Twit Follows: @Polar_Bear_Edit

I've got a tingling at the end of my fingers and that means only one thing - another Twit Follows contender has emerged.

@Polar_Bear_Edit is consistently charming and funny.

polar bear.jpg

She tweets things like this:

and this on the quintuple-strength caffeinated beverage Death Wish Coffee:

and this:

and this on the fashion for turning your books so the pages face outwards, creating a neutral effect:

But last night she made me read 125 of her tweets. How? A 125-tweet long account of a Sims game (or session) she was playing. I've never played the Sims and I have only the vaguest knowledge of it but her commentary on her avatar's ridiculous antics kept me gripped. There was this:

and this:

But the killer for me was this tweet:

Yup!

I haven't got some big analysis of @Polar_Bear_Edit or what she's about or where she's coming from. I just really enjoy her feed. An essential follow.

Twit Follows - @RiversofGrue

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I don’t follow @riversofgrue for his tweets exactly. I mean, they’re good, they’re full of great images and intriguing updates on his projects and collaborations. But what I actually follow him for is what his tweets click through to. And that’s words.

I still don’t totally understand @riversofgrue – where he comes from, who his associates are and so on. His website is superb but some of his links take me through to sites that are a barrage of confusing words and pictures.

So I’m going to focus on his writing. This ranges from horror fiction to film criticism and introspective pieces, and it's always clear as crystal.

The first tweet I clicked on was this:

New to his feed, I thought it would be just another rambling blog. But then I was whacked over the head – in a good way, an excellent way - by the first paragraph:

I wish to start by making one thing unmistakably clear. Tobe Hooper’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is the most despicable, mean-spirited, rotten hunk of celluloid that I have ever had the outrageous good fortune of being subjected to. That’s a compliment in case you’re wondering.

What followed was a rollercoaster of kinetic, lyrical, exhilarating prose that articulated the insight that’s always been on the tip of my tongue about TCM – it’s actually beautiful. For example:

I would implore you to experience the restored version if you can take the relentless mental anguish a second time. Daniel Pearl’s cinematography really comes into its own here and every solitary strand of jade green Texas grass stands out defiantly against the brilliant azure skyline.

And he’s a bottomless pit of this stuff.

Now us horror fans are a diverse bunch. We all come at the genre with a slightly different take. And I’m not in exactly the same tribe as @riversofgrue. He writes erotic fiction and that’s not my bag (although I did read one story and I can see it’s a quality example of the genre).

He also published an article recently about @kreepazoidkelly, a special effects artist, model and icon of the horror community who is suffering a serious illness. Reading it I felt like I’d blundered into a private space.

But it was powerfully written, as if he was crying as he got the words out. And isn’t everybody always saying we have too many taboos around discussing illness and mortality? When was only hanging out with people in the same tribe the best fun?

@riversofgrue is anti-censorship, anti-niminy-piminy-hangups, and pro-tolerance. I think he's absolutely terrific.

So I am a #gruehead (yes, his fans have their own groovy moniker). To see just how much #grueheads love @riversofgrue, check out these tweets:

And there are literally hundreds like this.

Personally I’d like to see @riversofgrue publish some longer fiction in which he explores his twisted characters in much greater depth. But I get the feeling he’s already got a plan. I’ll certainly be watching it unfold.

Twit Follows: @AChrisHeathMD

@AChrisHeathMD  is... um... interesting <strokes beard, jots notes>.

He's a psychoanalyst who's active on Twitter and YouTube spreading the word about the glory of Freud.

And he's terrific.

Chris Heath, internet psychoanalyst.

Chris Heath, internet psychoanalyst.

Most people think of psychoanalysis as something that happens in a private room at a time strictly agreed between patient and therapist. As such, internet psychoanalysis is a contradiction in terms.

@AChrisHeathMD defies that and makes Freudian ideas accessible to anybody browsing the internet at work or late at night. He does this with his benignly barmy, oddly soothing vlogs at Freudalicious Mind on YouTube. Topics include procrastination, guilt tripping, mass hysteria and surviving family holidays.

