As a journalist on the periphery of the outskirts of the periphery of the celebrity kingdom, I can tell you that famous people are better and smarter than us common folk. Their stories are better, their teeth are brighter, and their smell… delightful. So when I make the commitment to follow a bold-faced name on Twitter, I expect to be enlightened, entertained, or at least belittled in some way. For the most part, they don’t let me down. But occasionally, I’m left feeling empty.
Take, for example, Hugh Hefner. The man is a legend who’s met everyone and done
everyone everything. He built a revolutionary magazine and then an empire. Love him or hate him, he helped redefine perceptions of both masculinity and femininity in the second half of the 20th century, and the wisdom and life experience that must reside in his brain is priceless. To absorb just an speck of his sagacity via Twitter was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down. So during the week last month that his relationship with Crystal Harris fell apart, I began to follow him. What I’ve learned from Hef since then has been perplexing. “My all-time favorite game is backgammon, Mayra. I play it every Sunday by the pool,” read one tweet that represents the tone and content of his daily communication with his more than 805,000 followers.
Unfortunately, what Hef lacks in substance he makes up for in quantity. He’s inclined to tweet at least 10 times a day, and that’s not counting the re-tweets from his girls (“I held a baby for less than an hour yesterday and my arms are killing me today…. It’s apparent that I need to start working out,” tweeted Miss January.) Certainly, Hef gets some credit for being on Twitter at all at his age, but his offerings are unfortunately no better than that former high school friend who clutters your Facebook news feed with up to the second bulletins, like “Off to yoga.”
And so it is only after great consideration and with a certain amount of regret that I’m disengaging from @hughhefner on Twitter today. I yearned to learn at his knee, but have ultimately concluded that someone else writes his tweets for him, likely some other 85-year-old man who likes to play backgammon and watch Turner Classic Movies. To paraphrase Humphrey Bogart from Hef’s favorite movie, Casablanca, “We’ll always have your Playboy articles.”
Who’s your Hef, the celebrity whose frequent tweets of banality have caused you to second-guess your allegiance?