Sifting through the remnants of Twitter past…

Twitter recently celebrated it’s 7th birthday.  It’s easy to forget just how old that is in internet years, until you try to find a good user handle and see that all the good ones are not only taken, but also very, very dead.

Case in point: @TVExec

For a project I’m working on, I wanted to find a handle that could be used for a fictional TV executive.  I figured @TVExec  would be taken, and probably even abandoned by now, but I was still surprised to see just how dead it was.

6 tweets. Two followers. Following just one person. Hasn’t been touched in two years.


It’s also readily apparent that this account was created for one purpose and one purpose only: scoring with a porn star.


Assuming he really works in TV in some capacity (hence the Idol and So You Think Can Dance drops), I’m guessing he thought his connection to mainstream media might actually be attractive to her.

First I was upset that this great handle was being wasted… but then I was intrigued.   Is he really a TV exec?  Did the porn star agree to go out with him?  Did she take his money and leave his dead carcass on the bed at a Motel 6 and that’s why he never tweeted again!??!

With concern for his safety on my mind, I now had reasonable cause to dig a little deeper.

All it has for a name is “T. Williams.”  Sadly, the picture is not of Treat Williams.  But if this guy really did want to score with a porn star, I’m guessing he used a real photo. After all, his attempt to sleep with her might be shameless, but it wasn’t dishonest.  The last thing he’d want is for his perfect night to be ruined when she discovers the anonymous twitter troll she agreed to meet isn’t the one she pictured.

A quick Google Image search revealed that the same picture was used on a second, more legit-looking twitter account.


It’s a pretty normal twitter account for guy, mostly tweets aimed at sports writers and whatnot.  Not a proposal to a porn star to be found.  And, as it happens, this guy does appear to have a connection to major TV network.  Interesting…

And this is when I got kinda freaked out.  He roots for the same sports teams I do: the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Bucs.  He must be from Tampa.  I’m from Tampa.  Heck, he might’ve even gone to the same high school I went to (if not with me, then with one of my older siblings).  Okay.  This is hitting too close to home.

So I ended my search.  “Mr. TV Exec” if you’re reading this, I hope you and your porn star found true love and she didn’t kill you.  I also hope that one day you may relinquish that awesome twitter handle to someone who might actually use it.

There are some other good, dead handles I’ve come across that are worth a blog post, too. I’ll follow up with them at some point. In the meantime, what are some abandoned Twitter handles you’ve come across that you wish you could use?

UPDATE (6/18/13):  Per the comments below, you’ll see that the real Twitterer has reached out.  He also emailed me.  He seems like a nice guy, so I’ve gone through the post, removing details that could identify him.  It’s also worth noting that as of today, The “@TVExec” Twitter account no longer exists.

Could this have been the very first parody of The Mindy Project? From over 10 years ago?

Also discovered in an old Dartmouth Jack-o-Lantern: this parody of a comic strip in the campus newspaper circa the year 2000.  The actual strip was called “Badly Drawn Girl,” written and drawn by a student named Mindy Chokalingam. I wonder whatever happened to her…

Sort of Funny Girl

UPDATE: Point of clarification, the above was NOT written or drawn by Mindy. Sadly, I can’t remember which staff member came up with it…  I just thought it was interesting that her college comic strip (as characterized in this parody) bears some similarity to an excellent show currently airing on Fox…  Hmm…

UPDATE 2: Someone has created a tumblr featuring some of the original comic strips parodied here.

A (very) brief trip down memory lane…

Just spent some time looking through old issues of the Dartmouth Jack-O-Lantern, a college humor magazine I wrote for way back in the day.  I created a lot of stuff for them, but for some reason I never put my name on my favorite thing of all:  Rejected Smurfs (Volume 1)

It was only here you could find such unsung heroes as…

Nothing to Live For Smurf

And the dynamic duo of…

Compulsive Masturbator Smurf

Not to mention my personal favorite…

Tinkles With His Pants Down Smurf

Why aren’t the smurfs blue, you ask? Because we couldn’t afford color ink.

Bonus (re)discovery:

My absolute favorite headline from our campus news parody issue…

Moon-Earth-Greek System

(That was written at a time when students — specifically those on the college newspaper — treated every decision by the administration, no matter how insignificant, as an assault on the school’s ever-sacred fraternities and sororities)

How the Borg Helped Elect Obama. Literally.

Note: This is something I originally wrote for another (now defunct) site after the ’08 election, but I figured now is as good a time as any to repost it. You know, so people could actually read it.

The 2012 election might be upon us, but there’s still one aspect of the ’08 election that’s bugging me.  A LOT has been said about how Obama won that election — the Palin factor, the ’08 economic collapse, McCain’s mysteriously missing balls — but not much has been said about HOW Obama got in the position to win in the first place.  Like how, you know,  the Borg helped elect him.

