Breaking the ZACH Code

Team of Experts
Originally uploaded by p2son.

All week people have spectulated as to the exact meaning of Zach’s cryptic blog post on August 2nd. Throughout the blogosphere, people have attempted to break the code to unearth what Zach is trying to say.

Well, I have assembled a team of experts to decipher once and for all the REAL meaning behind Zach’s message. On my team I have two socio-linguists, an anthropologist, a psychologist, a theologian and a plumber (he’s my uncle and wanted to help out)

After doing a thorough text analysis, these are our findings.

In the 509 words that Zach wrote in 47 lines, he uses the word and 10 times but only uses the word but five times (and never uses the word butt at all).

The word and indicates the need to connect which outweighs his desire to contradict. (My uncle, the plumber, noted that if Zach’s words were connecting pipes they would most likely be made of Cross Linked Polyethylene–but none of us have a clue what that means).

Zach uses the conditional word if only three times which reveals he has or may not have been under harsh conditions. If he were under harsh conditions, then he would have said so, unless he wasn’t and felt he didn’t need to mention it.

Most strikely is that he uses the article the 15 times but only uses the article a seven times which indicates a leaning towards fundamentalism. (example: the truth vs. a truth: which he never says, but it is a good example all the same or for instance in plumbing terms, the leak vs. a leak)

Zach uses the word so one time but also uses the word sooo one time…sooooo that means…well we all know what THAT means. (What does it mean???)

He does not ever write the words yes or no which strongly suggests that he has not made up his mind, unless of course he has and he is just playing with us.

Finally, he uses words referring to himself (I, I’ve, I’m, me and the widely used internet version of I’m–im) 50 times. Fifty! L!

The experts I’ve consulted all agree that this means that Zach’s blog posting is about ZACH–not about the “ex-gay” movement, LIA, the gay agenda, phallic fruits, Tom Cruise, Calvin Klein or Pat the Bunny.

It’s about Zach.

Soooo Zach, our panel of experts hopes that in the midst of the media madness you can have a good laugh and enjoy what’s left of your summer vacation with no worries about what labels to wear or not to wear–we mean of course labels like gay or straight or “ex-gay”, not Calvin Klein and A&F.
(We all agree that those are way too gay and way overrated.)

This post has 14 Comments

  1. Anonymous on August 5, 2005 at 6:21 am

    That was beautiful.

  2. Srina on August 5, 2005 at 10:51 am

    hey you, it’s me, cml. remember i told you about “srina” the other day?

    anyway. i just spent about half an hour reading through zach’s posting and some of the myriad responses he got. all i could think as i read the comments was that, even when they didn’t seem like it (and probably didn’t even intend to) the vast majority of them were psuhing their own agendas and saying what they said to address what they needed. i also felt horrible for zach, who has said he doesn’t want to be but is most certainly still at the epicenter of a maelstrom. i wish that people could take up their own issues directly rather than living them vicariously through a young man who needs support and space (space!) to make his way through.

    i’m rambling. what i wanted to say to YOU is that, as usual, you hit on just the right response. compassion, humor, space. your uncle the plumber is clearly a wise man. as is, by the way, the bread man. no wonder you turned out so great!

  3. Willie Hewes on August 5, 2005 at 12:38 pm

    LOL! Perfect!

    I’m glad we know now. Peterson, what would we do without you?

  4. ColeWake on August 5, 2005 at 1:28 pm

    That was great!

  5. abbyladybug on August 5, 2005 at 1:30 pm

    Man, Peterson. You are a gentleman and a scholar. Beautiful analysis. I thought about joining MySpace to comment, too, but I decided that really, he wants to hear from his peeps, and I’m just happy to hear he’s doing OK. He needs friends, not “own agenda pushers,” because that’s what a lot of the comments were. LOVE this post of yours. Very excellent.

  6. Hopespringseternal on August 5, 2005 at 4:56 pm


    I absolutely adore you and your wit. Remeber when the LIA guy Tommy was asking you if you were from Russia because of your fasionable hammer and sickle shirt? You replied “Well, we’re in a red state and I thought I’d wear a red shirt.” I’ve told that joke to my whole family and believe me, you’ve got a future on the Russian immigrant comedy circuit.

    As for all this, I hope you’ve read the QAC post about Zach and how we feel. Personally, I’ve always thought and acted as though this was not just about him. I mean the match that starts a forest fire is important but you have to deal with the fire, not the match at some point.

    Also I wanted to let you know that I’m about to start writing columns for, I think under the title “Queer Thoughts”.

    Take care,

  7. Bruce Garrett on August 5, 2005 at 7:01 pm

    Great Post! Next time somebody emails me about Zach’s blog I’ll refer them to it.

    Loved the crack about wearing labels. That was precious. I’m in Portland for a software developer’s conference and discovered the other day that I hadn’t packed enough socks. I went to a place near my hotel and saw some CKs and bought them just…just…just Because!

  8. Anonymous on August 5, 2005 at 7:09 pm

    I’m not a linguist (so I’d defer to whatever Peterson crack team of specialists says 🙂 but MY take on it was that Zach feels really stuck. His pre-LIA post sounded relatively gay positive. While this one doesn’t, I don’t know that it necessarily means he’s been “brainwashed” (whatever that means).

    It sounds to me like he’s feeling *harrassed*, really. If he says one thing on his blog (and you KNOW his parents are reading it, right?), then THEY’LL put pressure on him. If he says something too “anti-gay” then he’ll get lots of posts from gay people pushing their own agendas, too. (Which it seems has happened already.) He’s a victim of agenda-pushing. And so he’s trying to sound as neutral as he can, as an act of self-preservation.

    That’s my take on it, at least. I feel really sorry for him, in any case.


  9. PBCliberal on August 5, 2005 at 8:43 pm

    Looks like Love in Action may have helped turn Peterson Toscano into a cunning linguist after all.

    Great piece.

  10. Clint from GCN on August 6, 2005 at 4:08 am

    No-one should have to go through what he’s going through *now*, not to mention before. And he’s only 16. Oy. Let him grow up, people.


  11. tony g on August 8, 2005 at 3:58 am

    hey, that was perfect!

    and thanks for dropping by milkriver . . .

    all my best,
    tony g

  12. Daniel Gonzales on August 8, 2005 at 7:47 pm

    They consider AnF gay? Wow 2xist must be so gay it’s off their radar.

  13. Steven Bakos on August 10, 2005 at 9:10 pm

    Great analysis, Peterson!! LOL!

    You can clearly see Zach has, unfortunately, adopted some of LIA’s phrasiology such as:
    “one-sided (biased) agendas”

  14. Annika on August 25, 2005 at 2:11 am

    You’re the best, Peterson. 🙂

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