It’s a sad day for Twitter. The social media service is killing Vine, the video platform of choice for micro-famous teens named Chris. But more importantly, indicted “pharma douche” Martin Shkreli has blocked me.
Shkreli joins an all-star roster of Twitter users who have formally prevented me from reading their good tweets, including Priceline pitchman William Shatner, political nonentity Meghan McCain, and Jim Impoco, editor-in-chief of the weekly news magazine that used to compete with TIME.
Yet with each of these others, there was an easily identifiable reason for the block. Impoco I had mocked for saying that Yo La Tengo, a widely known and beloved rock trio, was the “best indie band you’ve never heard of.” McCain I’d merely @-mentioned in my giddy response to someone else’s savage burn. And Shatner blocked the entire Daily Dot staff when we ran an article arguing against his stupid contention that Star Trek isn’t political.
What prompted Martin’s block? It’s hard to say. Maybe it’s the fact that I mined his Twitter account for content that didn’t always portray him in the most flattering light. Just recently, I reported on how he tried to stage a “meetup” for drinks after a court date, only to have the bar itself preemptively cancel the impromptu event out of sheer disgust.
There is NO meet-up for @MartinShkreli at our place today. This is not happening.— Henry St. Ale House (@HenryStreetAle) October 14, 2016
Before that, there was Shkreli’s seemingly well-intentioned invite to bid on the opportunity to punch him in the face, with money raised going to a kid whose father had unexpectedly died. We were all set to applaud him before his chosen $50,000 winner mysteriously, conveniently “reneged” on the deal. (She also, by the way, had never confirmed it in the first place.) Meanwhile, Shkreli ignored the interest of the UFC heavyweight champion who could likely have crumpled his skull with no more than a light jab.
Was Martin just tired of me getting paid to make fun of him on the internet? Is he trying to close the spigot on a reliable source of laughs? It’s not like him, really. By all indications, he subscribes to Oscar Wilde’s dictum that “the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” Ever since he first made headlines by hiking the price of an AIDS drug 5,000 percent, he has sought to retain a lurid spotlight.
Perhaps he’s grown bored of that game. Perhaps he’s… changing? All I know is, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye, Martin. We never even spoke. I believe we could have worked things out. If I crossed a line in sharing the details of your crappy life, please let me know. Don’t just shut me out.
Please. I need this. And as crazy as it may sound, I think you need this too. The idea of never seeing another Martin Shkreli tweet unless it’s aggregated in the Huffington Post is, quite honestly, world-shattering. I hate to think of all the tweets I’ve missed already. I will do better. I will be worthy.
And until then, I’ll be waiting.