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How Should a Person Tweet?
August 16, 2014 9:18 AM   Subscribe

"There are a lot of people who are so innovative on twitter. That’s why it’s so puzzling to me when someone like Jonathan Franzen is like, 'twitter is murdering literature with a gun!' Twitter is seen as a millenial thing. Naturally, older people assume we only use it to send thousands of disrespectful selfies to God, or whatever the stereotype is nowadays." - Kimmy Walters (@arealliveghost) to Sheila Heti in Part One of The Believer Logger's interview series, "What Would Twitter Do?"

Part One: Kimmy Walters/@arealliveghost

Part Two: Kate Zambreno/[deactivated]

Part Three: Teju Cole/@tejucole

Part Four: Mira Gonzalez/@miragonz

Part Five: Tao Lin/@tao_lin

Part Six: Christian Lorentzen/@xlorentzen

Part Seven: Patricia Lockwood/@TriciaLockwood

Part Eight: Sadvil/@crylenol

Part Nine: Various

Part Nine and a Half: Melville House (not an actual person's name, sadly)/@melvillehouse

Part Nine and Three Quarters: Roxane Gay/@rgay

Part Ten: Kenneth Goldsmith/@kg_ubu
posted by Rustic Etruscan (62 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Part one is 583 characters.
posted by vapidave at 9:32 AM on August 16


It is not in any way to be enterprised nor taken in hand unadvisedly, lightly or wantonly- to satisfy mens carnal lusts and appetites like brute beasts that have no understanding; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the fear of God.
posted by ReeMonster at 9:34 AM on August 16 [4 favorites]


Oh my gosh! I read arealliveghost's interview when it came out (and loved it), but completely forgot that there were others forthcoming! Yay! Thanks for the reminder!
posted by Greg Nog at 9:55 AM on August 16


I keep meaning to use twitter, but then I don't because I don't know who to follow. It looks like some of the people interviewed aren't using twitter any more.
posted by betweenthebars at 9:56 AM on August 16


Love this pullquote, thakns
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:11 AM on August 16


There are a lot of people who are so innovative on twitter

...examples, please? I'm not concerned that Twitter is killing literature, but that's because I think Twitter has very little to do with literature.

The Twitter that I've seen consists almost entirely of the following:

—marketroids (so many marketroids)

—sharing links to interesting content that other people have created (which is all fine and good, but is not "innovative" or "literature")

—quips, epigrams, and other very-short-form humor (which is fine, but I do it all the time on Facebook, and I suffer no illusions that I'm an innovative literatureperson—I'm just saying redonkulous stuff to amuse my friends)

—political sloganeering (there isn't room for actual political substance in 140 characters)

—up-to-the-second updates on breaking news (which is semi-useful, but ultimately it's a giant rumor mill that needs to be thoroughly vetted before taking anything as fact)

—novelty web-programming-as-art accounts (bots—occasionally amusing, but that's about it)

I read the links in TFA (well, some of them I just skimmed), and looked at some of the accounts mentioned, and I don't get it. It's just a big sort-of chatroom with an arbitrary character limit. The fact that these users imagine themselves to be artistes doesn't make it so.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 10:17 AM on August 16 [21 favorites]


escape, Thanks for articulating so intelligently and fairly what I was thinking. Because I would've just said, "Bullshit. Innovation?? Twitter is virtual litter!" No redeeming qualities whatsoever, in my opinion.
posted by ReeMonster at 10:23 AM on August 16 [1 favorite]


Does "innovation" have any real meaning anymore? lt's become such an abused term.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:29 AM on August 16 [6 favorites]


The parts of Twitter that make it worthwhile for me don't necessarily translate. It's the old saw about 90% of everything is shit: that includes whatever lofty formats you espouse over Twitter. The fact that you've found your worthwhile 10% in your medium of choice doesn't preclude the existence of a worthwhile 10% in Twitter that you haven't bothered to seriously look for.
posted by jsnlxndrlv at 10:34 AM on August 16 [7 favorites]


Hrm. I use twitter with people that I like and know as a non-chat way to communicate. You just drop this thought or that item into your twitter, and others see it and they respond, or not, depending on their inclination. It's fun and trivial, but I've built real friendships using it, and while it's not the be-all-and-end-all, it's a decidedly different way to interface online and I find it useful.

