Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Wednesday, March 2, 2011 8:08 pm

“If Ebay replaced the classifieds and Craigslist replaced the want ads, this showed what might replace the funny pages.”*

Filed under: Fun,Geek-related issues — Lex @ 8:08 pm
Tags: , , ,

Most days, The Atlantic and Twitter are alike in all the wrong ways — shallow, repetitive, largely irrelevant. Recently, though, a pseudonymous artist created a Twitter feed that, within the 140-characters-per-tweet constraints of the medium, achieved, I would argue, the status of literature: @MayorEmanuel, a satiric take on the real-life Chicago mayoral campaign of foul-mouthed former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel.

Moreover, in this article, The Atlantic not only outs (with his consent) the creator of @MayorEmanuel, it also shows how the feed’s creator both used and transcended the medium, as Frank Sinatra did with the 45, Pink Floyd did with the LP and Bruce Springsteen’s “Live 1975-85” did with the CD, to provide insight into Chicago electoral politics, satire, a rich and highly developed character arc and a well-deserved dopeslapping of Michelle Malkin, capped with an ending worthy of Arthur C. Clarke. A reasonably high percentage of comments (including the one that provided the title for this post) further enrich our understanding and enjoyment of this phenomenon.

(Did you notice my characterization of Rahm Emanuel above as “foul-mouthed”? Both @MayorEmanuel and the Atlantic article contain oh, so-NSFW language. You’ve been warned.)

True, 99.99% of what you read on Twitter, including my stuff, is crap. @MayorEmanuel makes all the rest worthwhile, and maybe it will inspire others to do more with the medium. And maybe The Atlantic will realize more of its potential and stop wasting electrons on worthless hacks like McMegan.

OK, I made up that last part. It’ll never happen. But a guy can dream.



  1. I feel that it is ethically wrong to impersonate someone, especially a public figure, and destroy their image bases off of a fake account. That just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do. It’s very disturbing on many levels. How would you feel if you were Rahm Emanuel? If I were him, I’d feel like someone is very easily destroying my life. Being a public official, image is everything. If the people do not like you, they won’t vote for you. A fake Twitter account would easily persuade unsuspecting votes away from the victim. Also, it is an invasion of privacy and fraud. Even though some of the post may be humorous, there is something unethical about pretending to be a public figure in order to destroy their image.

    Comment by Adam L — Monday, March 7, 2011 11:37 pm @ 11:37 pm

  2. Even though Rahm Emanuel has a well-deserved reputation for bad language, this account was so over-the-top that it was obviously a parody from the start. Parody has a long and honorable history in the arts. The creator did nothing illegal or unethical, and he was entertaining. Even the real Emanuel has said so.

    Comment by Lex — Tuesday, March 8, 2011 9:21 am @ 9:21 am

  3. Even if this Emanuel was made up on this twitter account, it still makes twitter more interesting and entertaining! Everyone is obsessed with twitter and I think most people take it to seriously. Yes the twitter account probably could have been better without such foul language, but stepping out of the box with things usually draws some attention. I think some need to loosen up about the whole twitter idea and look at things in a more comical way. Twitter can become very repetitive as well as other online medias, so for someone to take people a little out of there comfort zone sounds very appealing.

    Comment by Lindsey Douglas — Monday, March 14, 2011 6:12 pm @ 6:12 pm

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