This Is Twittering: Meta-commentary Digest, Episode 18

This is a special, extra-big birthday edition.

For those just joining us, from time to time I like to re-blog some selected toots along with a little elaboration. Each falls into one of four categories:

  1. Wisdom – I say a ton of really wise crap that you people don’t appreciate enough.
  2. Wordplay – I also make puns and play with words in mysterious ways.
  3. Reaction – I see or read or hear or smell something that provokes a comment.
  4. Stupid – I also routinely say things that make little sense.

OK, let’s go.

WORDPLAY:

I don’t like people who talk behind other people’s backs. They make me sick. They discussed me.

This one only works when spoken. That’s how it goes sometimes. Live and learn, I guess.

WISDOM:

Which is most offensive to say to a blind person?

“See you later,”
“I see what you mean,” or
“You’re really ugly and stupid. And a jerk.”

One time I told a blind chick “see you later” and she said “see ya”.

REACTION:

Every few months I like to boldly proclaim something like, “It’s time for a change.”

It’s way easier than actually doing anything.

This also could be wisdom, but in this instance I was making fun of people.

REACTION:

When faced with our own character flaws, it’s helpful to remember that *admitting it* is the first step to *ignoring it*.

Same deal as previous. While this is also very wise, it is even more also making fun of people. I forget who exactly; it could be anyone. Probably you.

REACTION:

Vegans and bacon-eaters have a lot in common. They both have an irresistible impulse to tell other people about it.

This was phrased awkwardly, but you get the idea. Anyone who is on Twitter knows this is absolutely true.

STUPID:

Whatever happened to common courtesy? A lot of people don’t even say thank you when I point out that they’re assholes.

I don’t really expect you to say thanks when I point that out.

REACTION:

Listen. Twitter is not your therapist.

It’s not even your friend.

The truth hurts.

WORDPLAY:

Well, if we’re being botanically correct, it’s “poppy stamen.”

Poppycock. Poppies are flowers.

REACTION:

“You miss 100 of the shots you never take.”

I don’t know if the person who tooted this intentionally left out the “%”, but gosh I hope so.

Someone really tooted this, and I loved it so much. Yeah, you miss a hundred of the shots you don’t take. But then if you don’t take that hundred-and-first shot… that’s the one you’ll make.

WORDPLAY:

Note to May’s elf: Don’t forget to enunciate.

This is really funny because if I didn’t enunciate you might think I said “May’s elf”.1

REACTION:

Twitlonger, you’ve screwed me with your not-worth-clicking-onness for the last time!

Toots on Twitter are limited to 140 characters. That’s just the way it is. Some people can’t handle that and use services like Twitlonger, which bypasses the character limit by posting a 140+ character message to a separate webpage, then tooting a link to that page.

I hate these services on principle. If you can’t operate within the 140-character limit, use a different medium. But even beyond my principled disdain, it’s just a pain in the ass. I hate clicking a link and waiting for the new page to load in a browser, then finding out (invariably) the final message is stupid and/or pointless. People who can’t fit a coherent thought into 140 characters tend to not be able to do it in 210 either.

So now I just skip them.

WORDPLAY:

I wonder what they call domestic disturbances in other countries.

This is just a joke. Obviously in other countries, the United States is the one that’s foreign, so they’re still called domestic disturbances.

REACTION:

Up all night dwelling on lost loves. You know how it is.

#twitterisnotyourtherapist

I think there was a corresponding toot to this one that said something along the lines of, “Our parents had a shoebox of old love letters. We have our Gmail archives.”

The irony was not lost on me; thus the hashtag.

WISDOM:

Love means never having to say “I hate you.”

There’s a fine line between love and hate; this is true. But hating someone sometimes does not mean that you ought to love them the rest of the time.

Perhaps surprisingly, this one had nothing to do with the previous one. Actually, I was making fun of people.

REACTION:

The smell of fresh oil on asphalt reminds me of the subway.

