Weird Twitter [...]

Considered by some to be an outgrowth of the FYAD forum on Something Awful[ cite], Weird Twitter is a group of comic artists working at the intersection of self-expression, comedy, and surrealism. Artists working in the area use a variety of techniques to create bizarre comic scenes often using poorly punctuated imagined dialogue or tweets from exaggerated personas. The surrealist nature of the medium is mixed with a dedication to authenticity that is somewhat unique in comedy.


While many think of Weird Twitter as a place for a certain type of comedian, it is a place for poets as well. Patricia Lockwood, famous for the poem “Rape Joke”[ cite] is known on Weird Twitter for originating the “Sext” form of Twitter joke:[ cite]


The name “weird twitter” comes from a “digifesto” by Sebastian Benthall. In that 2012 post he argued that there was an emerging subculture on Twitter held together by a mix of brutal personal honesty and surrealism.[ cite] While he would later claim this post as an attempt to troll the community, the name stuck.


There is, as always, a debate about the name “Weird Twitter”, which many participants feel to be too derogatory or limiting.[ cite] However, from a cultural history perspective the term may make sense. There are parallels here to the New Weird America movement in music which mixed elements of 1960s psychedelia with an emphasis on a deeper psychological authenticity.[ cite] Of course, many musical artists hated that term as well.

And there is something going on here in many cases, an attempt to create a world that is more real than real.

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One of the more interesting elements of Weird Twitter is how it impacts the Twitter activity and voice of the general public. As more of the public are exposed to it through retweets, the work behind crafting the style tends to be taken for granted, as a normal way of expressing oneself on Twitter. It becomes harder to tell the difference between posts from bougie beth, a master of the form, and posts from your relatives. The idiom of the subculture merges into the culture.

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Weird Twitter: An Oral History. [ html]