When watching movies about the apocalypse, I always get the same nagging thought: it would be more realistic if their characters scrolled through Twitter! Entering Twitter has become the ultimate thoughtful mechanism for processing the gravity of how awful things really are in the world, so it’s a weird time to be on the platform, which is rumored dump at any time. If Twitter crashes, where do we go to talk about Twitter crash? The riddle is almost a bit like the one posed by death, and some of us are grappling with this complex philosophical problem, naturally, by making memes.
On the bright side, this question is spawning a cornucopia of revelry and subversive content, as users ironically pay homage to the site while lampooning its new owner, Elon Musk, the kingpin of Twitter’s disappearance, who earlier this week issued an ultimatum to the employees to do work “extremely hard” or go. Sensibly, Many he chose to leave.
Twitter’s leadership shakeup has He directed to internal pandemonium: employees are locked out of offices, forced to endure mass layoffs, and now must comply with Musk’s erratic directives. Meanwhile, Musk’s new subscription verification service has led to a influx of parody accountsfostering a carnivalesque atmosphere on the platform as users have adopted the mask of the rich and powerful to hilarious effect.
The doctor in this whole predictably disastrous plan is, of course, Musk himself. Not long after the feature’s launch, someone named Elon Musk was blessed with the authorized blue check. exhorted Followers: “If you want to be like me, drink your urine.” a meme satirizes Musk’s megalomaniac corporate slang tone and jerky email-sending habits as he discusses the parody stunt, showing a screenshot of an employee’s inbox flooded with Musk’s desperate urinary fixation.
Several memes mock the opening that Twitter’s collapse presents for competing social media platforms like Instagram. (Outside, Instagram praised Twitter’s coup de grace in what reads like a drunken tweet—“to tell you the truth, we love Twitter”—and then promptly deleted it). Meanwhile, Tumblr plays offense, repost a photo of a house covered in a spray-painted sheet reading “Welcome Home Cheater” in all caps with a link to his own site. (That being said, this morning, Tumblr was downprobably in response to an increase in visitor numbers, so still might not be a real viable alternative). Someone floated to Pinterest as another contender; Sorry, but that’s never happening to me.
A Tweeter brilliantly invoked Hieronymus Bosch’s “The Garden of Earthly Delights” to sing the praises of the once-hedonistic playground in virtual space. Captioned “Twitter: Before/After,” on the left is Bosch’s original center panel, full of odd delights, distractions, and visual overstimulation; to the right is a digitally edited version of the painting removed from all of his pleasure-seeking human subjects. Sure, the new scene looks serene, but Bosch’s place in art history was hard-won by his meticulous dedication to orgiastic excess, something we’re about to lose as Twitter clings for dear life to him.
And someone who has definitely spent too much time in the File, Archive from the British Library published a drawing of a blue bird being shot by an arrow that appears in the margins of a medieval manuscript.
In the world of modern art, several people have joked about the similarities between the fall of Twitter and the daily reality of working in museums and non-profit art organizations. “Leaving Twitter just because it has deteriorated under terrible leadership?” Tamsin C Russell tweeted. “But look, I work in museums.”
Last night, at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco, critics he left the digital realm and entered the physical, when someone projected a scrolling text attacking Musk as a “smug pimple” and “space Karen,” among other amusing insults.
writing for Nieman reportsMatt Karolian urges journalists to take advantage of the current unsettled time to think about better ways and platforms to communicate with their audiences.
But for now, like Musk himself once said better, “Let’s make Twitter as fun as possible!” We will, while it lasts.