The Nazi Hunter and the Singer

9 Jul

I’m not sure why I feel compelled to write this. I’ve been thinking about twitter and friendship and identity. I got accused recently of being too mawkish. If that’s an issue for you, stop reading NOW!

One of the real pleasures of twitter is seeing other people chatting together. You may not join in, but witnessing two friends have an amusing exchange is often a moment of delight. This blog is a bit of a love song, in a way, to two of my favourite tweeters, but it is also a love song to twitter at its best and the way that it brings us together with like minds.

I have witnessed over the last year or so a genuine friendship develop between Alan Stoob (@nazihunteralan) and Alison Moyet (@AlisonMoyet1) and every time I see them swapping tweets the world gets a bit lighter, a bit more joyful.

It’s a very 21st Century friendship: born on the internet, between a celebrity and a fictitious character. And yet both these descriptions are completely errant.

I confess I hadn’t thought about Alison much over the years (forgive me!) until twitter guiding light Michael Moran (@TheMichaelMoran) recommended following her. I took his advice (because he’s always right), and it turns out that Alison is a startlingly unique voice in more ways than one. The notion of celebrity falls away very quickly. You are simply presented with an amazing personality. I love the way that twitter allows ‘celebrities’ a chance to be heard and to show themselves to be other than the construct the media has built around them. Not all of them, obviously, but those who choose to embrace it, and have the strength of character to shine.

As for Alan, he is a charming, occasionally troubled, 76 year-old Nazi Hunter from Bedford or Dunstable or somewhere. Or is he? Well, yes he is. Because that’s how he exists, day in and day out for many of us. Perhaps he is a fiction, but then, aren’t all we all? We all present a made up version of ourselves in some way, in varying degrees. The question of how ‘real’ you are is fairly irrelevant when that’s the person we interact with on a daily basis.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to witness Alan congratulating Alison on her son’s recent marriage and Alison congratulating Alan on cycling a stage in the Tour de France (not bad for a 76 year-old). Words of friendship filled with genuine love. A very 21st Century friendship.

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4 Responses to “The Nazi Hunter and the Singer”

  1. Mo Ormonde July 9, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    Wonderful blog and 100% correct. I’ve spent many a night following their sublime conversations (can’t really catch up on twitter during the day), and have never felt the need or want to interrupt or jump into their exchanges. As you say, twitter at it’s best. So much on twitter can come across negative and they make me feel as if this is what twitter is for and where it excels.

    As a side bar – love your vines too. Again, the positive side of twitter.

    regards Mo, 49 (as Alan, 76) would say !
    @mojorainbw

    • mooseallain July 9, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

      Thank you Mo, much appreciated. Moose, 50. As you and Alan would say.

    • Mo Ormonde July 9, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

      Sorry, the closing bracket in the wrong place and it’s annoying me!

      • Bao Bao (@fiatpanda) October 1, 2013 at 8:05 pm #

        Well this is all very well, but you’re not the one who’s read their dirty Direct Messages. Several times. Daily.

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