I also use it to follow the activities of various musicians I like. (Did you know Duran Duran is in the studio RIGHT NOW with Nile Rogers? The new album might be AMAZING!)

I guess I'm not part of the "use twitter to promote your personal brand" set. I use it daily and it works for me in the way that it works. I don't know why people hate on it, and I don't know why people strive to make it a contest to see who has the most followers or who can be the most witty or who can get the most retweets. That seems outside the scope of how I use it, and I have fun with it and it adds to my life.
posted by hippybear at 10:43 AM on August 16 [7 favorites]


In my opinion, the Internets seem to have reduced everything to the number of

Friends
Followers
Likes
Etc

which in most cases is just an inarticulate click to register your status in a category. There is no substance anymore. No depth. No thought. Except for the ads. There are lots of ads. Everywhere. It's all about the ads.
posted by njohnson23 at 10:49 AM on August 16 [2 favorites]


Twitter does contain innovative short literary works. The fact that they're innovative inherently implies that many people won't like them, or recognize them as something new and valid, and rightly so. It's like how if you don't hurt after a breakup it probably wasn't that profound a realtionship. Bafflement is the appropriate feeling.

I happen to think that this: "HI 911? I DROPPED MY INFANT IN A BOWL OF ROGAINE & HE TURN IN2 KOALA BEAR. BUT ANYWAY THE EMERGENCY IS I NEED WORLDS BEST DAD MUG IMEDIATELY" is incredibly funny, and it only survives in the Internet medium -- I mean, we all know how unfunny explaining a joke is, but consider how much the joke relies on what caps and misspelling means in this glowing square place we're in.

As for the complaints that aphoristic or just plain brief writing isn't writing -- that's a valid idea, but consider: Georg Lichtenberg, Emily Dickinson, Felix Feneon, Richard Brautigan, Marcus Aurelius, Kafka's really short work, the list goes on, this is just off the top of my head, so forgive my brevity. Aphoristic work is the only thing you can do on Twitter. But many profound writers have chosen to do that kind of work way before phone-sized literature became a fashion, based on the kind of properties that work can offer.
posted by insteadofapricots at 10:50 AM on August 16 [11 favorites]


The fact that these users imagine themselves to be artistes doesn't make it so.

I don't disagree with the broader point you're making, but the implication of pretensiousness here isn't really fair. At least three-quarters of these people actually are writers of various sorts, and in fact, they're mostly pretty good ones. You're definitely right to be skeptical of the overselling of Twitter as a medium for serious thinking or writing — but even if it's the case that basically all of what these people, like the other vaguely Weird Twitter-affiliated and/or literary accounts, do on the Tweets is not whatever Bold Reinvention of Literature in the Electronic Age it sometimes gets trumped up into but merely kind of clever, mildly surreal, or witty comedy, still: (a) there's nothing wrong with that! and (b) they're doing good work in other forms at the same time, making the Twitter stuff more of a self-marketing pastime or a recreational form of wit than their sole form of art.
posted by RogerB at 11:02 AM on August 16


Good Tweeters are not even in the same universe as your lawn, so
posted by trunk muffins at 11:06 AM on August 16 [2 favorites]


What I don't understand is how all these people can be writing "poetry" that isn't even CLOSE to a sonnet. Like, ooooh, you put your line breaks in all funny, you're just sooooo clever!!! Give me a break. It's all trash
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:09 AM on August 16 [21 favorites]


As a nervous person I am comforted by the thread of anxiety running through these interviews. Not that I would wish those feelings on anyone, but it's reassuring to know others have the same doubts about such specific interactions.

To me these are people who happen to be artists, happen to be on twitter, and happen (in some cases) to be known because of that fact. It's a nice series, one which deals with a lot of the above questions and criticisms regarding twitter-as-art-form and its intersection with "real" art and literature. Not saying it answers them, or justifies the use of the word "innovation," and it's certainly not an an unequivocal statement that twitter is great art. More measured views are well represented: Zambreno's return to more traditional literary pursuits such as notebooking, Goldsmith's flat "Twitter is not art," and Christian Lorentzen's likening of his feed to "watching a stream of garbage flow in order to see what colour the trash is today."

