Cultural Comment Politics

DIDO Social Media Users – Dip In, Dip Out

Do you know people who say any or all of the following:

“I don’t know how you get the time to go on Twitter so often”?

“I like checking my Facebook every so often – I don’t really get Twitter”

“I like following celebrities on Twitter and funny people like Charlie Pickering, Adam Hills and Wil Anderson or while MasterChef is on.”

“I get my news from Today / Sunrise / The Project / 60 Minutes / Sunday Night”

“I like those lifestyle blogs – the ones some people write off as “Mummy Blogs”.

I think we all know people who say this. These people are what I am calling Dip In, Dip Out Social Media users.

Dip In, Dip Out social media users are people in the community with pretty busy lives that like to be connected to social media, but usually to people they know, through Facebook and / or Instagram. They will read the status updates of their friends and post comments or their own status updates. They will also share things they like. They may also use Twitter, but usually aren’t Twitter broadcasters – usually they will see what others tweet and might have conversations with others they meet and/or know.

These same users will also be interested in the news, but only in bitesize, easily understood ways that helps them apply that news to their own lives. This is why Sunrise, The Project, Mamamia and the various lifestyle blogs are very successful in connecting to a wide audience. Their audience Dips In, watches or listens, get what they want, then Dip Out and get on with their day.

It is easy for many in the community – especially frequent users of Twitter – to sneer at the DIDOs, but politically savvy people write them off at their peril. The team behind Julia Gillard tried to engage with DIDOs, especially by engaging with The Project and the “Mummy Bloggers” – and did so with some success. Kevin Rudd showed ability to engage with this audience with Sunrise and is sure to work again to charm this audience, rather than concern himself with Insiders and other non-DIDO programming.

Tony Abbott’s advisers, however, has perhaps realised that he needed to stop avoiding interaction with Today and Sunrise. This is why he appeared, as if by magic, on Sunday’s Sunrise – looking pretty lost – especially at the 5 minute mark where Andrew O’Keeffe asks one of the best questions of the year about Abbott’s climate change policies.  Abbott will need to improve his DIDO style pretty quickly, or else he will do the DIDO lament.


The Faceless Men of the Liberal Party

I think everyone interested in the realpolitik of Western Sydney needs to read this blog post from Father Kevin Lee – it’s very revealing about Tony Abbott, Bill Heffernan and the machinations of the Liberal Party of Western Sydney – as well as looking at the relationship between the Liberals of NSW and Opus Dei.

Frances Jones

By Father Kevin Lee

OK I know people reading this are going to say, “He is suffering from ‘sour grapes,’ but please try to understand. It’s like when you are in love with someone you overlook their flaws (even though you recognise them) and you can become despised enemies after you discover attributes you didn’t realise the other had. My position has changed due to discoveries I never anticipated. So reserve your judgment of me until you read the whole story.

I was a priest for twenty years and was always led to believe that separation of the Church and State was like two parallel lines that never meet, but I was soon to find out that like the celibate clergy, it’s a truth in terms of policy position only, it is not true in fact.

I discovered this painfully in my last parish, Glenmore Park.

In our community was…

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Cultural Comment Politics

Waiting for Fry – Beckett’s Last, Greatest Play

I sometimes wonder whether Samuel Beckett lives and whether Twitter conversations are actually his last, greatest and never ending play.


Estragon: While we wait, what’s next?

Vladimir: I could mansplain something.

Estragon: Mansplain?

Vladimir: Let me put it simply in terms you can understand.

Estragon: Don’t be patronising.

Vladimir: You’ve got it.

Estragon: Got what?

Vladimir: Mansplaining.

Estragon: Oh, I see. Can only men mansplain?

Vladimir: Yes, only men can mansplain.

Estragon: Mansplaining sounds like fun. What happens if a woman or a transgender person wants to mansplain? Is there personsplaining?

Vladimir: Don’t be absurd.

Estragon: Maybe we could subtweet.

Vladimir: I can’t see what you mean.

Estragon: Make comments about people without actually referring to them by name. We are known for liking to wear hats. We could say “gee, hat wearers are pretty stupid for standing next to trees”.

Vladimir: But who would read these subtweets?

Estragon: People. People who know who the “hat wearers” are.

Vladimir: Why?

Estragon: For a knowing 3 second guffaw. People like knowing 3 second guffaws.

Vladimir: How long could we subtweet for?

Estragon: For as long as the subject of the subtweets provides material.

Vladimir: What happens if the subject finds out?

Estragon: Then you have won the game of subtweeting. The subject feels bad.

Vladimir: Reminds me of somewhere.

Estragon: Yes, school. School was fun.

Vladimir: Not for me. People used to look at me and point. I never knew why.

Estragon: I hope Fry responds to us soon. It’s been a while.

Vladimir: Has he ever responded?

Estragon: I know someone once who received a response.

Vladimir: Who?