I love sandwiches.

This is a lame joke, but I do miss the oily smell of subway tunnels.

WISDOM:

I prefer talking to people who are interested in politics but ashamed to admit it.

Odds are, if you’re eager to share your political opinions with me, I’m equally as eager to not give a crap. On the other hand, if you really don’t care at all, you’re probably not very interesting either.

REACTION:

There’s a fine line between poetic and pathetic.

Speaking of fine lines, here I was making fun of people again. But this time the people was me.

STUPID:

My favorite accidents are “freak accidents.”

Nothing. I just think it’s a funny term.

STUPID:

They call this “foot” powder, but it works even better in my underpants.

Even my “stupid” toots are pretty wise.

REACTION:

My suggestion for location-based updates: use them only when there’s a chance that anyone in their right mind could possibly give a crap.

Speaking of giving a crap, this was probably around this time.

WISDOM:

People ask me why I look so serious all the time. I thought the answer was fairly obvious: because life sucks.

Duh.

Duh.

WORDPLAY:

We reserve the right to serve refuse to anyone.

See, it’s a different kind of “refuse”.

REACTION:

It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you completely ignore the definition of “accomplishment.”

Here I am making fun of myself again2. I had just completed some small task I’d been putting off, and I felt proud of myself for doing so. I was quick to nip that in the bud.

REACTION:

And somewhere, in the distance, a smoke alarm needed its battery changed.

I really did hear a smoke alarm beeping somewhere outside my apartment, but this is also a very beautiful and poetic image, obviously. It will likely be the final line of my novel.

REACTION:

It’s cool that mega-breweries have “vortex” bottles and color-change labels, but how about using some R&D budget to make the beer suck less?

Sucky beer sucks, no matter how you pour it.

STUPID:

He died as he lived. Bleeding out of his eye sockets.

#thingsfloydwouldsay

Floyd would say this.

WORDPLAY:

Don’t underestimate the power of self-reflection. It’s the only way to know for sure if you have something stuck in your teeth.

I’m talking about a mirror, see.

STUPID:

Surprisingly, the word “axiomatic” does not necessarily have anything to do with gyroscopes.

It has to do with Rube Goldberg.

REACTION:

Attention, Twitterers. Please remember: if I unfollow you, it’s not personal. It’s just because I think you’re a horrible person.

The same people who think they should be allowed to post more than 140 characters on Twitter also think that everyone they follow should follow them, and vice versa. Listen: just follow people who toot things you want to read. If they don’t follow you, then either start tooting things they’ll want to read or get over it. This is the secret to happiness.

WORDPLAY:

I don’t mean to be a dick, but I think I just accidentally solved a mystery.

“Dick” is an old slang term for detective. So if I don’t mean to be one, the only way I could solve a mystery is accidentally.

STUPID:

The word “innuendo” really rolls off the tongue.

…if you know what I mean.

This is a good one.

WORDPLAY:

Eff the ineffable.

I’ve always liked the word ineffable.

STUPID:

I hate to see you go, but I like to look at your butt.

From the “Subtlety Is Not Your Strong Suit” Collection.

REACTION:

Somehow I manage to get mosquito bites on my most intimate of areas. Like my soul.

This one won an award.

REACTION:

On hot summer nights like these, I’m glad I don’t have someone to cuddle up with.

It was hot.

WISDOM:

I don’t understand ancient civilizations. If I lived in a culture that sacrificed virgins, I’d just become a big ol’ slut.

People who lived before right now were so stupid.

REACTION:

Ladies: if you say things like, “Yeah, I’m a bitch and I’m proud of it,” you’re probably right.

Susan B. Anthony would be proud.

REACTION:

I hate disorganization. Which is why I hate everything, including myself.

Everything.

