@YungInstitution aka Josh lives in New York. He has a job that asks him to sign a lot of Non Disclosure Agreements and would replace him in a minute so he’s quiet about any other details. His pinned tweet is about depression and getting dick, which is a quicker sum-up than anything else. Instead of plugs for himself, Josh asked to recommend his friend @socmalpractice’s project Humor and the Abject, which so far has featured some alumni of this Follow Friday column. This week, Josh talked to me about three of his favorite tweets, plus sexuality, baristas, and the MTA.
whenever you’re worried about phoning it in at work, think about when law and order svu writers named a four loko knockoff “five crazy”— josh (@yunginstitution) May 22, 2016
Josh: The Law & Order ripped-from-the-headlines style of show writing is amazing, it’s like a paint by numbers name replaced parallel universe. Unfortunately since Chris Meloni left it is not a universe I want to live in.
I have a lot of anxiety and work is something that often sets it off so this is also “motivational” in that it’s nice to know the minimum amount of work can still, well, work.
What are other pop culture items besides Law & Order whose writing/universe fascinate you?
I think I’m pretty bad with pop culture, I couldn’t say any others that interest me on a writing level? That’s not to say I don’t consume a ton of it. After finishing the first season of GLOW a damn day after it came out I need Netflix to stop fucking around with this releasing whole seasons at once business. Full series all out in a day or nothing. Those watchings feel less critical though, they’re enjoyable. Law & Order is more like junk food, like a Marvel movie, fundamentally flawed but completely compelling, the kind of stuff that is equally fun to pick apart as it is to watch.
What are your favorite subjects to tweet about? Are there any you avoid talking about on Twitter?
It’s not necessarily my favorite subject in that it doesn’t bring me a deep pleasure but by a sheer number’s game I probably tweet most about being gay. Or being sad? Shit, maybe I should have put in that tweet that said “me: i’m not defined by my sexuality/also me: my sexuality defines me.” As to subjects I avoid, anything having to do with work.
Do you think, in the big picture, Twitter has made you more or less productive?
100% less productive. It’s another app that I will probably refresh until either I die or they finally go one weird redesign too far and the app dies. It does depend on the barometer for productivity though, it’s a lot more of an active app than anything else I’m looking at. Both in what I’m reading on it and what I’m choosing to tweet about. Instagram’s mostly “oh that’s a conventionally attractive person having a good day, oh that’s a nice painting, oh an animal wearing a not-hat as a hat.” Facebook is just a hellscape.
1 cup of coffee- maybe i should go to grad school 2 cups- i am in love with this barista 3 cups of coffee- death is a welcome inevitability — josh (@yunginstitution) July 22, 2016
I have never been good with tipping points, or substances, or What I’m Doing With My Life, or attractive people. I think this particular instance of not being good with these things was after I stopped in at a coffee shop and while fabricating excuses to keep talking to a very attractive barista I ended up having a cold brew, two cappuccinos in a far too short period of time. This did not work out very well for me and I left with my hands shaking and was convinced I was going to die. I then immediately ran into @therealhennessy.
Can you usually remember the moments surrounding a tweet like this?
Sometimes. I feel like my tweets are “variations on a theme,” which might just be another way of saying nothing changes in my life. Still gay, still depressed, still unsure what to do next in life, still occasionally get overcaffeinated and make mistakes, still mistake kindness in men for homosexuality, so within those parameters I’m tweeting generally the same stuff and sometimes I forget what was actually going on at that time.
How does your Twitter voice compare to your IRL one?
I’m very sarcastic irl. My dad’s only humor is deadpan lying as sarcasm and unfortunately I picked that up. Surprise, surprise, I am more earnest behind the constructed wall of a website.
where are you going pic.twitter.com/X0UYb1lSk8— josh (@yunginstitution) March 2, 2016
This was insane.
……is this real? Was there real life context that makes this any less insane?
This is 100% real and I’m still amazed I got a clear picture.
Jenny Nelson lives and writes in Brooklyn.