Thursday, April 30, 2009


With Fans Like These, who needs idiots?

: Okay. Way too many tweets from @BrentSpiner And the tweets are about? Later dude
: @BrentSpiner is scaring me, and I never watched Star Trek anyways, so I think I might stop following him.
vancgirl: @BrentSpiner I think i am going to vomit with this crap.
: @BrentSpiner note to self, "unfollow @brentSpiner ASAP!
cam_rock: @BrentSpiner Whatever it is you are doing, it is excruciating to read these posts.
: @BrentSpiner bullshit.

This is just a sampling of responses people have sent to Brent Spiner regarding his recent foray into storytelling via Twitter. Responses I might add, that he has personally labelled 'favorites.' This does lead one to interpret his reaction to people telling him how bad his Tweets are; he is entertained by their juvenile ignorance.

What is he doing exactly? He's telling a story. Something he has done, in one form or another, his entire theatrical career, for what is an actor of any calibre if not a story teller? What he's doing on Twitter is unique. This is something I have yet to see done with such success by anyone else on the Internet. Brent Spiner is single-handedly expanding the envelope of what it means to Tweet. While sycophants like Ashton Kutcher and Oprah Winfrey are obsessed with numbers, Brent Spiner is challenging the medium, and yet others who claim to be supporters of his past work are questioning his content.

For those who are not in on the loop, Twitter is a social network program allowing people to tell one another what they're up to and what's on their mind, but only 140 characters at a time. While most people are using Twitter as an opportunity to describe the trivial minutiae of their daily lives, Brent Spiner is describing what might be his day, if he actually had a life as exciting as we fans of the celebrity think he should. However, he's self-conscious of his audience and turns that anticipation we fans have on its ear, by describing a fantasy life that's even better than we could imagine, but not in the way one might imagine. Rather than describing himself as some world reknowned celebrity that everyone knows and loves, Spiner describes a more shadowy world of uncertainty and hidden truths. It's a world of hardship and hope, where women can love and men can dream and jewish agents can cut twenty percent off the top of nothing, leaving you with less than zero.

Most recently, in this meta-soap opera that is Brent Spiner's life, he's been framed for a murder he didn't commit, and so is forced to change his appearance to look like that of Patrick Stewart, attempt to hide inside a darkened movie theater where his accusers are witnessing new Star Trek Movie premiere. That's where Spiner's narrative has led him thus far, but how he got here is plainly fascinating. Spiner thought he could change his name to "Norman" and get a job as a man's chauffeur, where he wouldn't be bothered by people who recognized him for playing an android on a tv show two decades ago. He weaved for himself a life of anonymity, yet described this other life to an avid and affable audience.

Yet, as well written as the story has been, albeit constricted by the limitations of the Twitter medium, it's not real. It's not truth. ...well okay. What's truth? Some can argue fiction is more honest and descriptive of The Human Condition than news, but I digress.

Apparently, many people who signed up for Brent Spiner's tweets wanted him to tell them when he next brushes his teeth. They don't want fiction. They want him to do what everyone else is doing with the medium. When he doesn't do that, they call him boring. What the rest of us are doing with the medium is what's boring. He's thinking outside the proverbial box.

Those who allege to be fans of him are rejecting what he offers, because they can't wrap their minds about the idea of fiction being presented via Twitter as if it were fact. They don't want a storyteller. They want to peer inside the private life of a man who quite frankly has already gone above and beyond the call of duty of any celebrity. Anyone who bitches about his Tweets but hasn't bothered to buy his latest CD Dreamland need to just shut the hell up. See what he's offering to entertain the audience for what it is, and quit trying to tell him what he should do. Either hop on board or get left behind, but don't drag the rest of us down with you. ...No I haven't bought Dreamland yet either. I want to, but I've been unemployed recently. Let me get a few paychecks under my belt and maybe I'll be able to afford to do that.

In Tweetland, Brent Spiner sees yet another stage, and he is filling it with a vibrant world of wonder and cruelty. He pads it with snarky sentiment and a wink and a nod to melodramatic pathos. Yet, those who claim to be his fans can't hold on to this ride. They complain, "
can't stand this torture, my head is about to explode" and "I feel bad but his nonsensical tweets are befuddling and annoying."Are people really this insipid? What were they wanting? Grocery lists? Veiled requests to buy his latest CD (available for purchase)? Brief thank yous and a link back to their own Tweets? It's like they're all saying, "enough about you Brent! What do you think of me?" The answer? Not much. Nor should he. After all, he IS Brent Spiner. We're just the audience.

Either hop on the ride or don't, but telling Mr. Spiner his storytelling is bad because you are not intelligent enough to understand it? Not his fault.


Anonymous said...

me again. never heard of this guy but if he's using twitter as a new form of storytelling then he has my respect, his audience reminds me of the tv industry not having enough understanding of new technology to deliver their material to a their audience. if this guy can take something everyone uses to tweet mundane things (myself included) to create a new thing then people who are his 'fans' need to get over them selves and stop complaining that he is in effect also human and can do what ever the heck he likes with twitter and not just what they want.

sorry its quite repetitive and a bit ranty.

ZachsMind said...

I like repetitive and ranty. That's where I keep my summer home, on the corner of repetitive and ranty. =)