The collection of people interviewed though is emblematic of what I love about twitter: published poets, novelists, respected critics, and some guy who learned to write comedy from watching Family Guy bumping up against each other in interesting ways, further blurring the lines between so-called high and low culture.
posted by Lorin at 11:27 AM on August 16 [2 favorites]


"Twitter is just crap and ass. It's not good or art. I'm a 48 year old, so trust me, I know what I'm talking about."
posted by rubadub at 11:33 AM on August 16 [9 favorites]


It's just a big sort-of chatroom with an arbitrary character limit.

and as we all know, art cannot take place in chat rooms or online forums
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:04 PM on August 16 [4 favorites]


Twitter is seen as a millenial thing. Naturally, older people assume we only use it to send thousands of disrespectful selfies to God, or whatever the stereotype is nowadays.

Man, no way does that sentence fit in a single tweet.
posted by vanar sena at 12:06 PM on August 16


and as we all know, art cannot take place in chat rooms or online forums

if the medium isn't limited to people who have above-average access to material resources (including free time) then it's not really art

it's like, talk to me when you have 75k invested in an MFA like a REAL artist
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:06 PM on August 16 [7 favorites]


rubadub: "Twitter is just crap and ass. It's not good or art. I'm a 48 year old, so trust me, I know what I'm talking about."

That one does though.
posted by vanar sena at 12:07 PM on August 16


What I don't understand is how all these people can be writing "poetry" that isn't even CLOSE to a sonnet.

Perfection! This is the ne plus ultra of Twitter-native evasive ambiguity, where even whether the ambiguity is meant is itself ambiguous.* It's literally impossible to tell if you're just making an innocuously silly hyperbolic joke (that got the sonnet thing from the first interview totally backwards [on purpose?]), or whether you're actually passive-aggressively trying to mock someone else's views by deliberately mischaracterizing them, and if you're doing that, it's equally impossible to tell if you're doing it in bad faith or just don't actually understand what other people in the discussion are saying or maybe even that question itself is overreading and you're just trying to score cheap points for the hell of it because who cares words don't have meanings it's all just a stream of transient affects and passing stances assumed for effects that don't deserve or reward any thought and a momentary chuckle on the way to death is the best we can ever hope for and the authentic voice of Twitter as a medium is in fact wild irrationalism gleefully whistling past the graveyard

* idea for weird twitter account: zombie william empson
posted by RogerB at 12:09 PM on August 16 [8 favorites]


When it comes right down to it, a lot of these so-called artists are just typing words, which frankly seems pretty easy. I mean, I know lots of words, and have whole books full of them. There's even words on my cereal box (Cheerios), so you can pretty much see words anywhere you want. And this is supposed to be art? Call me when Picaso or Rembrant start "tweeting", and maybe i'll think it's "art" then.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:12 PM on August 16 [11 favorites]


RogerB, I have to disagree. My comment is not ambiguous at all. It's basic satire. Satire gets a bad rap around here as a seemingly lower form of argument. However, it's singularly useful as a form of critique when the argument you're critiquing is highly flawed but there are elements of the argument that serve to bias readers in its favor and thus camouflage those flaws.

In this case, "tweets not art because they're short" will get a lot of nods--after all, if you already believe that tweets cannot be art or that new things cannot be art, arguments about why tweets are not art will fall on fertile ground. If you replace "tweets" with something that does not carry the same connotations of newness or the more specific connotations of Twitter/tweets, the flaw in that argument becomes much more clear.

In the case of "free verse", the bias is the other way. It's generally accepted that at least some free verse poets are artists and that free verse poetry can be art. Therefore, "free verse is not art because it's not in sonnet form" will fall on fallow ground and the flawed nature of the argument becomes much more clear.

Of course, for this to be a valid method of criticism, "tweets" and "free verse" have to be similar enough for the replacement to not substantially affect the argument. My comment included evidence for this similarity, but I'll spell it out again: since free verse was once critiqued for its newness and its lack of formal conformity to then-established forms of poetry, the comparison between the two holds and the satire hits the mark.

