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@MayorEmanuel By The Numbers: Farewell To A Legend

By Steven Pate in Miscellaneous on Feb 24, 2011 8:40PM

2011_02_wordcloud.jpg The final curtain seems to have fallen last night on the most entertaining piece of ongoing performance art in Chicago, as the MayorEmanuel twitter appears to have called it quits. Dancing to the sounds of Journey with his whole retinue (advisor David Axelrod, Carl the Intern, Axelrod's dog Hambone and Quaxelrod the duck), the prolific and profane twitter doppelganger was coaxed into a "time vortex" at the behest of Richard M. Daley, because when it comes to actual mayors of Chicago, it is like The Highlander: there can be only one. With one last f-bomb, MayorEmanuel was done for now

If you didn't follow the MayorEmanuel twitter, you missed a lot more than profanity (although you missed a metric ton of that). You missed a jocular, knowing fake-insider take on the mayoral election from an imaginative, genuinely funny, and resolutely anonymous writer who demonstrated a wide-ranging knowledge of and love for Chicago's many outsized characters and mythologies. Read from start to finish, it was Juvenalian satire which struck just the right absurdist tone to complement the election.

Beyond the imagined day-to-day life of the campaign (poking fun at Axelrod's civic, complaining about debate prep, etc.), MayorEmanuel took off on many flights of fancy, sometimes for days at a time. We loved the trip to Wisconsin to kill a turkey for a Thanksgiving meal in L.A. with brother Ari Emanuel, Carol Burnett and Kanye. A night of carousing with Bill Clinton had us in stitches. Somewhere along the way, these seemingly diversionary subplots began to take on greater significance and build toward something more meaningful. Our favorite moment was a soul-searching trip down the Chicago river on an ice floe after losing the Appelate court decision, with Mayor Daley providing a pep talk and Emanuel seeming to overcome his greatest crisis. Last week MayorEmanuel had a psychadelic trip from eating expired baby food, where he encountered Walter Payton, climbed a skyscraper built out of dibs chairs, met the disembodied head of Marshall Field, saw the heart of Studs Turkel, and finally had an audience with a supremely wise Curtis Mayfield. It was as if someone had put Andy Samberg, Mike Royko and Joseph Campbell in a blender and doled it out in 140 character portions.

We'll miss the tweets, but are fine the idea of the whole experiment being a finite, and thus literary one. And while we enjoy the parlor game of it all, we have no real interest in seeing the identity of the author revealed any time soon. Half the fun has always been not knowing. The unamed author of the tweets preserved for a few months the quickly-decaying legend of a cult figure of verbal brutality, the perpetual victor of legislative streetfights whose brazen and unapologetic triumphalism now must give way to the measured and consensus-weaned persona of public life. For that we are grateful. We would wish you godspeed, MayorEmanuel, but we know what you'd say to that.

@MayorEmanuel by the numbers.

  • Number of followers at the moment he hung it up: 37,650
  • Total number of tweets: 1,952
  • Number of retweets for the account's all-time most-retweeted missive (Tuesday night's "If you have a giant fucking pile of money and a bunch of dumb fucks running against you, DREAMS DO COME TRUE."): 640
  • Ratio of followers for MayorEmanuel's faketwitter to Rahm Emanuel's actual one: 3.3:1
  • Amount of money the actual Rahm Emanuel offered to donate to charity if the proprietor of the fake account went public: $5,000
  • Total occurrences of the word "fuck": 2968
  • Total occurences of the second place word, "the": 1283
  • Average f-bombs per tweet: 1.5
  • Most uses of profanity in a single tweet: 27
  • Number of hyphenated employments of the word "cock": 62
  • Number of @ replies in the feed: 593
  • Most @ replies received for any individual (former Chicagoist writer @SamAbernethy): 9
  • Total number of people who received more than 3 replies: 7
  • Number of tweets using Seesmic for Android (most of any method): 969
  • Appearances of Axelrod's Civic: 44
  • Number of tweets in his busiest month (Febuary): 506
  • Claps of thunder above the Chicago skyline that appeared immediately after the final 7:40pm tweet: 1