Joyce Carol Oates, Great American Novelist, Likes To Joke Around On Twitter

Some people — most people, rather — should never be allowed to tweet their thoughts, ever. (And I say all this as someone who lets her own ill-advised musings rattle out into public on the regular. DON’T DO IT, MOST OF YOU.)

Perhaps there was never a more cautionary tale, though, than the Twitter feed of one Joyce Carol Oates: great American novelist, brilliant mind, 77-year old with an Internet connection.

Earlier this week, Joyce Carol Oates took to Twitter, seemingly outraged: “So barbaric this should still be allowed… No conservation laws in effect wherever this is?”

“Wherever this is” is Jurassic Park: accompanying Joyce Carol Oates’s tweet is a photo of Steven Spielberg, posing with a mechanical triceratops.

Yes, will these brutal killings of animatronic dinosaurs ever end. (Salon points out that, in a thumbnail-sized image, the triceratops could easily be mistaken for an elephant.)

Via email, the esteemed author reassured Newsweek she was kidding, adding that she frequently uses her Twitter account to cut up and joke around. Newsweek:

We thanked the 77-year-old writer for clarifying. She replied with an entirely blank email.

Salon has compiled a sort of Joyce Carol Oates “Greatest Hits” list. Some tweets are geniunely funny! Others are classist and xenophobic!

As a high-school-aged reader in the 1990s, Joyce Carol Oates was my favorite writer. I remember first being disappointed when Carol Oates appeared on Oprah (presumably in 2001, when We Were the Mulvaneys was inducted into the Book Club). Each new tweet from her account makes me sigh a little heavier.

Ah, well. At least we still have Anne Lamott.