Groucho in an empty theater

Twitter hashtag games are the global pastime of the digital age. We’ve all taken the time to “replace band names with pancakes” or contributed clever suggestions to “jobs Drake had before becoming a rapper.” But that American strain of rugged individualism runs deep through my veins and I’ve decided that I’m sick of playing their games! I’m going to start my own.

This first game requires the linguistic mash-up of two disparate ideas. I thought it might be fun to create something not seen since Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park employed deejays to scratch records while they scream-rapped. If scratch DJs joined indie bands they would be “Indie Rock Turntablists.”

But no one joined in. I made the mistake of thinking everyone was familiar with both Pitchfork Reviews and DMC Champions. Maybe this game was too hard. I should have just gone with my initial instinct and combined “happy hardcore” DJs with 18th-century french poets.

Everyone might hate their job, but they can certainly think of a worse career. This seemed like an excellent opportunity to capitalize on a fun open-ended hash-tag game called “Terrible Careers.”

Nothing. Apparently people just aren’t feeling comfortable to goof on occupations. Is the economy so bad that “Time-bomb tester” has become a desired profession? (Granted, it offers a pretty amazing life insurance package.)

A successful game must be based on timely events. I read about the Republican debates while I was listening to “Boombastic” on repeat. Then it dawned on me: “Reggae Republican Presidential Candidates!!!”


I’m sure this partly didn’t take off because Pawlenty dropped out of the race and people were disappointed that they couldn’t use all the reggae-related puns they thought up for his name.

Since puns seem to be too hard, let’s take a cue from the recent trending term “replace movie names with bacon,” which was so popular that its trending in places where people don’t even eat bacon!

I think that word choice is entirely arbitrary and since I’m such a huuuuge fan of Antonio Gramsci’s theory that civilization is dominated by “manipulating the societal culture so that its ruling-class worldview is imposed as a societal norm” I was all like “Replace Movie Names with Cultural Hegemony!”

This too failed. Is it because mentioning Marxist theory as part of the public discourse gets you blacklisted? Sheesh people, we’re not communists here, we just think that applying the theoretical tools of radical thinkers might help us deal with the growing societal problems of this era! This really got me thinking: “Dude, I’m soooo hungry.”

I wanted to eat some New York Cheesecake, but since I’m nowhere near New York I have to settle for a regional equivalent—wait a minute, Eureka, uncharted places have their own iconic foods! “Lesser Known Iconic Regional Foods” sounds like an incredible Twitter game!

Nobody was inspired to play this game either. And all it did was make me hungry for a tepid plate of deliciously land-locked Las Cruces sashimi.

Thinking about different regions made me think about geography. And since geography is so boring, my mind wandered to 80s movies. And then I thought: WHOAAAAA “80s Movie Countries”


This whole pursuit to create a successful Twitter game has been a bust. Maybe I don’t have enough Twitter followers, maybe my hashtags lack clarity, maybe my ideas are just plain bad. I have failed as gamemaster. Maybe I should stop trying to use Twitter as a game-console and just invest in a new Playstation.

Theater photo © Sergey Galushko –

  • Hawthorne Baltic

    I’d play these games!

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