Sniff. Sorry, sorry. I promised myself I wouldn’t cry. This is officially my last gossip column and, since TMZ hasn’t returned my phone calls, probably my last chance to write about this stuff for a mass audience. I’d like to give myself a nice, self-serving sendoff, but, given this column’s unsentimental nature — plus the fact I’m sure no one cares I’m leaving — it just wouldn’t be appropriate.

So instead I’ll complain about the newest trend in Hollywood: celebrity twittering. I’m not talking about the tweets of David Gregory and every politician from Barack Obama to Chris Dodd. What irks me are the tweets of gossip media stalwarts like Lindsay Lohan, Heidi Montag and Ashton Kutcher, all of whom use them as just another way to call attention to themselves.

But I’m not here to join the anti-Twitter squad whose complaints are just as dumb as those of people who freaked out over the redesign of Facebook. Reading about the pithy moments of someone’s day — celebrity or not — isn’t interesting to me, so I simply don’t visit Twitter or tweet myself. Problem solved.

Or not. Because, unfortunately, it appears Twitter is having an unforeseen effect on celebrity feuds and liaisons. Exhibit A: Lilo and Samantha Ronson, freshly broken-up, found themselves in adjoining rooms at the Chateau Marmont. Hohan, annoyed by her ex’s proximity, tweeted the following: “PLEASE leave me ALONE. And stop staying in the room below me.” All well and good. I cherish this kind of animosity, especially from two of this column’s favorite subjects. But the feud hasn’t gone any farther than that. I don’t know, maybe Ronson tweeted something back. Whoop-de-do.

Now let’s imagine an alternate, Twitter-less universe. Given Lohan’s impulsive and thoughtless nature, I’d imagine she would’ve had no choice but to break into Ronson’s room with a fireman’s ax and shriek like a banshee. (This is probably one of the only times I’ll ever use a cliché in writing, but it’s appropriate because a banshee is actually a ghastly Irish female. Like Lohan.) But instead she just twittered.

See the problem here? New modes of social technology are shouldering the burden of celebrity anger, and tiffs that once would’ve escalated into violent public scenes now float harmlessly into cyberspace.

I also believe Twitter makes celebrities less creative. Exhibit B: On April Fool’s Day last week, Heidi Montag tweeted a predictably lame fake-out, announcing to the world: “I wanted to tell my Twitter friends first…I am pregnant!!!!!!!! I couldn’t be more excited!!! I hope it’s a boy!” Without the ability to quickly spread any bit of info across the Internet, Heidi would’ve had to fool the actual paparazzi — maybe donning a fake stomach ache or scheduling a fake appointment at the gynecologist’s office.

But tweeting has removed the paparazzi middlemen and allowed information to flow directly from celebs’ Blackberrys to our unfortunate screens. The result is not only uncreative, uninteresting pranks like Heidi’s but an erosion of one of the cornerstones of gossip: the thrill of not knowing. When a celebrity can tell you everything herself, does the world need writers like me to speculate? (I know, I know. The world doesn’t need me anyway.) So I’ll admit the motive behind this last column is somewhat self-interested. I implore you, lovers of gossip: Stop reading celebrity tweets, so that my replacement (should one arise) can keep his or her job. (And so my chances to run a successful Superficial-like site will rise from .01 percent to .05.)

In all fairness, though, I can’t totally condemn a technology that saves lives. Even if the life happens to be a huge fan of Demi Moore. It’s true — last week a girl in Silicon Valley twittered a suicide threat to Demi-Tractor Trailer, who then re-twittered it (a phrase I may have just made up) to her legions of twittering fans, many of whom called local police departments.

Still, stories like that are sandwiched between less inspiring tales: John Mayer likes Twitter more than Jennifer Aniston; Hugh Jackman professes his Twitter addiction, while Robert Pattinson wants no part of it. Not only the contents of celebrities’ tweets but the fact that they twitter at all has suddenly become tabloid fodder.

This article alone certainly broke the Daily record for times “twitter” and its conjugations has/will ever be used in print. Like I said earlier, the word “twitter” has a ton of old definitions, one of which is “a state of tremulous excitement.” I think that describes things pretty well.

Like the inventor of a flying car, celebrities seem to be more excited by the idea of their new technology than the technology itself. But it’ll wear off. Twitter may be ephemeral, but gossip, my friends, lasts forever.

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