Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Tweets from history

This is now a familiar pattern.  Someone does something impressive and is quickly the public's darling.  Then he continues his impressive feat and the public turns on him.  Suddenly there's a backlash.  We're seeing it now with deposed JEOPARDY champ, James Holzhauer.  

A month ago:  "He's great!"  "He's amazing!"  "I LOVE this guy!"

Now: "He's smug!" "He smiles funny!" "He's rude to Alex!"  "I HATE this guy!

For many, the game show should be now called JEALOUSY.  

Personally, I think what he's done is extraordinary. His breadth of knowledge is breathtaking.  

But we live in an age of haters -- haters who now have a global voice.  They can anonymously take shots at anyone they want through social media.    James, if you're reading this, stay off of Twitter.  Same for you Joe Buck.  

But it got me to thinkin’. What if Twitter existed during the time of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address? I imagine this is the kind of stuff we'd see.

@lunkhead – I’m at Gettysburg Address w/ 67 others.

@dissgrntled – Shit! Linken is tall!

@shorty – I hate tall people!

@bobballoobobballoo – At least we can see him.

@shorty – Who WANTS to see him?

@mauron -- You are fucking hilarious dude! RT @shorty – Who WANTS to see him?

@loserboy4 – Is that a beard or a beaver on his chin?

@zippy – Abe’s making a pubic appearance.

@lunkhead – HA! RT@zippy – Abe’s making a pubic appearance.

@lunkhead – Talk louder pussy chin! I can’t HEAR YOU!!!

@shorty – Who WANTS to hear you?

@zippy – 4score + 7years. What the fuck is that?

@bobballooobobballoo – Math???? In a MF’ing speech?

@loserboy4 – I want to punch him in the face.

@dropoutat9 – LINCON YOU SUCK!

@dissgrntled – Why does he hate the south? Fuck you, Abe!

@zippy – How much is 4score +7years?

@mauron – 150

@bobballoobobballoo – 16.

@lunkhead – His voice makes me sick.

@zippy – Choke on your beard, dickwad!

@loserboy4 – What does konsecrate mean? He uses all this $10 words.

@dyspeptic – I want to punch him in the face.

@dropoutat9 – Can we get a president who doesn’t hate the north?

@lunkhead – Or can shave.

@zippy – HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA RT @lunkhead – Or can shave.

@bobballooobobballoo – Where’s his wife? I hear she’s hot.

@dissgrntled – She’s a whore.

@mauron – This guy is so LAME. He just said the ground is hollow. Really? Then how come we’re not all falling in?

@loserboy4 – That’s weird. I thought the same thing you did. Great minds…

@lunkhead – With that beard he looks like Ape Lincoln.

@shorty – The missing Link-n.

@dyspeptic – LMAO! You dudes should entertain the troops.

@bobballooobobballoo – Hi, I’m Ape Lincoln and I’ve come here today to say blahblahblahblahblahblahblah.

@zippy – Yeah. Nobody cares dude!!

@dissgrntled – By the people, 4 the people, of the people – WTF? did you run out of words for people? You suck! No, you really suck!

@loserboy4 – I want to punch him in the face.

@mauron – That’s it? That’s the whole speech? That was like 5 minutes.

@shorty – What a gyp.

@dyspeptic – Yeah. We want more!

@lunkhead – I hate you!!!!!!!!

@dropoutat9 – You’re a tool!!

@loserboy4 – And a douche!!!

@dissgrntled – And an A-hole!!

@dyspeptic – LOL Just got that. RT @zippy – Abe’s making a pubic appearance.


Jen from Jersey said...

It’s almost as if he wanted to lose last night. I’m sad to see him go. He attracted a lot of young people to the show.

Barefoot Billy Aloha said...

...and I wonder why I feel rather hopeless for our country, the environment and so on. I don't think it's my age. I think it has more to do with the social media landscape...very well epitomized in this piece. Thanks. Maybe there is some hope after all...

Pat Reeder said...

Excellent parody, and a perfect representation of why my wife and I hate Twitter, even though she has to have an account there to promote her music. We both agree it's one of the worst ideas since Thalidomide as a cure for morning sickness.

Mibbitmaker said...

One thing about that scenario that's still an improvement on nowadays: at least Lincoln himself wasn't posting a ton of hate tweets.

Kosmo13 said...

The winning contestant himself never annoyed me, but I did get sick of seeing Alex Quebec fawning sycophantically over him.

Roger Owen Green said...

