In case you missed it, over the long weekend one of the British celebrities with the largest Twitter followings decided to call it quits on that social media platform. Stephen Fry threw in the tea towel after his joke at the BAFTA Awards about the appearance of a certain winner provoked, as we’ve called it before, “tweetrage.”
What fun Twitter was in the early days, a secret bathing-pool in a magical glade in an enchanted forest. It was glorious ‘to turn as swimmers into cleanness leaping.’ We frolicked and water-bombed and sometimes, in the moonlight, skinny-dipped. We chattered and laughed and put the world to rights and shared thoughts sacred, silly and profane.
But now the pool is stagnant. It is frothy with scum, clogged with weeds and littered with broken glass, sharp rocks and slimy rubbish. If you don’t watch yourself, with every move you’ll end up being gashed, broken, bruised or contused. Even if you negotiate the sharp rocks you’ll soon feel that too many people have peed in the pool for you to want to swim there any more. The fun is over.
The kind of blowback Fry describes can be especially voluminous when a famous person is in the middle of it. And of course, today, we also have the perfect punchline to this tweetrage. Costume designer Jenny Beavan, the BAFTA winner who was the subject of Fry’s crack, told The Telegraph she was not upset by the “bag lady” remark.