On Monday night, as often happens when I have two or three drinks in the evening, I made a mistake: I started tweeting about the Democratic presidential primary.
When I woke up this morning, my editor kindly pointed out the below tweet that I sent out last night and suggested that I log off. Now. Not because I’d said anything that would put me in Job Time-Out or whatever, but because I wasn’t saying anything, and I was already getting mad. “Nothing is happening yet,” she said.
I’ve gotten so mad at so many dumb fucking tweets today— noah kulwin (@nkulw) March 3, 2020
She is right. Last night, as the Democratic establishment coalesced around Joe Biden, feelings of despair, anxiety, and frustration flooded my feed. Seeing Beto O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, and Pete Buttigieg line up with Biden in Texas brought into stark relief that the Democratic establishment is real, and that after Biden’s big win in South Carolina, he is the decaying husk with whom they have chosen to stand, for now at least.
When faced with the machinations of a seemingly all-powerful shadow democracy that works behind the scenes in ways that we cannot immediately discern, posting that Biden should go sniff some hair in hell feels like a logical reaction. In the best of times, posting in response to such a news development serves a cathartic purpose. And staying logged on, scrolling the feed keeps one from feeling like they are missing out. Why be alone with your thoughts, when you can instead bathe in shared misery?
Well, because it serves no purpose. It is impossible for us to know what the consequences will be of the Great Centrist Alignment of 2020 until Tuesday evening. All that shared misery? It’s based on a justified suspicion that something bad might happen, but it’s just a suspicion. Whatever I thought I had to say on Monday night or on Tuesday morning, it would offer people nothing other than the sense that yes, I am suspicious and anxious too. Most of us, myself of most of all, have little else to say.
So, and I realize the irony of this coming from someone who makes a living being logged on, I recommend logging off. It’s mild and warm in New York today, and I’ve put my phone facedown. Go pet a dog, and if you cannot find a dog to pet, then a cat will suffice. Sit on a park bench and respectfully nod at joggers and parents pushing strollers. If you work a 9 to 5, try and focus on your work, and otherwise maybe read a book (I’m working on Rachel Cusk’s Outline right now, which I recommend). (Ed note: It has been recommended to Noah that he research stories for the rest of the week instead of reading a book during work hours.)
There’s nothing we can learn from one another today on Twitter that we would not learn from screaming into a mirror for eight straight hours. It’s just not worth the hassle. But tomorrow? Go nuts.