Twitter is not your friend. Twitter does not have your back. Twitter is a cold, conniving gossip. Twitter is horrible at keeping secrets. Twitter is an old man who sits on his porch watching everything that goes by and telling everybody what everybody else is doing. Don't get me wrong. It's fun when Twitter is telling me about what other people are doing. We all love other people's dirty laundry. But if you are not careful, one day Twitter will put you it's crosshairs. And it will be all your fault.
Meet Roland Martin. The latest victim of, "Oh shit! I had no idea Twitter was listening." Roland --- a professional CNN'er who was recently voted America's 19th Most Popular Conservative Black Guy -- by me -- was at a Super Bowl party having a good time. He was eating chip and dip and talking shit. The adult beverages were probably flowing. I'm guessing the Champagne of Beers, or maybe because he's connected he had secured an advance case of Bud Light Platinum -- the new malt liquor for white people. And Roland was holding court, as you get to do when you are America's 19th Most Popular CBG. And at the party people were over-laughing at Roland's colored commentary, as people have to do if they want to continue to hang out with "Mr. 19." And Roland said something that got a really huge over-laugh, and he said to himself, "I HAVE TO TWEET THIS! I could get to the sacred 50+ with this baby!"
Now, who knows exactly what he meant by that? Only Roland. Clearly there is some thinly veiled homosexual undertone -- possibly even an overtone. And yes, there are violent connotations to "smack the ish" out of someone. And if his friends laughed, it was either because they know him to be a private homophobe or because they know he was just got caught up in holding court, hanging out, and talking shit ... or ish in Roland's case. Either way, Roland did the worst thing he could have done in that situation. Instead of just letting the thought roll around in the tight spaces of his conservative head, instead of just saying it to the room and letting it just echo around those four walls, he told Twitter and then Twitter did what Twitter does. Twitter told EVERYBODY!
And then the ish hit the fan. And now Roland has pulled a full Tracey Morgan. (Read my take on Tracy Morgan.) The non-apology clarification. Then the apology. Then the further, more sincere apology. And soon the meeting with GLAAD. But there is one big difference between Roland and Tracy. Roland might lose his job. Not because what he did was worse, but because he doesn't make nearly as much money for CNN as Tracy does for NBC. For more on this, see Juan Williams, formerly number seven of America's Most Popular Conservative Black Guys, until he decided to get all uppity with Massa Newt.
I feel a little sorry for Roland. Don't get me wrong. He was wrong and whether he actually meant what he tweeted or not, he should've known better than to tweet it. But this social media thing is still a new technology for us. Our children will be fully aware of what to tweet and what not to tweet ... sadly. Right now, we're no different than Neanderthals burning ourselves with this newfangled thing called fire, while Cro-Magnons laugh at our struggle.
The sad part of this is that my daughter is going to grow up in a world where people will probably have to rent windowless cubbyholes where they can do things they don't want tweeted, like crying or calling some idiot an idiot.
Until then let's try to remember that there are only two legitimate reasons to be on Twitter.
1) To fan the flames of the revolution.
2) To recommend good places to eat.
That is it. The rest is insecurity and word gymnastics. And yup, that's most of what Twitter is. In conclusion follow me @wkamaubell on Twitter, I could use some RT's.
Kamau's Komedy Korner is a blog column about San Francisco comedy -- which sometimes isn't all about comedy -- by W. Kamau Bell.