Jordan Bates 6 min read

13 Brilliant and/or Hilariously Subversive People to Follow on Twitter

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13 Brilliant and/or Hilariously Subversive People to Follow on Twitter
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"
"An honest, brave, compassionate human being."
"No…I mean, how do you want to sell your labor?"

— Existential Comics (@existentialcoms) February 19, 2015

One can find anything on Twitter, if one knows where to look.

For me, Twitter is a wellspring of poetry, witticisms, aphorisms, quips, and pithy observations. It is a source of food for thought from artists, thinkers, and various publications. Many of those I follow on Twitter are also absolutely fucking hilarious, in my humble opinion.

Enjoying Twitter is all about finding the right people to follow — those whose unique voice and worldview are palpable in every tweet, making them endlessly, humanly lovable. Some of my favorite people on Twitter are akin to secret sages who allow me to pluck intermittent thought-pebbles from their streams of consciousness. It feels like I am in on something special, like I have access to a concealed cavern of the Internet, unknown to the masses.

Lucky for you, dear reader, I am now going to share with you 13 of my favorite accounts on Twitter. If you’re intellectually and/or poetically inclined; if you’re into things strange and surreal; or if your sense of humor at all aligns with my own — then I predict that these accounts will substantially vitalize your Twitter-experience.

1. Nihilist Arby’s

Imagine if the Arby’s marketing team decided to adopt the blackest nihilism as their primary angle, encouraging people to eat at Arby’s because fuck it, life is meaningless and massive quantities of meat and cheese can provide a temporary distraction from the yawning void. That’s pretty much what Nihilist Arby’s is, and it’s the best thing ever.

Come on down to Arbys: a place where no one knows who you are or cares what happened at that rest area last week. Arbys: eat your sins.

— Nihilist Arby's (@nihilist_arbys) May 6, 2015
What do Jesus, the Easter bunny & aliens have in common? If you answered 'my life is an irrelevant accident,' you're correct! Enjoy Arbys.

— Nihilist Arby's (@nihilist_arbys) May 11, 2015
Your mom had such high hopes for you. For Mother's Day, buy her Arbys & pretend she didn't just crap out deluded garbage all those years ago

— Nihilist Arby's (@nihilist_arbys) May 10, 2015

2. Existential Comics

First and foremost, Corey at Existential Comics makes hilarious philosophy webcomics. But he’s also totally hilarious on Twitter — a veritable endless fountain of philosophy-related quips and cracks.

Damn girl, are you the noumenal world? Because I feel like I have no direct access to understand you as you really are.

— Existential Comics (@existentialcoms) May 15, 2015
The secret to happiness is having the exact right personality defect that causes you to enjoy whatever bullshit society you were born into.

— Existential Comics (@existentialcoms) May 6, 2015

3. KOOL A.D.

KOOL A.D. is my favorite rapper-artist-novelist and also something of a guru. He often posts ALL-CAPS aphorisms that are just about my favorite thing ever. If you dig the vibe, you should also totally check out KOOL’s faux horoscopes and magnificent parenting advice.


— ABASSI DUBIAKU (@veeveeveeveevee) December 17, 2013

4. The Daily Zen

Charlie from The Daily Zen scours the Internet and never ceases to turn up the most wonderful Zen proverbs, koans, quotes, and stories. He’s also a formidable writer and pens vast amounts of helpful commentary on all things related to Zen.

“Suffering usually relates to wanting things to be different than they are.”
— Allan Lokos

— Daily Zen (@dailyzen) July 10, 2015
Moral proclamations don't matter if you aren't kind to people in the day-to-day.

— Daily Zen (@dailyzen) November 18, 2015

5. Mira Gonzalez

Mira Gonzalez is an alt lit poet based out of New York City whose MO is to be exceptionally vulnerable and open about her human shortcomings in the funniest way possible.

he cyber bullied me and it felt like a kiss

— Mira Gonzalez (@miragonz) July 9, 2015

6. Friedrice Nietzsche

Friedrice is something of an enigma. This account seems to be a parody account loosely based on Nietzsche’s philosophy, and it produces some wild, cryptic non sequiturs that are somehow deeply stirring and delightful.

This may be a coincidence, but I also can't handle me at my worst.

