Earlier in the semester, we did an exercise where we tried to use logical fallacies to sell a product (‘SEVENTH GENERATION’ CLEANERS) via a textual advertisement. When I wrote it down, I decided to take a more aggressive route and turn it into an in-your-face style advertisement that insulted you and your family if you didn’t decide to buy or accept the product. One sentence that stood out as one of my favorites to write is as follows:
“So you only got two choices here: be old like your MOM or be COOL and use ‘Seventh Generation’ cleaners.”
This sentence isn’t one that I find necessarily deep but, overall, I think that what it’s asking would be intensified LESS if there was visual accompaniment. The way that it’s worded forces the reader to look at their own life and put the things that they visually know to be true into question. Since I don’t state how their mother looks physically, reading this sentence (or the 30 other times I mention their mother) forces them to imagine their mother in the sentences’ context. When I call into question the coolness of their mom without any sort-of visual aid, it forces the reader (for a split second) to think about their mom as being the antithesis of cool. To put it another way, say I was to mention to you that your friend had a really weird way of laughing compared to you. Initially you may be hesitant to accept it. However, as you notice your friend laugh more and more, you will begin to understand what I mean and start believing that they have a weird laugh (even if that’s not the case). The mother idea is similar; when posed with a strong comment about the characteristics of someone you know, you will begin to analyze it in a defensive way at first but then come to an understanding about it later on.
This is where the other mediums take a toll on the idea. If I was to do a visual sentence, I would have to physically personify in a visual manner some sort of analog that would be the basis of the “mother” in this sentence. The problem with this is that if I want the reader to actually relate or understand what I’m getting at, I would actually have to portray their mother. Since my chances of accurately portraying one reader’s mother visually is one in 3.5 billion, I will take a chance and say that it would be near to impossible. This forces me to go with the alternative; portray an old woman and make an assessment that that’s the embodiment of their old mother. However, the human mind is more akin to denounce this comparison and view the image as satire if they can’t really relate to it. Imagine if someone was to walk up to you and say “your mom’s old, see?!” while pointing at a picture of a really old woman you’ve never seen before. You’d probably laugh and say “that’s not my mom/that’s not funny/shut up.” The poignancy of the point is diminished when you can’t relate to the reader on even the most basic level.
Clearly, this is something to take into account whilst writing the paper or doing the project. If there are points that I really want to hit home, it would be best if I could actually contextualize them in a way that the reader can relate to as a means to keep my point strong. I don’t want to lose the reader because of a silly embodiment of an idea that they are supposed to embrace as reality when they know full on that it isn’t real at all. In short, if I wish to make my project real, I need to keep it real for the reader.