My 100 Favorite Twitter Accounts

twitterI should be brief. It seemed a good idea during the torpid month of January to do another list post. I’ve been on Twitter for more than five years and have written about its many good qualities before. Lately, it’s become clear that, as a business, Twitter is likely to fail. Maybe Facebook will eventually absorb it, undoubtedly changing it for the worse. Couple this with the fact that a few of the people I’m most grateful to have found on the site have recently left it, perhaps for good, and the whole enterprise suddenly feels evanescent. The list of people I follow on Twitter has been slowly expanding and improving over the years, and I hope it will continue to do so. But just in case things continue to go south, here is a record of some of the great minds and lovely people I’ve been privileged to encounter.

A word on the selections: starting a Twitter account offers boundless creative possibilities. I chose to disqualify satirical accounts, fictional characters, and publications. The list is made up of one hundred individual people who speak in more or less their own voices. As you’ll see, I don’t know everyone’s real name, but that’s not at all the same thing as tweeting under the name of Lillian Gish or Richard Nixon (how fun to put those two in the same sentence). One of my favorite accounts tweets out the complete works of Shakespeare in very small chunks, and another tweets the text of Moby Dick. These are categorically different from the accounts below.

Finally, there is the question of how the rankings came about. Being meticulous, I assigned points for each individual tweet that I retweeted or liked, a point for having a clever profile “bio,” and a rough estimate of how many times the person retweeted something great. That last one was impossible to nail down, but it seemed important. A retweet is its own form of communication, and some users are better at highlighting others’ work than they are at sharing their own thoughts. I’ll single out Mara Wilson, who achieves her high ranking almost entirely on the basis of her nearly flawless taste in Twitter humor. Anyway, I added all the points together and broke the ties with the utmost caprice. Here are the results, with brief descriptions of the areas of emphasis for each account, and one sample tweet. The tweets themselves may not be my absolute favorites, but they give a sense of their authors and work pretty well plucked out of context.

100. Matthew Dessem (@MatthewDessem) – Movies

  • “Most of the time my interior monologue is just me going, ‘Crazy old Maurice, eh? Crazy old Maurice.” (September 27, 2013)

99. Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) – Comics, Politics, Writing

  • “I was in NYC on 9/11. If I learned one thing about violent tragedy, it’s that empathy does more to make things better than fury does.” (November 13, 2015)

98. Ayesha A. Siddiqi (@AyeshaASiddiqi) – Faith, Humor, Politics

  • “when the worst thing a president can get accused of being is a muslim, showing americans you’re means so much to us” (February 11, 2015)

97. Ann Voskamp (@AnnVoskamp) – Faith, Inspiration

  • “Brokenness breaks us from our need to be ‘right’ and breaks us open to our need to extend the grace we have been given. ” (October 27, 2012)

96. Joel McHale (@joelmchale) – Humor, TV

  • “During my flight back the 12 yr old girl sitting in front of me watched the original ‘The Thing’ from 1951. I’m in awe of her cool.” (June 9, 2012)

95. Eugene Cho (@EugeneCho) – Faith

  • “Don’t tell us what you’re against. Show us something different. Compel us. Create a better story. Invite us into that story.” (April 13, 2012)

94. Timothy Yenter (@inessentials) – Movies

  • “Please do not call for healing unless you are the one actively working to prevent future harms and alleviate current pain.” (November 9, 2016)

93. Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) – Politics

  • “Few figures did more than D’Souza over last few years to associate Xtianity w/partisanship, hackery. His talents/intelligence made it worse.” (October 18, 2012)

92. D.L. Mayfield (@d_l_mayfield) – Faith

91. Peter Labuza (@labuzamovies) – Movies

  • “RT Existence Sucks. Let’s Throw Ourselves Into The Sun and Then Shoot The Sun Into A Bigger Sun.” (November 4, 2015)

90. Kristen Sales (@salesonfilm) – Movies

  • “why aren’t we constantly talking about how hot ginger rogers is” (September 3, 2014)

89. Dana Stevens (@thehighsign) – Movies

  • “RT My letters say a hundred and seven galleys. // I feel you, Will. I’m way behind on email too.” (April 9, 2013)

88. Michael Koresky (@reverse_shot) – Movies

87. Jake Cole (@notjustmovies) – Movies

  • “Deadliest monsters of Jurassic Park: 5. That spitting one 4. T-Rex 3. Goldblum’s chest 2. Raptors 1. Laura Dern’s sick burns” (July 3, 2015)

