pandora's tweets

possibly the most thankless job on the net

I have a somewhat strict rule online that I don’t follow brands or celebrities. Clearly I follow some brands, and some celebrities, but it is a very high bar to clear. For instance, I love Vinbook and Vinstagram (the Vin Diesel community), but I do not need to read Hamburger Helper tweeting about depression and self-care. That shit is for simple people who can coast on something like Aquafresh tweeting the word ‘thrussy’ for like a week’s worth of conversation.

One brand account I am kind of obsessed with, however, is the account for the Avatar film franchise, which has only produced one film so far, Avatar (2009)*. The @officialavatar account exists in an absurd limbo state. On one hand, it has an obligation to stoke the embers of fandom that still glow, based on a movie that came out more than a decade ago. Mostly this just means posting Na’vi-to-English vocab tutorials and some fan art. On the flip side, @officialavatar also has to build up hype for a quadrilogy of sequel films, the earliest of which will come out in 2022 but honestly who knows because we’ve been hearing about the Avatar sequels since the first movie smashed the box office. So the Avatar account has to fulfill the twin duties of being like “Remember this rad stuff?” while also promising “We’ve got more rad stuff coming! Look at this pic of underwater motion capture!”

(This is where I lay my cards on the table: The Avatar sequels will absolutely rip. They are going to be so good. Everyone counts out James Cameron and every time he crushes it. You don’t build a 900,000-gallon water tank so you can film a guy jetskiing underwater and then map his body onto a tall blue freak with a ponytail phallus — and somehow turn that into FOUR feature-length motion pictures unless you are absolutely sure that it’s gonna kick ass.)

The most charming thing that the Avatar account does is it makes a birthday celebration post for, I’m pretty sure, literally everyone who has ever appeared or will ever appear in a frame of an Avatar film. Observe:

These are… so funny to me? Imagine being a famous actor and getting a birthday shoutout from the Avatar Twitter account. Edie Falco wakes up and sees, “We can't wait to watch you bring General Ardmore to life in the Avatar sequels. Hope you have a wonderful day!” in her notifications tab. Edie closes her eyes and exhales. “They remembered,” she says to herself with a slight smirk.

Imagine being an actor working on an Avatar sequel and there is literally no footage or information about your character and the official account is like, “We swear this person will be in a movie eventually!” (“ICYMI: Jamie will be playing Jake and Neytiri's eldest son Neteyam.” Thank you. I did, in fact, miss that tidbit.)

Imagine being CCH Pounder and finding that your birthday post only shows you in blue-guy form. They should at least pull a wire photo for CCH.

Anyway, I think about these birthday posts a lot because I honestly do not know when they’ll end. The fifth Avatar movie, the last one planned, was originally slated to come out at the end of 2027, but the coronavirus pandemic has delayed production and likely pushed that back to 2028. Which means that the Avatar social media manager is in for at least another eight years of birthday posts.

I am, perhaps unsurprisingly, excited about this! Like, imagine what memes will be like eight years from now. Nobody has any idea what the internet will look like and what Brand Twitter is going to be. We’ll look back on posts like this as if it were a fossilized dinosaur, a quaint artifact of a bygone era.

*One of my least interesting anecdotes is that in 2009, I walked to the box office at the movie theater near my dorm to buy Avatar tickets for a few friends and myself. I hear a guy behind me humming a Beatles song while we’re waiting in line, and I turn around and see who it is: famous scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr., who had been wrongly arrested entering his own house a few months prior, also buying tickets to Avatar. Anyway, I’m happy to clear up the mystery of whether Gates has seen Avatar. He has (I assume; I was getting tickets for a later showtime). Like I said, one of my least interesting anecdotes.

Also in 2028:


Thank you for reading BNet. I swear on my life I googled “tsaheylu” so I could make a joke here and I spelled it right on the first try and now I need to take a long walk off a short pier.