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Slate: Tweet the Declaration of Independence in 140 Characters or Less; Jefferson’s Ghost Appalled.

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Posted on June 29 2010 3:30 pm
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I can’t decide whether I think this is purely benign, kind of hilarious, or further proof we’re losing our collective American minds.   For the sake of argument, I’ll go with the latter.

Slate Magazine has announced a July 4th Twitter contest, #TinyDeclaration.  With a nod toward Thomas Jefferson’s incomparable ethos (apparently his love of brevity and “youthful” age of 33 while penning the majority of the document), entrants are to tweet the entire Declaration of Independence in 140 characters or less. One example:

“All men should be equal, happy and free. Suck it, King George. We quit. Love, the U.S. of A.”

Neat, right?  Just a little fun with history.  Not like we’re plagued by reductionism already or something.

I’m all for twitter hash-tag games and participate often.   I don’t doubt that many submissions will be witty and, perhaps, insightful.  I’m also sure Slate and participants see this as a culturally relevant homage to our founding.  Yet, by condensing an already concise document to twitterspeak, doesn’t that show disrespect for those who lost their lives in its defense? Furthermore, how much does this (from the comments):

TJ: Dear George, Bite me. Er, us. Boo-ya Grandma! BF: Aww, snap! You did not just say that! GW: It’s so on. TJ: Bring it! #TinyDeclaration

reflect the shallow understanding so many Americans suffer and could this TwitCliff’s Notes comprehension of our nation’s history ultimately impact our political decisions?  Obama cultists, anyone?

So many questions for such a trivial thing.  Or, is it?

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