The latest societal plea for relevance recalls another vapid generation
Back in the 1970s, generated in part by the gasoline shortage and the need for people to find amply stocked gas stations, the CB radio boom erupted.
The citizens-band format enabled people—motorists, most notably—to adopt whimsical names (“handles”) and whatever persona they fancied and prattle on in an abbreviated lingo. Generally, they faked a country-western twang, as they called one another “good buddy” and aped actual working truckers with the codes “10-4,” and “What’s your 20?”
With movies such as the “Smokey and the Bandit” series—with their primary focus making police look buffoonish—leaning heavily on CB-based “dialogue,” the groundswell gained an even greater pop culture footing.
It blossomed into a billion-dollar industry built, as so many U.S. industries have been, on insatiable egos, delusions of relevance, complete absence of real personality, and the lemming mentality that pervades and facilitates all such social glomming.
Which brings us to Twitter—emblematic of today’s social media and evocative of that particular brand of public self-indulgence and abject banality.