Keith Starky Explains Twitter

Daily deep-dive analysis of a specimen from the modern world's most exciting communication medium for penis humor.

Keith Starky is a leading researcher in the field of Advanced Sparse-Tree Social Networking Systems from Washington Polytechnical Institute in Indianapolis, Indiana. This "weblog" is part of his ongoing research in humor propagation and fluid reputation dynamics.

Please contact him at with any questions you might have.

First of all, let me say that I’m sorry I’ve been gone for so long. Kip says that I should change the subtitle of this weblog to read “Weekly” instead of “Daily” but Kip’s the same guy who said I should buy an MP3 player from Dell and who still wears a ratty Led Zeppelin t-shirt to all of his office hours so his judgement in some matters is worthless and in most others very questionable.

However, the question is raised: am I going to post here daily? No. This is intentional. I am using a B.F. Skinner-inspired schedule of variable ratio reinforcement to keep my readers motivated (some might say “addicted,” but such troglogisms do not come from the mouths of those educated here at Washington Polytech). If I can foster a dependence on my research then my readers are much more likely to buy my book when it comes out sometime in 2010.1

Anyway. Today’s "tweet" is very interesting. Quite short,2 but offering much in the way of depth and nuance that I have come to expect from many of you out in the “Tweetosphere.”

At first glance, like many “tweets,” is a simple, humorous personal anecdote by the author, Mr. Brother. The ironic juxtaposition of “[laziness]” and “Burger King" is particularly jocular as the fast food establishment is well known for the hard work it inspires in its employees, and also in its patrons.3 I am assuming that at one time or another Mr. Brother enjoyed a meal at one of these eateries, or perhaps was an employee there—either way, the occasion to use the bathroom certainly presents itself.4

On one level, Mr. Brother is merely engaging in a personal boast: that the one time he experienced laziness in the bathroom of a Burger King is noteworthy implies a distinct lack of laziness in his everyday life. This researcher has nothing but Kudös for such an assertion.

What else could Mr. Brother intend from this “tweet?” References to laziness, especially with regard to a commercial enterprise, always raise the Objectivist hackles on the back of my neck.6 But I don’t think that is the aim here; in fact, I think the opposite. This “tweet” is a proletariat call to arms.

"Solidarity, my Burger King brethren and sistren! Let us break free of the soul-deadening brain-shackles of the Capitalist King of Burgers! A work slowdown via bathroom laziness will crush the master plan he has conceived in his creepy, horribly scarred and genetically unlikely over-sized novelty head!"7

Such populist rabble-“tweeting” didn’t work for Mr. Marx8 and it won’t work for you, Mr. Brother.9 I’ve got my eyes on you.


1 One of the problems with my book is that I don’t have the rights to use anyone’s “tweets” that I’m researching, but I’m planning on just using 5% of each one (up to seven characters) and then claiming “fair use” or “yahtzee!” or “game over” or whatever, I’m not a lawyer.

2 5% Fair use version of this “tweet:” “I “

3 Especially in the “bathroom.”

4 I find no reason to doubt, therefore, the accuracy or veracity of the “tweet” itself—no reason to suspect it as some sort of wistful yarn spun forth from the mind of a burger aficionado who has been banned, for some ineffable reason, from appearing within 50 yards of a swift-serve foodhut, which I have heard can happen the very first time you emerge pantless from the bathroom while bellowing some variation on the phrase, “To fight the horde and sing and cry, ‘Valhalla, I am coming!’”5

5 This story may be apocryphal, as its source is somewhat untrustworthy (as previously mentioned).

6 As opposed to my Objectivist testicular hackles, which are raised whenever I glance upon the portrait of Mrs. Rand held firmly in my left hand while my right hand attempts to start a fire by feverishly rubbing the two folded halves of a one dollar bill together.

7 That this call is emitted over a free, public-access social network is not lost on this researcher. No, sir. No way. Uh-uh.

8 @socialism_FTW, but the account has been suspended due to spamming.

9 If that is your real name. I have no reason to suspect otherwise.


  1. tylerball reblogged this from explainingtwitter and added:
    I am both deeply disappointed and strangely not surprised that Mr. Starky didn’t comment on the obvious Digital...
  2. explainingtwitter posted this

blog comments powered by Disqus