'Sucking on a Sour Patch Kid'

Amanda Bynes’s Strange Selfie Video: Is She ‘Trolling’?

The actress posts the strangest selfie yet on her Twitter account. Is she troubled, or trolling?

Jason Merritt / Getty Images

Amanda Bynes’s Twitter account is fascinating. Riveting, even. It’s perhaps the most curious case study of self-obsession and self-publicizing on the Internet. A bizarre, kind-of-spellbinding video Bynes posted on her account yesterday is just the tip of the iceberg. Its title: “I’m Sucking On A Sour Patch Kid Listening To Music Getting Ready For Tonight :D.”

The video is just as it sounds. Bynes’s lips are puckered as if she is, in fact, sucking on a sour candy, and she squints her eyes as she poses her head in various angles. Club music thumps in the background. It is filmed on her iPhone using a mirror. There is 18 seconds of black in the middle of the clip.

The reaction to the clip is a mix of alarm and astonishment. “By this point, we’re thinking Amanda Bynes is either A) amazing at getting her name plugged everywhere and should therefore become the head of her own PR firm; B) is in desperate need of serious professional help; or C) is the best ambiguous performance artist since Tilda Swinton and her box,” says The Huffington Post.

In its post headlined “Amanda Bynes Either Needs Help, or Is Trolling Us All,” Complex gets more to the point. “It’s become a question as riveting and confusing as the meaning of life itself: What the hell happened to Amanda Bynes?” writes Tanya Ghahremani. “Does [she] need serious help, or is this some intricate, faux breakdown, Joaquin Phoenix-style?”

Apparently offended by Complex’s ruminating, Bynes responded this afternoon with this 200-word rant, begun on her Twitter count and spilled over to the site TwitPlus. Here it is in full:

@ComplexMag Stop acting like I'm doing something wrong. I'm obsessed with myself on twitter. Also, my video last night was perfection. I'm so sick of the articles u write about me. I want every fake article deleted. Ur dick whipped by my ugly ex @ducidni who's looks and talent have always been questionable to me, him being the ugly duckling that he is and all. U quote him non stop, then take professional shots of him for ur covers, his best photos aren't shit compared to mine at my best. The photo u chose of Aubrey for her cover is awful. You make people look bad, stop acting like you know anything about what men like. I don't stop getting follwed or hit on every place I go. I'm not trying to sing, but if I did (I got offered an Interscope record deal right after I filmed Hairspray which you might know if you sat down and did a normal interview. I still might take them up on their offer) get the facts as opposed to talking shit. My music is going to be sicker then whatever the fuck kind of music Scott tries to do. Stop writing articles without speaking to me first.

Some crucial explanations: The @ducidni referred to here is rapper Kid Cudi, who dated Bynes in 2010. Cudi’s real name is Scott Mescudi, presumably the Scott she’s referring to when she says, “My music is going to be sicker then [sic] whatever the fuck kind of music Scott tries to do.” The Aubrey whose “cover is awful” is Parks and Recreation actress/MTV Movie Awards stage-crasher Aubrey Plaza, Complex’s current cover star. Judge for yourself if her cover is awful here.

So, trolling? Performance art? A meltdown? Judge for yourself on that, too.