* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we are all about the Twitter and the multinational corporations. And sometimes the two together, thanks to Devin Schiff.

3 Reasons You Should Follow Corporate Twitter Accounts

By: Devin Schiff

Think about your favorite 140-character crafters: Entertainers? Politicians? “Gurus”?

Where are corporate Twitter accounts on your list? Our business brands are engaged in a good and just effort to cut through the meaningless clutter of our consumer culture. They encourage us to see our lives for what they really are.

But we don’t listen. We dismiss the depth of their cultural understanding by saying, “What is all this advertising on my timeline?” We frown at their wit and ignore their attempts to engage us. Why?

The products that these companies spend their hard-earned money developing, manufacturing, and putting on shelves in buildings near our houses form the fabric of our lives. Doesn’t this mean that corporate Twitter accounts understand us best of all?

It does mean that. Let’s all follow corporate Twitter accounts. Here are three reasons why:

1. They create meaning

Corporate Twitter accounts have a profound understanding of why people identify with certain things. They synthesize relevant contemporary phenomena in unique and authentic ways.

This perceptive perspective was evident in a recent tweet by the beautiful minds behind the CheezChips® Snack Crackers account. It reads: “#WordOfTheYear,” with an accompanying Instagram of the word “selfie” imprinted on delectable CheezChips, one letter per cracker.

There’s a lot to unpack here. Did you know that “selfie” was the word of the year? You do now. So that’s one thing. But what the McLuhan disciples at CheezChips accomplish in a single tweet goes much, much deeper.

The artful inscription of “s-e-l-f-i-e” on the CheezChips effectively creates a selfie of the snack crackers themselves. What an incisive commentary. This tweet demands that we consider the sociolinguistic implications of practicing this solipsistic form of self-portraiture. Also, #nofilter. In a world concerned about embedded patriarchal and heteronormative social constructs, CheezChips teaches us a lot about defining yourself on your own terms. #SayCheez!

Imagine if Jackson Pollock had to release hundreds of his little spilled masterpieces a week, and you’d have some idea of how hard it is to produce so much meaningful content on demand. But corporate Twitter accounts do it, because today’s media cyberscape is relentless and you need coverage you can count on.

2. They help you improve yourself

Have you ever been at a loss for words? Probably. Look at your Twitter. You’ll find weeks where you had nothing to say. Just like famous name you recognize Ralph Waldo Emerson, you’re suffering from a deficit of #self-reliance.

Every single day corporate Twitter accounts selflessly invite you to speak your mind. They ask thousands of stimulating questions that provoke answers. Questions such as: “Which flavor of #CheezChips is your favorite?” and “What kind of #Monday is the best #Monday for a #CheezChip?” and “In honor of the #DayOfTheDead, what else (besides #CheezChips) would you want to be buried with?” Now your open mind is spinning off to the limitless curiosities of the human spirit.

Whether you answer these questions immediately (CheezChips Tangerz™ Chipotle Mayo Burst, partly sunny, a picture of your family) or print them out and post them on the wall of your dining room as a conversation piece, it will feel good to know that you’re participating. #SayCheez!

Corporate Twitter accounts want to hear YOU. We know you want to discuss conversations. To share ideas. To challenge everything.

If you talk about us, we’ll find you. And you should hope we find you, because that’s the first step to finding yourself.

3. We’re all going to die someday

Corporate Twitter accounts understand that life is fleeting — we don’t waste your time. Instead, we try really hard to connect with all of you. People don’t understand how hard we try. When we write, “Retweet if you were going to party tonight, but then you found your hidden stash of #CheezChips,” it’s not just an idle commentary on how life plans are often altered by external forces.

It’s a cry for help. For all of us.

You think I want to confront existential issues in the face of the Sisyphean thought-generation dumpster fire that is Twitter? No, but as the guy behind the CheezChips corporate Twitter account, I have a public duty to perform.

No one’s ambition is to be the Digital Social Strategist for CheezChips. This is the best I could do. I don’t deserve any better, I know that now. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a fireman when I grew up. Actually I really wanted to be a fire engine, but I settled for fireman and I’ve been settling ever since. Now look upon me, trying to make you relate CheezChips Healthz™ Italian Wheatgrass crackers to the #FirstDayOfSpring like some kind of Pavlovian wind chime ringing desperately in an empty room. #SayCheez! I hate myself.

