Hack Tweets

Among other things going on in our apartment, we’re watching CMT’s broadcast of the Starsky & Hutch remake. I thought about tweeting this:

It seems the Ben Stiller character just messed things up irreparably. (Watching every Ben Stiller movie at once.)

It was unsatisfactory, because this is just a sarcastic and convoluted way of saying “Man, Hollywood movies are so formulaic.” So then I came up with this one:

This year for Halloween I’m going as that moment when the Ben Stiller character messes everything up irreparably.

More dissatisfaction. I mean, it performs a kind of cleverness in how it turns something abstract (hackneyed film trope) into something concrete (costume), and there’s a kind of surrealness to the tweet that (at least initially) feels nice. But that surrealness is just trumped-up artifice, and that’s why I think it’s a lousy joke tweet.

Then, when trying a third time, I realized why I wasn’t going to succeed: this is a tweet about watching TV and feeling like I’m smarter than the TV I’m by choice here watching.

This morning I read much of Mike Sacks’s And Here’s the Kicker, a collection of interviews with comedy writers. There were a number of refrains among these men (and two women) when it came time to give budding comedy writers advice, but the one that stands out now is how many people urged writers to get out in the world and write about what they find. That too often writers write jokes about the kinds of jokes they’ve seen before and know are funny.

It’s how I tend to tweet.

Twitter is neat, but too often it becomes a tool to socially enhance our (mostly) solitary TV watching. This is not the same as being social.

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