Ghomeshi Tweet Wins Prize

Everything that's wrong about Toronto in 140 characters or less

May 25th, 2010 | By Coco Cabrera | Category: Featured

jianghomeshi: Had occasion for good chat w/ Conan at after-party/dinner last eve (merci, @RootsCanada). He kindly acted like he remembered me. Twas sweet.That Twit­ter post­ing, or “tweet” by aging CBC Radio host Jian Ghome­shi has won the Voret­ski Prize for new forms of lit­er­a­ture.  The prize is unusual in that it comes with a bill rather than an award.

In this one pithy post the author, or twit, has cap­tured every­thing that is wrong about Toronto,” read a state­ment by the panel of judges. “It fawns over and seeks the appro­ba­tion of an Amer­i­can celebrity, one whose fame has waned, man­ag­ing to be self impor­tant and pathetic at once.  The poignancy of the final sen­ti­ment, that the celebrity pre­tend­ing to remem­ber Mr. Ghome­shi, “Twas sweet,” is what sep­a­rated this tweet from so many other trite obser­va­tions we had to wade through.  What first looks to be name-dropping descends to a level of need­i­ness that verges on the masochis­tic.  It goes from self-aggrandizement to self-abasement in 21 words.”  The essence of a tweet, accord­ing to the judges, is its bal­ance of van­ity and banality.

The award is a vin­di­ca­tion for Ghome­shi whose tweets were recently deemed “spam” by the Cana­dian Radio-Television Com­mis­sion. The CRTC cited the vol­ume of the self-promotional mes­sages as a lead­ing fac­tor in its decision.

Ghome­shi was pre­sented with his invoice at a Korean pojang­macha, or street food wagon, on Bloor St. West in his native Toronto. All pro­ceeds from pay­ments of Voret­ski Prize state­ments finance fur­ther stud­ies into new forms of lit­er­a­ture — the tweet, the poet­elle, the pre­scrip­tion and the” yel­low sticky” are some recent examples.

Conan O’Brien was once well-known for hav­ing held NBC  to ran­som for $45 mil­lion USD, a demand to ensure he would  not per­form his act on their net­work.  A change in earth’s orbit was the pre­dicted result of  O’Brien’s can­cel­la­tion though it was, ulti­mately, with­out consequence.

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