Wednesday 7 August 2013

Jane Austen & twitter boycott poem live on BBC World Service

 snapshot taken by Bill Thompson of Gareth Mitchell, 
Paidraig Ready and myself recording
This week I was commissioned to write a piece about the twitter boycott 
for the BBC World Service. It was aired Tues 6th August on ‪#‎bbcclickradio‬ 

 listen again here 

Pride and Prejudice

This morning I noticed the sky was a baggy story

I reached up to pull at a flappy bit of old argument

It was a tired and clammy cloud

It was wallpaper from an old protest that was never resolved

Merely brushed aside until she pulled her burnt bra on to make the tea

Before long I had peeled it all away in strips

And once that corner of sky was torn

Behind the story and underneath

There was just the opaque roof of a department store elevator

I wanted to pull the slats apart, to climb up into the lift shaft

And cut the ropes and watch twitter world crash.

And off-line and off-grid

We were all fish out of water

Slapped onto the cold pavement

And we stopped compulsive likelikelike button pushing

Opened the curtains to daylight to celebrate our differences and our sameness

And seeing the barriers all shattered we were forced to go outside

And walk and work side by side

We won’t remember the trolls

We'll remember the bully goat bridge that was built to shelter them

I don’t recall the names of playground bullies

But the classmates that took detention by my side

And with a sinking feeling now I remember the girls

That fingered their blonde plaits and stood by and watched

We are plugged into a distraction

Logged into fiction

Counting sheep and followers

When our dreams are so much more,

More than we ever gave them credit for

We are sleep-walking sleep-talking retweeting parrots

We keep poking and fiddling with the knobs

Like it’s the only way to sound check our speakers

And back in twitterworld we still argue:

Because a woman cannot choose to be silent if she had no voice

Because the invisible women that have no votes have no choice

Because silence is gold but it’s kept in a bank

Because there are so many inspiring women to thank and to rank

Because it isn’t just 140 characters, its your motive and intent

Because twitter is real life and you tweet, threatened and sent

“One word from you shall silence me forever”

That’s Jane Austen

And there's two words

‘Pride and Prejudice’

(c) Salena Godden. 2013

I’m following @Bonn1eGreer on twitter and this tweet rang truest to me:
"@Bonn1eGreer #‎twittersilence‬ is a strong choice. I respect it. But I come from a people who were forced to stay silent. For a long, long time. ‪#‎nosilence‬