Like James Gunn, I’ve attempted to be transgressive or provocative when I write jokes. I was also an edgy teen before that. There are too many posts for me to ever sanitize. “Rape” and “retarded” tossed around flippantly. The n-word spelled out to make (unnecessary) rhetorical points about censorship. Sure, sexually-tinged jokes at the expense of minors.

But I also can’t and won’t ever be the director of a globally-popular superhero movie series. I doubt I’ll be recognized at a county-wide level, unless I fall down some stairs in a particularly funny way. So, like, sorry you didn’t consider your trajectory, James, when you took some shots at social mores. Society likes to shoot back.

On the positive side of comedy, today the New York Times contains a profile of Hannah Gadsby. If you haven’t watched Nanette yet, do so. It didn’t rock my world, but I’m swamped in progressive comedy and I dwell on it often. (I think I was most tickled by her cerebral, historically-evidenced line of material on Van Gogh.) The show she’s created is important and it’s accessible. Hannah demands her humanity and succeeds.

how to improve your writing while still fucking around on the internet all day

1. start a twitter
2. think a cool unboring thought, as you do daily already
3. if the thought is longer than 200 characters, post it on facebook
4. if it’s shorter than that, winnow it down to 140 characters and post it on twitter
5. don’t crosspost
 
that’s it. you’re automatically expanding on thoughts that deserve it while delivering pithy ones with precision. i’d like to think these are both important to practice for your whole writing life.
 
as a fun aside, you’re contributing to a social media landscape wherein facebook contains more ruminations from friends & life updates & a community based on the larger-scale discussion that we clearly all yearn for there. (why else argue dreaded politics?) meanwhile, twitter further grows into a source of content with creators at arm’s length from what’s consumed: you aren’t there to keep in touch (grandma aint on it), you’re there to blast out bon mots and cackle at others’.
 
they’re different platforms that function best for different purposes and i believe that if everyone in the world had both a facebook and twitter account that they posted on daily, the landscape i’ve described above would shake out this way organically.

Horse_ebooks and Pronunciation Book are human | New Yorker

Most of those questions will be answered today, starting at 10 A.M., at the Fitzroy Gallery, on the Lower East Side. There, the creators of the two accounts, Jacob Bakkila and Thomas Bender, will prove that they are indeed human, appearing in a performance that is the final flourish in this suite of conceptual-art pieces, weaving together Horse_ebooks and Pronunciation Book. They will also launch the next installment of the project, a choose-your-own-adventure interactive-video piece called Bear Stearns Bravo. Bakkila and Bender have been working on the project for almost four years, keeping their identities secret from just about everyone, including their colleagues at Buzzfeed, where Bakkila is a creative director, and Howcast, where Bender, until about a year ago, was the vice-president of product development.

The beginning of Bear Stearns Bravo marks the end of both Pronunciation Book and Horse_ebooks. Bender and Bakkila say that they’ll miss maintaining those accounts, but there’s relief at not having to keep the secret anymore. In the past few weeks, plenty of people have noticed some synchronicity between the accounts, and have been scrambling to figure out their provenance. “No one wants to work on a painting forever,” Bakkila said the other day, as he and Bender and a small group of collaborators set up video monitors in the gallery for their day-long appearance. “When it’s done it’s done. We’re ready for the experience of whatever this next piece is.”

You mean every time that I send a heartfelt reply to Horse_ebooks, human eyes read it?

Horse_ebooks and Pronunciation Book are human | New Yorker

This is what it must have felt like to be present at Yalta.