Langan Kingsley has been doing comedy for one million years all over New York City. She has also made over 100 billion American dollars writing & acting in things on the world wide web, all of which can be viewed at the very professional domain of http://mymotherwasright.tumblr.com. She is paid a thousand bucks a tweet at Twitter.com where she is @thisislangan. This week I asked Langan to tell me a little about three of her favorite tweets, and we talked, honesty, lies, and “the Internet vacuum of detritus and outrage.”
This tweet came from the fact that I truly am constantly searching for enlightenment and peace and yet also am motivated by the crass realities of our world. I also believe that if you get enough money people treat you with respect. JK. But maybe.
Does tweeting usually make you feel less or more anxious (or neither/both)?
WOW. What a question, Probably like all things in this beautiful life, both. On one hand, the immediacy of Twitter makes you feel less alone. On the other hand, the whole enterprise is complete trash and a precious distraction from the limited, lonely time we have on this Earth. So it’s a vicious cycle of elation and despair that mimics the rest of my life. The only time I truly get anxious about a tweet is when I think that my tone might have not conveyed what I’m trying to say and I will be sucked into the Internet vacuum of detritus and outrage, never to emerge.
I actually did fall off a public toilet seat and now that I am re-reading this I actually can’t remember which one because this has happened to me multiple times. As aforementioned, I would love to be at peace yet I live my life like like Wile E Coyote, seeking out punishment and suffering. Did I mention I was raised Catholic?
Anyway it’s nuts that this got so many faves but I think people identify with tragedy in a beautiful way.
When you’re tweeting about your life how often are the stories embellished vs 100% real?
OH YOU KNOW I’M REAL, BABY, LOL. I mean most of the time I am talking about things that actually happened because who has time to fucking make up shit on the Internet? JK but on a more serious note I barely can understand/remember what actually happened to me yesterday, today, an hour ago, a minute ago, currently, etc. Many years ago, when I was very much using my locked Twitter account to distract me from the fact I didn’t want to be working in publishing any more I made up a few “Twitter narratives,” if you will, but those are now lost to the Internet sands of time (thanks be to God).
Do you usually assume that other people’s tweets are 100% real/does knowing that affect your enjoyment of them?
Nothing on the Internet is real until proven otherwise, so probably not. But like most things context matters. Some people lie for the goofs and some people die (tell the truth) for the goofs. That’s just the way it goes on Twitter.com so I ain’t mad if someone’s making stuff up for free that makes me laugh. Some of my favorite Twitter accounts are @seinfeld2000 and @obamaimprov and I would say that they very much rely on being totally fabricated. But at the same time I also love people who are just being honest.
I will say (and sorry to go negative on Splitsider.com) that one thing I cannot stand is a kind of fake honesty, if that makes sense. There are many people who write hilarious and moving sad tweets that are great and true and help them get through rough stuff. And then there are other people who cop that voice but without any of the authentic feelings and is just not a good look. The world is hard enough, we don’t need fake sadness.
That said it’s a free website and the fact that I use it for my personal amusement while there are people fighting on it for survival (Black Lives Matter, people living in countries suppressing free speech, etc.) so I should stop complaining about this immediately. Let’s pretend I didn’t say anything.
What’s the most surprised you’ve been at a reaction to a tweet?
One time I tweeted that Drake was appropriating black culture and a teenager told me it was erasure and I have been thinking about it ever since. I stand by it, by I definitely thought a lot about it. Also I tweet a lot of sarcastically sexist B.S. about Hillary Clinton and to my horror people will agree with it enthusiastically. That’s truly the two ends of the Twitter reaction spectrum right there.
This is my current pinned tweet:
Are there any other people you’re obsessed with either as a whole or just on Twitter? Is it usually a negative obsession like w/ Paul Ryan?
Oh hell yes. Thank whatever publicist or grad student told Joyce Carol Oates to join Twitter because she is fantastic. I love Shaq. I love Martha Stewart. And Newt and Calista Gingrich have to be my favorite selfie takers of all time. I follow a lot of horrible conservatives – in fact now I’m just remembering I got blocked from Michele Bachmann’s account for fake tweets about getting melted chocolate all over the constitution. Hm. I guess I DO lie on Twitter.com. Wow. Makes you think.
Also, I think probably any woman who came up doing comedy at the same time as me is in some way doing their best Chelsea Peretti interpretation, myself included. We all just need to acknowledge that she’s one of the greats, end of story.
Do you think you’ll ever promote a tweet again?
I am afraid if I got any sort of real money I would do this all the time.
Jenny Nelson lives and writes in Brooklyn.