Fans Worry After Pakistan Twitter Star Goes Off Line

Declan Walsh in the New York Times:

17192297burnChanneling the American comic Stephen Colbert, the determinedly anonymous blogger behind @MajorlyProfound adopted the voice of a pompous, paranoid, honor-obsessed nationalist — Twitter posts typically started with cries of “whoa!” or “OUTRAGE!!” — then took things a step or three further. The result was a searingly funny and often jet-black perspective on Pakistan’s rolling crises that pushed the boundaries of what is considered politically acceptable — or personally prudent.

A Pakistani should have been given the honor of lighting the Olympic flame, @MajorlyProfound declared during the recent opening ceremony, in recognition of “our expertise at burning things” like NATO supply trucks and Indian luxury hotels.

Later, he suggested that the national team could do well in archery, but only if a photo of an Ahmadi — a religious minority that suffers grave persecution — were placed on the target board.

“Pakistani shooters sure to win gold,” he wrote on Twitter. “But there is a danger they might throw grenade instead.”

Such jagged wit won @MajorlyProfound more than 10,000 followers on Twitter, many of them influential in the Pakistani and Indian news media. Foreign journalists started to quote him in stories, sensing he had become a cultural touchstone of sorts.

But the man behind the phenomenon assiduously shunned the spotlight. “I’m just a nobody,” he wrote in an e-mail exchange started by The New York Times before his disappearance. “I like to poke fun at absurdity.”

More here.