Gilbert Arenas's fabulous day of Tweets
This is how a normal celebrity handles the world of Twitter: They sign up for the social media site. They start sending out messages about their life, whether quirky or banal, insightful or mundane. They gather a number of followers proportionate to their wit, relevance and popularity. And then, when scandal inevitably hits, they often run for the analog age, at least temporarily abandoning the allure of instantly communicating with the world. That, more or less, seems normal.
Gilbert Arenas, folks, ain't normal. That's why we've all loved him so much. And so this is how Gilbert handles the world of Twitter: he signs up, while telling the world that he won't use the service until he attracts a million followers, an absurd and impossible number for a non-Tweeting D.C. athlete to ever reach. Aside from a few videos, he honors his pledge, slowly creeping to about 9,000 followers, fine by obscure blogger standards, but embarrassingly low for an NBA franchise player. At that rate, he would have retired before hitting a million.
But then, on New Year's Eve, a matter of hours before international controversy will spill into his life, he starts Tweeting like crazy: writing things bizarre, provocative, hilarious and somewhat blue. And when, on New Year's Day, all sorts of gun stories about him take over the Internet, he posts 20 updates in seven hours, addressing long-ignored rumors of his fiancee's infidelity, igniting a torrent of angry responses, and attracting more than 2,000 new followers, a number that will continue to climb over the next few days.
Hey, he's always followed his own rules when it comes to marketing himself. This really shouldn't be a surprise. This is the same guy who accepted a $25,000 fine during a failed media boycott, only to cave and start doing 25-minute media sessions.
As for the substance of his response, Gilbert argues that he's a goofball and not to be taken seriously, whether as a Tweeter or as a potential gun-toting outlaw. Locker room fights, he suggests, aren't his thing. Without making any sort of judgment on this ongoing situation, let's just acknowledge that we've also been down this road with Gilbert before, where he says things just to say them.
Remember that time he told reporters "I'm actually scared to play right now," then followed that up with a blog post saying "You got to have a little drama with it. You can't just say, 'I can't wait to be back at practice.' You have to bring a little drama with the story or it wouldn't be a story. Come on, scared? Me?" Or the time he wrote about how he was driving his car while thinking "What if I just ran my car into this pole right here?" before later dismissing such talk?
He is, without a doubt, a goof. Let's grant him that. He has an uncommon ability to get the whole world talking about him. And he's definitely unlike any other athlete in this city. A sample of today's trip inside the brain of Gilbert:
* i wake up this morning and seen i was the new JOHN WAYNE..lmao media is too funny
* i guess nobody thought that last text was funny.well i hav 2 change subjects.umM what about that TIGER WOODS.i heard he dated 2 MIDGETS jk
* i understand this is serious..but if u ever met me you know i dont do serious things im a goof ball this story today dont sound goofy to me
* i hav media outside my house...sumone tell them its to cold to be sittin out there they might get frost bite...it is winter still...
* when u become a great blogger u need great stories and a little drama ...for sum reason i stay with drama and i dont even leave my house
* im talking about [the Shaq rumors] now becuz i cant talk about todays new like i want..and why do u think i got a twitter after the news becuz i was gonna eat this stuff up becuz i knew everybody was waitin and thats why i made the first the first vid using his name he gave me the ok to do it
* well i hav to go shoot sum freethrows now becuz nobody likes gettn booed for missing them...ps i need more twit space then 140
* and again if ur not laughing i dont think u should follow me becuz im never serious and i will never not say anything dumb and silly
"I will never not say anything dumb and silly" is a life philosophy that makes this whole situation just about impossible to decode. But I completely believe Gilbert about that, if about nothing else. You just never know what to believe.
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