, 2010 at 11:43 PM

I don’t think it was the hashtag that was the problem, its what was in it.

jimmy the notable on June 30, 2010 at 11:54 PM

Bee on June 30, 2010 at 11:18 PM

And you once told me not to act the GnR fanatic. Pffft.

MadisonConservative on July 1, 2010 at 9:22 AM

I kind of like this idea.

It at least gets people thinking about what the DoI actually is (and says).

They obviously won’t top the original, but at least they’re trying to get people aware. And that’s never a bad thing.

Abby Adams on July 1, 2010 at 9:29 AM

MadisonConservative on July 1, 2010 at 9:22 AM

I was a fool to have believed I could tell you to do anything. :P

Abby Adams on July 1, 2010 at 9:29 AM

I’m pretty much with you and was merely playing devil’s advocate. My real problem is how limited our knowledge of history is already. I guarantee many of those tweets will reflect as much many people know about the document and times themselves. That’s our culture. Or, at least, Government-Run education for you!

Bee on July 1, 2010 at 10:14 AM

The new Bud Light commercial is also pretty insipid.

lexhamfox on July 1, 2010 at 1:37 PM