This is written in response to an article here by Andy Tyrrell, my father.
Est Pater meus, cunnus; it is true that my father is a cunt. Puffed up by the bitter fats of aged failure, only a taxi driver could spit such vitriol at something he doesn’t understand. This is why, as a hackney carriage operator himself, Andy Tyrrell concentrates on pedantry for the base of his criticism. None of this is to denigrate his obvious intelligence either, which is clear from his rampant eloquence. Where my dad falls down, however, probably lies in the fact that he has no Twitter account. Moreover, he has no social media presence at all.
In fact, this is something that gives people like Dad a great amount of generational pride. Generally open-minded throughout his life, it’s only now, as he approaches his sixtieth birthday, that he shows signs of geriatric befuddlement. At its core, without him even realising it, this is the demented delusion that drives his twofold contention. His issues with Benjamin Brandall are as follows: the apparent mysticism surrounding his status as a writer and his misuse of the word “palette”. Throughout the course of this response, I think I can give ample evidence that both of these issues speak deeper to Dad’s modern ineptitude.
Let’s start by tackling his first problem. Of course Benjamin’s a writer. That much is self-evident, and not just from his quantity of Twitter followers. After all, Dad’s well-written post is on an alternative journalism site, founded by Benjamin (and myself). The post even required Benjamin’s technical approval, due to the mere fact of this being his site. All of this is just chaff that should be immediately obvious too. Dad shows the filter through which he sees the world when he challenges Benjamin’s penmanship. That’s where the real meat is in showing the bullshit behind his diatribe.
Firstly, he makes it clear that he can’t Google. His claim is that he simply can’t find any evidence of Benjamin’s professional writing. I believe he actually used the term “blind alleys” to discuss what he found. In my experience, I found unearthing Benjamin’s previous oeuvre to be an easy task. Using Google, the tool at Dad’s disposal, I quickly found evidence for his work at Process Street; that’s not even mentioning his heaps of guest articles. Yet, none of this trivial search engine surfing is necessary when one has even the most rudimentary grip on Twitter.
The portfolio Dad sought is saliently and obviously stated on Benjamin’s profile, linked to earlier in this piece. While it’s true that the allure and intricacies of Twitter remain elusive even to the twenty-somethings, you’d have to be blind to miss it. It doesn’t help Dad’s case that Benjamin’s profile is the very first result when searching his full name in quotation marks. This is exactly the process that apparently resulted in blind alleys; a phrase i’m now forced to take literally considering my previous assertion of clarity. Additionally, if he doesn’t search for full names in quotation marks he’s further behind the times than I thought.
Now, I won’t deny that Benjamin’s non-Secret Cave work is a niche taste by design. Almost entirely focused on marketing and tech-philosophy, it’s not an easy bubble to burst. Besides, you can’t blame a man’s professional work for being beyond your purview. In his outside work, he clearly takes aim at a different audience to Secret Cave‘s. It has a minimalist flair about it too, somewhat insightful in its way. Commentary on the nature of his writing aside, it’s clear from cursory clicking that “writer” is a justified term for his career, hobby and passion. It’s merely here you’ll find the majority of those last two drives. As far as his careerist postings go, their popularity and reverence in their intended communities is impressive.
Dad’s lethargic lack of ability to read an accessible mini-bio on Twitter disgusts me. It’s just reactionary laziness. It’s the reason why mothers across the world need the help of their offspring to navigate Netflix. Dad’s not even that bad, making his stodgy research all the more surprising. Instead of reading the squiggly lines on the shiny box in front of him, the hairy labourer roars his dissent and attempts to smash the monolith he can’t comprehend. While smart enough to use words like “beatifically” or perfunctory Latin, the impulse is the same.
I’m not saying Andy Tyrrell should join Twitter. This isn’t even about affording the platform respect. In many ways it’s nothing more than a cynical cog in the machine of self-promotion. That’s a conversation worth having, but it’s not the one we’re having here. The applications of Twitter aside, in this case it offered a perfect in-road to Dad’s queries. The fact is, he must have wilfully ignored that route in order to bash on undeterred with his entertaining posturing. Dad often extols the virtues of physicality over our, admittedly, more digital focus. All i’m saying is, he may as well dip a toe into the expanding ocean of social media while he still has one foot firmly out of the grave.
It’s his interest in the physical that gives him a greater insight into the homophonic nature of the word “pallet”. When it comes to that spelling, he’s had a lot more experience with them. Be it loading them up with groceries to stock our shelves, packing them onto transport or even moving them around the country himself, Dad’s done it all. All the while, he repeated cheekily rebellious lyrics (like those to The Trees by Rush) in his bored mind. He even had many a creative idea himself, bolstered by the clear appreciation for language flaunted in his post. Unfortunately for him, Google (which he brought to the table), is unable to turn up any of these pursuits. Some may have come to fruition on old personal computers, but I sense this has something to do with the fangs in his detraction.
It would be a bit unfair to consider him hoisted by his own petard, though. In fairness, Dad doesn’t claim to be a writer. I can only assume that he gave up on any literary dreams he may have had in the 90’s. That this was the decade of my birth and formative years is probably no coincidence, and that’s why my overwhelming reaction to his scribbling is one of sympathy. Inciting suicide is, of course, tongue-in-cheek. The tongue and cheek in question is that of a talented pedant and nothing more. That is until he can prove otherwise. I issue a challenge to Andy Tyrrell, my father, and it’s one I sincerely hope he’ll embark upon:
Do you have the chutzpah necessary to show your linguistic flair with something more original? Can you, in your Autumn years, write anything not stuffed with the bile of “get off my lawn, you kids” philosophy? I know you have more to say than acidic portrayals of cross-cultural spelling mistakes. So, I’ve had to construct you a “contributor” account purely for the publication of what caused all this. Why don’t you show your son, disenfranchised by the short-sightedness of his elders, why things were better in your day? Us kids have a wider palette than you give us credit for.