Anyway, I assure you that satire existed long before twitter. LOL
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:31 PM on August 16 [5 favorites]


Jenny Holzer is
my muse. All want in on the
act. But- is it art?
posted by IndigoJones at 12:31 PM on August 16 [1 favorite]


Is it a painting of a tall ship? Then how can you call it art
posted by shakespeherian at 12:33 PM on August 16 [8 favorites]


"tweets not art because they're short"

That would indeed be a ridiculous thing to say. However, no one said it.
posted by RogerB at 12:35 PM on August 16 [4 favorites]


Right now, the BuzzFeedingFrenzy is agog over one Twitter Feed, WTFRenaissance, which adds ironic/nonsensical/modernist captions to old paintings. Yep, that's a good use of the form, but waitaminute... there's a feature on GoComics (the newspaper comics site) called That Is Priceless by Steve Melcher that has been doing the same thing once daily, Monday-Friday, since October 2011. Unoriginality, thy name is Twitter.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:46 PM on August 16 [1 favorite]


As far as I'm concerned Twitter is the only artform worth paying attention to nowadays and that's only mostly because it's the exact length of time I can pay attention to something.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:46 PM on August 16


Unoriginality, thy name is Twitter.

Wow you really nailed em great job epic win Bon mot #pw3d
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:47 PM on August 16 [2 favorites]


That would indeed be a ridiculous thing to say. However, no one said it.

I think you've misread the young rope-rider's argument if you think that she's saying someone said that thing. She is saying that facile explications of why Twitter cannot be art will nevertheless be embraced by listeners already primed to denigrate Twitter-- they aren't always looking to see what's facile about an argument if they agree with its general stance. She did not say 'Here is a quote from the thread which is wrong.'
posted by shakespeherian at 12:48 PM on August 16 [3 favorites]


Perfection! This is the ne plus ultra of Twitter-native evasive ambiguity, where even whether the ambiguity is meant is itself ambiguous.* It's literally impossible to tell if you're just making an innocuously silly hyperbolic joke (that got the sonnet thing from the first interview totally backwards [on purpose?]), or whether you're actually passive-aggressively trying to mock someone else's views by deliberately mischaracterizing them, and if you're doing that, it's equally impossible to tell if you're doing it in bad faith or just don't actually understand what other people in the discussion are saying or maybe even that question itself is overreading and you're just trying to score cheap points for the hell of it because who cares words don't have meanings it's all just a stream of transient affects and passing stances assumed for effects that don't deserve or reward any thought and a momentary chuckle on the way to death is the best we can ever hope for and the authentic voice of Twitter as a medium is in fact wild irrationalism gleefully whistling past the graveyard
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:48 PM on August 16 [1 favorite]


pɹɐʎǝʌɐɹb ǝɥʇ ʇsɐd buıןʇsıɥʍ ʎןןnɟǝǝןb ɯsıןɐuoıʇɐɹɹı pןıʍ ʇɔɐɟ uı sı ɯnıpǝɯ ɐ sɐ ɹǝʇʇıʍʇ ɟo ǝɔıoʌ ɔıʇuǝɥʇnɐ ǝɥʇ puɐ ɹoɟ ǝdoɥ ɹǝʌǝ uɐɔ ǝʍ ʇsǝq ǝɥʇ sı ɥʇɐǝp oʇ ʎɐʍ ǝɥʇ uo ǝןʞɔnɥɔ ʎɹɐʇuǝɯoɯ ɐ puɐ ʇɥbnoɥʇ ʎuɐ pɹɐʍǝɹ ɹo ǝʌɹǝsǝp ʇ,uop ʇɐɥʇ sʇɔǝɟɟǝ ɹoɟ pǝɯnssɐ sǝɔuɐʇs buıssɐd puɐ sʇɔǝɟɟɐ ʇuǝısuɐɹʇ ɟo ɯɐǝɹʇs ɐ ʇsnظ ןןɐ s,ʇı sbuıuɐǝɯ ǝʌɐɥ ʇ,uop spɹoʍ sǝɹɐɔ oɥʍ ǝsnɐɔǝq ʇı ɟo ןןǝɥ ǝɥʇ ɹoɟ sʇuıod dɐǝɥɔ ǝɹoɔs oʇ buıʎɹʇ ʇsnظ ǝɹ,noʎ puɐ buıpɐǝɹɹǝʌo sı ɟןǝsʇı uoıʇsǝnb ʇɐɥʇ uǝʌǝ ǝqʎɐɯ ɹo buıʎɐs ǝɹɐ uoıssnɔsıp ǝɥʇ uı ǝןdoǝd ɹǝɥʇo ʇɐɥʍ puɐʇsɹǝpun ʎןןɐnʇɔɐ ʇ,uop ʇsnظ ɹo ɥʇıɐɟ pɐq uı ʇı buıop ǝɹ,noʎ ɟı ןןǝʇ oʇ ǝןqıssodɯı ʎןןɐnbǝ s,ʇı 'ʇɐɥʇ buıop ǝɹ,noʎ ɟı puɐ 'ɯǝɥʇ buızıɹǝʇɔɐɹɐɥɔsıɯ ʎןǝʇɐɹǝqıןǝp ʎq sʍǝıʌ s,ǝsןǝ ǝuoǝɯos ʞɔoɯ oʇ buıʎɹʇ ʎןǝʌıssǝɹbbɐ-ǝʌıssɐd ʎןןɐnʇɔɐ ǝɹ,noʎ ɹǝɥʇǝɥʍ ɹo '([¿ǝsodɹnd uo] spɹɐʍʞɔɐq ʎןןɐʇoʇ ʍǝıʌɹǝʇuı ʇsɹıɟ ǝɥʇ ɯoɹɟ buıɥʇ ʇǝuuos ǝɥʇ ʇob ʇɐɥʇ) ǝʞoظ ɔıןoqɹǝdʎɥ ʎןןıs ʎןsnonɔouuı uɐ buıʞɐɯ ʇsnظ ǝɹ,noʎ ɟı ןןǝʇ oʇ ǝןqıssodɯı ʎןןɐɹǝʇıן s,ʇı *˙snonbıqɯɐ ɟןǝsʇı sı ʇuɐǝɯ sı ʎʇınbıqɯɐ ǝɥʇ ɹǝɥʇǝɥʍ uǝʌǝ ǝɹǝɥʍ 'ʎʇınbıqɯɐ ǝʌısɐʌǝ ǝʌıʇɐu-ɹǝʇʇıʍʇ ɟo ɐɹʇןn snןd ǝu ǝɥʇ sı sıɥʇ ¡uoıʇɔǝɟɹǝd
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:52 PM on August 16 [4 favorites]


