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… good writers like Caitlin Flanagan know how to tackle hopelessly tacky pointless topics. Faced, for instance, with writing about Melania Trump’s former BFF‘s tell-all, a publishing event registering magnitude minus one on the Richter Scale, Flanagan executes perfectly that old standby, the hilarious juxtaposition of high and low.

C’est entendu after all that her empty subject matter degrades anyone who approaches it; the only way to emerge unfilthed is to stop moaning and go the other way: resplendent-ify it by situating the nothingness within the world’s greatest, most substantive, cultural expressions.

The all-time great model for this approach, in SOS‘s humble opinion, is Drew Jubera’s piece on East Mississippi Community College (read and learn). When they go low, we go high is the technique. The lower the setting, the higher the cultural references. Try it and see if you don’t piss yourself laughing.

Now of course you have to be an extremely good writer (not to mention culturally literate) to do this thing. If you clicked on the Jubera link, you see how he did it. This is how Flanagan does it.

[A]t last we have a glimpse into the feelings and nature of our first lady, who has stalked through these past four years in high heels and a perfect blowout, her gaze pitiless as the sun.

Okay, hands? Do I see hands? Yes? Question over there?

What is the most famous line from Yeats’s The Second Coming doing at the end of this sentence? And why didn’t Flanagan write “slouched” instead of “stalked”? Though stalked is good super-modelogically, Yeats writes “slouches,” and supermodels also slouch…

But this is a quibble: By tossing into her review without comment this phrase from the crisis-ridden twentieth century’s highest-cultural poetic expression, Flanagan signals the base futility of her endeavor as well as the fun that might be had with it. Readers appreciate this sort of thing: The reduction of Yeats’s terrifying apocalyptic heartless beast to the runway robot’s belle indifférence … See what our world has come to kinda thing…

“I was there at the beginning,” [the ex-BFF] tells us, as though she had witnessed the separation of the Earth from the firmament, not bumped into a model in the Vogue offices.

Again grand Biblical/planetary language of inception is invoked in the context of the start of a chick flick.

[The BFF] describes working the inauguration as the 13th labor of Hercules…

Grand mythic sweep…

When [the BFF] explains that [Melania] will have to wear the clothes of an American designer to the inauguration, Melania is horrified. Her soul wounded, she cries out to the gods: “But I want to wear Lagerfeld!”

You get the idea.

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