Big Fat Nerd Wedding

06.27.13

11 Juiciest Bits from Sean Parker’s TechCrunch Rant

Sean Parker has some words for the haters (especially the media) about his wedding in an epic 9,500-word rant on TechCrunch. Sarah Langs combs through it to find his best justifications for the elaborate affair.

(1) The Love Story:

Right off the bat, Parker sets his readers up for a loving couple, one deserving of the wedding they’d always dreamed of: “My wife Alexandra and I met five years ago, fell in love, and almost immediately began fantasizing about our wedding day, which, we both agreed, should take place deep within an enchanted forest.”

(2) The Scenery:

Parker adds imagery to the setting, pulling the reader into he and his wife’s own fantasy world. How could something that sounds so picturesque be wrong? “Eventually our guests reached a beautiful gate in a clearing, just prior to entering the forest. Through that threshold, they left the ordinary world behind and entered an extraordinary world imagined as a kind of collaborative art project between me and my wife-to-be, Alexandra.”

(3) The First Bump in the Road:

Lest the reader be lured into thinking that idyllic forests are easy to come by, Parker sets the record straight: “finding an old-growth redwood grove suitable for a wedding is no easy task.”

(4) The Defense of Nature:

As Parker begins to enumerate the charges and insults levied against him from environmentalists, he points out a crucial fact that most nature-phobes would agree with:

“Nobody chooses to get married in a redwood forest unless they love redwood forests.”

(5) The Scientific Angle:

To combat this backlash from a more technical perspective, Parker reminds the reader that he had already called in the experts. “In the days leading up to the wedding, multiple biologists visited the site and their reports confirmed ‘no increased turbidity’ in the stream, meaning no ‘sedimentation’ had occurred.”

(6) The Lighthearted Note:

Amid an article seeping with technical jargon regarding California’s Coastal Commission and orders issued by Monterey County, Parker goes for the giggles when he compels the reader to imagine Parker’s friends dressed as wizards and goblins. A silly costume wedding? That can do no wrong! “It was also a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to force 364 otherwise self-respecting adults to dress up in elaborate fantasy-inspired costumes, a feat of mischief that we were delighted to attempt.”

(7) The Creation of the Villain:

Though the first portion of Parker’s piece focuses mainly on the outcry against his wedding, he then zeroes in on who is to blame for your negative perception of this beautiful wedding: the media. The biggest mistake we made in wedding planning was forgetting about the media: that silent, invisible dragon breathing down our necks all along.”

(8) The Appeal to the Reader’s Sympathies:

Not shy about his affinity for writers like Tolkien, Parker comes right out and admits that he and his wife are nerdy. Whether this leads the reader to recall personal moments spent avoiding social interaction in high school or moments teasing those same people, Parker is certainly hoping for sympathy and empathy.

“And as the press has speculated, we threw something of a big fat nerd wedding. Alexandra and I have always been fantasy buffs, in particular devotees of ‘high fantasy.’”

(9) The Whining:

Since most people know his name from the movie, Parker brings up The Social Network and defends the fact that he was not portrayed in a good light then, either. Of course, given his affinity for fantasy, he takes this repeated villainous characterization to mean that perhaps he is becoming a myth. “I’ve been used as a plot device before—the film The Social Network established this caricature of me in the media’s imagination: the morally reprehensible ‘brogrammer’ douchebag. I had been mythologized. The more I thought about this notion, the more I began to realize that myths are stories that have a life of their own, stories so good that people keep telling and re-telling them, even if they’re not true. I suppose the myth that was created about me was too good of a story for people, including the media, to stop telling it. This myth about me lives on in spite of me, and after I’m gone, it may even live on without me.”

(10) The Experiment Gone Wrong:

Parker discusses his involvement with Facebookand that the Internet has changed in terms of anonymity since he first got into the business. He essentially tries to say that his own monster came back to bite him: that the same anonymous screen he helped to burn away then returned to make the insults thrown his way sting even more and opened up the arena for the dismantling of his image to happen in the first place. “And yet, as if by some process of karmic retribution the mediums I dedicated my life to building have all too often become the very weapon by which my own character and reputation has been mercilessly attacked in public. No thanks to the moderating powers of identity and accountability, users of these mediums are happy to attack me publicly, in plain view, using their real names and identities, no veil of anonymity required.”

(11) The Reminder of the Beautiful Setting:

Just in case, thousands of words in, the reader has forgotten that this wedding did no wrong because it was pretty, here’s another piece of imagery. Not many wives would stand for being compared to a cavernous tree. “The last two weeks have demonstrated just how cruel and senseless the online community can be. But Alexandra and I are pretty resilient people, and like the redwood trees we were married under, we’ve survived worse insults. There is no point pouting about what happened; we’re better off making the best of a bad situation.”