This Is Twittering: Meta-Commentary Digest, Episode 64

Sometimes I tell jokes on Twitter and then I freak out and wonder if anybody understood the joke I was trying to make because, OMG, what if I’m not as clever as I think I am!? So then I post them again here and explain them so they make even less sense, and This Is Twittering: Meta-Commentary Digest.

WISDOM:

I was sitting on a bench in the shade, poking at the internet on my iPhone, with the whole world literally at my fingertips. It occurred to me that, taken out of the context of society and the world as we know it, this was a mind-boggling occurrence. A hundred years ago, a modern smartphone would have put all the combined efforts of the world’s greatest inventors to shame1. Two hundred and fifty years ago, it may have been enough to get you burned at the stake.

As a society, we give context a lot of weight. We’re infuriated when something we say is “taken out of context” (but we love taking our opponents’ words out of context, consciously or unconsciously, because that’s the easiest way to attack them). Context is the key to understanding the past and exploring the future. Context is important. It’s great. But it can also be blinding.

The context of the forest often obscures the point of the trees. If you focus on the forest too much, an individual tree starts to become commonplace and even boring. When you’re surrounded by thousands of trees, it’s easy to forget that a tree is effing awesome all by itself.

Trees really are awesome, but try not to get caught up in that; I’m speaking metaphorically. I encourage you to create your own out-of-context experience sometime.

STUPID:

This is stupid, but also true.

WISDOM:

This is true, but also stupid.

Also, I think it’s funny to describe an infinite regression scenario involving animals by alluding to the famous infinite regression anecdote that involves an animal. Also, I think the phrase “an ‘old woman who swallowed a spider’ scenario” is funny (even though it should have been “an ‘old woman who swallowed a fly’ scenario”). For those keeping count, this tweet includes at least two—possibly three—allusions.

WISDOM:

“Rules were made to be broken” is not a compelling argument.

WISDOM:

I was just being honest when I said you seemed like kind of a dick. You can’t blame me for being honest, right? It’s honesty. That’s just the way it is. But don’t say I seem like a dick—ever. Because that would be a total dick move.

WORDPLAY:

Dumb.

REACTION:

I really like understanding things. And I can’t understand things unless I have the information necessary to understand them. Sometimes I ask questions that seem stupid, but that’s because I need data. And I try very hard to not draw a conclusion about something if I don’t know enough about it. So sometimes I don’t have an opinion about something even though you think I should, but that’s because I need data.

STUPID:

See, because a horse is an animal, but horseradish is not a horse.

WORDPLAY:

If I ever get married, I seriously want to elope. Like, super seriously.

WORDPLAY:

It’s compliments all the way down.

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

  1. It’s worth noting that a smartphone is the result of the combined efforts of the world’s greatest inventors of a hundred years ago, and of those before and since—that’s the power of context. []