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.

Recently Twitterers have been making it difficult on ol’ Keith. I’ve been having a hard time discerning anything deeper in many of their “tweets” and frankly I’m starting to worry that I’ve already lost my mojo. Late Friday night, as the sweaty waves of panic were beginning to ebb after reading “tweet” after “tweet,” all lacking deeper truths, I decided some intense personal reflection was required. I spent all weekend wrenched into a lotus position with my Blackberry—perpetually tweeping its low-battery tones like an injured harp seal—stashed just out of reach. I wore a Camelbak full of absinthe slung low over my naked torso as I pondered the words “what are you doing what are you doing whatareyoudoing wharyoodoon” over and over again while performing some heavy breathing exercises and lightly penciling on some Sudoku puzzles I printed out from a German website that uses nine different multistable Gestalt forms instead of numbers. (I took a bathroom break a few times, too; thanks much for your concern.)

(Side note: you may have noticed that I posted this weekend about the parking space; that was my TA, Kip Gerhardt, to whom I have given permission to occasionally post minor administrative notes on this weblog. From now on his involvement will be made more obvious. Sorry for the confusion. Also please continue to pass my parking form between you; thanks for that.)

I can’t really talk about what I discovered this weekend—not in words, anyway1—but I came back to Twitter at three o’clock this morning with a new mind, a blank canvas upon which I will allow your “tweets” to paint a beautiful picture of hope, loneliness, passion, and despair.

The tweet I analyze today has done just that. Upon first glance this appears to be a humorous aside about the tribulations of raising a child in the 21st century. A deeper look is required.

The crux of the author’s meaning here is twofold: One, that all of us seek balance2 in a world that constantly pummels us with commercial imagery3 just as the windshield of a speeding Ford Festiva in Florida is ubiquitously tattooed with cigarette butts and sun-bleached copies of Cat Fancy.

Two, that in our modern world of dashing Wall Street robber-barons we can suddenly find ourselves working merely for the entertainment of those who fancy themselves to be both our caretakers and our pickpockets. We perform tricks—flipping burgers, piloting airplanes, repairing absinthe-corroded Camelbaks—for their benefit and seemingly not for our own.

In such a place, can we truly be rewarded for hard work? Can the have-not-Milk-Bone underclass trust the have-Milk-Boners? Is it possible to find this “balance?”

Where is our Milk-Bone, you horrible men? Where is our Milk-Bone, Franklin-Covey Asset Management Fund? Where?? I guess I’m not retiring this year!

Thanks to Mr. Hopkins for this excellent “tweet.” It has given me much to think about, and raised my hopes for the future of the medium once again.


1 I am working on a series of dance moves for this.

2 Not an accidental turn of phrase.

3 Did you think that the use of a brand name baby treat here (Milk-Bone) was for comedic impact alone? You sell Mr. Hopkins short, sirs and madams.


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