Walking Back Through Bir Tawil

This morning, I woke up and found a strange little tidbit in my twitter feed. A robot had favourited something I’d had to say, in a conversation that was, itself, referencing, a conversation from months ago, which was further referencing a story from months ago.

It’s strange to have these date-stamps on my thoughts. There’s the moment I first learned about Bir Tawil, which was interesting; then there’s the moment I learned about a Virginian claiming the land to make his daughter a princess, which at the time I regarded as a ridiculous extravagence. A few folk concurred with me – ‘oh for fuck’s sake’ – and that was that.

Then, months later, Saladin Ahmed talked about it, considering it colonisation and the idea of Disney making a movie about it as gross and ridiculous. Which meant I got to watch my friends talk about Bir Tawil for a day. Now they cared about it.

It wasn’t really a big deal – I mean, obviously, a celebrity author is going to get a shitload more of my friends to remember a thing than me. It’s just weird that ‘the conversation’ seems to constantly flow from single, important, central locations. People in positions with platforms, who then use that platform to steer groups of people.

Thanks to Twitter analytics, I see how little what anything I have to say does. On the other hand, I also get to see how much personal upset a tweet I have to say can generate.


Today, I had to miss my last class on my favourite topic, and didn’t get to see the games all the other teams made. I didn’t get to talk about the game I helped make. I just sat at home and worked on essays, freezing my tuchus off without pants.

Day by day, bit by bit, the pieces fit. And eventually an end.

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