Home > Film, Hilarity, Internet > @Sidslang’s Best of Twitter #8

@Sidslang’s Best of Twitter #8

@WernerTwertzog & @SlavojTweezek

The very nature of Twitter encourages, even predisposes, the viral re-circulation of marginal interests. Like most echo chambers, Twitter amplifies messages by exclusion of counter-messages. Sidelines become mainstream through a timeline-fed tunnel vision, and one-off, non-sequiturial witticisms can build up an entire counter-reality.

So it goes for two intellectually-tilted Twitter parody accounts plying their wares (and occasionally jousting with each other) in enlightened timelines. No, I don’t mean the twin contending Richard Nixon parodies, which are honestly difficult to tell apart. I refer to Werner Twertzog and its spin-off Slavoj Tweezek. Neither of these are official, verified Twitter accounts of the enigmatic, absurd existentialist Bavarian film auteur nor of the Slovenian Marxist-Lacanian philosopher, literary theorist and cultural commentator (neither of these men have such a “real” account, as far as is known). But like many parody accounts, they fill the void left in the Twitterverse by the absence of these narrowly-known but always rhetorically unique figures.

The same hidden hand is evident behind both accounts, and one sometimes replies to the other, carrying on public and “actual” but entirely imagined conversations. Werner Twertzog predates Slavoj Tweezek, though the former’s tweets were sometimes addressed to the other in a tone of weary, disagreeable riposte (and still are). Tweezek is, admittedly, a little more esoteric and less amusing, but this younger account is still finding its legs in expressing Zizek’s inimitable observations. Twertzog is quite magnificent, however, in distilling Herzog’s utterances, so much so that the term has become a verb, if this “interview” with Twertzog is to be believed, with its definition of the discourse’s dark erudition and straight-faced Teutonic morbidity.

In both cases, though, the perfectly accurate and often quite funny approximations of the peculiar statements of Herzog and Zizek lose a measure of their effect while simultaneously demonstrating a weakness of Twitter as discourse. Twitter is written not spoken, read and not heard, composed but never vocalized. Herzog and Zizek are distinctive and memorable speakers whose voices and tones imbue the things they say (in English, anyway) with peculiar import.

Zizek’s mellifluous Slovenian-accented outpourings, accompanied by a considerable lisp, persistent sniffles, and certain rhetorical habits, endear his observations to even those who might not be inclined to agree with them; he’s become so successful in academic circles and as a public intellectual partly because of his personality as a speaker. Herzog, meanwhile, has one of film’s most famous and distinctive voices, often heard while narrating his documentaries. His Bavarian accent is wondrously rich, even if he’s only talking about how dumb chickens are. But the knife’s edge poise of his tone is what makes Herzog’s speech so remarkable; you never do know if he’s making a deep and serious observation about the world, taking the piss out of the self-important windbags who think they have such observations to share, or both at once. Both of these tones are lost in the Twitterverse, as all tones of speaking and expressing generally are. There is freedom to Twitter’s proscribed form of discourse, but this is unquestionably one of its prime limitations.

Representative Tweets:

[tweet https://twitter.com/WernerTwertzog/status/593463127628451840 align=’center’] [tweet https://twitter.com/SlavojTweezek/status/589109028741111808 align=’center’]
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Categories: Film, Hilarity, Internet
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