Wednesday, August 15, 2007

A New Column: Deconstructing the Arguments of US Weekly Commenters

This comment to an US Weekly article on The Hills' Feud was, by far, my favorite paragraph of the day. I want you to enjoy it as much as I do, so below I help parse the complex rhetoric of this anonymous ranter.

5:15 PM Anonymous Says:

Okay lots to say..........................................
heidi nees to realize shes only 20 years old and shes alreay getting married hello ur supposed to enjoy your youth(*1), spencer and heidi should know that lauren only moved in with jason for the summer and then moved back (*2), lauren waz just trying to protect heidi because she used to love her as a best friend and now heidi is trash talking her(*3) which is really not a nice thing to do for herself considering she is all fake: boobs, ring, relationship, and life, and i totally agree that spencer is an idiot for buying an engagement ring at a nick nack shop and then uses his friends credit card!
im pretty much on team lauren here for many many reasons

we'll just c how heidi and spencer hold out with this so called "engagement"(*4)

(*1)- alluding to a phrase from Nietzsche's infamous letter to his closest acquaintance, Franz Overbeck, who shared a residence with the philosopher during his years in Basel. In 1870 Nietzsche left the city as a war medic on the Prussian side during the Franco-Prussian war. He frequently wrote letters to Overbeck, detailing his first-hand accounts of the sickness and death the war had wrought. In one such letter he confesses, "I am grieved by the transitoriness of things." The author here draws a clever reference to Nietzsche's grief in the statement "hello ur supposed to enjoy your youth."

(*2) From a study published in the research journal Science concluding that the most difficult decisions are best left to the unconscious. The research, conducted at the University of Amsterdam by Ap Dijksterhuis, shows that people make better decisions after letting their unconscious brain formulate a "gut feeling" rather than engage in conscious reasoning. The author rightly values Lauren's decision to move in with Jason just for the summer, a course of action that was guided by Lauren's change of heart--a reaction of her unconscious mind.

(*3) a reference to the age-old adage "Thou shall not go up and down as a Talebearer among thy people"

(*4) The author's intentions are unclear in this instance. It has been argued that the word engagement appears above in quotation marks as a political nod to the gay rights movement advocating equal marriage laws for all citizens. By highlighting engagement as a "so-called" term rather than giving it status as a valid word, the author mocks the institution of marriage, perhaps hinting that it cannot become a recognized term until it applies to all peoples.

(*5) The use of all CAPS in this sentence conveys the impression that the author is yelling, a meta-allusion to the fact that the paragraph is about a feud, and that the feud is of silly circumstances. Capitalizing her opinion is an ironic gesture on the part of the author meant to draw awareness to the futility of fighting insignificant battles.


Meredith said...


Meredith said...

I'm sorry, I meant to say, you leave Us Weekly alone. Plenty of highly educated people read Us too.