Isaac Butler (he/him) Profile picture
Author of THE METHOD: HOW THE 20TH CENTURY LEARNED TO ACT, winner of the 2022 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. Easiest contact = DMs
Potato Of Reason Profile picture 1 subscribed
Sep 12, 2023 10 tweets 2 min read
Just to reiterate: There is no Shakespeare authorship controversy. There is an expert consensus reached via evidence, and then there's conspiracy theories supporting alternate candidates, none of which are supported by anything approaching the normal definition of proof. This is important because the latest rhetorical move in the truther community is to "teach the controversy" that they themselves have made up. This is exactly what climate change deniers and creationists demanded of science teachers in the 90s and aughts. It's the same move.
May 16, 2023 31 tweets 5 min read
As you may imagine, I'm getting some annoying responses from Shakespeare Truthers, so I thought I would at least try to address the major categories of arguments they present for a moment, so I don't feel tempted to keep debating them. Truther arguments fall into a few clear groups:
(1) Questioning the veracity of the evidence Shakespeare wrote his plays
(2) Questioning whether someone like Shakespeare could have written his plays
(3) Floating alternate candidates
May 15, 2023 5 tweets 1 min read
The Pacino/De Niro hotness question is so weird, not only because the answer is *obviously* 70s Pacino but because De Niro’s prime career was almost totally sexless or about sex as a destructive force. De Niro’s most famous sex scene is a rape scene in Cape Fear. Even in Heat, where he has a girlfriend, their relationship is almost pointedly unerotic while Pacino gets the hot shower sex scene.
Mar 6, 2023 15 tweets 3 min read
There is no serious debate about the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays. There’s the extensive factual record of him writing the plays, at times with uncredited co writers, and then there’s a bunch of bullshit with no actual evidence to support it. Insisting otherwise is not interesting contrarianism, it’s not being an iconoclastic heretic, it’s not a serious challenge to a consensus. It’s just credulous bullshit.
Jul 9, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
Once again: Someone please primary this man. From his sham folksiness to his utter contempt for his own supporters, Biden really is Menenius from Coriolanus
Jul 9, 2022 5 tweets 1 min read
Anti-abortion orgs are not opposed to expanding the social safety net for mothers because they’re worried about their alliance with fiscal conservatives. They are opposed to it because they *don’t want to do it.* What they want is for social services to be provided by religious organizations that they control. This is very obvious *in part because they say it explicitly* in their drive to expand funding for “pregnancy centers”
Jul 8, 2022 7 tweets 1 min read
IT BELONGS IN A MUSEUM! There are two kinds of Harrison Ford movies:
Ones where his chin scar is mentioned or explained and ones where it is not.
Apr 6, 2022 10 tweets 2 min read
I am not always Mister Positivity but I do feel like a lot of cultural tweets I see out here discoursin' seem to be trying to intentionally cause dumb fights. So... here's some things I'm enjoying right now: The TV show SEVERANCE is both a fun paranoid thriller and a hilariously heightened satire of modern life. Ben Stiller directs the shit out of it too! It has such great visual style.
Apr 5, 2022 12 tweets 2 min read
I see “you don’t need conflict in your story” discourse is happening again Is it possible to write a narrative (fiction or non-) that doesn’t have conflict and still works? Sure, there are no hard and fast rules in the creation of art. But for the most part: no, you need some form of conflict. The problem is we define “conflict” too narrowly.
Mar 18, 2022 6 tweets 2 min read
I don't think censoriousness on the Left (what I guess we call Cancel Culture) is as big a deal as, like, anti-CRT bills or the way anti-Zionists get treated in the academia, or the timidity around LGBTQ characters in tentpole films that will play in China. But it does exist. And I think it's a bit silly to pretend that, for example, big pile ons on the internet don't have at least a mild chilling effect on people who would rather not risk that happening to them, and that this is true even when the opinion they're holding back isn't offensive.
Mar 8, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
SANDI: Well bakers, I have the easy job this week. I get to announce star baker. And this week it goes to a man who put the ding in pudding—it’s Derek! Congratulations.

(DEREK smiles, embraces the person sitting next to him) NOEL: Bakers, that means I have the terrible job this week. It’s so hard at this stage because we feel like you’re family. But this week, we must say goodbye…

To Dracula. I’m so sorry.


DRACULA: Vell vaht can i say? I had a bad week in the tent.
Mar 7, 2022 4 tweets 1 min read
Welcome back to another episode of Method / Not Method. Today’s question comes from listener Andrew: Not gonna lie folks this is a tough one Andrew has set for us because it *is* describing an internal, emotional reality not an external, behavioral one. BUT…
Jun 20, 2020 10 tweets 1 min read
While Investigating My Father’s Possible Murder, I Caused the Deaths of My Mother, Uncle, Girlfriend, Girlfriend’s Dad, Girlfriend’s Brother and Two Friends from Grad School... AITA? AITA: During a Midlife Crisis, I Usurped the King, Killed My Best Friend, and Murdered the Children of My Rival.
May 24, 2020 7 tweets 3 min read
The article Berenson is touting in this tweet actually says that Japan likely succeeded because of extremely early widespread contact tracing and voluntary compliance with the kinds of measures he's urging other people to defy. Here's the article.…
Feb 11, 2020 9 tweets 3 min read
Bloomberg appealed the decision banning stop and frisk! I attended the hearing! This is just a flat out lie. Crime dropped after stop and frisk was banned. The city argued crime would have dropped further had it still been enforced. This is maddening.
Jan 6, 2020 16 tweets 3 min read
Alright it’s the first real Monday of the new year and the world is going to shit... who wants to hear the story of how Lee Strasberg got cast in his film debut, The Godfather Part II, while in his early 70s? Alright so... for background: Lee Strasberg began his career as a stage actor in the Yiddish Theatre and the Theatre Guild before becoming a director. After he quit the Group Theatre, he tried to have a career in Hollywood as a director in the late 30s. It went extremely poorly.