Estragon: A friend of someone who knew someone who wrote a song once.

Vladimir: Which song?

Estragon: Maybe it was a retweet. Or a response. I don’t know. It was a while ago.

Vladimir: Then there is hope then.

Estragon: Yes. Always hope that Fry will respond.

Vladimir: I know. Let’s do some feelpinions.

Estragon: What purpose would that serve?

Vladimir: It would pass the time. Let people know what we feel about things.

Estragon: People? Which people?

Vladimir: People who might be interested.

Estragon: There are people interested in our feelings?

Vladimir: And opinions based on those feelings.

Estragon: Sounds like a good way to waste some time.

Vladimir: You’ve done it again.

Estragon: What?

Vladimir: Used the word “waste”. It’s a shut down word.

Estragon: Shutting down what?

Vladimir: People. When you say you are “wasting your time” on something, then you are denying that person’s words aren’t important. That they should be spending their time on “better” things.

Estragon: There are better things to spend time on than feelpinions?

Vladimir: Certainly not.

Estragon: With feelpinions, what happens if the person writing them in earnest and serious about them. Cares deeply about them?

Vladimir: Who are these people? Are they mad?

Estragon: Someone must have felt genuine feelings and not be so insouciant once upon a time.

Vladimir: Can’t remember. And who is Earnest?

Estragon: No-one of importance.

Enter Pozzo, accompanied by Lucky, dressed like a bird, on a chain

Pozzo: Are you two still here?

Estragon: Clearly. But I don’t believe we have met.

Pozzo: We have. We meet every day. You two are waiting for a response from Fry.

Vladimir: No – we have just arrived and thinking about the day we are to have.

Pozzo: It’s the same day. Every day. Waiting for the New Outrage.

Estragon: And what is today’s outrage?

Pozzo: The same outrage as it is everyday. People don’t agree. One person’s point of view is more valid than another’s. Just comes with a different word.

Vladimir: What is today’s word?

Pozzo: Don’t know yet. Yesterday’s word, yet again, a popular one, was privilege.

Vladimir: Who has privilege?

Pozzo: Depends on who you ask.

Vladimir: In what sense privilege?

Pozzo: In the outside world, there are social groups, privileged groups, disadvantage, oppression and so on. Real things. Everyday.

Vladimir: The privilege of background?

Pozzo:  Yes. That’s the outside. There is now a chamber of words where the notions of privilege become warped and bounce around, so people accuse each other of being privileged in order to win.

Estragon: Sounds fun. Is there a prize?

Pozzo: A smug smile for 3 seconds.

Estragon: I would like to have one of those. (attempts a smug smile)

Pozzo: No, you can’t win the prize.

Estragon: Why not?

Pozzo: Because you don’t have a smug smile. The key to winning is the ability to desire a smug smile and know the pathway towards it.

Vladimir: You know this pathway?

Pozzo: Oh, yes.

Vladimir: Do you ever use it?

Pozzo: It is my life to see it.  And then draw things about it.

Estragon: You draw? What things?

Pozzo: Cartoons.

(At this, Lucky stirs and moves and makes a noise)

Vladimir: He doesn’t seem happy.

Pozzo: He’s never happy. But he’s useful. He’s coming up with today’s word.

Vladimir: He comes up with the word?

Pozzo: Yes. That is his purpose for being.

Estragon: Sounds like a waste… ah, curious spending of time.

Pozzo: Time is what we have. And a good word can be sustained for more than a day. There are certain words that can cause outrage for days on end.

Vladimir: Don’t people care deeply about things? Don’t they get hurt?

Pozzo: Yes. But that’s not my concern if they are too serious and earnest. They have no place being in the chamber.

Estragon: Cartoons only? Anything else?

Pozzo: I walk into a building with the word “Institute” on the door and write things of no consequence or care for what goes on as a result.

Estragon: Can anyone walk into an Institute?

Pozzo: Oh, yes. Especially if there’s secret people paying money.

Vladimir: What people pay for words like that?

Pozzo: People. I don’t know who. I just write the words.

Lucky stirs and looks at the others.

Lucky: I am tired of explaining the difficulties of what difficulties there is in a life full of  qua qua qua and what seems to be the case is that really don’t want to understand and shut down the burgle burgle burgle of the privileged frizzle. Men like to mansplain because they are men and like to mansplain due to the participle of their mainframe and I have created a new way of thinking because everyone needs to be free why serious man person feelpinion Dexterpinion goat pinion kattergoat secretariat greg you missed the stop sign giants swans roos buddy bla bla bla sport.

Pozzo: It’s sport! The word is sport. A regular guest.

Estragon: What is interesting about sport?

Pozzo: Sport is always interesting. It’s a game. This chamber of words is a game.

Vladimir: But who wins?

Pozzo: Time wins.

Vladimir: What of the outside world. Don’t these things matter?

Pozzo: They do out there. Here, not at all. Here is all posture and echoes.