Short, controlled bursts.
posted by Renoroc at 12:53 PM on August 16


Tweets are a medium, not a genre.

Comic books are still struggling with this. The highest-visibility comic books are terribly bad superhero dreck. Which can be legitimately entertaining in and of itself, but there is so much bad stuff out there. On the other hand, there are comic books like Alison Bechtel's Fun Home. Often, the good stuff is re-branded as being a "graphic novel," but most people would still just look at the work and think "this comic isn't very funny, hmm" and stop reading.

There's plenty of "lol I just had suishi," but then there's @thomas_violence's "what no I didn't engineer this entire violent city-wide riot just so we could have sex during it that's ridiculous take your shirt off".
posted by wires at 12:55 PM on August 16 [4 favorites]


Please tell me that there's a twitter account consisting of disrespectful selfies sent to God.
posted by zompist at 1:23 PM on August 16 [4 favorites]


Even in the superhero trash stuff there's great stuff (the Hawkeye issue from the dog's POV with infograms for smells and low color, the way flora connects the panels in the new Black Widow, everything about the new She-Hulk); it's not always accessible to people who don't know the language of comics (superhero stuff especially), and I think that inaccessibility often leads to its dismissal. Twitter can be the same way-- you have to speak the language to get what people like dril and DREAD SINGLES are doing, because they exist in a context, and I think the get-off-my-lawn types often really hate it because they don't understand it; the idea that they have to learn the language from the banal up is somehow offensive.
posted by NoraReed at 1:42 PM on August 16 [1 favorite]


Things might have changed in the last five years, but whenever I think of twitter, I think: Twitter is for old people.
posted by Yowser at 1:45 PM on August 16


Would a disrespectful selfie be a selfie in which you fail to show proper self-respect or a selfie that shows disrespect to the recipient?

And could God send himself a Tweet so disrespectful even He could not cap it with a satirical retort in Tweet form?
posted by yoink at 2:41 PM on August 16 [1 favorite]


She did not say 'Here is a quote from the thread which is wrong.'

