Twitter Gave Me a Week's Suspension for Making a Fat Joke About Busta Rhymes
It's my newsletter and I'll cry if I want to
Okay, this one is a bit of a whine, but it also gives you an idea of the rules for online speech in 2021. Which is to say, there are none. Out of nowhere, somebody somewhere can click a button and you’re instantly silenced, and you don’t know why and you never will.
If you follow me on Twitter and don’t see me around this week, here’s why. Yesterday I watched this viral clip of Busta Rhymes complaining about masks:
“This is my second show in front of human life in the last 15 f***in’ months. COVID can suck a d***. All these little weird-ass government policies and mandates: Suck a d***. Stop tryin’ to take our civil liberties away. Feels good to be back outside. We outside, for real. It’s called the God-given right of freedom, right? No human beings are supposed to tell you you can’t even breathe freely. F*** your mask. I mean, I’m sayin’. Some of you might feel differently, but f*** your mask. I can’t rhyme to you with a mask on. You can’t eat food with a f***in’ mask on. You can’t even see each other’s smile with a mask on… All that energy gets blocked when your mask is on. Energy is important, and we are all conductors of f***in’ good energy. We also gotta be clear when a motherf***er tryin’ to give you bad energy. You can tell from only the expression on his face. I wanna see his face. F*** your mask.”
Okay, my first thought had nothing to do with the pandemic: “Why is Busta Rhymes complaining about not being able to eat? It sure doesn’t look like anything is stopping him!” No offense, but he’s put on a few pounds since his heyday.
So I made a joke about it:
The joke, if you need it spelled out: “I could say Busta Rhymes, one of the greatest rappers alive, needs to keep his mask on as much as possible even when it’s time to eat. But I’m not gonna say it. I’m not gonna say Busta needs to stop eating so much food because he’s fat.”
That’s it. C’mon, it’s just a joke.
Or so I thought. The next time I tried to log onto Twitter, I was directed to delete that tweet. Then I got this page:
I just got suspended from Twitter for a week because I made a fat joke about Busta Rhymes. That makes sense.
Fat jokes definitely aren’t verboten on Twitter, because I get them all the time. But I used “food” and “mask” in the same tweet, directly quoting somebody else, and apparently that’s bad. Because… somebody might read it and die of COVID-19?
Read through the Twitter rules and tell me what my infraction was. You can’t, and neither can anybody at Twitter.
My account is still there. You can still read it. I just can’t access it for a week, because I made fun of Busta Rhymes. I probably should’ve said something like, “Busta Rhymes? More like Busta Chairs!” That wouldn’t have tripped whichever algorithm decided I was dangerous.
Or it could be an indirect punishment for tweeting things that are less than worshipful of trans people:
Perhaps Twitter couldn’t find a reason to shut me up, so they just didn’t bother concocting one.
It’s only a matter of time before this sort of “content moderation” hits Substack too. Our faceless, unaccountable overseers sure do love arbitrary edicts, and they’re getting more brazen by the day. So I’m enjoying this brief moment of freedom while I’ve got it.
Maybe Caitlin Flanagan is right: You Really Need to Quit Twitter.
“Twitter is a parasite that burrows deep into your brain, training you to respond to the constant social feedback of likes and retweets... Once you’re hooked, the parasite becomes your master, and it changes the way you think.”
Boy, ain’t that the truth.
As for Busta Rhymes, he should be able to say whatever he wants, about the pandemic or masks or anything else. And I should be able to make jokes about it. So should you. So should everybody.
In other words:
I’ve never really been a podcast guy, because I can read faster than you can talk and I don’t have a regular commute.1 There are a few podcasts I check out from time to time — Stephen “Not the Trump Guy” Miller is good — but not regularly. People really seem to like all those damn podcasts, though. I’ve been trying to think of things I can do for subscribers only, and Substack has an audio feature, so podcasting is one of my options.
What would I do on a podcast, though? I’m not a pundit or an improv comic or a performer (NTTAWWT). I can’t really come up with stuff off the top of my head. I need to be sitting in front of a keyboard or a piece of paper so I can work out what I want to say. It can take a loooooooooooooong time.
Maybe after I get done writing this newsletter each day, I could read it out loud so you can listen to it instead of reading it? Would that be of interest to anybody? It doesn’t sound like something I’d want to pay for, but maybe you would.
Well, just throwing it out there. Let me know what you think in the comments, and then I probably won’t do it regardless.
