In honor of Independence Day, Slate ran a contest asking Twitter users to tweet the Declaration of Independence.
Imagine trying to reduce Thomas Jefferson’s 1,300-word magnum opus to 140 characters. Actually, it was using 124 characters; contestants had to include the hashtag #tinydeclaration.
Hundreds of people entered, and Slate noted that the entries fell into two camps – the literalists, who sought to recreate the Declaration’s political flavor, and the humorists, who sought to be funny.
My favorite came from NEHgov (the office of the National Endowment for the Humanities), in the form of a purported message to King George: “Dear George, it’s not you. It’s U.S.”
Slate posted the winners over the weekend.
The third runner-up, “for straddling the delicate balance between the literal and humorous,” came from @Boston1775: “We seek independence based on noble and universal ideas combined with petty and one-sided grievances.”
The second runner-up, hailed “for his direct and confrontational tweet,” was from @TJMonticello (Mr. Jefferson’s own Monticello): “All peeps are equal. Sick and tired of your tyrannical BS. Seeking independence. Your permission requested, not required.”
For “both historical accuracy and a Twitter-worthy modernization of communication,” @badanes took first runner-up: “Our Rights from Creator (h/t @JLocke). Life, Liberty, PoH FTW! Your transgressions = FAIL. GTFO, @GeorgeIII. -HANCOCK et al.”
The winner? A guy called @ApocalyseHow, who was a writer for Conan O’Brien and for “The Daily Show,” according to his Twitter bio. Slate complimented his entry for “reminding us that brevity is the soul of wit”: “Bye George, we’ve got it.”