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The Best Tweets Ever
The Worst Tweets Ever
The Best (and Worst) Celebrity Tweets

compiled by Michael R. Burch

The Tweet Defined: What is a Tweet?

a Tweet
by any other name
would be as fleet!

The electronic missive known as a "Tweet" is essentially a modern epigram (a brief, concise saying). Here are examples of great epigrams of the past and present:

If you can't be a good example, you'll just have to be a horrible warning.—Catherine the Great
I don't approve of political jokes; I have seen too many of them get elected.—Jon Stewart
To err is human, but it feels divine.—Mae West
My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God. I didn't.—Unknown
I'm not offended by dumb blonde jokes because I'm not dumb, and also I'm not blonde.—Dolly Parton
Foreign aid is taking money from the poor people of a rich country and giving it to the rich people of a poor country.—Ron Paul

Examples of Tweets

Not to be outdone by the great epigrams of the past, here are some great Tweets, along with some terrible-but-hilarious Tweets:

Yoooo I ordered a pizza & it came with no toppings on it or anything, its just bread? @dominos
@disgruntledcustomer We're sorry to hear about this! Please let our friends at @dominos_uk know of this so they can help. *EV
Never mind, I opened the pizza upside down :/ @dominos @Dominos_UK

Today is already shaping up to be a "Keyboard not found. Press any key to continue." kind of day.—@thedayhascome
My phone reception is so clear, I can hear my wife’s eyes rolling as I talk.—@cpinck
Don't dismiss a Donald Trump presidency. The man knows how to look successful while sitting atop a bankrupt empire.—@badbanana
Irony is reading a conversation on Facebook about how Twitter is a waste of time.—@sween
The Tea Party enthusiast at work wants everyone to know she "brung muffins." In the distance, a lonely coyote howls.—@lafix
L'oréal's mascara makes your lashes 60% longer? Wow. They should make condoms.—@iamJDC
"I tripped and fell into a life boat" is the nautical equivalent of "I tripped and my dick fell inside her."—@Bubz5
Romantic films always give women unrealistic expectations. Just like guys watching porn flicks.—@iamJDC
Tonight the Katherine Heigl Film Festival opens in hell. It will last 100 years. Attendance is mandatory. Man, Satan's good at his job.—@iamJDC

If like me you wonder where the hell "hell" came from, here's an interesting logical proof that there is no "hell" in the Bible.

And here are some related Tweets of my own, for the Moral Majority and the Religious Right, who couldn't be any more wrong (or any more bigoted), in my opinion:

Life’s saving graces are love, pleasure, laughter. Wisdom, it seems, is for the Hereafter.—@mikerburch
The best tonic for other people’s bad ideas is to think for yourself.—@mikerburch
The problem with bigots is that they "know" they're not bigots, just "better."—@mikerburch
Hell hath no fury like a frustrated fundamentalist whose God condemned him to "hell" for having "impure thoughts."—@mikerburch
How can the Bible be "infallible" when from Genesis to Revelation slavery is commanded and condoned, but never condemned?—@mikerburch
If God has the cattle on ten thousand hills, why does he need my tithes?—@mikerburch
Marx said religion is the opiate of the people, but I think religion is the dopiate of the sheeple.—@mikerburch
Religion is the difficult process of choosing the least malevolent invisible friends.—@mikerburch

And in a similar but lighter vein, I call this one "Nun Fun Undone":

are not for excesses!

For people who foolishly believe that the United States was attacked on 9-11 for its virtues rather than its vices, here's one I call "Epitaph for a Palestinian Child":

I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step ... the grave is wide.

If after my Tweetish tirades anyone still maintains that the Bible is "infallible":

If God
is good
half the Bible
is libel.

My Favorite Tweet

Here's my favorite Tweet to date:

The Capitol looks beautiful and I am honored to be at work tonight.—Gabrielle Giffords

Gabrielle Giffords is the Arizona congresswoman who was shot and nearly killed. While so many other American politicians rage and imagine vain things, I find her words wonderfully touching and encouraging. Reading her poetic Tweet, I can actually see our nation's Capitol lit up at night, shining like a beacon, and feel her sincerity. How many senators and congressmen are humble enough to feel honored to work for their country, I wonder? In any case, I'm glad to have Gabby back, and to know that she's not only recovering from her injuries, but wants to help her country recover from its own deep-seated (albeit self-inflicted) wounds. I only hope that other Americans will exhibit some of her grace under fire. After all, since she pulled through her harrowing ordeal, so can we as a nation, if only we emulate her courage and resolve. And as I write this, I am reminded of Gabby's favorite epigram, which appears on her Facebook page:

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds.—Abraham Lincoln

To further demonstrate how epigrams can intersect our lives and perhaps influence our stars, Gabby's husband the astronaut Mark Kelly had inscribed on her wedding ring, "You're the closest to heaven that I've ever been"—words from a song by the Goo Goo Dolls that obviously have a very special meaning for them. The inscription is actually a short rhyming poem, an epigram for the ages:

You're the closest to heaven
that I've ever been.

