The twittersphere of UC Berkeley is rife with brilliant parody accounts, created by students and campus community members. Here is a small slice of the twitter comedy coming out of the UC Berkeley student body and community.
Daddy Dirks parodies the most consistent butt of jokes on this campus, Chancellor Nicholas Dirks. He’s brought it on himself, of course, with his Clinton-esque attempts at cultural relevancy over the course of his tenure as chancellor and his often tenuous relationship with students over campus politics. Daddy Dirks caricaturizes the chancellor quite cleverly, employing pop culture and UC-level politics to highlight the possibly disingenuous aspects of Dirks’ relationship to undergraduates at UC Berkeley. Reading through the @DaddyDirks twitter feed gives an image of Dirks navigating through his life on campus, pretending to be living the life of a hip undergraduate — just like you and me! @DaddyDirks finds Dirks appealing to students with patronizing emojis and farcically relatable content. Further than that, the account uses its platform to poke fun at dishonesty within both the UC Berkeley administration and the greater campus community. Daddy Dirks doesn’t mess around!
It needn’t be said that squirrels on this campus are — at least to the student body — nothing short of legendary. At UC Berkeley, they’re as presumptuous as they are ubiquitous. The Squirrels of Cal twitter feed chronicles squirrel sightings and speaks from the perspective of UC Berkeley’s squirrels with whip-smart, tongue-in-cheek humor. There’s an absurd streak to Squirrels of Cal. As with the audacity of actual squirrels on campus, you never know what to expect from these tweets. The account shines most when it captures and captions shots of squirrels all around UC Berkeley grounds. In all honesty, there isn’t a weirder feed to be found in the twittersphere of this campus.
Standing as a companion twitter to the famed Sather Tower, @The_Campanile is an account curated by members of the Campanile tour guide community. Tweets mostly revolve around holidays, weather and the campus calendar. The Campanile twitter sits comfortably as a silly, cute, easily accessible account for everybody to enjoy.
Structured around fan fiction premises and specific corny narrative tropes, Cal Dorm Fanfiction mines the unique experience of student living in Berkeley as a treasure trove for comedic gold. Using made up names and imaginary scenarios, Cal Dorm Fanfiction finds its characters engaging in fictional accounts of life on and around UC Berkeley. It’s quite difficult to convey the nature of Cal Dorm Fanfiction without simply letting its tweets speak for themselves:
“Mark and Sam press their noses up to the glass of their windows and gaze upon each other from across the unit 2 courtyard. Desire. Longing.” — @CalDormFanFic, Oct. 23, 2014
“Todd sits alone in Li Ka Shing writing out an ‘Overheard at Berkeley’ that he made up himself. The likes won’t fill the void in his heart.” — @CalDormFanFic, Aug. 27, 2015
Equal parts fraternity homoeroticism, absurd college romance plots and general tales of campus life, @CalDormFanFic remains one of the most riotous parody accounts in the UC Berkeley twittersphere.
Though not a parody account exactly, Stanley Hall’s ambitious attempt at connecting with the campus community stands as a parody of itself and the absurdly fervid climate of this campus. The account was started in 2011 — and was immediately left forgotten for two years before being picked up again — as a companion twitter to the ever self-important uber-advanced Stanley Hall building. The inherent comedy to this account is clear scrolling through its largely unseen feed of exhaust fan updates. Stanley Hall’s Twitter is so uninspired and ignored that it takes on its own unique kind of humor. Here, a campus building sends out chipper tweets into the twitter void, detached from the larger student body, appearing almost lonely. As absurdly boring as the account may seem, scrolling through its feed is great for a good laugh!
Contact Justin Knight at [email protected]