Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mallorca's Queen Of Twitter

Joey Barton is not and never has been an important footballer. Joey might like to think that he is important, but because he isn't, he has compensated for his lack of importance by diversifying his considerable talents and becoming a fully paid-up member of the Twitterati. Joey (2,285,941 followers, as of time of writing) has a saying on his Twitter page: "Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught". Joey didn't come up with this, Oscar Wilde did. Had Oscar lived in the day of Twitter, he would have had more followers than even Joey Barton.

Joey suffers from Twitterrhoea, a term I thought I had made up until Mr. Google informed me that I most certainly hadn't. Damn. I could have started a whole Twitter trending topic of my own. Not to worry. What about Compulsive Twitter Disorder? Nope, looks like someone beat me to this as well. I suppose one just has to accept that there is no such thing as originality any longer. There will always be somebody who has had the same thought and blasted it all over the Twittersphere and had it re-tweeted by fellow compulsives who are in desperate need of an immobilising Imodium palliative to relieve them of uncontrollable vowel movements (including consonants, a maximum of 140 characters).

Ana María Aguiló isn't Joey Barton. She has less than 0.1% of the number of Twitter followers that Joey has and yet she has been proclaimed the "queen of Twitter", not by me but by ... well, I'm not entirely sure. Just take it from me that she has been. Ana María is a deputy in the Balearics parliament. She is a member of the Partido Popular. She also so happens to be the government's spokesperson on education. Which brings us, sort of, to Oscar Wilde.

Nothing that is worth knowing can be taught might be a maxim with which Ana María agrees, so long as what is being taught is in Catalan and nothing but Catalan. Ana María is part of the militant Castellano-trilingualism wing of the PP, and it is this militancy that attracts much of the attention that she receives (from slightly fewer than 1,500 followers) through her allegedly monarchical Twitter status.

Ana María. She tweets, therefore she is. Tweet? She can't help herself. Here a tweet, there a tweet, everywhere a tweet, tweet. Yes, she really ought to get to know Joey, or at least follow him. Perhaps she does. Education is an admirable thing, now that the decree on the treatment of languages (trilingualism) has averted the crisis. This crisis being exactly? It was that of Catalan. So dominant had Catalan become that Castellano had been prohibited in Mallorca. Thus tweeted Queen Ana María of the Autonomous Community of the Twitter Islands.

But Castellano is no longer threatened, thanks to education being an admirable thing. The years of living in a virtual dictatorship of Catalan are over. When Ana María brought up the D-word and put it alongside the C-word, Twitter exploded. Or rather it suffered the effects of a small incendiary device.

Ana María's various indiscretions have seen her placed in a hall of infamy on something called Shamequotes. The Catalan dictatorship thing will probably be added to "teachers should be dismissed if they criticise the administration in class" and "I don't understand why, in the times we live, people who have jobs protest".

Neither of these quotes is actually that shameful. I don't agree with her on either of them but I can imagine that many people would. There will probably be many who also agree with her about having lived under a dictatorially Catalan yoke, but they might not have expressed it in such a way. For pretty obvious reasons, put the D and C-words together and you will get some Twittered volcanic activity.

Dictatorship no, but for some years there had been talk of "the Catalan imposition", one that the current government has sought to eradicate. But it has badly misjudged the sympathies of the people of Mallorca and the Balearics and has, as a consequence, badly mismanaged its language reforms. Queen Ana María, undeterred by this debacle, has been in a Twitter tiz that merely adds to the misjudgment.

There again, she gets what she wants. Publicity. And so she becomes the queen of Twitter. Ana María is not Joey Barton, but she shares his compulsion and fuels her own sense of importance through the viral tendencies of social media. Once upon a time, few would have known who she was and even fewer would have cared.

Any comments to please.

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