A declaration - I'm a fan of the unconscious. I think it’s a horror writer's greatest resource. I also think a better public understanding of the unconscious could solve broader societal ones - I'd love Trump to go on the couch, for all our sakes, or if not his voters.

But talking cures are expensive and time consuming. The theory has the reputation of being complex and unfathomable. Unless you've got a lot of money and confidence behind you psychoanalysis basically irrelevant. This is a huge flaw in the Freudian project.

Freud knew this was a problem and he set up clinics in Vienna offering free treatment to people who would not otherwise be able to access it.

Today this has to mean coming out of the consulting room and academies, on to the internet. And not with enigmatic teasers, but with material that's actually useful to people, even if this means losing some of the magic of the process. You've got to start somewhere.

That's why @AChrisHeathMD is cool, in my opinion. He democratises Freud and and the great thinkers that came after Freud, like Melanie Klein. This is absolutely true to the original spirit of the practice - that it's for everybody, not an elite.

High five @AChrisHeathMD. An essential follow.

Twit Follows: @GraveyardSister

@GraveyardSister is the twitter feed for Graveyard Shift Sister, a website devoted to black women in horror and science fiction.

It was one of the first accounts I followed and I love it.

Twitter is all about coming across random things you'd not otherwise encounter and @GraveyardSister is no exception. Tweets link back to book and film reviews, interviews with authors and directors, the odd article by an academic, and they're always fascinating. Take this tweet for example:

I'm sure I'm not alone in suspecting that horror is really about history coming back to haunt us (or trying and failing to do so). Black history is towering and this book which looks at African disaporic women writers in the genre looks really illuminating.

 

I also loved this tweet:

It linked to a terrific blog on how empathy humanizes us - not the conclusion you would expect to be drawn from a zombie film.

At other times the feed talks about gaming, African folktales, or new subscription TV services. It also instigates chats about designated watching matter, which looks like fun (I'm in the wrong timezone).

I appreciate having my eyes opened to the experience of black women, and to new layers of the horror genre. Getting both in the same tweets is dreamy. If you're anything like me @GraveyardSister is an essential follow.

Twit Follows: @PsychToday

Psychology Today's twitter feed is great for everybody - horror fans, writers, couples, single people, parents, depressives, manics, Donald Trump.... everybody.

A classic Psychology Today front cover.

A classic Psychology Today front cover.

@PsychToday pumps out concise nuggets on deep human experiences almost hourly. You won't get a complex psychoanalytic exposition on the imaginary versus the symbolic. But you will get a simple, practical takeaway that you can apply to the book you're writing, your kids, your friendships, your relationship, or your own mood.

If you're that kind of horror fan, you can groove on how crazy and convoluted the human mind is. Plenty of the content is dark, covering death, sexual misdemeanours, anxiety, psychopaths and this:

Introducing Twit Follows

I'm going to start following twitter accounts in an ominious new way by reviewing them. Feeling creeped? Fabulous. Look behind you!

For Twit Follows, I'll review accounts that I follow already and want to follow in that extra special way because I think they're cool. I'll also review notable accounts that I've just discovered. It'll be mainly horror, but not exclusively.

David Robert Mitchell, director of It Follows.

David Robert Mitchell, director of It Follows.

It seemed appropriate to start Twit Follows with @DRobMitchell - that's David Robert Mitchell, the director of 2014 masterpiece It Follows.

He's been quiet lately, hopefully because he's directing a new film. But he was active over summer and autumn, mainly retweets. His feed is a mix of stuff about his films, other people's films and Donald Trump.

Little gems that I haven't seen before (admittedly I did have a break from twitter) include:

and:

and:

and

I also liked:

Finally, you should follow David Robert Mitchell because he's obviously a good guy:

To sum up, @DRobMitchell isn't the most talkative person on twitter, but what he does say is well worth hearing.