Midlerâ€™s mastery of the platform comes with some bite, but thatâ€™s a good thing.
Maybe the reigning queen of Twitter isnâ€™t some young thing with a reality-TV pedigree or a brand thatâ€™s reached the apex of hashtag mastery. Maybe the platformâ€™s greatest artiste is one Bette Midler. The singer, actress, comedian, and wordsmith recently discussed her philosophy about the social platform with People. She said, â€œI look at it as entertainment. I donâ€™t take it seriously. Itâ€™s easier to write a thought in 140 characters than it is to waffle on for acres and acres and acres of words. If it amuses a few people a couple times a day, great. They shouldnâ€™t look for anything more than that.â€
Donâ€™t take the joke too seriously, Midler seems to be saying, potentially referring to her small Twitter skirmish with Kim Kardashian West from earlier this year. It may feel like ages and ages ago since this particular shakeup rippled through the Kardashian universe. The tweet exchange in question occurred well before the Paris robbery or the Taylor Swift Snapchat K.O., nearly two Yeezy seasons ago, and before her son, Saint West, even made his first public appearance. Back in a far away time known as March, Kardashian West tweeted a nude mirror selfie (with black bars across the body parts likely to offend). Many people, one of whom was Midler, responded with their thoughts.
â€œKim Kardashian tweeted a nude selfie today. If Kim wants us to see a part of her weâ€™ve never seen, sheâ€™s gonna have to swallow the camera,â€ she quipped. It was a little dart in the side of culture. Itâ€™s a touch shame-y, but not in an exhaustingly moralistic or boring way. Kardashian Westâ€™s comeback came in two parts. First, she addressed Midler directly and said, â€œI know itâ€™s past your bedtime but if youâ€™re still up and reading this send nudes,â€ followed by, â€œI really didnâ€™t want to bring up how you sent me a gift awhile back trying to be a fake friend then come at me.â€
Midler responded in kind, saying, â€œ@KimKardashian wants me to send her my nudes! Iâ€™ll send them right over but the lightingâ€™s bad right now since she threw all that shade!â€
Another one of Betteâ€™s Barbs that really struck a chord was to Justin Bieberâ€™s father, who said lewd things about his sonâ€™s penis when nude photos of Bieber were leaked to the press (twice). She wrote, â€œ[Justin Bieberâ€™s] dad tweeted heâ€™s proud of his sonâ€™s penis size. I think the biggest dâ€” in this situation is the dad who abandoned his son.â€
Sometimes you just have to enjoy sick Twitter burns in spite of the sting, like an extra-dry wine or Midlerâ€™s Hocus Pocus character. The medium is, as Midler suggests, for small jokes made in good fun.