Twitter is a site that none of us should have joined, a swirling nexus of hot-take insights posing as original analysis, endless performative posturing, and one good account. Anyhow, I do not have good judgment and have poured a disturbing amount of time and effort into letting everyone else on the network fully aware of this fact.
I regret this.
Nonetheless, the pointless discord I have stirred on this site is perfect for Gizmodo’s Feud Week, our ongoing series on people who have come to the conclusion they don’t like each other very much. In this case, that means the many Twitter users who have had enough of my shit. Welcome to Twitter Beef Court, inspired by Jezebel Senior Writer Kara Brown’s Shade Court column, where we will determine which of these users were in the right to block me and which were just ragequitting.
I am the jury, judge and executioner of Twitter Beef Court, and I will show myself no mercy.
The blocker: Lena Dunham, celebrity actress, creator of hit HBO show Girls, and who seems to have crummy luck with pets.
The block: Dunham tweeted about the urgency of defeating the Graham-Cassidy bill, one of the numerous failed Republican attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act in 2017, three hours after it was defeated. I am a huge jerk, so I made fun of her for this relatively mundane mistake. Dunham responded by bragging about how much money she, a fabulously rich person, had donated to Democrats.
Continuing with this chain of senseless and unprofessional escalation, I later characterized myself as “poorshamed.”
Dunham doubled down, tweeting “I don’t shame the ‘poor.’ I shame people from (former) Gawker universe who have worked hard on snark/shaming as a career choice.”
At some point in this complete and total mess, Dunham blocked me.
The Verdict: Honestly, Dunham seems to have been through an awful lot lately, so I will pretend to be a good person instead of an internet-crazed hobgoblin and give this one to her. Sorry?
The blocker: Roger Stone, the close Donald Trump associate and political adviser best known for a long history of sleazy electoral tactics. Currently, Stone is very likely in the sights of federal investigators over suspicions of financial wrongdoing and collusion with Wikileaks’ Julian Assange and alleged Russian hackers in the 2016 breach of Democratic Party email systems.
The block: Since 2016, Stone has been telling anyone who listens (but mostly listeners of Infowars radio shows) that he survived an assassination attempt in December 2016 involving polonium, the highly radioactive metal used in the poisoning of former Russian security officer Alexander Litvinenko in 2006. After running into Stone at Trump’s inauguration in 2017, I made a point of asking for receipts.
Eventually, Stone got tired with follow-ups and put me out of my misery.
The verdict: Case dismissed due to double jeopardy. Stone, who had previously admitted to a longtime habit of getting loaded on martinis before tweeting, was permanently banned from Twitter in October 2017 after going on a grammatically incoherent, profanity-laden tweetstorm against CNN reporters. (Host Don Lemon got a particular earful, with Stone accusing him of lying about “the Clinton’s and Uranium you ignorant lying covksucker !!!!”)
Thus I emerge triumphant, though appeals will be considered in the event Stone provides evidence of polonium poisoning.
The blocker: Mystifyingly popular, notoriously bland parodist Andy Borowitz, the man behind such alleged gutbusters as “Trump to discontinue Obama-era practice of using lowercase letters.”
The block: Unclear. I discovered in January 2017 that Borowitz had blocked me, which in retrospect seemed to explain the soothing absence of Borowitz jokes on my timeline.
The prevailing theory I submit to my own personal hell-court is that Borowitz name-searched himself at some point and saw my tweets accusing him of having “mentally exhausting 25-minute workday,” proposing “they” should use his columns to lull people to death in the Soylent Green factory, or that torturers should read off his headlines to extract secrets from captured spies. It is also possible I was a jerk to him in some long-deleted tweet.
The verdict: I’ll give this one to Borowitz, who seems to have just been doing his thing in peace before I was mean to him on the internet.
The blocker: Eric Garland, the conspiracy theorist and amateur salsa bassist whose incomprehensible ramblings on game theory and Russian election interference briefly rose him to belle of the ball status among clueless thinkpiece types on Twitter.
He is now commonly acknowledged among all but the dumbest or most desperate on said website to be QAnon: Lib Edition. Also, one time he fell for a hoax post claiming the White House created a fake “gorilla channel” to placate the president.
The block: Gizmodo has had run-ins with Garland before, namely the time he believed he had exposed our entire media group as nefarious deep-cover Russian agents. But it wasn’t until much later, when I photoshopped vaguely orgasmic Sonic fan art over his #Resistance/The Avengers-themed banner art, that Garland finally brought. Down. The. Banhammer!!!
The verdict: I put an article making fun of him at the top of Google searches for his name and Sonic the Hedgehog was the final straw? Get the heck out of here. I’m serious now, git! Git on outta my Beef Court!
The blocker: Pseudonymous, pretentious, and thoroughly unlikable self-proclaimed media critic NYTFridge, which was briefly a subject of insufferable gossip in 2015.
The pretense of the account was, more or less, dispatches from a sentient appliance located in the offices of the New York Times and thus privy to very deep and meaningful journalistic insights. It has since been rendered obsolete by more recent generations of Twitter users LARPing as Aaron Sorkin protagonists, like @RoguePOTUSStaff.
The block: Moderately certain it was because I tweeted, “we can narrow down the scope of possible NYTFridge identities by eliminating anyone who is fun at parties.”
The verdict: Have to hand it to NYTFridge here: That comment was downright libelous. No one has invited NYTFridge to a party.
The blocker: Jack Posobiec, the far-right conspiracy theorist and pedophilia-obsessed Pizzagate promoter who could most accurately be described as “Smol Cernovich.”
The block: Don’t know why. Don’t care why.
The verdict: This situation is already ideal to me.
The blocker: Charlie Kirk, head of Turning Point USA, a campus organization for young conservatives whose mission appears to be duping elderly right-wing billionaires into giving them tons of money.
In theory, this cash pile is intended to fight a supposed liberal hegemony on campuses. In reality, TP USA spends this money on lavish conferences mostly hosting conservative media personalities, desperate efforts to satisfy Kirk’s delusional convictions of relevance, trying to rig student government elections with dark money, and disastrous diaper protests.
Kirk mostly tweets meme-ified videos of himself supposedly owning liberals.
The block: Presumably for writing about the diaper thing.
The verdict: Too close to call; ruling for additional “court proceedings.” This must be settled in a diaper fight behind campus after class. Kirk, just show up in a diaper; I’ll totally be there. Promise.
The blocker: John Schindler, another supposed Russia expert and conservative talking head with dubious credentials, reported unsolicited dick-pick sender, and all-around great guy. He rakes in an eye-popping amount of cash soliciting the nation’s #Resistance true believers to buy access to his “premium” Twitter feed, which reportedly consists not of useful information but, at best, of “broad geopolitical analysis that borders on xenophobia.”
The block: After making fun of Schindler getting his “swole on” with his “alpha tweets,” Schindler responded by suggesting that he had done something indecent with my mother.
The verdict: I recuse myself, as I cannot possibly rule on a case involving my own father.
Update 5pm, September 4: Updated to acknowledge piece was inspired by the brilliant, now-retired Jezebel column Shade Court, by Kara Brown.