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Mande writes for shows like The Good Place and Master of None now, but like many comedians, he used the social network as a way to build a name for himself early in his career. Now, he says, “It’s basically become a place we all go to scream about, and thereby indulge, the mental illness of a demented 71-year-old comic book villain”—apparently referring to the president.
“If it’s not that,” he said. “Then we’re screaming at someone we don’t agree with, or screaming at someone we do agree with, because that person did something that we don’t agree with enough. Or, if you’re a Senator, then you’re jacking off to hardcore incest-themed pornography, which is evidently something that streams unabated on this app.”
Mande wrote an open letter before logging off for good, tweeting a screenshot of it Monday with the simple message, “Bye, y’all! I’m leaving!”
Bye, y’all! I’m leaving! pic.twitter.com/whxU12KDO0— joe mande (@JoeMande) October 16, 2017
He compared using the service to smoking embalming fluid, and explained the metaphor this way:
Years ago, I watched a CNN report hosted by Serena Altschul about a group of people in New Haven, Connecticut, who all did a drug they called “Wet.” Doing “wet” was the act of smoking cigarettes, or blunts, that had been pre-dipped in embalming fluid. It was a super depressing piece of journalism. But what I learned is that smoking embalming fluid is terrible for two notable reasons: first, it’s incredibly addictive, and second, the high it produces was described as “dysphoric.” As in, the opposite of euphoric. People who smoked embalming fluid were guaranteed to have a horrible, nighmarish experience every single time… and they couldn’t stop doing it. Twitter is the internet’s version of smoking embalming fluid.
Christine Friar is a writer and editor in New York who focuses on streaming entertainment and internet culture. Her work has appeared in the Awl, the Fader, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle, and more.