Twitter is frequently very bad and very stressful. These unlikely celebrities make it better. Here, we talk to them about being Good at Twitter.
David Crosby is a legendary singer-songwriter, famous for his work with the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash. He’s been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice. He is the biological father of Melissa Etheridge’s children. Crosby is even still recording and touring, and released his latest album, Here If You Listen, just a few months ago.
But to me he is, first and foremost, a 77-year-old man who is extremely good at Twitter.
The Croz tweets frequently and vociferously, completely without abandon. He shares his opinions on dogs (loves them) and the president (hates him). Most notably, he takes the time to answer questions constantly, whether they’re about other musicians, weed, or fan art.
Sometimes he’s very grumpy, and that’s the best.
Crosby spoke to the Cut about his Twitter usage, whether he’s stoned when tweeting, and his obsession with dogs.
Why did you first join Twitter?
I joined simply because I was curious. It was mysterious and fun and I thought it might turn out to be useful for helping out with reaching fans. I got into it and then I found out that it’s fun. People are immensely curious and I’m immensely curious about them. They’re fascinating to me. Every once in a while you run across someone who’s just looking for a fight. And I just delete those. That’s one of the things I like. If there’s somebody that’s trying to be a troll, you can just delete ‘em.
So you block people a lot?
Yeah, I do. Anybody who’s looking for a fight.
People love to ask you questions on Twitter, and you frequently answer them … do you try to answer every question?
No, I only answer the interesting ones. I’m picky about it. If you’re asking me what’s my favorite color and do I date blondes, I say, “No, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” But if you’re asking me why democracy is important, I’m likely to give you a two-page answer.
Do you find that some people don’t like it when you tweet politically?
I get two kinds. The people who say “would you just shut up and sing” and the answer to that is “no, fuck you.” [Laughs] I guess the people who genuinely are ideologues, they think he’s the best president we’ve ever had and they’re just ignorant and generally can’t spell.
What’s the worst fight or Twitter controversy you’ve gotten into?Probably me saying that Kanye West is an idiot.
Oh right, that was a couple years ago now.
I’ve actually done it more times than that. It’s a recurring theme with me. The guy’s really obnoxiously stupid. I get pretty irate about people like him. He’s claiming to the best, biggest, most important rock star in the world — and frankly the guy can’t write, sing, or play. So, yeah, I took a swing at him.
I took a swing at Ted Nugent. [He said] that we were keeping him out of the Hall of Fame because of his politics. He isn’t good enough! His politics suck too.
You tweet a lot about the president, especially the fact that he doesn’t have dogs. Why does that particular fact bother you so much?
Do you have a dog?
Yeah. I love my dog.
Well then you understand. Dogs teach you about love. Dogs lift up your life. Dogs make your life better. Dogs are freaking wonderful. They are something that truly elevates humankind, and if you don’t love them, that’s a dead giveaway that you’re secretly an evil son of a bitch. People that don’t love dogs I don’t trust ever. Not ever. Not one, not ever. I will never trust anybody that doesn’t like dogs.
Tell me about your dogs.
I have two labs, one young, one old. I got a big old guy lab named Bodhi. He’s about 130 pounds and about 13 years old. He’s way, way old. I have a 2-year-old girl lab who is just unbelievably wonderful named Eleanor. Elly Belly. And then there’s two crazy Border Collies. One rust-colored, one black. They are called Rusty and Blue. That’s a song of mine, Rusty and Blue, so it’s inevitable that we’d call them that. Then there’s two cats and two horses and two chickens.
Do you find that people send you pictures of their dogs a lot on Twitter?People do that all the time. Because in many cases, the dog is the only thing that loves them. It’s the only love — actual warm, uncomplicated love — in their life! It happens a lot, that’s the only love in a person’s life.
Someone once tweeted at you suggesting that you shouldn’t smoke weed at your age, but you replied with, “I think it’s fine.” Are you frequently stoned while tweeting?
I only get high at night when I’m going to sleep, that’s when I get loaded. So those ones comes from a place that’s stoned, the others don’t. I don’t think you can really tell. I don’t think it makes any difference to how I tweet or who I tweet to or what I tweet about at all. If you can see a difference between day and night, I’d love you to point it out — but I don’t think there is.
How much time do you spend on Twitter every day?
A little. Usually in the middle of the night. I wake up around 2, 3 in the morning …
Who are some of your favorite people to follow?
Mmmmm … you probably would not know who they were. There are some ordinary human beings that I follow, they’re just nice people.
I do have a number of people who I follow who are public figures who I follow quite naturally. What’s her name on MSNBC … Rachel. I think she’s really bright. I follow John Fugelsang, I think he’s really really a bright guy. I follow Bette Midler, I think she’s usually pretty careful about what she says and is pretty intelligent. I follow a writer in San Francisco a lot, a really, really, really bright guy who used to write for Wired. His name is Steve Silberman. He wrote a book on autism … probably the best book ever written about autism. I think if there’s an overriding quality I’m looking for it’s intelligence, and right after that it’s compassion.
I follow the Dalai Lama. He does these wonderful little sweet tweets saying, “We could be kind to each other, you would like it, it would be very good.”
Is there anyone you avoid?
I avoid people who are obviously looking for a fight … I am not going to engage in a war of words with Ted Nugent. He’s an idiot and he’s gonna stay an idiot, and I don’t have to waste my time with it.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.