There are a lot of joke Twitter accounts to keep track of, but a particularly funny one that’s been getting pretty popular lately is Nihilist Arby’s, which pairs the familiar product-shilling cadences of corporate social media accounts with a deep and utter despair at the emptiness of human existence.
It's 3 am. You awake in a panic. You're wasting your life? You're alone? relax. You're totally insignificant & you'll die soon. Enjoy arbys.
— Nihilist Arby's (@nihilist_arbys) July 16, 2015
Drain the blood, cure and slice the flesh, season and fry the potatoes, feed them the sugar water. Be born. Toil. Die. Arby's. We sell food.
— Nihilist Arby's (@nihilist_arbys) January 28, 2015
There's nothing like the delicious taste of Arby's because there is nothing. Happiness, friends, lovers: illusions. Arby's: the void beckons
— Nihilist Arby's (@nihilist_arbys) January 20, 2015
Now, in a new interview with Adweek, Brendan Kelly — the bassist and frontman for Chicago punk band the Lawrence Arms, who also works as a copywriter — has revealed himself to be the brains behind Nihilist Arby’s. “Twitter is such a great medium, but it’s misunderstood, generationally,” he says. “It’s like an awesome newspaper where everyone can customize what they get by following certain entities, whether they want comedy, politics or naked chicks. But then you have these dumb corporations that just don’t get it, you know? And fast-food brands unbelievably perpetuate the most terrible of ideas.”
Kelly says the idea for the account came from imagining how funny it would be if the guy who ran the social media accounts for a restaurant chain “just lost it, after sending out yet another tweet about something [inane] like a new dipping sauce. And I said to whoever I was speaking to at the time, ‘It should be called something incredibly stupid like Nihilist Arby’s.'” Lo, Nihilist Arby’s was born, and “it’s just snowballed from there.” Since its inception in January, Nihilist Arby’s has racked up an impressive 104,000 followers. Hilariously, it is now more successful in terms of follower engagement than actual Arby’s.