Election Night Balloons

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Yesterday, the Washington Post published a story by Monica Hesse on election night hookups as pursued through Craigslist personals ads. But soft! Was it not mere hours before yesterday that I reported on election night hookups as pursued through Craigslist personal ads?

I smell blog item!

Hesse’s name is very similar to mine, which is Hess. But look further, and you will discover several subtle differences between Hesse’s piece and my own.

First, Hesse relies on the more romantic end of the Craigslist hook-up spectrum (“Missed Connections”), while mine (Hess’s) focuses on the Web site’s tawdrier offerings (“Casual Encounters”). This is no accident. Hesse’s choice belies her newspaper of record’s standards of decency, standards which are not shared by my alternative news-weekly. So while Hesse’s piece employs expressions of sexuality suitable for the reader of delicate sensibilities (“Awwww yeah”), my piece instead chooses to call a “clusterfuck” a “clusterfuck.” (“Clusterfuck” being a term that Washington Post standards prevent Monica Hesse from printing without repercussion).

But though Hesse’s piece adheres to Washington Post standards of decency, it does endeavor to break free of her newspaper’s more traditional standards of style. Hesse employs italics in order to convey the thoughts of election night participants (“Never felt that kind of euphoria . . . Out of body . . .”), ALL CAPS and irregular punctuation to express surprise (“They were drinking, chatting, hanging out, when suddenly she spotted . . . CORDUROY JACKET!!”), and italics coupled with repetition in order to build suspense (“For Obama! For Obama!”). My piece, on the other hand, has been vigorously edited to purge it of non-standard formatting, save for several carefully placed sarcastic asides.

In conclusion, people will make any excuse to convince other humans to have sex with them, then speak candidly about it to local newspapers.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery