Dinner (beef stew and mashed potatoes, if I recall correctly) was smelling delicious and ready to be eaten. We wanted to watch a movie. We’ve got a subscription to Zip.ca, and I have a habit of listing every avant-guard movie from 1927 I can find, with the odd bit of candy. So we often have some difficult films to choose from. It’s not that difficult is bad, but let’s just say that every time the Criterion Collection screen comes on, my wife groans; and as wonderful as Kurosawa can be, some nights one just wants to watch Adam Sandler get kicked in the nuts.
Anyway, there we were with two choices: Bicycle Thief and Doctor Zhivago.
Not knowing which to choose, I asked Twitter, and from thence flowed a stream of opinions, a 50-50 split between the two (we went with Bicycle Thief; a bit on the dismal side, to be honest). At some point, my wife yelled: “Stop looking at Twitter and watch the movie!” … because I kept a running tally, shouting out “another for Zhivago” and “oh, so-and-so thinks we made the right choice.”
This story was related by my wife to some non-Tiwtterites, who were in awe of this strange and magical tool that elicited such information, like some digital Oracle of Delphi.
Just a few days ago, I had yet another Delphesian experience on Twitter. I needed a third book to fill out an online book order and get free shipping (the other two books I wanted – Bolano’s 2666 and Elise Blackwell’s Hunger – are not available as ebooks in Canada). And so, I asked Twitter.
And here, for the record, is a list of what the Oracles of Twitter answered (Note: where links were not provided, I will link to whatever comes up first in the Google):
I chose Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa, well before all the other recommendations came in. I’ll let you know what I think of it sometime.