Sunday, March 23, 2008



On the last page of the first section of the Sunday Chicago Tribune, there is a sub-section called “Personals.” This is not the “Personals” one usually finds in the Classified sections of less reputable papers, e.g., “SWBVF seeks MBLVF for SM and other activities, only those interested in a committed, loving relationship need apply.” No, this “Personals” page is a fluff, gossip piece of the type that is growing and proliferating like kudzu to the point at which it and its kindred now occupy virtually the entirety of the modern day “newspaper.”

As you might guess, the Trib’s “Personals” page is a page I skip. In fact, once I have reached this page, I know that I have finished the first section of the Trib and can move on to Perspective, Metro, and, finally, Transportation. However, this Sunday, the “Personals” section of the Trib featured a picture of an especially attractive (not necessarily good looking, but attractive in the sense that her photo grabbed one’s attention. In a more literate age, we referred to such women as “stunning,” or “striking,” but I digress.) woman, and such pictures usually grab my attention. Then I read, next to her photo, and under the headline “Punch Line,” the following:

“For the record—I know everyone wants to know this—they were an extra pair. They did not literally come off my body.’
-Stacey Elza, the Chicago grad student who raised eyebrows on Monday’s “The Bachelor: London Calling” when she handed Matt Grant her panties. Said bachelor did not hand her a rose.”

I confess to know absolutely nothing about what this is all about, but I do have to commend Miss Elza on her proper use of the word “literally,” which is one of those words that has been misused so much it has entirely lost its, well, literal meaning. I do have to break the sad news to Miss Elza, however, that not “everyone” wants to know about her panties. In fact, most of us (all of us, really) would be far better off and would digest far more easily, if we didn’t hear anything about her panties.

However, the most salient thing that struck me about this “news” article is that there are some people, probably many people, given the circulation of the Tribune, that think this "news" is important. And those people get to vote. How scary a thought is that?

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