Twittering The Dead: 140 Characters Of Crap


In the wake of Derreck Acorah’s derisable attempts to pretend to be contacting Michael Jackson last weekend, it occurred to me just how busy Jacko has been of late. Aside from having his barely-cold corpse mawkishly pecked at by dear Derreck, and all the shameless cashing in on his death by film companies with the new flick ‘This Is It’, he recently was the subject of a seane. Well a Tweance. (And yes, I do feel horrible even typing the word. Tweance. Has there ever been an uglier word? Besides ‘groin’, I don’t think so. Still, on I’ll go – the lengths I’m willing to go to for you guys, really…)

Users of Twitter (are they called Twusers?) will already be familiar with the notion of a ‘Tweance’, but for anyone who’s been hibernating for a fortnight, here’s the deal – a ‘Tweance’ is a seance on Twitter. Yeah, Twitter. A Twitter seance. Ponder that for a moment, if it’s new to you.

In fact, supposed-psychic (Twychic?), medium (Twedium?) and utter prat (…?) Jayne Wallace on Halloween night tried to convince people she would be able to contact the spirits of dead celebrities and take questions from users of the social networking site Twitter to put to the deceased. Readers of our blog might remember Jayne from a little while ago when she claimed to have contacted Jade Goody’s spirit while conducting a reading with the dead reality TV star’s grieving mother for the Sun newspaper. Yeah. Still, why exploit the memory of one dead celebrity when you can cram four into a single night. In the Tweance the victims Jayne claimed to be able to contact were to be River Pheonix, Kurt Cobain, William Shakespeare and Michael Jackson. An odd mix, I’m sure you’ll agree. Opening with River Pheonix, Jayne displayed with her amazing psychic skills:

Q: Do you regret being an actor not a musician? A.I was always a musician. Acting was the job that paid the bills. Drugs destroyed a lot of my relationships and hurt a lot of freinds and loved ones. I am reconciled to my father… our family values were not traditional ones I always wanted to fly… planes or helicopters.

On top of that, she added her own useless commentary:

(Jayne: he was fickle and easily bored, but lacked self confidence and control. Drugs put him outside of reality. He was very generous, but he didn’t understand love.)

Well that’s great. Exactly at which point any of that have any reality and meaning to it, besides what could very easily be made up by a charlatan masquerading as psychic, if such a hypothetical charlatan wanted to do so? This, unfortunately (and entirely predictably) was to be the theme of the night. Highlight of the River Pheonix interview? That River enjoyed the film ‘Interview with a Vampire’. Excellent. Psychic.

The interview with River continued on such banal, uninspiring route before he shuffled back off this mortal coil to be replaced with Kurt Cobain, beginning in typical dramatic and mawkish style:

Jayne: I am now looking for Kurt Cobain. I have a fuzzy, spaced out feeling from him. Like cotton wool around my face. I am getting tears, shortness of breath. Bad pain inside the body. I am getting itchy skin and sore gums from Kurt. Nausea from Kurt, dry eyes. This was how he felt at the end. He hated it: he wasn’t that weak, they made him weak.

What’s reall strange, I think, is that I too felt the same nausea! Right when I first read through the Tweance feed, I suddenly felt nautious. Perhaps I’m psychic too. Of course, this interview was just as shoddy and banal as the last, with Kurt apologising for taking drugs, exclusively revealing he’s happy that people like his music and explosively telling the world he wished more people got to play music. Insightful. And in no way what I could have written myself, without any psychic powers, if I was happy to piss on the memories of fallen idols.

Shakespeare, clearly bored by the whole proceedings and the banality of the questions, decided against showing up. I suspect Jayne bottled out of having to twitter in 17th century English. Something along the lines of:

“Forsooth, tis a lightness indeed to travel twixt these planes. Ne’er Icarus nor Promethius hath felt so flaming a scorch as the fire in my spirit as the mortal coil I doth visit. Verily, then, the coolness and fluidity of death shall seem great release whence it my bones consumes once more” 

Or something.

And then came Michael Jackson. Or rather, Jayne answered questions put to Michael. Or rather, largely, Jayne just wrote that she could hear MJ singing. Which could either be that the mind and spirit does survive death, exist as a form of cogent consciousness on another plane, retain the ability to communicate, locate very quickly a method of reaching out to a gifted few still here on Earth, whereby they can impart their messages into the minds of these individuals… or… Jayne was making it all up while listening to one of his albums. Either/or.

What gets me most about this is really just how entirely lame it all is. Richard Wiseman recently conducted a series of Victorian seances in London and Manchester, and told me of the difficulty involved in the show, how important it was to get all of the conditions just right and get the effects fully working. He needn’t have bothered – he could have just sat at home writing banal, meaningless, platitudinal answers to bland questions, and reach 2411 followers that way. I hope Jayne Wallace, and the ‘Angels Fancy Dress’ shop this was all in aid of promoting, are pleased with themselves, and proud.

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  1. #1 by Red Celt on November 15, 2009 - 10:15

    A bit tangential to the subject under discussion, however… “Tweance. Has there ever been an uglier word? Besides ‘groin’, I don’t think so.”

    Oh most certainly! My most-detested word in the English language is “gusset”. Which is linked to “groin” but conjures up mental images far, far worse than the relatively benign “groin”.

  2. #2 by Stu on November 15, 2009 - 22:40

    Excellent comment from Red Celt! Good blog too. My own feelings on the matter in hand are quite radical: Sike icks are a buch of sik fookin liyas hoo ar plaein wid de mineds ov de les wel educumated ov de popoolaishun!

  3. #3 by Stu on November 15, 2009 - 22:55

    I’d just like to explain that last comment. A partner of mine of many years came back from a ‘seance’ absolutely broken up by what a f***king psychic had done to her! I’ve probably mentioned this before but she could see her dead husbands’ face in the f***ing psychics’!!! These people need to be stopped! Here’s a question: Would I have legal protection if I passed a James Randi application Form to a psychic at a pub ‘seance’ and the audience got nasty with me for ‘blocking the energy?

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