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A thing I like to do when I’m bored on Twitter is tweet random pop-cultural references.
Sometimes it will be a line from a movie:
Sometimes it will be a line from one of my favourite albums. Say:
Just someone to keep my house clean, fix my meals and go away.
I’m glad that you’re older than me. It makes me feel important and free.
Usually, when people get the reference, they’ll tweet me the answer. It’s a symbiotic pleasure: they get the satisfaction of having won my impromptu pop quiz; I get the joy of knowing that I’m not alone – that there are other people out there who share at least some of my cultural heritage, who may even once have skinned up on the same gatefold album sleeve as they listened to Country Girl or Almost Cut My Hair…
But it doesn’t work with everything, as I discovered last night when I tweeted the line:
Pictures of dogs having sex.
…and suddenly found myself in the midst of a confected hate storm, orchestrated by some of the vilest SJW types on Twitter.
It’s the punchline to a hilarious sketch on a British-made comedy show I hadn’t seen before called Bad Robots. Though I thought it was new when I watched it on Comedy Central last night, I’ve subsequently realised I’m way behind the times and that actually the first series came out in the UK on E4 in 2014.
Anyway, it’s worth catching, even belatedly, because it’s very, very funny.
It’s a hidden camera show in which unwitting members of the public are embarrassed by carefully staged practical jokes. In this case, the devices used to fool them are bits of electronic equipment, which they are led to believe are voice activated.
So, in one sketch, what claims to be a machine that can recharge your phone in one minute is positioned on a pier at a tourist resort. Once the unsuspecting members of the public have put their phones in the charging box, the box locks and a voice informs them that they must back up all their data because the process will erase everything on their phone. As they wrestle frantically to retrieve their phone, the computer warns them that there has been a malfunction and smoke appears from the box holding their phones.
In another, a couple of innocents enter what they are led to believe is an automatic sun tanning booth. They tell the machine they want the lightest tan, but the machine informs them that they have requested the blackest tone — “dark ebony” — and as they strive unsuccessfully to escape from the dark spray spurting on their bodies, the computer’s voice helpfully advises them that the tan will last four months.
Well, I laughed, anyway. A lot.
But for me, the funniest one of all was the one in which a respectable looking old-ish man goes shopping with his wife in a garden store. A giant machine in the middle of the store asks him to say aloud which department he is looking for. “Water features.” he says into the machine. The machine asks him to repeat himself. “WATER FEATURES,” he says. The computerised voice has apparently misheard him. It announces: “You requested: PICTURES OF DOGS HAVING SEX. PICTURES OF DOGS HAVING SEX. YOU WANTED TO SEE PICTURES OF DOGS HAVING SEX!!!” Naturally, the mortified customer blushes furiously as everyone else in the shop looks to see who it is who has asked a machine to show him “Pictures of dogs having sex.”
It was so funny I just had to tweet it, right there and then.
So I did. Without any explanation or context, obviously, because that would have made it too easy.
What I wanted was for someone, anyone, who’d seen the show to tweet back something like “Bad Robots” — and, maybe, “God, I love that series…”
Instead, all I got was tumbleweed. Either the show had been insufficiently popular or it had been on too many years ago for any of my followers to remember the sketch.
I tweeted a prompt.
Still no one was much interested. At least they weren’t until the SJWs took notice. These people hang around Twitter like flies on a rotting corpse — and suddenly they scented carrion.
The carrion in this case, of course, was the chance to portray your humble scribe as the kind of person who, in his spare time, when no one is looking, likes to search the internet for “pictures of dogs having sex.”
It had, I suppose, briefly crossed my mind when I tweeted the tweet that some mischievous souls might choose to interpret it the wrong way.
“But hey, the joke will be on them,” I thought to myself. “As soon as they realise it’s just a punchline from a cult TV comedy show they really should have seen they’ll slink off back into their lairs and leave me alone.”
Unfortunately, I had reckoned without at least three things.
One is the all-consuming hatred that Breitbart — indeed any journalist of a conservative disposition but, yes, most especially Breitbart — attracts from the regressive left.
Another is the left’s characteristically amoral preference for the “narrative” over the truth, regardless of inconvenient facts or evidence or logic.
And the third is the pullulating blob of twisted malevolence that is Twitter’s SJW bully-in-chief Graham Linehan.
Linehan is one of Twitter’s enduring mysteries. How could the genius responsible for co-writing the classic sitcom Father Ted have mutated into the curmudgeonly, unpleasant, humourless and relentlessly vicious boor who tweets under the name @glinner?
He has left-liberal politics — sure, most people in the entertainment industry do. But where Linehan stands out from his fellow Wankerati is in that toxic combination dogged nastiness and hard-left SJW zeal. There’s no playfulness there, no sense that the political debate is a game in which jokes and wit and self-effacement are permitted. @glinner has all the charm of a White Walker, which is probably why Dick Delingpole and I recently christened him on my Breitbart podcast the Most Evil Person on the Internet, and why Sabrina Lianne was inspired to write this rather fine demolition job for Breitbart Tech, wondering how someone who so often parades his “feminist” credentials can behave like such a misogynistic thug.
Linehan surrounds himself with an impressively large circle — 638,000 and counting — of lickspittle acolytes desperate to earn his praise. One of them eagerly sent him my tweet, and I knew from the moment of @glinner’s salivating retweet that the game was lost.
Delete my tweet? Too late for that. Anyway, that would look like an admission of guilt.
Explain the context? Well I did try. I even linked to the Bad Robots Facebook page which actually includes a reference to the “pictures of dogs having sex” joke. Weirdly since last night the Facebook page has been taken down — it was here. Perhaps I’m being paranoid, but you’d almost think someone actively sought to deny the world the proof of my “innocence.”
The one person who did come to my defence was the man who actually wrote the original sketch for Bad Robots.
He thinks it’s funny. Which, of course, it is in a way.
But the SJWs on Twitter are deadly serious. They just know that there I was, looking for dog porn on the internet and that I accidentally typed my search request into Twitter when I’d meant it for Google. And no they don’t care about any pesky hard evidence that the quote was from a funny TV show, as attested to by the guy who actually wrote the show. Who needs facts when you’ve already decided the version of events that makes you happy: that Breitbart journalists are bestial perverts?
When the leftist hate mob behaves as derangedly and spitefully and unreasonably as this, you do inevitably engage in a bit of soul-searching.
Should I in future consider my every remark, my every sentence, my every tweet more carefully, conscious that any moment it might be seized on and misrepresented by all the leftists out there who consider people on the right to be lower than vermin and who thus feel under no obligation to behave as morally as you would towards an actual human being?
Well no, is my conclusion.
Firstly, if I’d wanted to be that career-safe and mealy-mouthed I would have gone into politics, not journalism.
And secondly, why should the rest of us be bullied by the killjoy left into playing by their ugly rules? This is why they do what they do: to intimidate us, frighten us, to force us to tread on eggshells every time we open our mouths. If we let them cow us in this way then they have won.
So I reserve the right to go on making unguarded, even occasionally tasteless comments and to carry on tweeting tweets some of which may be funny, some of which may be unfunny, and some of which may be interpreted by Graham Linehan and his unpleasant pals as further evidence that I’m depraved, evil and wrong.
Because, here’s the thing: when I write stuff and say stuff and tweet stuff, the people I’m addressing are the only people that matter to me — my friends and allies and kindred spirits.
The rest can go stuff themselves.