86. Ta-Nehisi Coates (@tanehisicoates) – Comics, History, Politics

  • “The whole ‘Yeah but this democrat did something racist.’ response rendered in the voice of Columbian discovery is a genre onto itself.” (September 5, 2015)

85. Tyler Huckabee (@TylerHuckabee) – Humor, Politics

  • “[Hollywood fat cats frowning at a whiteboard that says TARZAN] *i go up and write THE LEGEND OF TARZAN* *they burst into tearful applause*” (June 30, 2016)

84. Fredrik deBoer (@freddiedeboer) – Politics

  • “I’ve cautioned leftists against their censorious impulses so often in part because we are more likely to be the censored than the censors.” (November 25, 2016)

83. Susan Orlean (@susanorlean) – Writing

  • “When I was a kid, I would say certain words to myself just to enjoy the music of them. ‘Sliver’ and ‘murmur’ and ‘slice’. Delicious.” (July 12, 2013)

82. Adam Kempenaar (@filmspotting) – Movies

  • “Great movie phone call I remembered then forgot before recording this week? THE ROOKIE. Quaid tells family he’s going to the show. ” (March 21, 2012)

81. Scott Nye (@railoftomorrow) – Movies

  • “This doc on Sidney Lumet just said Henry Fonda played the ‘title role’ in 12 ANGRY MEN.” (April 4, 2015)

80. Neil Gaiman (@neilhimself) – Comics, Writing

  • “Misread airport sign as ONCE YOU PASS THIS POINT YOU MUST CONTINUE TO EXIST. Sleepily wondered what problem it was meant to solve.” (October 26, 2011)

79. Dianna E Anderson (@diannaeanderson) – Faith, Feminism, Politics

  • “I feel, sometimes, when getting ‘history’ lessons from church people, that I’m living in Orwell: We have always been at war with Eastasia.” (October 18, 2013)

78. Lauren Wilford (@lauren_wilford) – Movies

  • “sitting waiting wishing to push you around because we’ve only got 100 years to live in the space between the drops of jupiter in her hair” (September 17, 2015)

77. Matt Singer (@mattsinger) – Humor, Movies

  • “JUNGLE BOOK: ORIGINS is just 90 minutes of Rudyard Kipling sitting at a desk pensively.” (August 1, 2014)

76. Nora Fiore (@NitrateDiva) – Movies

  • “LAURA, PART I: HELP, I THINK I’VE FALLEN IN LOVE WITH A DEAD DAME. LAURA, PART II: IT’S COOL. SHE’S ALIVE. ” (November 4, 2015)

75. Hend Amry (@LibyaLiberty) – Faith, Humor, Politics

  • “I’m here trying to convince Trump supporters that a free press is vital for a functioning democracy but I’m the one told to assimilate. 🙄” (January 11, 2017)

74. Eric D. Snider (@EricDSnider) – Humor, Movies

  • “I enjoy Oscar season, but in much the same way that I love the Christmas season: any mention of it before Thanksgiving irritates me.” (September 12, 2014)

73. Rebecca Cusey (@Rebecca_Cusey) – Faith, Movies, Politics

72. Fritzi Kramer (@MoviesSilently) – Humor, Movies

  • “By the way, did anyone ever find Murnau’s skull?” (December 11, 2015)

71. Jim Gabriel (@flipyourface) – Movies

  • “TCM clip where Robert Wise smiles while talking about the AMBERSONS cuts and reshoots makes me sooooo mad” (August 23, 2014)

70. Lindy West (@thelindywest) – Feminism, Humor

  • not currently on Twitter

69. probably the devil (@emakbakia_) – Humor, Movies

  • “really hope superman kicks batmans head off in the first five seconds and spends the next two hours twenty minutes eating ice cream” (July 11, 2015)

68. Fernando F. Croce (@FernandoFCroce) – Movies

  • “Love when my feed is split evenly between superhero blockbuster puns and reactions to the new film from the world’s greatest living director” (May 21, 2014)

67. Tasha Robinson (@TashaRobinson) – Movies

  • “Saw the Golden Gate bridge being built last night in LONE RANGER’s opening, destroyed today in PACIFIC RIM’s opening. Nice to have closure.” (June 27, 2013)

66. Brad Bird (@BradBirdA113) – Movies

  • “Bad Movie poisoning can be mooted by a scene from a good one / Poison: a Bad Western / Antidote: 1st 10 minutes of ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST” (June 21, 2014)

65. Edwin Davies (@EdwinJDavies) – Movies

  • “The control room scene from Goldeneye, but Bond miscounts how many times the pen’s been clicked & everyone looks at him like he’s an idiot.” (March 21, 2015)