I Should Probably Write Some Words About the News or Something
Now Antifa is bragging about beating up protesters in LA this weekend:
And yet the mainstream press will continue to downplay it, because it doesn’t fit their narrative. Besides, the only people who got beat up by Antifa were Christians and TERFs. It’s not like they’re human beings in the eyes of the media.
Have you eaten lunch yet? If so, I’m sorry about this:
Ugh. I’m starting to understand why their wives left them even though they’re billionaires.
Apparently we’re now supposed to refer to this horrifying lab-grown antifood as “alt-meat”? That’s like “alt-comedy,” where “alt” means “the exact opposite of.”
Joe Biden Ice Cream Watch
No news today. Stay tuned tomorrow!
Just because China unleashed a deadly plague on the world, put its Uyghur population in concentration camps, and is tightening its grip on Hong Kong every day, that doesn’t mean those murdering commie scumbags can’t have a laugh at Americans and our freedoms:
I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but their editorial cartoons are even worse than ours. The ChiComs suck at generating propaganda for foreign consumption, because they’re not used to dealing with a population they can’t just kill for talking back.
If the Chinese people had the right to bear arms, they wouldn’t be forced to crank out shitty memes for their masters.
But just because it’s amateurish doesn’t mean it isn’t evil. We’ll keep going to the gun store, and Xi can go to hell. Chuck Fina.
First the University of North Carolina hired noted sci-fi author Nikole Hannah-Jones but denied her tenure. Then she whipped up an outrage mob to coerce UNC into backing down and giving her the money and power she wanted. Now she’s turning down that job in favor of one that pays even more, to the rapturous applause of her legion of devoted sycophants in the media.
Good for her, I guess. But remind me… who’s the victim here? What’s the power dynamic? Who’s the oppressor, and who’s the oppressed?
Who has all the privilege?
Calling people racist is a business. And business is good.
Okay, I saved this for last so you wouldn’t stop reading. I’m about to embed a clip of Keith Olbermann talking. If you don’t want to listen to his insane yammering, just skip it and I’ll sum it up below:
What is the stentorian psycho worked up about this time? He thinks Trump is a fascist for calling for the identity of Ashli Babbitt’s killer.
Now, I’m repulsed by Trump elbowing his way into this controversy. He’s the one who convinced Babbitt and the rest of the 1/6 rioters that they needed to, in their own words, “Hang Mike Pence.” If Trump hadn’t whipped up that mob in the first place, Babbitt wouldn’t have broken into the Capitol and tried to breach the House chamber. She thought she was doing what Trump wanted. If he had just conceded defeat and walked away, she might still be alive today. So, as revolting as Keith Olbermann is, it’s even more revolting that Trump is now using Babbitt’s death to whip up yet another angry mob.2
And, also, in addition to that: Obviously, the name of the man who shot Ashli Babbitt should not be kept secret. Her loved ones deserve to know. And just on general principles, an agent of the United States government has killed a civilian in our nation’s capitol and there must be transparency. Whether you think the shooting was right, wrong, or somewhere in-between, it is unconscionable to hide the shooter’s identity. Keith is wrong about that, as he is about most things.3
What would Olbermann say if the Minneapolis Police Department had protected the identity of George Floyd’s killer? Wouldn’t he call that fascism? I’m not saying the two cases are identical, but they’re both officers of the law who took someone’s life in the line of duty.
A lot of people wanted to kill Derek Chauvin, and still do. Would it have been right to hide his identity because of that? No.
I believe Babbitt’s shooting was justified, but protecting the identity of the shooter absolutely is not. If the Biden administration doesn’t want to turn Babbitt into a martyr, they’re doing exactly the wrong thing.
And Keith: Get some sleep. Eat some vegetables. Crank out some sit-ups. Take a walk in nature, learn yoga, do some damn thing. You are a wreck.
Thanks for reading! If you’ve subscribed, did you ever know that you’re my hero? If you haven’t subscribed yet, I need your wind beneath my wings. No, not that kind of wind. Good lord, what did you eat?
On the increasingly rare occasions when I need to drive somewhere, I scan through terrestrial radio and usually end up listening to a Spanish station. Might as well get a head-start on learning the language.
Sorry, MAGA-heads, but that’s my honest opinion. If it hurts your feelings, you can cry all you want. I don’t care.
Sorry, libs, but that’s my honest opinion. If it hurts your feelings, you can cry all you want. I don’t care.