West Wing Fan Fiction

Good Boys shouldn't be allowed to tweet

Today, some cursed things because: sad. You’re welcome! Also, if you want to hear me talk about Awards for Good Boys, internet community, pedestals and platforms, art in online spaces, etc., I was thrilled to go on the podcast This Must Be The Place and discuss. Listen here


Up first, an extremely funny Amanda Palmer update.

Last year on Please Clap, I wrote about Amanda Palmer and life as performance art. This week? LITERAL APPLAUSE FOR AMANDA! 

On Jan. 21, Amanda tweeted “just walked into a coffee shop here in aotearoa new zealand and everybody behind the counter, not really knowing me but knowing i was american, erupted in spontaneous applause.” It’s just extremely funny, to me personally, and a good segue into the rest of the newsletter, which is loosely about applauding the aesthetics of “progressiveness.” Here is a good investigation about the tweet (genuinely loved reading this) from New Zealand outlet The Spinoff.

Incredible.

Alright, cursed thing number 2: Brooklyn Dad. I apologize in advance. 

BrooklynDad_Defiant! has a Twitter bio that reads, in part: “Proud papa. Perpetually pissed. #BlueWave2020 #Feminist #TheResistance #BLM #GoJoe!”

On January 21, Brooklyn Dad tweeted “I slept like an orphan baby who'd just been placed with new, loving, non-abusive parents last night.” 

The day after the inauguration, in the middle of an ongoing pandemic, while thousands are dying each day—and people are clapping for the “civility” of things going back to normal, oh look there’s George W. Bush and Obama shaking hands, everything is right in the world again. Thank god Brooklyn Dad can sleep again, in the warm arms of his political parents, in the apparently loving embrace of the democratic party. Sir? 

A screenshot of Brooklyn Dad’s twitter, where he is very excited about Obama, Bush ad Clinton being together. Text on top of the photo says “he’s horny for war criminals on main and no one is stopping him.”

Let alone the extreme weirdness of the tweet itself, what America is he looking at? What loving parents are those? What must it be like to live in a delusion of being the favorite and most gifted child of people who don’t give a single shit about you? Ah, but would the merch sell as well if you couldn’t fluctuate in performed fear and relief about things that won’t impact you, I suspect. Here is the merch, a shirt with Trump in prison yelling, with the text “Spanky McDumbass, coming to a prison near you SOON.” Again I am sorry but I had to see this so, so do you.

On Jan. 19, Brooklyn Dad tweeted “FUN FACT: By this time tomorrow, trump can officially be arrested ad prosecuted, as is commonly done to known criminals.”

A post shared by awards for good boys (@awardsforgoodboys)

ID: image one is a smiling face with red open mouth who says “I can’t wait to see this whole administration on trial! Justice!” Image 2 has a sign on the top that says “the masked singer” and underneath reads “which nazi gets image rehab next?!” There is a please clap sign in the corner. In the center a man dressed convincingly as a mouse says “I’m not a war criminal I’m a mouse singing smooth criminal by animal ant farm.”

I don’t know how I managed to go this long without seeing this man, because I am like a magnet for the goodest boys of the web. But, here he was. Lurking. Just there, amassing way too many likes for his shitty West Wing fantasies. I hate it, I hate it, I hate it. I couldn’t look away.

There’s so much wrong and bad about these, but I was struck by the amnesiac mythology he writes in real time. The rest of America: people are hungry, dying, without homes. At the same time Brooklyn Dad tweeted about sanity and sleep, workers and supporters at the Hunts Point Produce Market in the South Bronx have been on strike for a one dollar raise. Six workers have died from Covid, with many more becoming sick. [While you’re here, you can donate to their strike fund here. Also, read about how Instacart plans to lay off all their unionized members, with what seems like national Prop 22 rollout. It’s not good!!!!]

Return to normalcy? It’s business as usual. What America does Brooklyn Dad see?

This fan-fiction world he exists in, where Biden and Fauci are part of some MCU Universe and not elected officials, is what his whole project rests on. It feels like what the whole liberal resistance dogma rests on, actually—you must not interrogate the public officials. They’re doing their best. They are smart and capable, not devious and self-centered. But to do so, to worship in these times especially, you must disconnect from reality altogether. Take the Sorkin pill and elevate war criminals to their pedestals. Cc: @nobelprize.

This feels endemic to certain corners of the internet, to certain patterns of thought. It describes a whole cottage industry of reply guys and comedians who made their careers making fun of Trump, dunking on Trump, elevating his words while they added one line of disagreement, for clout. Please clap.

Trump was the perfect vessel for those with terribly hollow takes that, I guess, were on the “right” side of a neutered history, to suddenly be elevated onto platforms of their own making. It was a self-fulfilling funnel, the conversation, going nowhere and meaning nothing. Masturbatory, is the word that comes to mind. Masturbatory while convincing everyone you are fearlessly chronicling the brave new world. Just a dad, I’m just a good guy, I just want a return to normalcy. I’m a feminist, my bio says so.

There are many reasons I don’t like it, and I think a large part is how stuck it is, how incurious it has to be for Brooklyn Dad to keep spinning the same web of delusions for him and followers to bask in. There is something so dystopian about watching someone process the world in this way, in real time. I couldn’t look away.

But Brooklyn Dad is, unfortunately for everyone, part of a pattern. He’s not an isolated trend, but part of a wide web of people who make lazy takes (it often rests on lazy feminism, remember when people were really excited about Liz Warren walking up the stairs while Bernie took an escalator? Damn yeah! That’s politics!) that boil down to: I want politicians to seem nice, even if they’re starting wars. If it’s said nicely, if it’s said with the right tone, that’s progress. Right?

It feels like a return to the Obama era, who was very much the “cool” president in terms of his aesthetic decisions. I’m going to talk more about that in the subscriber newsletter because this is getting long, but here is a really great video you should watch for a much better articulation of this phenomenon.

And a very good tweet:

More soon. Hope this got you thinking! There’s a comment section here if you want to chime in. I’ll respond! Here’s a photo of my dog:

A close up of Clementine! She’s got some fluff in her eye but otherwise she is the picture of grace, little wet nose and whiskers and wide eyes with orange-ish fur and a white stripe down her nose. She’s very sexy.

xoxo
shelby + clem