64. Brian Gaar (@briangaar) – Humor

  • “Robin Williams was like a family member I always wanted and one of those people it legitimately hurts to lose.” (August 11, 2014)

63. Megan Amram (@meganamram) – Humor

  • “Take me down to Paradise Isthmus / where the grass is green and the girls like Christhmus” (January 29, 2013)

62. Ray (@SirEviscerate) – Humor

  • “DATE: I think rebels are kinda sexy. ME: Oh yeah? Watch this. *pulls out a Kit Kat bar and snaps it perpendicular to the break lines*” (January 3, 2017)

61. Andrew Kaczynski (@KFILE) – Politics

  • “Trump Iraq timeline: 2002: Supports the war 2004: Against the war 2008: Withdraw the troops 2016: Obama founded ISIS when he withdrew troops” (August 11, 2016)

60. Autumn Faust (@Camera_Angel) – Humor, Movies

  • “the black people are good version of birth of a nation is better than the black people are bad version in the ‘i agree with this’ department” (January 26, 2016)

59. Todd VanDerWerff (@tvoti) – TV

  • “Criticism is not answering a ‘what’ question, as in ‘What was good? What was bad?’ It is answering a WHY question. ‘Why is this what it is?'” (May 22, 2014)

58. Steven D. Greydanus (@DecentFilms) – Faith, Movies

  • “I love and I love , but the Sphinx nose joke takes me out of the movie every time.” (August 20, 2015)

57. Calum Marsh (@calummarsh) – Movies

  • “Down with Ford. Long live Wyler.” (January 22, 2014)

56. Avery Edison (@aedison) – Humor

  • “Yes, I’m doing amazing tweets, but it’s important to do offline activism, too. Just now I went outside and shook my fist at 2016, the year.” (November 15, 2016)

55. Brian Schmid (@SchmanthonyP) – Movies, Sports

  • “Prince was the Jean-Luc Godard of music.” (April 21, 2016)

54. Edgar Wright (@edgarwright) – Movies

  • “The flight I’m on is playing a cover of ‘Silly Love Songs’ as we board. This disturbs me. What if the plane doesn’t have real wings either?” (March 30, 2012)

53. Glenn Kenny (@Glenn__Kenny) – Movies

  • “‘You think I’m gonna give up because YOU can’t find me a girl with a backbone?’ The dialogue in ‘King Kong’ still rules” (December 24, 2014)

52. Kaleb Horton (@kalebhorton) – Music, Politics, Writing

  • “Gene Wilder was the closest thing movies had to a real life Bugs Bunny. Warm, witty, and governed by barely concealed ambient madness.” (August 29, 2016)

51. Tim Siedell (@badbanana) – Humor

  • “COOL NFL TOUCHDOWN DANCE: Pull conch shell from sock, blow to summon Pegasus, fly to Heaven brandishing a flaming sword.” (May 21, 2013)

50. Mike D’Angelo (@gemko) – Movies

  • “Thunderous breaking news: My refusal to use THE VVITCH + my anal-retentive fixation on consistency means I am switching from SE7EN to SEVEN.” (February 23, 2016)

49. Nick Pinkerton (@NickPinkerton) – Movies

  • “The most intensely challenging, daunting role that any actor can play is that of the clown who fights Batman.” (January 21, 2016)

48. Alan Scherstuhl (@studiesincrap) – Movies, Writing

  • “70 percent of editing movie reviews is replacing ‘film’ with ‘movie’ or ‘movie’ with ‘film’ or either with the movie’s title” (May 18, 2016)

47. Albert Brooks (@AlbertBrooks) – Humor, Movies

  • “Hipy Nu Yr. Strded drinke a bid erly butttttttt feeliinn gud and tring to hhhve sex wiith keybroad” (December 31, 2011)

46. Sophia Benoit (@1followernodad) – Feminism, Humor

  • “Republicans love the concept of respect. They use it when they mean I found that offensive. They use it when they mean this is a safe space.” (November 29, 2016)

45. Alissa Wilkinson (@alissamarie) – Faith, Movies

  • “Social media: lose respect for people you used to have it for! Feel weird about your friends! Experience unnecessary guilt! For free!” (July 16, 2015)

44. Richard Brody (@tnyfrontrow) – Movies

  • “Just caught up with this: movies better than the books? No shortage of them, whether Greed or The Magnificent Ambersons or Le Plaisir.” (August 3, 2016)

