Analyzing Durdens ZeroHedge Website Essay

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.....rhetorical choices used by Tyler Durden on his website ZeroHedge are appropriate to the audience, judging by the numerous comments in the comment section. The website presents itself as an anti-Establishment blog on financial matters while also touching upon socio-political topics as well. The site is basic in terms of visual appeal: it uses black text on a white background. The only color comes from ads displayed on the pages (but those are easily blocked with an ad blocker). The profile picture that Durden uses when posting articles is a torso shot of Brad Pitt's character from Fight Club and the site's slogan is a line taken from the film/book: "On a long enough time line, the survival rate of everyone drops to zero." The site's main thesis is that there is no to "hedge" against the coming economic collapse -- i.e., there is no protection because the markets are rigged, the politics are corrupt, and the can will only be kicked so far. Thus, Durden's tone is appropriately sarcastic, often sharply cynical or satirical, and typically skeptical of any mainstream narratives that offer a hopeful "solution" to the myriad problems that plague modern society.



For Durden to continue to attract visitors to his website, it is recommended that he continue on with the rhetorical devices that he often uses in his posts. Durden often makes use of allusion ("since Lehman" is a common expression found in numerous posts -- "biggest drop since Lehman," "worst print since Lehman," "highest peak since Lehman," etc.). It works sufficiently for the site's purposes.
Durden also characteristically applies understatement to achieve a sardonic effect. For example, Durden might say something like "Quantitative Easing has caused a slight bubble in the markets" -- it is a tongue in cheek way of communicating the fact that the markets are in an enormous bubble that has been inflated by the Fed. The readers understand this and it is the kind of humor they really appreciate.



Thus, Durden does very well in appealing to his audience. He achieves his purpose every day, as numerous posts throughout the day keep readers coming back to see the latest report on stocks, banks, gold, the economy, politics, and the world in general. The tone that Durden uses is appropriate in the context of what is being achieved. It is a sardonic tone that is employed, but the tone is well-liked by readers as they commonly express their disgust for mainstream media narratives and mainstream "fake news" -- which is another expression that Durden loves to use when referring to other news sites.



The consistency of the point of view is also sufficient. However, there is a tendency for the site to get into a groove where it repetitively posts points of view that irritate readers, as the comments indicate. For example, when Durden posts the points of view of several mainstream media outlets over….....

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References

Durden, T. (2017). ZeroHedge. Retrieved from http://www.zerohedge.com/

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