Like the sudden silencing of a dangerously racist car alarm, America experienced an unexpected moment of relief earlier this month when Donald Trump’s Twitter account was suspended. And while that respite lasted all of 11 glorious minutes, it subsequently gave us something even better: a hero, some rogue employee whom Twitter claimed had thrown the switch on their last day of work in one final act of defiance.
This anonymous champion was quickly showered with marriage proposals and unlimited bar tab offers, festooned with Peggy Olson GIFs and floated for the Nobel Prize. In a year in which so many trapped inside this viral monkey house at the mercy of the most belligerent, shit-flinging orangutan, yet unable to leave for fear of it tweeting out an impending nuclear war, they were the rebel 2017 so desperately needed. As many pointed out, they were a lot like that JetBlue flight attendant who quit by grabbing two beers and hitting the emergency chute, only here they were sliding across the outstretched arms of a grateful free world.
But of course, we don’t get to just have heroes anymore; hell, even the story of that aforementioned flight attendant becomes a lot more complicated once you factor in the criminal endangerment and his grappling with serious health and substance abuse issues at the time. And so it was that our fabled Twitter insurgent, as revealed yesterday in a TechCrunch profile to be German citizen Bahtiyar Duysak, slowly began dismantling whatever legend had built up around him. First, he said that it was all a “mistake,” ascribing it to a “throwaway gesture” that he assumed would be overridden by Twitter’s automatic protections. And now, in a new interview with CNN, he’s elaborated on that by blaming it all on fatigue, expressing actual regret for his actions, and even saying how much he admires Trump. Goddamn it. We don’t even get to have this?
“I did a mistake, I confess,” Duysak tells CNNTech. “It’s not like I was looking for something or planning to do it. It was in front of me, and I didn’t do a good job, and I didn’t double-check things.” He goes on to cite a “hectic day”—“You have a headache, you are tired”—and even pins some of the responsibility on Twitter itself. “Even if it was on purpose, it still shouldn’t have taken place ... because of internal regulations at the company,” he says. But still, as he stresses, it most definitely was not on purpose. To believe so would suggest some naïve faith in the human spirit, in the ability of people to take even the smallest, pettiest stand against toxic behavior when presented with the opportunity, a virtue that we now know for sure has no place on Twitter.
“He is a very successful person, and I admire his hard work and how he made it to get the highest position,” Duysak adds of Trump, because you made the laughable mistake of allowing this small ember of fire to burn anew in the blackened ash-pit of your soul. “But I think he needs to learn a little as a politician,” he adds, as much of muted, farting trumpet call to arms as we are allowed now. Emblazon “BUT I THINK HE NEEDS TO LEARN A LITTLE AS A POLITICIAN” across your littlest flags. Shove them in your pocket as you shuffle quietly in the streets.
“I apologize to everyone who I’ve hurt,” Duysak concludes—not the hero 2017 needs, but certainly the one it deserves.