No, I’m not talking about the collective of singularly-minded young people who stormed across the nation, assimilating the masses in the name of hope & change.   I’m talking about the actual Borg from Star Trek.  Specifically, I’m talking about this Borg…

That’s “Seven of Nine” on the Star Trek series Voyager.

Jeri Ryan is the actress who played her.  Before Voyager, Ryan’s biggest claim to fame was finishing as the third runner up in the 1990 Miss America pageant (she was Miss Illinois) — an honor that quickly got her a plum job dealing blackjack at casino-themed charity events.  After landing the “sexy cyborg” role, she immediately became a fan favorite and the subject of much tabloid fodder.

When Voyager ended in 2001, super-successful TV writer/producer (and I’ll presume Trekkie) David E. Kelley created a part just for her on Boston Public.

People who follow Illinois state politics already know where this going.  So here it is for the rest of you:

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People who say “Hollywood has run out of ideas” aren’t being very original

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Just a typical day in the comment section of almost any film-centric website…

I always cringe a little when I hear people say anything to effect of “Hollywood has run out of ideas” or “there’s no originality in Hollywood anymore.”  Not just because they’re lazy criticisms typically uttered with disdain, detachment, and smugness (and by someone who acts like they’re the first person to say it), but because it’s not even true.  The film industry has never been about original ideas, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

The main formula of “Hollywood” has always been 4 parts something familiar plus 1 part something different (to give you a reason to pay for it again).  That’s the way it’s been for over a century.

Case in point:  1939

When I first started writing this blog post, I wanted to examine “the greatest year in the history of American cinema.”  Two years kept coming up over and over again in my searches.  The first is 1939, because a startling number of films produced that year have truly stood the test of time.  Here are the ten movies nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards that year:  Gone with the Wind – Stagecoach – Wuthering Heights – Dark Victory – Love Affair – Goodbye, Mr. Chips – Ninotchka – Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – Of Mice and Men – and The Wizard of Oz.

Though Dark Victory (with Bette Davis, Bogart, and Reagan) and Ninotchka (a Lubitsch/Billy Wilder collaboration) have failed to leave an indilible mark on the cinematic consciousness of America, the others easily rank amongst all-time classics — movies that are constantly referenced as high points of their genre.

Now, you might say: “Exactly, Hollywood has tried to imitate those eight other films to death!  So I’m right. Hollywood is unoriginal.”

Except, of course, for the fact there’s a stunning dearth of “originality” on that list.

1. Gone with the Wind – based on a novel.

2. Stagecoach – Both a genre film and an adaptation of a short story “The Stage to Lordsburg”

3. Wuthering Heights – Novel.

4. Dark Victory – Based on a play.

5.  Love Affair – Look, an original story for the screen!

6. Goodbye, Mr. Chips – Novel (though it should be noted this movie wasn’t made by “Hollywood” — it’s British)

7. Ninotchka – An original screen story.

8.  Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – Based on an unpublished story.

9. Of Mice and Men – Novel.

10. The Wizard of Oz – Novel.

So of the best picture nominees from one of the most historical years in movies, 8 were adaptions of preexisting material.  But you know what?  I’ll knock it down to 7,  since the original story for Mr. Smith was never published.  So there you go.  7 out of 10, and no one has ever called Gone With The Wind or The Wizard of Oz unnecessary adaptations.  And as for Love Affair… It may be a classic, and it may be original, but you know what’s considered even more of a classic?  The 1957 remake:  An Affair to Remember.

Also noteworthy about Love Affair, its success led to two more films starring the same leads (Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer) being produced soon thereafter.  Hollywood did that a lot in the pre-home video era.  To satisfy the audience’s desire to see certain actors together again, when they couldn’t make a sequel they’d just pair them up again and again in other (very similar) films.  In other words, the golden age of movies was filled with a lot more You’ve Got Mail’s than Sleepless in Seattle‘s.

If Hollywood had as much of a habit of doing that today as they did back then, what would the internet call them?  Faux-quels?

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A Conversation Between Anne Frank and St. Peter Thanks To A Couple Mitt Romney Supporters

A lot has been said about the controversial Mormon practice of baptizing holocaust victims after they’ve died, so I won’t say anything more on the matter. I’m just going to print this “conversation” that came to me in a dream; a conversation that I think sums up the feelings of those who support the practice (and allowed me to see this issue in a much better light):

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So you want to be a podcaster…

I don’t have a podcast.  I’ve only been a guest on one a couple times.  But I listen to a lot of them, and if I have one piece of advice for would-be podcasters it’s that…

Listener fatigue is real.  You really can have “too much of a good thing.”

I know what you’re thinking:  “But Eric, podcasting is cheap and there’s no restriction on length or posting frequency, so I’ll just put as much out there as possible and let my listeners pick what they want to listen to!”

First off, if that’s what you’re saying… you’re a liar.  Every podcast of yours that isn’t getting downloaded will send you into a tizzy.  If you don’t believe me… well, just ask anyone who’s been podcasting for a while.

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