What do you think? Leave a comment below, retweet this, or come find me wandering the snack aisle at Target, wondering how it went so horribly wrong.

* Welcome to The Big Jewel, where we are always ready to engage in controversy. Here Devin Schiff looks at the difficult issue of guillotine control. Should we allow more concealed-carry guillotine laws? If we outlaw guillotines, will only outlaws have guillotines? Mr. Schiff has the answers.

You Can’t Take Away Our Guillotines

By: Devin Schiff

Only yesterday, my son asked me, “Why do they want to take our guillotines away?”

We sat at the dinner table, just me and my son, eating sauerkraut and yolks. He was crying while he ate. I took a sip of milk but it fell out of my mouth because I was sighing. I never thought that in this country, where I was born and raised, where my dad first showed me how to use a guillotine, where my high school yearbook photo is of me posing with my guillotines, that they would ever try to take our guillotines away from us.

I told my son that guillotine control punishes everyone for the not so great choices of a few, who have used their guillotines for evil and not for good. But people don’t understand that most guillotine owners are like me: harmless purebred folks who just want to feel safe at the Red Lobster factory outlet. They want to take ALL of our guillotines away. Then they’ll probably take them to a plant where they’ll recycle them and make them into gay benches. They don’t understand that ninety-nine-point-nine-nine-ninety-nine-nine percent of guillotine owners only use their guillotines for self defense. We keep the pieces separated and packed away in locked cabinets that are buried in the yard. The keys we keep in the dog. So when illegal men, armed to the teeth with guillotines, attack us I can defend myself. By cutting their heads off with my guillotine.

They won’t be able to take them away anyway. I’ve built a Rube Goldbergian contraption of overwhelming cleverness. When a force is applied to the door, the kicked-in or knocked-on door tugs on a rope overhead, which tips a hanging bucket, dropping a marble into a chute that travels around a bend before it taps the ‘play’ button on our tape recorder, which plays a recording of old mom’s voice saying ‘come in!’ all sweet like. The marble also hits another marble, which drops into a small metal box, depressing a lighter that lights a nearby wick. As the candle burns down, the hot wax drips onto a simple piece of blue string, which, when burned through, snaps, releasing a switch attached to a hammer, which hits the lever attached to a guillotine, which is above the door. Then the guillotine takes the swift plunge of freedom, severing the head of the intruder, who is sticking his neck out into a way of life where it doesn’t belong. Then I pick up his head and put it on a pike in the yard where the mailbox used to be.

Removing the mailbox is important because if they can’t send us mail, they can’t find us and take away my new guillotine, “Chops,” a ten-blade, six-speed dome-slayer with sonar and it takes pictures during the moment of descent just like they do on roller coasters, and which I only acquired because it will save our lives someday, son. That’s why the mailbox is also buried in the yard.

Liberals say that a responsible guillotine owner is an oxymoron. To that I say, “Look at me. Come see how I live. Bring your cameras. Make a reality show of me. I want to be on television.”

“Will they take away my baseball bat or old mom’s car?” asked my son, his little porkchop face interrupting my reveries. “You can kill people with those things.”

“They won’t,” I said, “because those things aren’t ‘killing machines,’ which is a word that the liberal mean-dia invented to hate on things that they say have no other use besides making people permanently dead. To that I say, ‘Puh-scuse me? This guillotine can cut an acorn squash.'”

“Couldn’t the laws be changed so that no one can own a guillotine?” asked my son.

“No,” I said. “How would we defend ourselves during the next massacre? Unless all people, especially kindergartners like yourself, get outfitted ASAP with a cornucopia of sharp, shiny guillotines, we’re all going to die in a large pile. But they won’t listen. They’re going to take away the second amendment.”

“The right to vote?” he asked.

“No,” I said. “The right to bear arms. Haven’t you been listening? We can’t vote anyway, we don’t have a mailbox. The right to bear arms — a right that our forefathers gave us.”

“You mean metaphorically?”

“No, I mean literally. This guillotine belonged to Andrew Jackson, who used it to defend himself against tons of bad Indians who attacked him in his home or in what he wanted to be his home.”

My son smiled wearily and fell asleep. But don’t you worry son, I know just what to do. When you wake up, you’ll find that I’ve buried both of us up to our necks in the yard. We’re going underground, where our guillotine rights cannot be violated. Best of all, we’ll be really close to our guillotines. We’ll be safe and happy and free.