Why is it worth satirizing that, then? Who disagrees? No one reasonable, and certainly no one here, thinks or says "new things cannot be art" or "short things cannot be art" or anything even close to that — and the much more interesting and reasonable disagreements at hand, in this thread and in the linked articles, are just being dodged or misrepresented by all the cheap lulzy stuff here. There's no call to go making up Franzens when we already have one too many — and the preemptive Franzen-escalation is really just poisoning the well for any more reasonable discussion.
posted by RogerB at 2:48 PM on August 16


I don't know who you guys follow but my twitter is mostly about preparing for the upcoming skeleton war.
posted by The Whelk at 2:56 PM on August 16 [2 favorites]


No one reasonable, and certainly no one here, thinks or says "new things cannot be art" or "short things cannot be art"

Yes, that is the point, yes, which is what the young rope-rider explained already, up there, in her explanation
posted by shakespeherian at 3:00 PM on August 16


Yes, that is the point, yes

since free verse was once critiqued for its newness [...] the comparison between the two holds

?
posted by RogerB at 3:03 PM on August 16


I don't get it. It's just a big sort-of chatroom with an arbitrary character limit.

I only follow amusing novelty accounts, well that and the weather. Twitter is hilarious if you don't follow any actual people. There is some really absurdist stuff on there.

There are a few Best of Vine accounts that account for 90% of my lols these days. Vine is sketch comedy reduced to its brilliant essence.
posted by fshgrl at 3:21 PM on August 16


Tweeting by journalists defies logic to me. "I promise not to tell you the whole story all at once."
posted by emelenjr at 4:03 PM on August 16 [1 favorite]


Aphoristic work is the only thing you can do on Twitter.

So Nietzsche will run fine on Twitter. We can just gloss over the contradictions.
posted by ovvl at 4:29 PM on August 16


i think of Twitter less as an art gallery with paintings up on the walls and more of a combined openmic/poetryslam with a ridiculously short time limit before the hook gets you and pulls you off which seems to work
posted by solarion at 4:54 PM on August 16 [2 favorites]


Or a slightly time delayed chat room filled with your colleagues.
posted by The Whelk at 5:06 PM on August 16


One of the guys I follow (@bombsfall) live-tweets an episode of JEM every couple of days. For me, that completely justifies Twitter's entire existence. Oh JEM, you are so crazy!
posted by snwod at 5:32 PM on August 16 [1 favorite]


She's outrageous

Truly truly truly outrageous
posted by The Whelk at 5:36 PM on August 16 [2 favorites]


"There are a lot of people who are so innovative on twitter. "

The best tweets I've ever seen have been mildly amusing at best. Can anybody link to a few 'so innovative' accounts?
posted by signal at 8:51 PM on August 16


Twitter is seen as a millenial thing.

I'm technically a "millenial" at age 33. I don't use Twitter to communicate with anyone I know. I only use Twitter to follow comedians and journalists who are mostly older than me. I know that statistically, Twitter users are fairly young overall, but my actual experience using the site would suggest that it skews older than most websites.
posted by John Cohen at 9:02 PM on August 16 [2 favorites]


the young rope-rider: "My comment is not ambiguous at all. It's basic satire."

What's the name for that thing where unless you actually post signs saying "THIS IS SATIRE PLEASE DO NOT TAKE SERIOUSLY" it's often not possible to tell the difference?

In other words, as I read it your comment was, in fact, ambiguous.

signal: "The best tweets I've ever seen have been mildly amusing at best. Can anybody link to a few 'so innovative' accounts?"

Your sense of humor/interest/wonder may be different from mine, but here are a few I like:
birdsrightactivist
Cat Tips
The Worst Muse
Micro SF/F Fiction (an account that, for this layperson at least, seems to be pushing back against the idea that you can't copyright a tweet because they're not creative enough)
posted by Lexica at 9:28 PM on August 16 [2 favorites]


ActualPerson084
posted by gac at 9:34 PM on August 16


Ugh don't reward lazy dismissals of a community with suggestions.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:50 PM on August 16 [3 favorites]


Yeah, er I guess I'm a millenial too? I only use twitter to get free stuff from the marketroids.

Also I really, really hate with the acid-seething rage of a thousand xenomorph brood queens the term "millennial" (and Gen X, Baby Boomer, etc). Is there EVER any reason for non-marketroids to use these lazy, confirmation-bias-feeding categories? I just

ugh ugh ugh

Okay. I think I'm calmer now. More to the point, does anybody else find it just a little odd that we all keep dusting off these old "but is it art" arguments while inside the world wide web? Think about the gravity of this situation.

THE.
WORLD.
WIDE.
WEB.

