A Very Special This Is Twittering, Episode 42.5

And now, a very special episode of This Is Twittering: Meta-Commentary Digest.

Let’s get serious for a minute. It’ll be fun.

This is not a joke about creepy perverts (both male and female). It’s a joke about the jokes that some people make about creepy perverts.

Here’s the thing: everyone I’ve ever met had a crush on a teacher while in high school. I did. You did. Your mom did. So, when some people hear about a teacher hooking up with a male student, they put themselves in the teen’s shoes and think it must have been awesome for him, getting to live out a fantasy scenario like that. And after all, boys will be boys, and being boys means boning any body with boobs. But here’s the other thing: we shouldn’t be putting ourselves in the teen’s shoes. Because teenagers are idiots. If you don’t think you were an idiot as a teenager, you’re still an idiot. For even the most mature teenager, when looking back on those years as an adult, they recognize just how naive they were and just how little they really understood.

That’s why the responsibility of high school teachers is so great. It’s their job to teach and guide these little idiots as they transition into adulthood. They are authority figures in every sense of the word. For the most part, society recognizes this dynamic when it’s a male teacher taking advantage of a female student. But the double standard is such that we shake our heads disapprovingly when the student is female and give each other high-fives when the student is male.

I want to be clear: I have no problem with joking about sexual predators (or racism or the Holocaust or the Federal Reserve).1 My concern is that the people making these jokes often don’t view these teachers as the predators they are.

My point isn’t that these teens are being manipulated into something they don’t want to do. My point is that it doesn’t matter, because teens are idiots. And, as adults and as society, we ought not be contributing to their idiocy. That’s what I think. (I’m sure you picked up on all that when you read the original toot.)2

As long as we’re getting serious, let’s get even more serious. This issue is even more serious than statutory rape because it deals with comedy and Twitter (if you’re not on Twitter, skip it):

I wrote several hundred words on this subject, but then realized it was mostly sour grapes, so I scrapped it. It boils down to this: fake “celebrity” Twitter accounts are a cynical mashup of manipulation, dishonesty, and bad comedy that I just cannot abide. If you’re following a “celebrity” account,3 I implore you: stop supporting hack losers who are piggybacking on the images of well-known people. Support actual funny people on Twitter. And there are plenty.

Here are are some actual people who are actually funny, without relying on your preconceived notions or memories of comedy past (I highly encourage you to follow some or all of them):

These folks are all funny in very different ways, and they’re all uniquely, genuinely themselves. Support authenticity, please. For once in your godforsaken life. Thank you.

  1. Remind me to tell you sometime why I think humor is a perfectly acceptable and often beneficial response to the worst things in the world. []
  2. I don’t know if people always realize when I’m being satirical with toots like this. But that’s just a risk I have to take. []
  3. And, if you’re not the type of person who notices the verified status of an account, it’s very possible you are following some of these a-holes without knowing it. []