Corporate twitter handles are usually grotesque, cringey mouthpieces that try to pass off unfettered capitalism as “companies are people just like you.”
Whether it’s KFC tweeting that it’s “Morbin’ Time!” or Greyhound tweeting “Spoiler Alert: The Best Seat is Every Seat” between responding to furious customers asking why rain is coming through the roof of the bus, corporate Twitter is unconscionable.
But every once in a while, the means of production are seized by the people.
This is what occurred with the promotional Twitter account for the animated film series about a CGI polar bear called Norm of the North.
Today, this account has 88,000 followers—which, for a subpar series of films largely relegated to the hell of video on demand, is substantial.
For most of the account’s existence, it was a fairly mundane promotion of Norm of the North film news and related products.
Then things get strange.
The breadcrumbs start around December 3, 2020.
The account posted a meme of Norm finishing a to-do list, which includes setting up a “War Room” (possibly in reference to one of the more problematic of the Kendrick Christian films). This is followed by what seems to be a retweet from the official Lionsgate account (Norm’s production company) that photoshops the polar bear into movie images, including American Psycho. Then another bizarre retweet.
Months go by before another tweet.
What follows is not the work of a bored social media coordinator reminding people that Norm is indeed of the North. What follows is a thesis-level work on “shitposting.”
There are a thousand variations on the phrase, but in essence, it’s absurdist, usually vulgar takes on popular culture. Via a slow drip over the next few months, the account tweets that Norm of the North has joined the cast of Knives Out 2 (he hasn’t), a random tweet that mentions that one of Norm’s favorite films is American Psycho, and a tweet in June that just reads “pride month.”
There are just enough innocuous tweets to make it seem like a normal account. But in July 2021, the account loses its mind:
“just wait until you meet norm of the south“
“norm likes his ice thick”
The account even states that it can literally tweet whatever it wants. But it’s not until June of this year that a significant subculture around the account begins to grow, with tweets earning tens of thousands of likes.
The identity of the person controlling the account is hinted at. A July 16 tweet reads “they fired me months ago.”
And finally, on October 8, the death tweet:
Was this the work of a former social media intern who still had the credentials to an innocuous, family-film Twitter account? Or a hacker taking control of a forgotten part of the internet?
Should the account be taken down (which is very likely), it would remove a quirky artifact of modernity.
How wide is the graveyard of social media corpses? How many accounts for films like Hoot and Shark Tale are waiting for their husks to be reanimated and controlled like a fungus zombifying its ant host?
For more than two years, someone used the social media account of a family-friendly film, controlled by a major film company, to have a little bit of fun.
And even though it has come to an end, we will always be blessed with the vital information it provided us.