Do you ever wonder what it would be like to be a wealthy, Arsenal-obsessed former talk show host/newspaper editor who loves to banter and actively use TweetDeck? Yeah, me too.
Well, we’re in luck. Take your pants off and grab a snack.
Today, serial opinion generator Piers Morgan tweeted out a YouTube video of his TweetDeck mentions right after Swansea’s Bafétimbi Gomis scored the game-winning goal against his beloved Arsenal. It was enlightening.
Here are a few things I learned:
Let’s start, not with Morgan’s “Mentions,” but with his “Home” column. We could easily look at who he follows, but it’s a bit more fun to see what he’s actually reading while he’s trolling you and Arsène Wenger. Morgan follows Fareed Zakaria, who I’ll just assume writes his own tweets. He follows a bunch of people who probably yell things like “Get in!” and “Wenger doesn’t get it!” and “Wenger must go!” and things about “real fans” while generally being “passionate” about Arsenal. He also follows Slate, someone I don’t know, and a few other people who vaguely sound familiar. The takeaway: His incoming mentions aren’t terribly exciting or voluminous, which allows him to focus on trolling you. Very efficient tweetdecking, indeed.
People love to hate-tweet Piers Morgan. But let me not just put this on others as if I don’t frequently have Piers Morgan hate-thoughts. I have also hate-tweeted Piers Morgan, largely because it’s almost impossible to avoid hate-tweeting him if you Arsenal Twitter at all. Now, I’m not talking about tweeting foul, inappropriate things to him. I don’t condone such Neanderthal behavior. The tweets I’ve sent are more along the lines of “stop tweeting crazy things, Piers.” The takeaway: Morgan’s Twitter mentions suggest that people throw hate toward Piers Morgan with amazing ease, and that hate actually fuels Piers Morgan. His Twitter bio should read: “Piers Morgan, fueled by hate. Deposit your hate here.”
Piers Morgan is basically the Ted Westervelt of Arsenal Twitter. At times, his Twitter form, like his TV form, is grating and barely tolerable. Yet he’s somehow necessary, somewhat endearing, sometimes right, and always finds a way to be a part of the conversation. If “no such thing as bad press” is really a thing, then the only conclusion you can draw is that Piers Morgan is a genius. Maybe. Which brings me to this …
Here’s where it gets interesting. After the Arsenal game, I suggested that Morgan should replace Wenger as the next Arsenal manager. For the record, while that would be highly entertaining, I’m pretty confident that he would leave a trail of tears and hate-tweets in his wake. But still, bringing on Morgan would solve a major problem: Piers Morgan.
If Morgan succeeds, Arsenal fans would have to be happy, because that’s what all this is about anyway, right? Arsène Wenger has done so many things for the club but he’s not getting the results. So if Morgan does win things, then problem solved. However, if he fails, then Morgan has to stop (IN THEORY) arrogant-tweeting about how he knows how to fix everything Arsenal. So I’ve pretty much solved the Piers Morgan thing and, fortunately, it seems that he’s up for the challenge.
And that’s where the real learning started. Morgan’s YouTube video reveals the pitfalls of being a loud-mouthed media figure on Twitter. But for regular civilians, that Twitter struggle isn’t real. Strangers don’t respond to the average civilian’s 140 characters with a steady stream of grammatically challenged vitriol. But when you are a famous person with no inner monologue, people quickly get comfortable with the insults. Here are a few of Morgan’s mention highlights:
Piers Morgan retweeting my original tweet resulted in my inclusion in Piers Morgan tweets. For a few minutes, I was Piers Morgan — a browner Piers Morgan — albeit with more sense and a smaller bank account. I quickly found out that a more sensitive person would have emerged from that experience with hurt feelings and a pile of tear-drenched kleenex.
So what other lessons did I learn from my four minutes as Piers Morgan? I learned that anonymous tweeters very quickly stop becoming real humans, which makes them easier to ignore (whether they’re awful or lovely) and easier, much easier to troll. Another lesson: professional trolling isn’t for the faint of heart. I also learned that I don’t believe anyone who says they don’t look at their mentions, even if they receive trillions of mentions per second. LIARS. ALL OF THEM.
Lastly, my “Four Minutes of Morgan” also revealed that there are plenty of people out there who actually think that Piers Morgan would be a viable replacement for Arsène Wenger, and that we should all stop listening to Twitter and delete our accounts. For all the negative Piers Morgan content on the interwebs, plenty of people actually enjoy, agree, tolerate, or hate-read his “work.”
Now I’m going to go meditate or something. I can’t believe I just wrote this many words about Piers Morgan. I have to start reassessing my life choices.