I recently decided to follow author and poet Sherman Alexie on Twitter. And I was very excited.
If you’re not familiar, Alexie has been called “the Richard Wright of American Indians.” He won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature in 2007 with The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. He’s maybe in my top 3 favorite living authors, I routinely teach his short story, “What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona.” And he writes hilarious stuff about his father’s obsession with Hendrix.
So I fully expected tersely-worded, intellectual YAHTZEES when I started following him.
But here’s what I’ve got:
Two hours ago: “Many Republicans Call the Moderate Obama a “socialist” because they can’t publically use their preferred slur.”
Alright, not bad. I mean, sorta provocative. I like the target. And it’s probably true. But, what IS their preferred slur? I mean, I can think of 3 or 4 right now. We’ve got some ambiguity here, Shermie. But I suppose that’s the foundation of poetry. So I’ll just put together what I think you really meant in a 45-minute conference paper and get back to you.
Fourteen hours ago: “The Summer Olympics are Infinitely Better than the Winter Olympics.”
Huh? Seriously? I mean, sure, fine, alright it’s a valid opinion. But in the scheme of things, fairly bland. This is the kind of thing I expect from dudes who drive truck all day for like FedEx or something, not from one of the great voices of our generation. In the realm of social media intellectual disclosures here, we’re one step away from ingredients for a cucumber salad.
Jan. 30: “One of the cruelest things people say to one another: “I don’t think I ever loved you.””
Snore. And predictable. I thought I was following the sharply-tongued bard who wrote the screenplay for Smoke Signals and put together the world’s greatest short-story about basketball in “The Only Traffic Signal on the Reservation Doesn’t Flash Red Anymore.” This is the Hallmark Channel, dude. C’mon.
Jan. 26: “I haven’t danced in public since 1994. You should all be thankful for my reticence.”
And for your self-indulgence. Who cares?! Why should I be thankful? I never SEE you. I never hang out. Don’t you get what Twitter is, man?! That’s a fucking Facebook comment a MILE AWAY! Or a clever punchline quip for a picture. But not, NOT TWITTER. That’s the kind of comedic roundabout comment that I—I AN UNPUBLISHED TWERP FESTERING IN THIS LITTLE POCKET OF THE INTERNET—would make. Not you, a literary giant in the late-stages of the American Empire.
Jan. 17: “I am baffled by pomegranates.”
Oh Jesus. I wonder if Gerald Vizenor has a Twitter feed.