Note: today’s post has been sponsored in the form of intellectual favors. The author of the text under scrutiny gave me some insight into the Japanese-ness of last week’s video and in return I’m giving his Tinder profile an effusively glowing review and the publicity it deserves. It is uncertain whether this is the sort of currency anybody really wants.
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Having now viewed at least 12 Tinder profiles, I can objectively say that this, ladies (and gentlemen?), is not your average Tinder profile. The word count exceeds 30, the text is stark in its lack of emojis, and the trained eye will spot immediately the single bold, if misguided, semicolon. The anonymous author, known herein as B—, introduces himself by way of a long list, one that comprises nested compounds and tangled contradictions and calls Whitman to mind: “I contain multitudes.” His insistent use of diverse verbs evokes a character of action, of many capabilities. And while the stylistically preferable choice would have been to use the em-dash in cases of three-word modifiers, (such as “Oxford comma–using”), B— nonetheless succeeds in illustrating his multifarious character without losing the interest of the reader (unless, of course, the reader’s interests completely exclude Japan).
In the second paragraph, B— deftly turns matters over to his viewer, inviting them to talk about themselves (a timeless classic of the 20-something dating scene). He uses these invitations as mechanisms to expand even further upon his introduction, subtly weaving in the highlights of his personality while simultaneously holding his reader under the illusion that this is still about them. Such masterful obfuscation of subject makes the final (English) sentence a mystery: “Dick pics by request only.” Whether he is referring to penile photographs of his potential mates or those of himself is unclear – in one case a necessary exercise of explicitly stated boundaries, in the other a charming bit of self-deprecating irony. Either way, he leaves his English-speaking readers piqued with intrigue.
Most impressive throughout is the author’s strategic and careful use of restraint. That B— neither makes a pun, nor quotes a Ghibli movie, nor even employs an Oxford comma after claiming these as daily activities is indicative of an admirable presence of mind, of a self-possessed character who needs prove himself to no one. The proffered screengrab also points to considerable discipline, as it affords only a partial view of his profile photo, undoubtedly one of the most important elements to a viewer when deciding to swipe left or right – the viewer receives only the the faintest hint of flannel, or perhaps thrifty upholstery. (Has it occurred to the present writer that B— simply didn’t want his face plastered all over the blog? Perhaps. Shut up.)
It is not in what the author says, but in what he chooses not to say, that ultimately conveys his mastery of the medium, as well as his estimable level of attractiveness. The silences between his words generate an aura of laconic masculine mystique, a combination of traits to which he may never have explicitly alluded but which make themselves apparent long before he teases the ignorant with a line of unintelligible Japanese text. It is what hides between the lines that makes complete fools of all those who might swipe left.