Brow Beat

The Epic 200-Tweet Story #HowIQuitSpin Is a Piece of Pop Culture Art

Spin magazine’s September 2001 cover.

Spin magazine

If you’ve seen #HowIQuitSpin drifting around the Web, perhaps you thought: Quitting spin class doesn’t seem that newsworthy, or hard to do. But #HowIQuitSpin is something much more interesting than that. In the wake of the Gawker crack-up that saw editors Max Read and Tommy Craggs resign over a disagreement with the site’s management, we’ve been gifted a gargantuan, baffling, intermittently brilliant tweetstorm that combines pop music criticism and media gossip and Twitter memoir. #HowIQuitSpin is the story, told in more than 200 tweets by U.C. Davis professor and poet Joshua Clover (@bookofriot), of his decision to quit Spin magazine in September 2001.

Then a columnist for Spin, Clover, already feeling emotionally remote from the magazine after executive editor Craig Marks was ousted in 1999, became disillusioned with his work and made a decision: He would quit his job. Why did this need to be tweeted instead of written elsewhere on the Internet? Hard to say. But #HowIQuitSpin is a funny, moving tale that explores the difficulty of leaving a job behind while also, in 140-character bursts, touching on breaking up, New York City, and 9/11.

In the midst of Gawker editors Max Read and Tommy Craggs resigning over a disagreement with Gawker’s management comes #HowIQuitSpin. Uniting pop music criticism with the format of the Twitter memoir, #HowIQuitSpin is U. C. Davis professor and poet Joshua Clover’s story, told over the course of more than 200 tweets, of his decision to quit Spin in September 2001.