Capital D Discourse

If, at some point you have browsed the Kafkaesque hellscape also known as Twitter (and are also reading this), you must have heard of Discourse, and if you haven’t, count your lucky stars and go about your day! Like one of those tweets about someone else’s vibe, or go and see if it’s a no bones day (side note: I still don’t get what that is, and by extension, the appeal of pugs to dog lovers everywhere- but my thoughts on dog eugenics are not really relevant to this post). For everyone else still here, what would you class as Discourse? If voting for dumping sewage into rivers will dent the Conservatives’ poll numbers? Whether AOC’s tax the rich dress was praxis? Pineapple on pizza? Although these are separate discourses in and of themselves, they just don’t fall under the umbrella of capital d Discourse. On my many days spent idly scrolling the timeline, I have come tantalisingly close to understanding the nuances of Discourse, which can be broken down into distinct stages:

Stage 1: Nichest of niche opinions

Although it doesn’t seem like it, 99% of Discourse starts off as an extremely niche opinion, only held by a number of people who you can count using 1 hand. These opinions are then picked up by louder voices in that specific community, thirsting for the next high-engagement tweet like a vampire thirsts for blood- or Edward Cullen thirsts for teenagers 100 years younger than him (however, I am still #teamedward4life), and then picked up by a louder voice until eventually, a random journalist under 1000 followers (still verified somehow), picks up on the opinion, and then the opinion is released upon the masses for the second stage…

Stage 2: General ridicule

Once the Journalist picks up on the opinion and broadcasts it to the “masses” (#FBPE Twitter & other Journalists), eager leftist commentators can usually be seen in the replies absolutely eviscerating the opinion, with the same jokes parroted by more leftist commentators with a bigger platform, mirroring the content pipeline present in most text-based mediums of communication (indeed, if this goes extremely well, a watered-down tale might end up in New Statemen). Nevertheless, as Isaac Newton said, every action must have an equal and opposite reaction, which leads us to the next stage…

Stage 3: Hear me out…

Once the general ridicule subsides, bigger Journalists pick up on the original opinion and, bankrolled by surprisingly rich bigots and their sociopathic editors, manage to distil the opinion into an article that says so little in so much, which is then spread to the masses like Timothee Chalamet’s chlamydia. At this point, it has morphed into capital d Discourse, and will subsequently become a segment on Newsnight (a very high production quality one, for some inexplicable reason, that you can’t help but watch). A few weeks after this, it will be brought up either in PMQ’s or in a press conference watched by 7 people. In both cases, our affable Prime Spinister will spin it into Tory Levelling Up schmaltz that everyone has heard a million times before, and Keir Starmer will have no meaningful response. Eventually, this Discourse will fade out of the cultural Discourse, and end up back where it started, the nichest of niche opinions, never to be discussed again. Until the next time Journalists try to mine Twitter for likes, opinions, and sweet sweet ad revenue.

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