May 13, 2004
Introducing: the low culture Subtext Finder

We live in a world full of sneaky journalists and duplicitous editors who hide the subtexts just below the, um... well, the text. How is a reader supposed to understand what an article is actually about if everything is all coded and coy?

That's where The low culture Subtext Finder comes in! Using our patented formula, we unearth a given article's subtext and bring it to you, the reader. Today's sample: A Mobile Link for 90 Mutual Friends from The New York Times' Circuits section. Using our formula, this article would be renamed Cool New Tool to Get You Laid. Now, read the new article with the subtext in the text (and in bold):

Gone are the nights when Brian Battjer left barhopping in New York to chance.

He took control of his social fate when he signed up for, a free social-networking service that is becoming popular with young singles. The site uses cellphone text-messaging to wirelessly connect thousands of friends, and friends of friends, to get laid.

Just hours after he subscribed, Mr. Battjer, 27, received his first Dodgeball message: Alyssa, a friend of his friend Greg, it read, was at Luna Lounge, only two blocks away. Mr. Battjer had never met Alyssa, but inspired by the thumbnail-size picture sent with the message, he decided to find her and get laid.


"Dodgeball has changed the social fabric of everything," he said. "The technology augments [getting laid] in a way that has never been done before."


Based on the mutual-friends model popularized by Web sites like Friendster, Dodgeball helps users meet up with their friends or new acquaintances - but while they're out on the town instead of sitting in front of their computers, where it's harder to get laid.


"It's like a shortcut," said Alexander Clemens, 36, a political consultant and Dodgeball user in San Francisco. "All it takes is one quick note to tell my friends where the party's at so we can all get laid."

Clay Shirky, an adjunct professor of communications at N.Y.U., predicts that with a little time and fine tuning, software that "caters to users' geography rather than their affinities" will [help you get laid] with the same force Friendster did two years ago.

"It has already been successful [getting people laid]," Mr. Shirky said. "But eventually, Dennis and Alex are going to figure out uses and applications they hadn't even thought of before."

Like, um, totally getting your ass laid!

Related: This article is like a Gothamist Interview Reunion: Brian Battjer, Dennis Crowley, Clay Shirky. Someone needs to cut Andrew Krucoff a check.

Posted in a Shallow fashion.

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