The Twitter Accounts of Bret Easton Ellis and Barack Obama

Popular American author Bret Eason Ellis, whose latest novel, Imperial Bedrooms, was just released, has a Twitter account. I follow it.

It’s crazy. I can’t tell if the author’s tweeting style is genuine, ironic, post-ironic, or using the fact that he’s being completely serious as a form of irony, which could maybe just be called ‘advanced.’ Either way, when I’m looking at BEE’s Twitter account, I kind of get the feeling that it’s actually Patrick Bateman in the middle of a nervous breakdown. Look at these selected tweets:

11:36 PM June 18, 2009
The song I’ve listened to the most in the last 5 days: “Halo” by Beyonce.

1:00 PM August 22, 2009
The song I’ve listened to the most in the last 5 days: “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus.

4:54 PM October 05, 2009
At the gym three in a row on the iPod: I’m A Rocker (Springsteen), I’m So Afraid (Fleetwood Mac) and I’m That Type of Guy (L.L. Cool J)…

9:06 AM January 04, 2010
The song I’ve listened to the most in the last five days: “Heartbreak Warfare” by John Mayer.

2:01 PM February 20, 2010
The song I’ve listened to most in the last five days: “Southern Voice” by Tim McGraw…

11:55 PM May 13, 2010
Sufjan Steven’s “Chicago” was arguably the best pop-rock song of the Aughties.

Does anyone else see in these tweets the same brand of terrible, existential despair that runs throughout the author’s oeuvre, most notably in American Psycho and Glamorama? Even the times of day that Bret Easton Ellis tweeted are fascinating.

9:06 AM January 04, 2010
The song I’ve listened to the most in the last five days: “Heartbreak Warfare” by John Mayer.

This at nine in the morning. Seems depressing. Seems like Bret Easton Ellis woke up alone, moaned, got out of bed, made a small portion of scrambled eggs, took a mini bottle of spring water from his refrigerator and sat down with it and his scrambled eggs at his table in front of his already-opened MacBook, looked at Esquire’s and The New Yorker’s websites, went to Twitter and typed, “The song I’ve listened to most in the last five days: ‘Heartbreak Warfare’ by John Mayer.”

Adding another layer of depression to BEE’s tweets is his frequent use of ellipses, like he’s implying “How did my life come to this?” or “Soon I am going to do something weird.”

1:36 AM January 22, 2010
Got into a fight tonight with a screenwriter about why I think the “Last House On The Left” remake is a better movie than “Precious”…

2:00 PM February 20, 2010
Finishing “The Golden Suicides” script…staring at the view from my office…Dear Science playing…Mike at a friends in Lake Hollywood…

2:06 PM February 20, 2010
Keep looking at the script…Angelina and Franco for Theresa and Jeremy?…It doesn’t matter…I wrote it for them anyway…I just spaced…

In stark contrast to Bret Easton Ellis’ tweeting style is Barack Obama’s, whose approach can probably be termed ‘robotic’ or ‘mad serious.’ Honestly seems like a robot generates Barack Obama’s tweets. Look at these recent tweets by Barack Obama:

12:30 PM May 05, 2010
Today I signed a bill to improve health care services for veterans. Our commitment to those in uniform doesn’t end when they return home.

9:22 AM June 16, 2010
We must make a commitment to the Gulf Coast that goes beyond responding to the crisis of the moment.

12:37 PM July 01, 2010
By appealing not to people’s fears but to their hopes and ideals, we can put politics aside for an immigration system that is accountable.

8:12 AM July 02, 2010
As the June unemployment numbers are released, it is clear we are headed in the right direction, but we are not headed there fast enough.

I could pick any of them. Aside from the use of contractions, all Barack Obama’s tweets are completely robotic. They honestly make me think of Barack Obama as ‘more robotic.’

Interestingly, the Barack Obama robot, whose funny Twitter bio is “44th President of the United States,” participates in “Follow Friday.”

11:24 AM May 21, 2010
#FF Cabinet Secretaries: US Secretary of Transportation @RayLaHood, Secretary of Commerce @SecLocke, and Secretary of Labor @HildaSolisDOL

I wonder if Barack Obama tweeted “Change has come to America” when he got elected. TC mark


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