As Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former Chief of Staff, ran for mayor in Chicago earlier this year, a fake twitter account, @MayorEmanuel, began tweeting a foul-mouthed, "real-time novel of a Rahm Emanuel that was not from this dimension." At the 2011 Personal Democracy Forum in New York City, Dan Sinker, the man behind the account and a journalism professor at Columbia College Chicago, explained how his account gave Chicagoans an opportunity to laugh at the absurdity of their mayoral race, and also to confront the realities of a campaign that might have otherwise been hard to stomach.

Sinker argues that he was participating in a new generation of satire with his account. We have always come up with new ways to make fun of our situations, Sinker says, so it is not surprising to see people experimenting with satire on new media.

For Dan Sinker’s hilarious presentation on tweeting during Emanuel’s run for mayor, watch this video from the 2011 Personal Democracy Forum.

—Kevin Gosztola