Abid Anwar is a fake aspiring film-maker and writer who wants to one day become the President of Hollywood, which is another fake position. In the meantime he’s pretending to understand Twitter professionally and claims to be the only person who still tweets about 2000s reality game show Survivor, maybe the only person who’s ever tweeted about it. This week Anwar talked to me about three of his favorite tweets, plus fake movie ideas, armchair activism, and more.
Anwar: One of my favorite things to do on Twitter is tweet out fake movie/casting ideas I imagined that will realistically never happen because Hollywood is stupid and spent millions of dollars trying to make Sam Worthington happen. Sometimes they’re ridiculous, but sometimes the make a lot of sense (to me at least). I generally hate when people say “Hollywood ran out of ideas” or anything along those lines because there are plenty of stories left to be told from different lenses that Hollywood has barely begun to explore. It’s nice to imagine what could be if they did. I mean how many times can we see Kevin Costner play someone’s dumb dad again?
How do you think Twitter changed the way you watch movies, for better and for worse?
I don’t know how much it changed the way I watch movies but it definitely made me hate film critics. When I first came on Twitter I was following a bunch of critics and I unfollowed all but a handful of them and I guess that made my movie watching experience much better. I do love talking about movies with people who don’t get paid to write about them from a critical lens. For example, I love asking people about their favorite movie looks every four to five months and collecting their answers as part of a fashion in film series. I guess it’s nice to see what people identify with.
Is there any movie idea that especially made sense to you that you still stand by?
I still think a live action Magic School Bus movie with Tilda Swinton as Ms. Frizzle makes all the sense in the world. I also think it makes all the sense in the world to cast Drake in a Wes Anderson movie but unfortunately Wes Anderson is allergic to *internet cuts out*
This is my pinned tweet mainly because it’s probably the one that I feel most connected to outside of the dumb things I geek out about. I think I tweeted this when there was a big backlash against “armchair activism” (by mostly white people) and this was my way of poking fun of that while touching on things I love (hating colonialism, being in bed, and not making sense).
Twitter in general can be exhausting regardless of what community you belong to and I’ve really taken a step back on tweeting seriously about certain things and mostly tweet about how I want to fight James Franco and my love for 90s classic Point Break. Aside from that, it’s still nice to once in awhile remind certain people that they have no right to dictate what people should or shouldn’t get mad about.
Do you think some serious subjects are better fit for discussion on Twitter than others?
No, Twitter has become a place where a lot of important conversations happen and it’s given a platform to people who otherwise would have a tough time getting their words out there. I think the extent to which some conversations happen could be changed but if you’re comfortable talking about something, go for it. On that note, election season has been excruciating, and I’m looking forward to a few years of peace until the cycle for 2020 begins.
How do you balance tweeting about serious stuff vs. jokes?
I mostly steer towards the latter these days because there are plenty of people who are speaking on issues sincerely and much better than I can. Sometimes I get fed up about a situation and will tweet seriously about it, especially if I think I have something to offer. I do want to write more fleshed out thoughts on certain topics but I’m not super confident in writing anything over 140 characters, so I hope my loved ones are okay with my future 140-character wedding vows and last will and testament.
Are there any serious subjects that you go out of your way not to tweet about?
I could be better at this but I usually try to stay in my lane and avoid talking about things I can’t speak from experience on. In those cases, I’d rather just RT someone who can speak to those experiences or just quietly fav.
I love to laugh but I hate most comedians because they’re babies and think they’re edgy when they’re actually just corny. It’s wild to me when a lot of comedians don’t understand nuance and that it’s possible to make a bad joke and for that bad joke to become a rally for the people who you never intended it for. Anyway, I guess I like making fun of comedians because a lot of them don’t know how to respond to criticism other than by acting out in the worst way. I do think there are a lot of brilliant, hilarious people on Twitter and I feel blessed to read their thoughts on a daily basis. You know, just never follow anyone with “comedian” in their bio.
Is there anyone you’ve followed, either early on or more recently, who’s shaped the way you use Twitter?
Oh man, I don’t even know where to begin. I follow a bunch of people who I think have helped me open up and be myself more on Twitter. A few of them have even been featured on here. I would shout out people individually but I’m worried I’ll forget a bunch and then feel bad afterwards and send you ten follow-up emails with more names. I’m always happy to recommend people on my Twitter account and despite having a few obligation follows and regrets, I am a big fan of the people I follow.
Jenny Nelson lives and writes in Brooklyn and works at Funny Or Die.