Here are two wonderfully touching epigrams that I've come to love, both of which I discovered through emails:

The births of all things are weak and tender, therefore we should have our eyes intent on beginnings.—Michel de Montaigne

It takes courage to push yourself to places that you have never been before, to test your limits, to break through barriers. And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.—Anaïs Nin

Best (and Worst) Celebrity Tweets

Sad Greece is on verge of default w/ so much potential gold wealth. I blame the ineffectual leadership of King Midas. Just touch something!—@StephenAtHome (Stephen Colbert)

contrary to the rumors, i am not replacing charlie sheen on two and half men. however, martin sheen has asked me to be his son.—@JohnStamos

The Kindle 3 was released yesterday. I read about it on my iPad.—@ConanOBrien

First the iPhone was left in a bar and now the bars have left the iPhone. I hate irony.—@ceoSteveJobs

Wildly wiggling & jauntily jiggling myself to jolting jams as I friskily flaunt a flirty outfit completed w/sexy white 7in. go-go boots!—@CourtneyStodden

"Refudiate, misunderestimate, wee-wee'd up. English is a living language. Shakespeare liked to coin words, too. Got to celebrate it!"—@SarahPalinUSA

(In the process of creating her Shakespearean Tweet, Sarah Palin either created a second nonsense word or borrowed it from another charismatic moron, whose identity must be concealed to protect the ignorant.)

In her dreams, Sarah Palin is a refudiatin' Shakespearean wordsmith. But I don't give a Puck.—@CroweJam

"pls refudiate!"
by Michael R. Burch

"Refudiate" this,
miffed, misunderstood Ms!—
Shakespeare, you’re not
(more like Yoda, but hot).
Your grammar’s atrocious;
Great Poets would know this.

You lack any plan
save to flatten Iran
like some cute Mini-Me
cloned from G. W. B.

Admit it, Ms. Palin!,
stop your winkin’ and wailin’—
only "heroes" like Nero
fiddle sparks at Ground Zero.

Or, as Edmund Conti says of America's new master communicator:

Sarah Palin likes to bleat
I am Woman. Hear me tweet.

Like the latest and greatest of all American poets, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin seems intent on taking Yoda-speak to new heights, as evidenced by her immortal haiku "When 900 Years Old You Reach." Palin is also the inventor of a new type of Yoda-ism which I have dubbed the "Palin-drone." A palindrome (with a lower case "p" and an "m") makes sense whether one reads the letters backwards or forwards. For example, "Dad did mom" consists of three small palindromes. One of the cleverest palindromes of all time was a campaign slogan for Teddy Roosevelt: "A man, a plan, a canal: Panama." But a Palin-drone (with an upper case "P" and an "n") makes no sense whatsoever, regardless of anything the reader does. For example:

"Alaska is all over the world map right now."

A Palindrone can sometimes seem to make sense, until one analyzes the underlying "logic," as with:

"Our opponent is someone who sees America as imperfect."

This is the same as saying we are our own worst enemy, which in the case of a Palin-led dumb-ocracy would undoubtedly be the case.

But while such lines make for disconcertingly bad politics, as pure poetry they are undeniably dazzling, on a par with the conclusion of Wallace Stevens' immortal poem "The Snow Man," in which he speaks of a listener who "nothing himself, beholds / Nothing that is not there, and the nothing that is." So I agree with Julian Gough, who recently proposed that Palin be made the Poet Laureate of the United States (although by admitting her obvious greatness as a poet, I fear that I am also admitting that sheer stupidity is the height of man's art and literary achievement):

Going Rogue in Rouge
by Michael R. Burch

It'll be hard to polish that apple
enough to make her seem palatable.
Though she's sweeter than Snapple
how can my mind grapple
with stupidity so nearly infallible?

Copyright 2012 by Michael R. Burch
from Signs of the Apocalypse
all Rights and Violent Shudderings Reserved

Tom McNichol has called Palin a "true bard," noting the "fragile haiku-like quality" of her compositions, most of which seem to be contemporaneous gifts of the Muse (although at least one seems to have been inked on the palm of her hand, like a bimbo cheerleader's cheat notes). According to McNichol, Palin's poems sometimes cause readers to question the very meaning of meaning itself. Having been stumped by her otherworldly syntax, I'm inclined to agree:

The Daily Show’s John Stewart calls her out on this, her tweeting and the media’s extensive coverage of her tweeting in general in the video above, "Like a teenage boy with a crush on the stuck up girl who hates him, the media is fascinated by everything Sarah Palin tweets."

"I tweet that’s the way I roll," Palin responded to critics of her constant abuse of social media. And so, to paraphrase Sonny and Cher, '"the bleat goes on."

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