As a one-day JEOPARDY! champion, I was perfectly fine with James, but to paraphrase a line from Hawkeye Pierce, tired of a "river of liver" and "an ocean of fish", I said from his 7th episode, "I want someone else!" I wasn't jealous, I was bored. I discovered that Trebek often ran out of interesting thing things to ask him. I'm glad he's done until November when he'll be in the Tournament of Champions.

Rock Golf said...

There was a very funny book a few years ago called Historical Tweets by Alan Beard and Alec McNayr.


They had the following Lincoln tweet:
Anyone got a more creative way of saying “87 years?” 08:10 PM November 18, 1863

The authors were kind enough to allow me to use several of their examples in a Sporcle quiz. I gave the "tweet" & date, you identify the Tweeter.


Kirk said...

Historical note: Lincoln himself thought his speech didn't go over that well as there was only tepid applause. It was only after it was reprinted in newspapers that it was recognized as a masterpiece.

Michael said...

Rock Golf, I love that tweet. For some reason, I'm thinking Bob Newhart could have fun with this one!

I teach a course on Lincoln and have had this argument with other people who study him. He's been called the most criticized president ever. Well, a case could be made. But when someone says that, I point out he never had to deal with Twitter or Fox News.

ODJennings said...

James was a bit too mechanical for my taste, I favor the twitchy contestants, the ones who look like they're having a seizure every time they hit the button, but the man's ability to flit between opera, literature and chemistry without missing a beat was pretty amazing. He didn't seem to have a blind spot. I look forward to reading that he took his check, walked into Caesar's Palace and blew the whole wad at the craps table in about 30 minutes. In fact, I'll be disappointed if I don't.

The shame is how many good contestants they burned through during his reign of terror. I wish Jeopardy would have a Losers' Tournament every year where the top scoring non-winners were given a second chance. That would be far more interesting than some of the things they do now (aren't we all sick of the Kids' Tournament?).

Jonny M. said...

Ken, one of your best posts this year.

For Twitter - Isn't this one of those things that if you ignore it'll go away?

Buttermilk Sky said...

Brilliant. This is why I don't do the social media. The comments on YouTube are enough for me to question how we ever became this planet's dominant species.

I wasn't sorry to see James Holzhauer go -- it was time. Back in the 1950s the producers would have said, "The ratings have plateaued. You need to take a dive." By the way, Charles Van Doren died a few weeks ago, almost unnoticed. At one time he was the most famous man in America.

Anonymous said...

Headline: Blogger Shakes Fist at Clouds.

Jack said...

This was great and pretty much sums up the commenting for almost anything I think.

E. Yarber said...

After the first Lincoln-Douglas debate, the Chicago TIMES declared, "the Republicans have a candidate for the Senate of whose bad rhetoric and horrible jargon they are ashamed... he cannot speak five grammatical sentences in succession" To prove their point, they printed a doctored transcript of his remarks, which was obvious to anyone who checked other sources.

By the end of the debates, they were declaring him unfit for office by "shamelessly" promoting the "revolting" and "odious" principle of black equality. On election eve, they catered to the fears of racists by printing in all-caps: "A VOTE FOR THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE IS A VOTE TO CROWD WHITE LABORERS OUT OF, AND BRING NEGROES INTO THE CITY."

Stephen Marks said...

Johny M, about 6 slots above me, was right Ken, this is one of your best posts. Gettysburg IP Address. That was for Earl, who hates puns. Yes, Earl comes here and reads Ken's blog, who in Hollywood doesn't? The only people who don't come here are those 2 chicks from Two Broke Chicks and RJ Wagner.

Speaking of the Civil War, I wish Ken, or somebody would do a parody of that guy on PBS, Ken Burns I think his name is, who does those 30 hour long docs on The Civil War, The Depression, Baseball, The Dust Bowl, etc. They are all the same. Take an old picture and zoom in and out and put some sound effects in, like clanking trollies, ship horns, horse and buggy clomping, baseball fan chatter and add some profound narrative. I love it when he has an actor read a simple letter sent home from the Civil War and tries to turn it into Hamlet. "My dearest Martha, I hope to be home before this letter gets to you. We will have coffee together. Your's forever, Gus."

Unknown said...

Funny people hate the social media posts complaining. But then complain here....

Funny Lincoln posts, but you probably just cut and pasted most of those from the 'verse. Except for "Math???"
Great column today

JeffR said...

