You think you know what Twitter is, don’t you? You’ve heard foggy old newscasters pontificate about how it sparks revolutions in the Middle East, and you’ve listened to IMC professors talk about using it to build your “personal brand” (like, don’t forget, DON’T EVER FORGET that retweets do not fucking equal endorsements).
Although you were initially freaked out by seeing all your friends constantly retweeting a middle-aged guy in a speedo, you’ve come to enjoy reading Rob Delaney tweet at Wolf Blitzer asking if Flowers For Algernon was a true story. You know how to use hashtags to draw attention to your tweets from people you’ll never meet, but are still self-aware enough to laugh when Schmidt says “hashtag” out loud on New Girl.
All in all, you feel confident in your grasp of Twitter, like the #millenial that you are.
My poor, poor child.
Twitter is all that, yes, and a bag of chips, but it is also so much more. We all know that Twitter is annoying (and occasionally informative), but the best part about it is that it is also incredibly, gloriously WEIRD.
What’s that? You thought that just cause your Twitter account consists almost solely of your friends humblebragging about their high-profile summer internships and live-tweeting their latest SVU Netflix binge, that meant that there wasn’t a whole community of weird people tweeting constantly about Air Bud? Well, you were wrong.
Maybe when Jack Dorsey founded Twitter back in 2006, he expected it to be a vehicle for typical “look, friends, this is what I did today” fare. Little did they know how potent the 140 character limit could be. It is an art form just like any other, and a bunch of people have taken it to artistic lengths so bizarre it would make the Dadaists laugh.
Welcome to Weird Twitter. That’s right, people, Twitter has genres now!
Though this is really the only one that matters. The denizens of Weird Twitter don’t have a lot in common, the way, say, Impressionist painters do, but you know them when you see them. Their tweets are bizarre and hilarious and cover a wide range of topics, though there are some that get revisited a lot, like the aforementioned Air Bud, that stupid “10 years ago we had Steve Jobs, Johnny Cash and Bob Hope” quote and spiders falling into your mouth while you sleep (I did say “weird”).
I could go on, but really, the best way to learn about Weird Twitter is to experience it. So here, without further ado, are the five Twitter accounts you should go follow RIGHT NOW to add a much-needed dose of weirdness and originality to your feed. Let them show you the true possibilities of the medium. Let them show you fear in a handful of dust.
Honorable Mention goes to Rob Delaney (a little too mainstream, though important as a gateway drug/litmus test to determine whether you’ll enjoy the rest of Weird Twitter; the Yeezus to their Death Grips, if you will) and horse ebooks (because everybody already knows about it and its savage lie, and if you don’t, God help you, this is going to be harder than I thought) but not RiFF RAFF (because he’s an idiot) or Chuck Grassley (because someone finally taught him how to spell).
One of the OGs of Weird Twitter, at least for me and my friends, Sex Carl is a persona (maybe fictional, maybe not, who the fuck knows with Weird Twitter) of a guy who has terrible luck getting laid, but really, really wants you to think that he does.
Sorry for the short blurb, Sex Carl, but the premise here is pretty simplistic, which is also why it’s so brilliant and such a good gateway drug to Weird Twitter.
Admit it: you followed SeinfeldToday, at least for a little while. It was every millenial’s dream: the show they loved since their parents showed it to them, but set in the modern world of iPhones and pilates classes.
Seinfeld2000 is like that, but, um, different.
I suppose you could say it offers a more realistic vision of what would have happened to the complete weirdos in the Seinfeld cast if we picked up on their adventures 20 years after their adventures ended in 1998. For example, Seinfeld2000’s Kramer has one giant dreadlock. Maybe it’s more faithful to the anarchic, postmodern spirit of the original show, but those arguments kind of sound like overwrought Pitchfork reviews.
The bottom line is that @Seinfeld2000 is hilarious, disorienting, and an offensive slap to the face of the social media-enhanced narcissism that is so common in 2013, and that’s something we all need.
A lot of Weird Twitter accounts have half-assed parody premises behind them (see wolf puppy), but true to form, they don’t put any more effort into maintaining those alter egoes than they do into spelling words correctly, because after all, who cares? God is dead and we have killed him.
So even though Tormniably Piackeels looks like he’s supposed to be some demonic interpretation of the Rugrats protagonist, it doesn’t factor into most of his tweets, which are an excellent showcase for typo-based humor and nonsensical topics that you kind of just have to roll with.
As Ezra Koenig once pointed out, modern culture seems so intent on ridiculing the image of the “cool dad” that our generation will almost certainly grow up to be mean, authoritative, boring parents. I only bring this up because dubstep4dads’ Twitter handle seems to be another offender (though his avatar is still reminiscent of the days when his handle was “cool as h*ck turtle”) though his specialty really lies in coming up with hilarious situation jokes. In addition to being a prolific source of original material, he’s also one of the best retweeters in the game, so following him is practically a guarantee you won’t miss one-off jems from lesser-known accounts.
And now for something slightly different. You see, like all the best joke bands, Weird Twitter is also a good source of bleeding-heart sincerity and literature. I was thinking of putting Pentametron (another brilliant account that does nothing but retweet tweets in iambic pentameter, and always two at a time to make couplets) here as an example of the latter, but one of my friends helpfully informed me that “Pentametron belongs more to Gimmick Twitter.”
But never fear, there are always others. Ornery Island’s tweets, which often read like poetry fragments or half-baked seeds of short stories but also verge into social commentary, are definitely Weird. His tweets can be funny, like when he goes hard on the caps lock or takes the “catch me in the club (doing blank)” prompt to places you honestly never thought it could go, but mostly they serve as a refreshing breath of poetic amazement at our weird world. He’s also a great retweeter, if this Vice parody account I found through him is any indication.
So there you have it. Weird Twitters like to retweet each other a lot and often bounce off each other, so it won’t be long before your Twitter feed devolves into a weird pile of hilarity.
-Brother Jürgen Taintsdorf
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