43. Farran Nehme (@selfstyledsiren) – Movies

  • “‘Try to get some sleep now. Tomorrow we must put on a show / conquer Europe/ flee on foot one step ahead of a cannibal family.'” (May 23, 2015)

42. Scott Weinberg (@scottEweinberg) – Movies

  • “Young Frankenstein taught me that A) you can make fun of something and love it at the same time, and B) women are funny. Hey, I was nine.” (November 19, 2013)

41. Joe Posnanski (@JPosnanski) – Sports

  • “When a quarterback looks over the defense and calls timeout, someone must say ‘He didn’t like what he saw.’ ” (October 2, 2012)

40. Frank J. Fleming (@IMAO_) – Humor, Politics

  • “The Prime Directive states that if you see another starship that’s up/down isn’t oriented the same as yours, you immediately fire on them.” (October 10, 2013)

39. Nathan Rabin (@nathanrabin) – Humor, Movies

  • “Eddie Redmayne’s voice in Jupiter Ascending makes sense once you find out he’s being strangled by a ghost in every scene.” (July 10, 2015)

38. Walter Chaw (@mangiotto) – Movies

  • “Irritating is someone who actually hates everything. Existentially disquieting is someone who hates only what you like and can tell you why.” (September 27, 2014)

37. Marya E. Gates (@oldfilmsflicker) – Feminism, Movies

  • “Shout out to the 80s & 90s for being their own decades while radio stations have called the 00s & 10s TODAY for the last decade and a half” (July 13, 2016)

36. Bilge Ebiri (@BilgeEbiri) – Movies

  • “Don’t smack-talk Ulysses S. Grant. I can barely take off my pants when drunk; this dude won the Civil War.” (August 26, 2014)

35. Julieanne Smolinski (@BoobsRadley) – Humor

  • “‘I think it would be sexy if we took a shower together.’ – HUGE SPIDERS.” (May 1, 2013)

34. Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) – Humor

  • “Just saw guy on a unicycle go up Michigan Avenue & thought, ‘This city has shown me its real face…’ in Rorschach’s voice ” (June 13, 2012)

33. Michael Ian Black (@michaelianblack) – Humor

  • “In my experience, even before somebody loses an eye, it’s rarely all fun and games.” (April 13, 2012)

32. nuanced opinion guy (@charles_kinbote) – Humor, Movies, Politics

  • “Everything that’s good is bad, everything that seems like dumb corporate commodified bullsh** is actually secretly subversive and good” (December 11, 2015)

31. John D’Amico (@jodamico1) – Movies, TV

  • “The realest moment in music was when Ice Cube included ‘saw a blimp’ alongside ‘didn’t murder anyone’ in his plus column.” (May 20, 2016)

30. Josh Spiegel (@mousterpiece) – Movies

  • “The worst thing about Toy Story now–no joke–is that the Blu-ray has the new Disney logo, not the old one, which ruins the opening scene.” (December 24, 2013)

29. Amy Nicholson (@TheAmyNicholson) – Movies

  • “An annoying guy I’ve always wanted to unfriend on Facebook just announced he has 1000 friends. This may be my moment.” (September 8, 2011)

28. Juvenile Cinephile (@juvie_cinephile) – Movies

  • “Had a dream that I met Rooney Mara and instead of telling her that Therese Belivet changed my life, I asked her how the Giants will do.” (September 3, 2016)

27. Jessica Ritchey (@Ruby_Stevens) – Movies, Politics

  • “It’s possible to like something, recognize it’s flaws, and still enjoy it without being history’s greatest monster, no really.” (May 5, 2015)

26. Rachel Held Evans (@rachelheldevans) – Faith, Feminism, Politics

  • “…I believe BOTH men and women are created in the image of God. So it’s worth reminding ourselves now and then that God is not simply male.” (May 16, 2014)

25. Sam Adams (@SamuelAAdams) – Movies

  • “‘The LEGO Movie’ healed my relationship with my distant and withholding father.” (February 6, 2014)

24. Bill Ryan (@faceyouhate) – Humor, Movies

  • “i am dead in a elevator shaft. now i am a ghost. no i am not. now each of you is a ‘april’s fool.'” (April 1, 2016)

23. Catherine Stebbins (@cinephile24) – Movies

  • not currently on Twitter

22. Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) – Humor, Politics

  • “How to avoid Crane Kick. 1. Wait for opponent to pose like a crane. 2. Do not charge face first into kicking-range. 3. That’s it.” (August 5, 2016)

