Tags: twitter | character count | gettysburg

The Gettysburg Tweet

The Gettysburg Tweet
(Farrukh Maqbool/Dreamstime.com)

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Monday, 12 February 2018 10:54 AM Current | Bio | Archive

With Twitter now extended to 280 characters, fear has set in that some kind of gravitas might be coming upon us.

The phrase, “President Trump Tweeted Today” might in the future signal each time a return to rhetoric from The White House that is more (well, uh, you know) presidential in the NPR sense; i.e. Franklin Roosevelt or Millard Fillmore if not Harry Truman, Andy Jackson or U.S. Grant.

The Gettysburg Tweet below at the required 280 characters including spaces serves as a perfect example of the possibility of extra characters and spaces. Here is a tweet to be memorized by school kids everywhere and required for recitation at American Legion Speech contests.

Could go like this: President Lincoln Tweeted today:

87 YRS AGO, OUR 4PAS NEW NATION SAY ALL R =. NOW WE IN WAR 2 C IF TRUE. WE DEDICATE THIS RESTING PLACE 2DAY FOR THOSE WHO GAVE LIVES SO NATION LIVES. WORLD WON’T REMEMBER WHAT WE TWEET HERE. BUT THEY DIED NOT IN VAIN BUT THAT GOV OF PEEPS BY PEEPS & 4 PEEPS NOT PERISH FROM PLANET

There are, though, the traditionalist, neo-neo-conservatives who cling to the old paleo 140-characters-including-spaces form.

They are the descendants of Herman Melville, for example, who have now taken his classic short story “Bartleby The Scrivener” and elevated it to the status of a Nobel Prize Tweet For Literature. As here in the immortal “Bartleby The Twitterer.”

BARTLEBY SHARES EVERY WAKING MOMENT W/EVERYONE AND EVERYONE IS HIS FRIEND. SECRET MOMENTS OF PLEASURE AND PAIN? “I PREFER NOT TO HAVE THEM.”

Great thoughts are always eminently tweetable.

In order from FDR to Donald J. Trump with everything in between:

“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

“If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.”

“We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex.”

“Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”

“I speak to you tonight with a heavy heart.”

“I am not a crook.”

“There is no Soviet domination of Eastern Europe.”

"I've looked on a lot of women with lust. I've committed adultery in my heart many times."

“Mister Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

“Read my lips. No new taxes.”

“I haven’t eaten at a McDonald’s since I became President.”

“Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?”

In 2008, Barack Obama expanded the character threshold after his election victory, anticipating the future with this 240 characters including spaces and quotation marks statement:

“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.”

As for Mister Trump, the nation awaits his tweet that will become immortal. A number far in excess of 280 are already in contention.

Tom Messner worked forever in advertising. In politics, he avoided the predictable negative bent and did positive ads for Reagan in ’84 and for Bush in ’88 along with Bush’s convention film. The agency he co-founded created NASDAQ’s first branding, Volvo’s comeback, and Fox News’s “We report. You Decide.” Then learning from the pols he partnered with (Roger Ailes in particular), they brought attack ads to such formerly benign areas such as telecom (MCI). At 73, he’s doing two things he never did before: Blogging here on wildly unconnected subjects coming on the heels of last year’s adventure: the writing of his first play, a musical “Dogs” destined now for either Broadway or The Pound. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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With Twitter now extended to 280 characters, fear has set in that some kind of gravitas might be coming upon us.
twitter, character count, gettysburg
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2018-54-12
Monday, 12 February 2018 10:54 AM
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