April 29th, 2009


August 2: Tweet like William S. Burroughs Day

Spread the word! On August 2, Tweet like William S. Burroughs!

So who was this Burroughs guy anyway?

Well, it depends on your perspective. Burroughs was a junky, hopped up on just about every opiate he could find on a regular basis. Burroughs was an unstable and irresponsible deadbeat, living off a trust set up by his parents (who, while well-to-do weren't fabulously wealthy). Burroughs was an on-again, off-again exile, fleeing legal problems whenever they cropped up. Burroughs was an experimental writer, a beat writer, a man with an undeniably strange flair for the English language.

But what does this have to do with Twitter?

Were Burroughs still alive, he would have taken to Twitter like a fish to water. The flowing stream of words, all mixed up, would have totally enthralled him. The 140 character limit would just be another playground to experiment int. The strangeness of tweet-language, with its compressed words and hashtags would embrace him.

OK, so how do I Tweet like Burroughs?

Well, you could go all method (or in this case methadone). Get so high that you start streaming nonsense into your tweets. Or go into rehab and tweet. Not that I can really recommend this option...

You could take the lazy option and tweet about Salt Chunk Mary, mugwumps, purple-assed baboons, Interzone and sewer commissioners. Of course you would have to read some Burroughs to figure out how to do it, so it might not be that lazy.

You could take the literary analysis option. Take a bunch of your old tweets, or a bunch of random tweets, cut them up and remix them. Recycling and remixing is classic Burroughs.

You could tweet all the things you never would tweet in public under an alias. Integrate your mother's maiden name. It's a very Burroughs thing to do.

The final thing?

In any case, close your Burroughs tweets with the "#tweetWSB" hashtag. It would be... amusing if this were to become a trending tag for a day.