Five Tweets I Won't Forget
A compelling account of a descent into madness
As the denizens of Twitter buzz about the possible demise of the platform, I’ve been waxing poetic about the most powerful posts I’ve encountered on the site. Yes, we all know the bangers. We know that me and my friends would have killed E.T. with hammers. We know that King PU$$Y Eater revolutionized our perception of bodies and spaces with his hit single "Goop on Ya Grinch" [7.6 on Pitchfork].
These are canon in the gospel.
But I think, like anyone who has spent far too much time on Twitter, I have those personal favorites, the hidden gems, the bizarre posts that don’t quite belong in the Louvre, but definitely belong in the oddity shop alongside the shrunken heads and the jarred two-headed shark fetus. I have quite a few on my shelves.
Strange posts. Not shark fetuses.
In sharing them, my hope is to reveal something about how my journey with Twitter reflects the journey of thousands of other melted brains that engaged with this platform daily. Linguistically, psychologically, metaphysically, there is really nothing like scrolling Twitter. Think of this like a travel log from At The Mountains of Madness. These are my shoggoths.
Well, let’s get into it.
“Helete the Chweets!”
Twitter has a notoriously short attention span. So-called “main characters” can jettison into public consciousness in one afternoon before fading back into irrelevance just as quickly as they came.
Unfortunately, I have to explain Harry Cherry.
This one will probably require the most backstory, so let’s get it out of the way first. I refuse to cut any of the details included because Harry Cherry is a swirling vortex of negative karma who engages in what I can only describe as “recreational rake-stepping.”
Cherry is apparently still active on Twitter, but the controversy surrounding him has largely been forgotten. A Google search reveals that he is now a luxury realtor in Philadelphia, with the next closest results being the lyrics for Harry Style’s song, “Cherry.”
You must understand, though, that for one brief shining moment, Harry Cherry was right up there with the main villains of Twitter dot com. He is perhaps best known for suing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (who draws out some of the most deranged posters on the site) for blocking him on Twitter and for, well, for his name being Harry Cherry.
I had a hazy recollection that the Cherry drama had something to do with my buddy and notorious troll, Ken Klippenstein, so I reached out to him for a brief summary of the lore. He did me one better and hooked me up with Beth Bourdon, a public defender and veritable Cherryologist.
Here is Bourdon’s Cherrypedia entry.
Here he is claiming to have dated Tomi Lahren.
This all brings me to a tweet with seven total ‘likes’ that I’ve kept in a box in my brain since 2019. It comes to us as commentary on Cherry’s desperate response to Klippenstein’s trolling. Twitter user Jason Lee, mocking Cherry, tweets: “HELETE THE CHWEETS!!!”
I just love the character work in this tweet. It provides a canon, in-universe reason for Harry Cherry’s name being Harry Cherry. He’s something like a Pokémon who can only speak in syllables present within his own name.
It’s also beautifully illustrated. I can just see Harry Cherry, cheeks redder than ever, shouting at this computer, “HELETE THE CHWEETS!” It’s almost like anime.
I am likely the only person in the world who thinks of this post, ever. I think that’s beautiful. Social media, like God, is both a public project and incredibly personal.
“Bring it on, Jill.”
I’ve worn many hats in my time on Twitter. Journalist, activist, shitposter, “homosexual.” I’m not super big on trying to win over hearts and minds anymore, because I’ve met the minds of Twitter and decided it was a lost cause.
But back in the day, especially on the heels of the election of Donald Trump, I was keen on sharing my earnest beliefs. I was plugged into the various happenings of political parties and I liked to post about the daily hijinks.
In the direct aftermath of Trump’s election, a great purveyor of hijinks was Green Party presidential candidate and crystal enthusiast Jill Stein. At the time, Stein was raising money to fund a recount that would never materialize. Spoiler alert, but Trump would go on to be sworn into office.
It was darkly funny, though, to imagine how Stein would spend the money she raised. I can’t remember exactly what I tweeted (the original post is no longer available), but I do know it was a Christmas-themed Jill Stein joke, probably something along the lines of “be sure to leave five dollars and an amethyst crystal out for Jill Stein when she comes down the chimney this year.”
So, you know, the joke being that Jill Stein’s bid to save the election was an imaginary thing, like Santa Claus. It doesn’t really matter, though. What I really remember from this tweet is the absurdly violent reply I got from someone named Jennifer, a person who has never followed me but nonetheless vowed to protect her home from Jill Stein on Christmas with what appears to be a club or a shillelagh.
“Get back to Busytown bitch”
Lost media in the digital age is a tragedy. You know it exists out there somewhere, and that there ought to be some record of it on the world wide web, but you just can’t find it. What was once right in front of your face is now a buried treasure, hidden beneath the waves of a vast internet.
For me, my lost gem is the “get back to Busytown bitch” tweet.
Searching the term only yields my own tweets and the tweets of oatmeal influencer, my sister-in-brain-rot. But rest assured, the post was legendary. Also, put a pin in that “I am pro-life and take no pleasure in reporting this” tweet. It’s coming back later.