— Friedrice Nietzsche (@tinynietzsche) July 10, 2015

7. Melissa Broder

I have a definite Twitter-crush on Melissa Broder. She’s another alt lit poet and somewhat similar to Mira Gonzalez in that her style is to make jokes out of her own insecurity, anxiety, and existential uncertainty. But she’s quite distinct too. And she’s just so. damn. good. Seriously, relentlessly creative within her own self-generated niche and absolutely hilarious.

i survived my mind and all i got was this fear of the unknown

— melissa broder (@melissabroder) May 8, 2015

i'm not a human being having a spiritual experience, i'm a spiritual being who's like what the fuck

— melissa broder (@melissabroder) May 21, 2015

8. Aeon Magazine

Let’s throw in what is perhaps my favorite source of intellectually stimulating longform essays on the Internet. Aeon only publishes top-notch essays that typically incorporate scientific research in support of surprising conclusions. I guarantee reading a bunch of Aeon stuff will lead you to think differently about any number of things.

Consciousness is not just a bizarre, spooky, mystical phenomenon – it’s a tool for regulating info in the brain.

— Aeon+Psyche (@aeonmag) July 10, 2015
Even familiar forms of life can be difficult to find. Which begs the question: could alien life exist on Earth?

— Aeon+Psyche (@aeonmag) July 9, 2015
Is disgust a reliable guide to right and wrong? No – in fact, we should be highly suspicious of our disgust responses

— Aeon+Psyche (@aeonmag) July 8, 2015

9. Tao Lin

Tao Lin is one of a kind. The poet and novelist has written some books I greatly enjoy (see Taipei and Eeee Eeeee Eee) and has an inimitable mind. You’ll find Tao tweeting haikus or sharing snippets of Schopenhauer or rare Terence McKenna videos from the depths of YouTube. His likeness should be printed in the dictionary as the definition of “fascinating,” and he has genuinely made me see the world in a novel way many times.

Got stoned and closed my eyes and focused on remembering something I have never, or not since a child, remembered before (am still trying)

— Tao Lin (@tao_lin) May 5, 2015
Enjoyed quietly talking aloud to myself, trying to speak only in complete sentences, while walking to/from places outside today

— Tao Lin (@tao_lin) May 5, 2015

10. The Dead Author

This guy is clever and endlessly humorous. Seriously. Witty tweets about philosophy, literature, history, society, etc. He’s great. Trust me.

The problem isn't that everything is an illusion, it's that it all seems quite real.

— the dead author (@thedeadauthor) July 8, 2015

11. Rachel Bell

Rachel Bell is yet another alt lit poet and total enigma who tweets pretty provocative and hilarious things related to pop culture, her sex life, and other things. Something about the way she does it sets her apart from the Twitter-masses and makes her worth following.

loving feels like being an otter floating in a pool and hating is like rolling a big rock up an icy driveway you idiots one is way easier

— rachel de navailles (@racheldenav) May 11, 2015

'lets design an animal specifically for kissing' – god, just moments before my birth

— rachel de navailles (@racheldenav) May 16, 2015

12. Refine The Mind

Yeah, fuck it, I’ll include my own blog’s Twitter account. ^_^ I tweet obscure quotes, proverbs, and aphorisms that you aren’t likely to see in most other places on the Internet. I also tweet my own insights sometimes, as well as the intermittent worldview-fracturing video or blog post. I like to think I tweet good things. Maybe you’ll agree.

13. Alan Watts

This account pays brilliant tribute to the late Alan Watts by consistently posting some of his most wonderful sentiments. I love you, Alan. <3

You’re only making a mess by trying to put things straight. You’re trying to straighten out a wiggly world and no wonder you’re in trouble.

— Alan Watts (@AlanWattsDaily) June 9, 2015

Our five senses communicate the whole delight and glory of the world at the price of being equally receptive to its agony and horror.

— Alan Watts (@AlanWattsDaily) July 6, 2015

BONUS: High Existence

Don’t forget to follow High Existence! We tweet daily quotes and the very best content on HE. It’s pretty groovy. Don’t miss it.

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”
― Haruki Murakami

— HighExistence (@highexistence) June 30, 2015
Mystical Science: A Voyage Beyond the Limits of Science

— HighExistence (@highexistence) July 7, 2015
“I was wise enough never to grow up, while fooling people into believing I had.”
― Margaret Mead

— HighExistence (@highexistence) July 2, 2015

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Jordan Bates

Jordan Bates

Jordan Bates is a lover of God, father, leadership coach, heart healer, writer, artist, and long-time co-creator of HighExistence. —

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