Illustration by Bambi Edlund

WHY DOES JOHN RODERICK get to publish his Twitter feed in book form, while your own hash-tagged attempts at wit receive at best a listless retweet or two? Well, because he's more famous than you, dear. The Long Winters frontman's Electric Aphorisms collects 365 tweets, all originally published at twitter.com/johnroderick. But while these "aphorisms" adhere to Twitter's formal constraints, they in no other way resemble Twitter as it is commonly used. There's no back and forth, no sharing of links and current information—none of the chatter that takes up most people's Twitter streams. There is, simply, a writer who's decided to confine his prose to a set of arbitrary parameters. There's something sort of quaint about this, a blithe assumption that New Media can be harnessed to the Old Ways—and it flies in the face of the most beloved edict of Twitter's self-proclaimed gatekeepers, namely that if you're only having a one-way conversation you must be #doingitwrong.

But Roderick, here, is doing something right: Less a narrative than a curated list of things Roderick finds funny, Electric Aphorisms is a surprisingly entertaining little compendium: "Winter in Seattle is a magical time. All the cute barista girls are so numbed by seasonal affective disorder it's like they're hypnotized." Or "Can you imagine how frustrating it must have been for someone of Jughead's intelligence to grow up in a shithole like Riverdale?" Let's call it "clever for Twitter" and leave it at that.