With nearly 300 million twits mouthing off each and every day on what must be the most pudden-headed social-media platform ever created for, again, 300 million twits each and every day, one might have hoped that the mayor of New Brunswick’s capital city and the current president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities would have curbed his lip, or, at the very least, sit on his hands.
But, alas, no. Here’s what Freddy Town’s burgermeister, Brad Woodside, had to say about linguistic duality in New Brunswick on his Twitter feed last week:
“Bilingualism I understand, duality makes no sense. This should be on the table Mr. Premier as we look to save money. You asked.”
Indeed, Brian Gallant did ask. He just didn’t expect such an idiotic response.
Or, maybe he did. The young premier is, after all, proving himself to be an able political warrior – routinely stripping the veneer from his partisan opponents to reveal their true colours. Care for a game of bait and switch, anyone?
Poor, old Mayor Woodside. He knows not what strife he causes for himself by attempting to condense an extraordinarily complex and controversial subject into 140 characters or less. Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. #Dumb@brucescribes.
Still, he’s in good and much more illustrious company than his own.
Twitter has been luring otherwise smart and accomplished public figures into thoughtlessness for nearly ten years. There’s just something about the freedom to whip off any stray thought that seems irresistible to those who should properly put down that tenth cup of coffee and head straight to bed.
According to a recent story in The Daily Mail online edition, “Shortly after it emerged that (former Republican governor of Florida) Jeb Bush had hired Ethan Czahor as his campaign’s chief technology officer, the Hipster.com co-founder set out to do some spring cleaning on his Twitter. But it was already too late to discreetly delete a handful of ‘jokes’ the Santa Monica product manager had made where he calls out ‘sl**s’ and frets about gay guys at the gym.
“‘New study confirms old belief: college female art majors are sl**s, science majors are also sl**s but uglier,’ one deleted tweet read, with an expired link. Other deleted tweets include a couple gay panic jokes Czahor made about working out at the gym. ‘When i burp in the gym i feel like it’s my way of saying, ‘sorry guys, but i’m not gay,’ another said.”
But no more so than former U.S. federal legislator Anthony Weiner, who, in 2011, tweeted what he apparently considered was the best of himself in tighty-whities. (“I did not have sex with that pair of underwear,” he was overheard, possibly apocryphally, to have insisted in private).
Meanwhile, that same year, occasional funnyman Gilbert Gottfried reportedly tweeted in the aftermath of the tidal wave that wrecked coastal Japan: They (the Japanese) don’t go to the beach. The beach comes to them.”
Then, there’s actor Jason Biggs who freelance San Diego writer Alex Matsuo reports, “found himself in hot water after he tweeted from his account @JasonBiggs,
‘Anyone wanna buy my Malaysian Airlines frequent flier miles?’ This tweet occurred 65 minutes after it was announced that Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 had crashed. Followers began to reply with their disgust over Biggs’ words.”
In this offensive company, Woodside is quite likely bush league.
Still, here’s a tip, mayor: When you want to issue an incendiary statement about linguistic duality in this province, don’t tweet it. Write an Op-Ed.
Then, put down that coffee, and get some rest.