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Louise Mensch is a conservative former member of British parliament who now works as a journalist and conspiracy theorist, focusing in particular on the relationship between President Donald Trump and the Russian government. Leon “@Leyawn” Chang is a Weird Twitter stalwart who makes jokes online and has an icon of a fat, 16-bit bird. Mensch thinks Chang is a Russian propagandist, and it’s hilarious.
Weird Twitter has a strong leftist bent, and a lot of its participants feel centrist Democrats have become obsessed with a possible Trump-Russia connection as a way of shifting the blame for Hillary Clinton‘s election defeat. Mensch, although she’s conservative, has found a fanbase among these anti-Trump centrists because she broke the story that the FBI had been investigating Trump’s Russia ties since at least October 2016.
On Sunday, Chang posted up a cluster of obviously fake tweets from prominent conspiracy believers including Mensch, Eric “Time for Some Game Theory” Garland, and John “20committee” Schindler. The joke here is pretty clear: They’ll find Russian connections in everything, even the teen who’s trying to get free Wendy’s chicken nuggets by getting 18 million retweets.
the resistance has taken a weird turn pic.twitter.com/x5q7t7VAs0— leon trotsky (@leyawn) April 10, 2017
The post got thousands of likes and retweets, and on Monday morning, Mensch responded, taking it way more seriously than one should take anything posted by a cute, fat bird:
Far from refuting the criticism implied in Leyawn’s satirical tweet—that Mensch sees Russian bogeymen everywhere—she proved his point beautifully by calling him a Russian partisan.
Chang, who became popular on Twitter by making music, games, pixel art, and wisecracks, is definitely an agent of the Kremlin. You know it’s true because he changed his display name to “Leon Trotsky.” (Note to Louise Mensch: I have employed sarcasm in this paragraph.)
Weird Twitter is having a field day with the Chang-Mensch feud because there’s basically no funnier way it could have played out.
i made up a post about louise mensch saying the wendy's chicken nugget teen is a russian agent and now louise is saying i am a russian agent— leon trotsky (@leyawn) April 10, 2017
the Russian agent has been described as a "small fat bird" by my sources https://t.co/a5HB8YSane— K. Thor Jensen (@kthorjensen) April 10, 2017
ahahahahahaha https://t.co/xNxUzSE8Vq— brian feldman (@bafeldman) April 10, 2017
aHhhHHHHHh https://t.co/sxhp1Ualy7— libby watson (@libbycwatson) April 10, 2017
Oh my god she pinned the Leon tweet https://t.co/hdiika4uDB— Barry Petchesky (@barry) April 10, 2017
what if louise memsch is just on a higher irony level than anyone else https://t.co/fU6hCyRflr— dean hamhose (@pissgoth420) April 10, 2017
We have reached a previously-unseen next level of humorlessness, this owns https://t.co/rjlyH1PlfU— Ipso Fatso (@WokeCrumbum) April 10, 2017
It seems the Russians have invented an insidious new form of media known as the "joke". Be careful out there on the web kids. https://t.co/1BKr7dyQte— Tim N. (@Newtaloo) April 10, 2017
Trump - Actually Russia— Jordan (@ImitationJordan) April 10, 2017
Jill Stein - Actually Russia
Bernie - Actually Russia
BLM - Actually Russia
Weird Twitter bird- Most Russian of all https://t.co/NHlaZIQhmt
Everyone seems to agree that “this owns” and “ahahahah” and “I can’t believe the website Twitter is still free.” Big congrats to Louise Mensch for unearthing yet another Russian conspiracy and outing the dangerous KGB video games bird. You’re truly protecting all of us from Vladimir Putin’s evil machinations.
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.