For context, the tweet was made in response to Eddie Scarry, one of the many verified conservative suits trolling the stacks of Twitter like low-level enemies in a video game. This specific freak found himself achieving main character status with a creepy comment on AOC’s wardrobe, AOC being something of a lightning rod for some of the weirdest people on the app (Harold Cherrold sends his regards).
Scarry was trying to assert that AOC’s working-class roots were fraudulent because she owned a nice dress. This didn’t go over well for Scarry, who happens to have the same last name as beloved children’s book author, Richard Scarry. Perhaps you’ve seen this worm driving an apple before.
The worm is driving around the fictional Busytown.
“Get back to Busytown bitch” was one of the thousands of replies the lesser Scarry was inundated with after his bad post, and while the worm isn’t meant to be Richard Scarry himself, the tweet did conjure images of Twitter mobbing together with torches and pitchforks to drag the worm out of his apple car and beat him.
You should have just sat there and drove your fruit.
“I am pro-life and take no pleasure in reporting this”
Only now do I notice a trend in the tweets I’ve selected for this list. Most of them are adjacent to the collective madness that overtook Twitter in the months following the election of Donald Trump.
There’s a reason for that. It’s not that I was particularly plugged into “Resistance Twitter,” a ragtag community of people made up of “have you no decency, sir” West Wing style liberals and newly reformed Republicans who didn’t mind the Iraq War but drew the line at making fun of Jeb Bush.
No, it’s more that Trump, himself a prolific tweeter, brought out the extremes on a platform that already rewarded people with endorphins for being extreme. People became utter cartoon characters, and among us Looney Toons, there was perhaps no loonier toon than Louise Mensch (other than Eric Garland, who is next).
Mensch, who, it must be said, is British, found prominence in the #Resistance, an audience who was wildly receptive to her fan fiction about the coming tsunami of justice that would sweep the corrupt Trump administration out to sea.
Following the election, Mensch quit her job at News Corp, where she ran the conservative news sit Heat Street, and started a blog called Patribotics that was “pro-America, pro-democracy, pro-NATO, pro-Russia, anti-Putin.” Putin, at the time, was the one who’d installed Trump as president. Let’s not get into all that right now.
Let’s instead get into Mensch’s most iconic tweet speculating about the death penalty for then chief White House strategist Steve Bannon as a consequence for espionage.
In case you couldn’t surmise, this tweet was not true. But I appreciate so much about it anyway. I love being so high on your own supply that you take it a step too far, openly speculating about the execution of a high-ranking White House official for your following of clapping seals.
I also love that, for several adults, this was the go-to coping mechanism in the grueling early years of the Trump administration. I hope people found comfort and joy in fantasizing about the deaths of members of Trump’s cabinet. I hope they had a good time together, you know? Had a few laughs and felt like they were a part of something. It’s like when kids make those crafts out of macaroni noodles and paper plates. Knock yourselves out, little ones.
Regardless, I personally couldn’t stop prefacing nearly everything I said with “I take no pleasure in reporting this.”
“Explain to me your values. Now.”
I do feel compelled to, at this point, outright state that I identify as a progressive. I say that because I feel a little guilty for making fun of, ostensibly, “liberals.” It’s just that I am a cringe connoisseur and, unfortunately for us all, liberal centrists produce some of the finest cringe available.
But all of it is mere sparkling cringe compared to the champagne produced out of the Eric Garland region of Twitter.
I don’t personally have anything against the guy, despite the fact that he has me blocked. Honestly, that’s an understandable move. If I were strategic analyst Eric Garland, I would block me. If anything, though, I would say I have a genuine appreciation for his tweeting style. The man really goes for it.
Garland is probably most famous for his notorious “Guys. It’s time for some game theory” thread. The stunning epic was 120 tweets long, and it focused on tying just about everything that’s ever happened to Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election.
I still don’t really know what game theory is, other than a thing that Eric Garland the G.O.A.T. made a megathread about. He has the thread preserved on his personal website if you want to take a look at that. But the “game theory” tweet isn’t the one that’s stuck with me. It’s this one.
First of all, Eric Garland, you yourself are famous for thinking this is a game. But let’s ignore that. What’s iconic to me is that this tweet represents a deranged poster figuring out what their voice should be. It’s like the two-headed shark fetus that would grow on to become a two-headed shark.
In Gardland’s case, he was cultivating a sort of knightly persona, with his Twitter account as his lance. This tweet really gets at the distilled essence of his whole schtick, and I love a schtick. It’s melodramatic. It’s chivalrous. It addresses some unseen foe.
Explain to me your values. Now.
God, it’s so good.
Thank you for taking this journey with me. I don’t know what the future holds for Twitter. Perhaps the best tweets are yet to come. Perhaps the lights will go out tomorrow, and we will all be freed.
Either way, no one can deny: this website has been one of the CIA’s more successful PSYOPS.