The announcement that one of us would take some time off from social media would be small talk at best, but you announcing that you’re taking a much needed break from Facebook and Twitter from Monday, June 1st to Tuesday, September 2nd is a big deal. Not only are you a celebrated comedian, author, and actor, but you’ve also been an undeniable force on the Internet for the last several years.
Unfortunately, the constant battling of trolls, Salon.com, and being misinterpreted must have taken up so much time and energy that we, and that’s all of us on the Internet, really don’t know how you found the reserves of will to keep going. So we completely understand when you say, “I’ve gone down an internet/Twitter/Facebook rabbit hole and I need to engineer a summer spent in nothing but humid, skin-to-air reality for myself. If I don’t, I feel like my psyche is going to suffer permanent slippage.”
Slippage is hardly a word that comes to mind when we think of the times when you lambasted Epix for botching the release of your latest, amazing comedy special Time Plus Tragedy Equals Comedy or baiting trolls on Twitter with fake apologies for jokes you didn’t make or your indie movie Indieizer or your thoughts on the Boston Marathon bombing. Bold, ingenious, shrewd, and sincere are much better suited words to describe your online adventures.
If there were bets being taken on who could best decode the mysteries of the Internet and social media, we’d most certainly bet on you. In that spirit, it wouldn’t surprise us at all if there’s a race horse to be named “Patton Oswalt Wins The Internet.” The lines you pulled in your farewell post from Albert Camus’ The Rebel and a Garret Keizer essay pinpoint why this “Summer of Patton” needs to be free of the disapproving thoughts of people with a Twitter handle or Facebook account. The quotes “Tyrants conduct monologues above a million solitudes,” and, “For fear of becoming dinosaurs we are turned into sheep,” will respectively keep us thinking about our own interactions online for the next few months.
So many of the wonderful things that have fueled your comedy, writing, and more have been found by having the time to wrap yourself up in movies, books, and living life offline. As a result, you’ve shown us nooks and crannies that lie beneath brand new nooks and crannies that subsequently make us double over laughing, think, and then laugh some more. We can’t wait to see what cultural nuggets you find in this sabbatical of yours.
We’ll be waiting with anxious fingers on our keyboards for your return.
1.74 million Twitter followers and 390 thousands Facebook subscribers