WISDOM:

For every opinion you or I hold, there have existed people a hell of a lot smarter than we are who believed the exact opposite.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. (It’s one of my guiding principles.) Dismissing those who disagree with you as necessarily stupid or ignorant is not helpful. Not to them, not to you, and not to the general pursuit of truth.

WISDOM:

As a corollary to my “smarter people” maxim: Keep in mind, there are morons who hold the same opinions as you.

Having a certain opinion does not make you any smarter than you are. Some people speak as if merely agreeing with a smart person’s opinion is the same as understanding it.

The point I’m getting at is,

WISDOM:

Intelligence is a verb.

It’s not about what you know (or what you think you know). It’s about what you want to know, and your willingness to keep learning and keep challenging your own ideas.

Personally, if someone isn’t actively exploring new ideas and humbly considering the ideas of those with whom they disagree3, then I’m far less likely to consider their ideas particularly worthwhile.

STUPID:

I know they have those signs at Chinese food places, but I’m still worried about added misogeny.

That’s not really what MSG stands for. Susan B. Anthony would be proud.

STUPID:

He was sentenced to death by lethal injection. Execution style.

My friend Floyd made up this joke about saying things were “execution style”. It’s a pretty good joke. In most cases it has been used like this, as a button at the end of a setup. But after thinking about it, I think I prefer it with more subtlety. Because, in the actual linguistic phrasing of shooting someone “execution style,” there is no pause. It’s not tagged on at the end like “barbecue spare ribs… Texas style.” It should act more as a single phrase without emphasis. The joke would be more like, “The criminal was electrocuted execution-style” or “For dinner, I had barbecue spare ribs execution-stye.”

You’re damn right I spend time thinking about this stuff.

WORDPLAY:

A man, a plan, a panoramic enema.

This is not a real palindrome. Sorry.

WORDPLAY:

Keep your friend’s clothes and your enemy’s clothier.

This one kind of falls apart at the end.

WORDPLAY:

Somalia… sommelier. Coincidence?

I was really into words that ended in “-ier” that week.

STUPID:

Note to myself: don’t try to compliment a chick by telling her she looks like “an uglier version” of an attractive female celebrity.

I didn’t really do this. I told her she was an uglier version of Matt Damon, who is not a female.

STUPID:

I take my coffee like I take my women: like an uglier version of an attractive female celebrity.

Like I said: Matt Damon.

REACTIONS:

If you say “tacos tacos tacos” over and over, you start to say “ghost tacos.” #weirdfresno

I was saying “tacos” a lot. It was spooky.

WORDPLAY:

Fickle motors are about as useful as fecal matters.

Changing vowel sounds is more fun than changing bowel sounds.

Also, I was having car trouble.

REACTION:

If you’re not 100% sure you’re using “whom” correctly, just use “who”. Otherwise you look like an idiot AND a douche bag. #conlanstyleguide

The implication here is, if you say “who” when it should be “whom”, you only look like an idiot. And if you say “whom” when it should be “whom”, you only look like a douche bag.

WISDOM:

For most of us, what we call “memories” are substantially imagined. For others, they’re completely imagined.

Human memory (and perception) is a very mysterious thing. But one aspect of it has been well established: it sucks. The fact itself is not as surprising as our utter unwillingness to accept it. Keep this in mind the next time you’re romanticizing your Gmail archive.

WISDOM:

For me, people generally fall into one of two categories: those I hate and those I don’t like.

This isn’t strictly true. There’s also the dead.

And thou.

That concludes this episode of This Is Twittering: Meta-commentaty Digest.

  1. Full disclosure: This toot has been altered from its original form. When I tooted it, I typed annunciate (announce) instead of enunciate (pronounce clearly). By the time I realized my mistake, it was too late. []
  2. One of my guiding principles is, if you make fun of people you should apply those same criticisms to yourself. This way you are only slightly an asshole, instead of totally. It seems like a lot of people either disagree with this idea or never consider it. []
  3. Which is not the same thing as agreeing, or even agreeing to disagree. []