21. Keith Phipps (@kphipps3000) – Movies

  • “There comes a time, and for me that time was today, when you realize you will never play ROCK BAND again and take the guitars to the alley.” (January 12, 2013)

20. Scott Tobias (@scott_tobias) – Movies

  • “Having trouble convincing people to see AMOUR, even when I emphasize how pitilessly it deals with the agonizing inevitability of death. Odd.” (December 22, 2012)

19. Jeffrey Overstreet (@Overstweet) – Faith, Movies

  • “W.B. Yeats on cinema: ‘The best lack distribution, while the worst are marketed with passionate intensity.'” (January 27, 2012)

18. Alice Stoehr (@astoehr) – Movies

  • “my personal brand is secretly being a person-shaped sack full of wriggling millipedes” (September 11, 2013)

17. Victor Morton (@vjmfilms) – Movies, Politics

  • “favorite shot in SNOW WHITE: the way the vultures aren’t really put out by Queen’s death; ‘early Disney was simpleminded’ refuted in 1 cel” (November 3, 2012)

16. Mara Wilson (@MaraWilson) – Humor

  • “At least a third of Katy Perry’s songs are about how awesome she is.” (August 13, 2013)

15. Ken Jennings (@KenJennings) – Humor

  • “A longer version of Fiddler on the Roof where the 4th daughter marries a 12-man backgammon club & the 5th daughter marries a giant squid.” (January 10, 2013)

14. Jared C. Wilson (@jaredcwilson) – Faith, Humor, Sports

  • “Matt Ryan breathes a sigh of relief as Matt Bryant wins the game. On the bench Matt Brians and Brant Myran high five.” (January 13, 2013)

13. Danny Bowes (@bybowes) – Movies

  • “New project: convince at least three people that the word ‘blonde’ comes from Joan Blondell, that it’s a proprietary trademark.” (May 25, 2016)

12. Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNYC) – Movies

  • “I just saw my first ‘it’s overrated’ tweet about a Sundance movie that, back down here on earth, nobody knows exists.” (January 23, 2015)

11. Scott Renshaw (@scottrenshaw) – Movies

  • “Ah, the pop-culture carnival of people being nostalgic for things that existed only because of nostalgia for other things.” (September 3, 2014)

10. Roger Ebert (@ebertchicago) – Movies (note: Mr. Ebert died in 2013, but his account is still active, overseen by his widow, Chaz. He was very important during my first couple years on Twitter.)

  • “At least the Sight & Sound list is still headed by a great film about which a lot of people tell me, ‘I don’t see what’s so great about it.'” (August 1, 2012)

9. Zack Handlen (@zhandlen) – Movies, TV

  • “Putting the fan on high makes me nervous, like I’m Captain Picard ordering Geordi to push the ship past warp 9. I have had sex.” (June 26, 2013)

8. Jason Gay (@jasongay) – Humor, Sports

  • “If you are 12 years old in Boston you’ve seen 3 Red Sox titles, 3 Pats Super Bowls, 1 Celts title, 1 B’s Cup, and Whitey Bulger in cuffs.” (October 30, 2013)

7. O. Alan Noble (@TheAlanNoble) – Faith, Humor, Politics

  • “A ‘flood’ can’t ‘rain’ or ‘reign,’ even as a simile for mercy.” (December 1, 2015)

6. Mallory Ortberg (@mallelis) – Feminism, Humor

  • not currently on Twitter

5. FILM CRIT HULK (@FilmCritHULK) – Movies

  • “MOST OF THE PICTURES FROM FAST 7 SO FAR COULD EASILY DOUBLE AS CHRISTIAN ROCK ALBUM COVERS” (September 24, 2013)

4. Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) – Humor, Politics

  • “The GOP rush toward a ‘stop letting in refugees’ position reminds me of the ‘travel ban NOW or we all die of Ebola’ fad of last year.” (November 14, 2015)

3. David Ehrlich (@davidehrlich) – Movies

  • “difference in new ScarJo movies: CA:WS is recycled from 100 movies you’ve already seen / UNDER THE SKIN feels like it wasn’t made by humans.” (April 3, 2014)

2. Matt Zoller Seitz (@mattzollerseitz) – Movies, TV

  • “Told my 9-year old that if you wait a minute, a film or TV show will often answer whatever question you were about to ask.” (November 30, 2013)
  1. Ezekiel Kweku (@theshrillest) – Humor, Politics, Sports
  • 1. Tinker 2. Tailor 3. Soldier 4. Spy 5. Cook 6. Thief 7. His Wife and Her Lover” (August 6, 2016)

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