How about admiring his depth of knowledge without making anything about him personal or superficial - and as said above, there were many other good contestants...but he beat them by knowing the answers! No mater what you think, he still had to get the right answers regardless of any strategy or perceived advantage on the buzzer because of longevity!! Whether or not I liked or disliked him, I respect him because he earned it not because he deserved it! Don't hate the winners - instead try to remember the name of one of the losers...

Brian Drake said...

Do Lincoln's tweet reply next, I triple dog dare you.

Rich Shealer said...

I haven't watched Jeopardy! this regularly since Ken Jennings' run and the three episode Watson games. I watched occasionally when I wasn't doing something else. I like to watch people who are good at what they do, and man was James good.

I don't think James was smug or smirking as much as he was uncomfortable trying to look relaxed when he wasn't playing the game. He was short with Alex though because he wanted to keep the game moving as quickly as possible. He stated the next category before Alex could make a quip. I'm sure that annoyed some people, but it threw his opponents off and Alex seemed to be able to keep up.

I'm amazed that many vocal Jeopardy! fans were tired of him. This is a game you get one shot at. The fact that there have only been a handful of extended streaks since they changed the rules to allow it shows how hard it is.

The woman that finally won, Emma Boettcher, had the knowledge, was good on the buzzer and was lucky enough to get the two Daily Doubles in Double Jeopardy!. All that said, it was not a done deal going into Finale Jeopardy!.

I've seen people say that James was ready to lose, because he wasn't buzzing in. His winning style was to use minimal wasted effort when pressing the button so it looks like he was just standing there. Very little arm motion when pressing. He was buzzing in but Emma was able to get in before him.

Another thing people point out was he was ready to go because he bet small in Final Jeopardy!.

His small final bet was calculated to give him his best chance to win. Emma made her best wager to be able to surpass James by a dollar if he bet it all. So James bet enough that he would still have more than the third place contestant win or loose. He would also have more than Emma if she missed the question, assuming she made the bet she had to make, even if he didn't answer correctly.

To the end he was a great player, I hope Emma can do even better. It will be interesting to see her style tonight. Will she go back to the same old Jeopardy! or will she try and use some of what made her a champion?

And then in September when the new contestants that saw James begin, how will they play?

Mike Bloodworth said...

@meprettyboi - He so ugly!

@A.Theeest69696969 - He quoted the Bible! Ever here if "separation?!"

@meprettyboi - He so skinny!

But seriously...I've always felt that the internet trolls are the truth. That they more accurately represent the views of most people. There's a reason why so many polls and surveys are taken anonymously. It's because the professionals know that it's the best way to get an honest answer. Too many people, especially politicians only use safe, polite or politically correct speech these days. That's not to say that we shouldn't love our fellow man. But, sometimes it's not what you say, but how you say it.

As for what's his name on "Jeopardy" I sincerely congratulate him. His run was an amazing accomplishment.

TimWarp said...

I agree with what you said, in general, but specifically none of *my* FB friends had yet turned on James, and were still singing his praises. (I don't watch so have no horse in this race.) Your Gettysburg tweets were spot on, and the reason I never read comments unless, as with your blog, nearly all the responses tend to be written by people with more than two brain cells to rub together(or moderated? Just how much deleting do you have to do?)

McAlvie said...

It's really just jealousy poorly disguised as wit. I disagree with MB that it is necessarily the truth. Whatever they really feel, the veil of anonymity leads to a mob mentality and people doing and saying things they'd be ashamed of any other time. It's pretty dumb considering how often it still catches up to them, but that's what happens when you let a pitchfork do your thinking.

I can and do envy people like Holzhauer and Jennings; but I don't feel that their successes are a threat to my ego, so I say GOOD FOR THEM!

Andrew said...

Great parody, Ken.

In case you or your commenters missed it, there was a Trump version of the Gettysburg Address circulating before the election.


Jahn Ghalt said...

Mr. Marks wrote (referring to Burns' documentaries):

I wish Ken, or somebody would do a parody of that guy on PBS, Ken Burns

I've viewed Burns' Baseball - including the "Tenth Inning" followup, which features a more than cursory treatment of PED's in baseball. I liked Baseball a lot despite knowing much of it already. I knew less that was featured in Jazz, which had the distinct advantage of a lot of great music.

It's (still) a free country - Marks could revive his blog with his own parodies. Better, a podcast - he could do his own "Hamlet" and rhapsodize anything at all - maybe start with his own blog posts (no research required). Move on to wish-fulfillment with Burns.

tvfats said...

Ken, at times you truly can be brilliant...