Every single thing you do in this place is art. Oh my FUCK, this conversation. Why do we keep having it? Every day, like probably every 20 minutes for some of us, we are JACKING IN TO THE MOTHERFUCKING INFORMATION DONKEYJUMPING HOLY DICKMOUNTAIN OHMYFUCKINGSWEETNESS CAT-GODS-ARE-WATCHING-US-AND-SMILING-FELINE MURDERSMILES-OF-VENGEANCE INFORMATION GODDAMN SUPERHIGHWAY. There aren't enough oaths and expletives to convey how mind-shittingly amazing this concept is.

You wake up. Log on. Hello, meatbag.

0.8 seconds ago you were Nina from Accounting, you were Troy from IT, or maybe Ashley from the basement of your second month of unemployment. But now you are Shadowranger09 and you're about to post some pretty fucking legit animated gifs of baby tigers playing with a LASER pointer or maybe now you're @buttslol and you're about to tweet a series high-larious butt jokes. Or maybe now you are Doleful Creature and you are typing up a half-coherent ANGERSCREED over on the Metafilters and everything about this moment is 100% pure art. It's not even a question!

The dream of the internet for all and forever is that post-modernism is no longer an affectation, it's just, there. There to be completely taken for granted and totally ignored. Is it art? Fuck you. Of course it's art. Well, is it good art? Sure, yes. Any time you want it to be.

Also why in the hell are we still paying attention to anything Jonathan Franzen has to say about anything? Why on ANY VERSION OF EARTH does his opinion get special privilege. Did I miss that memo? Maybe it was only published on twitter.
posted by Doleful Creature at 1:58 AM on August 17 [8 favorites]


I'm 33 as well and love the hell out of Twitter. However, my dad was using it for quite a while before I was, and a fair number of the people I follow are around his age or above.

I follow a bunch of MeFites and other internet friends, plus a bunch of film critics, film nerds, scientists, comedians, and other folks. It's a good place to find and share links, have a few laughs, &c.

A lot of the time I feel like critics tend to fault twitter for failing at things it's not trying to do.
posted by brundlefly at 9:50 AM on August 17


Also why in the hell are we still paying attention to anything Jonathan Franzen has to say about anything?

Because he's David Brooks' Sith apprentice now?
posted by thelonius at 2:09 PM on August 17 [1 favorite]


DREAD SINGLES is the only thing I bother to follow on Twitter. I don't know if it's art, but it makes something in me very happy.

Art is really far too subjective to define, IMO. One man's garbage, and all that.
posted by Meep! Eek! at 7:59 PM on August 17


The best tweets I've ever seen have been mildly amusing at best. Can anybody link to a few 'so innovative' accounts?

I guess the first place I'd go, if I were really interested in having my question answered, is Walters's following list, since she's the one who used those words. If I were really interested in having my question answered, that is.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:21 PM on August 18


Lexica:Your sense of humor/interest/wonder may be different from mine, but here are a few I like:

Thanks for the links. I like the short form SF/F one and Worst Muse (which I was already following), the others seem a bit LOLcatty to me. Even the ones I like, however, don't seem especially new or game changing.

Potomac Avenue: "Ugh don't reward lazy dismissals of a community with suggestions."

Twitter has about 645 million users. I'm not sure it makes any sense to call that a "community". If, on the other hand, you're referring to the, say, 0.000001% you interact with regularly, it seems kind of parochial and self-centered to assume I was specifically referring to what you think of as your twitter 'community'. Also, my question wasn't lazy and not meant as a dismissal. I've had a twitter account for years, have followers, follow people, etc., and find it generally amusing. I've never seen anything especially innovative, and would actually love to see some examples. I'm probably not a part of your 'community', though, so thanks for the othering.

Rustic Etruscan I guess the first place I'd go, if I were really interested in having my question answered, is Walters's following list, since she's the one who used those words. If I were really interested in having my question answered, that is."

Skipping over the wierd passive-agressive tone of your answer, I did look through her follow list. Don't really see anything that stand out as especially innovative.
posted by signal at 4:29 PM on August 19 [1 favorite]


Skipping over the wierd passive-agressive tone of your answer

Yeah, sorry for that, and thanks for skipping over it. You would have been well within your rights to go after me for it. I was in a bad mood and it seemed like such an easy, obvious answer to the question that the question seemed disingenuous, but it was mostly the bad mood that made them seem so. Sorry for being a dick.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:34 PM on August 19


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