“Thanks to @paulisci for the inspiration.”
Seeing that message from one of Hollywood’s entertainment titans, Arnold Schwarzenegger, was a surreal moment for local comedian, newspaper researcher, and one of Calgary’s most followed Twitter personalities Paul Fairie.
Fairie, who regularly posts threads of newspaper clippings on the foibles of society, didn’t expect that his thread on A Brief History of Things Were Better 50 Years Ago, would be the main topic for Schwarzenegger’s Monday Pump Club newsletter.
“I was just coming out of my annual physical and I thought did something go wrong in the physical that I’m like deluding these tweets. But it’s fun though,” laughed Fairie.
“I got a few tweets in the morning from people, and they seemed to allude to the fact that this has happened, but I was like, ‘there’s not enough detail here, and I don’t know if I’m interpreting it correctly.’ Then someone forwarded me the newsletter.”
Schwarzenegger, writing in his newsletter, said that he was sent Fairie’s thread by a few people, which in turn inspired the inspirational message about not looking back into the past over the future.
“It turns out people say this in every decade, at least as far back as 1890. What’s going on here? Why do people always think life was better 50 years ago? I have a theory. When you don’t have a vision of the future, it’s easier to look back,” he wrote.
“When you don’t have a vision, today doesn’t have much meaning because you don’t know why you’re here doing what you’re doing right now, and tomorrow is downright scary. Yesterday can seem nice and comfortable by comparison.”
Nostalgia a frequent topic for threads
Fairie was modest about the shout out—he laughed about it not being an amazing victory or a personal triumph.
It’s also not the first time that people have picked up on his Twitter comedy to launch social commentary of their own. Those threads have also become the focus of international news attention, with outlets like the BBC and NPR interviewing Fairie.
“I think it’s great that people have used some of the threads to make different points before. Most of which I’ll agree with, but sometimes people go in a different direction. That’s OK,” Fairie said.
“The message about the folly of nostalgia, it’s one of the not-so-secret secrets of a lot of these threads.”
Previous success with these kinds of threads inspired Fairie himself to create a book of them. It recently passed the pre-publishing sales figures to go into production, and as of Tuesday morning, was 115 per cent funded.
The Press Gallery will be coming out later this year.
As for whether Schwarzenegger will be getting a signed copy, he said that he just needs an address.
“I mean, maybe we get a cover endorsement by Arnold or something. I don’t know. That might be good.”
Paul Fairie can be found on Twitter at twitter.com/paulisci.