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I was thinking about showing a scholarly docu-video of philosopher/theorist Judith Butler when I present my paper on cross-dressing women in literature at an academic conference this Spring.

Then, I came across this gem: a video of two non-academic, real-world business executives in drag, pitching a cross-platform application while wearing, er, platform shoes (with the company logo) and various articles of female clothing.

As reported by Ragan Communications, there are several customized versions of the video, each one targeting a prominent software industry writer who might be reviewing their company’s product, hopefully after visiting the company’s booth at MacWorld 2011. In other words, a real-life COO and a founder of a software company, of the male persuasion, cross dressing to pitch their cross-platform product. The product, by the way, is Crossover Mac Impersonator, a piece of software that allows Mac users to open Windows applications allegedly without the hassle of a license, thus transgressively crossing platforms. The kicker is watching the straight faces of these two bearded men delivering their lines while impersonating Cher and Lucille Ball.

I don’t think I need to get into the performativity of gender roles. This video makes Judith Butler’s point in one minute, and it might be the best commercial pitch of the postmodern, information age era. I at least deem it fit to be shown during the Superbowl.



So many other relevant issues to write about and I have to pick Twitter.

Let’s get the bad (good) news out of the way: Twitter is destined to become an app and fade away as another Internet fad. If it’s lucky, it might get gobbled up by another application and become a little birdie icon on, say, the facebook platform. Deep down we know Twitter is an awkward teenage phase in the progression of postmodern communications. Even Mark Ragan, as in Ragan Communications and a big proponent of Twitter and other social media as valuable business strategies, takes Twitter with a grain of salt.

So, why spend my precious time tweeting? I’m neither planning a flash mob nor coordinating a street protest. I’m definitively not staging a revolution in a developing country (although I wish Che Guevara could have had tweeted himself out of Bolivia). I’m also not covering a concert tour for Entertainment Weekly (although I still dream of trailing Lenny Kravitz). The answer is simple: the medium has become the message. Big companies feel the need to be on Twitter because their competitors are. Small consultants like me feel the need to be on Twitter because everyone else is putting “@pvraquel” on their electronic business cards. If I don’t get my clients’ messages out on Twitter, I might be perceived as less effective than another consultant. (I recommended Twitter to a NC client who happened to be into grassroots events. Twitter was a good strategy for them.)

So, we tweet. Incessantly. I often wonder what will happen to all this electronic garbage. Are tweets like the confetti-like, round bits of paper from a hole-puncher? Outdated web pages would then be the stack of office paper waiting to be recycled. So much tweeting energy needs to be transformed into something new and (re)usable.

Twitter has a good offer of recipient-controlled communication. That concept will prevail into the next phase. Still, I think of Twitter as an unwanted side effect of our capitalist system. You know, the same system that commercialized an otherwise not-for-profit educational endeavor known as The Internet? Or maybe it’s the fault of the media, always looking for a way to scoop the competition – for the capitalist reason of selling more ad space and increasing profits. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – I am part of the media after all.

After a long inner struggle, I finally caved in and decided to revive my own personal Twitter account – not that I’m planning anything too exciting, like trailing Lenny Kravitz on tour. But you never know. Follow me @pvraquel.

After laying out my thoughts on Twitter (in way more than 140 characters), I’m left with a lingering question: If Che Guevara were still alive, wouldn’t he, too, be on Twitter?

Note: This list from Ragan Comm. helped me work up the courage to revive my twittering, and made me feel I’m not alone:

Reclama tu territorio en cualquier idioma

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