“The Ride Together” Blog Post #1

Initial impressions are really hard to convey when it comes to books you’re assigned in classes. If we get down to the nitty gritty when it comes to first impressions, it’s almost always “dammit, another book I need to buy and pay money for for a couple months.”

 

An accurate depiction of college students reading.

That was my initial reaction to this book, I will be completely honest. I questioned why I had to read a book for a writing class. As I finally got over myself and looked at the back of the book, I got a bit enthused. It seemed like an interesting concept when it came do a narrative. Personally, I enjoy reading graphic novels and don’t have a problem with the medium whatsoever. I think it’s an excellent way to tell a story, particularly to right-brained people.

“Worst…Self-Diagnosis…Ever.”

“The Ride Together” has a style that works flawlessly, in my opinion. The fact that certain ideas and thoughts are specifically presented in either graphic style or textual style is a beautiful concept. Had it not been like this, I don’t think I would enjoy it as much.

 

Identify the rhetorical strategies used Judy’s narrative chapters. What does each rhetorical strategy enable her to do? How do they help her tell her story?

Judy’s chapter’s are the text based chapters that have a very strange and somewhat unusual longform style. Initially, the eye shies away from the writing style since it’s more of a long list than a coherent chapter. Instinctively we are drawn away from listing because it isn’t  aesthetically pleasing and conjurs up images of shopping at stores and/or McCarthyism.

“I have in my hands…A List… A List of Names… And snacks”

For the record, by “list format” I mean writing in very short and very thing paragraphs and spacing everything out.

However, when one gets over the fact that it isn’t a comic and isn’t pretty, it’s actually pretty interesting. The style that is used is that of pure simplicity and clarity. Judy makes things easy for the reader and tries to explain things at a ground-zero level of understanding because she clearly realizes that some of the readers might struggle to empathize with her family situation. At the same time, Judy’s simplicity makes it easy for people who can understand her situation as well.

As a reader, one strives to understand the underlying point and idea that the writer is getting at and, overall, this goal can be achieved easier when one writes in an easy style. Judy also makes this easy on us by using the first person. The combination of the easy writing and the first person makes her selections flow like a natural voice.

“A” voice, not “THE Voice”
Though Cee-Lo would make the situation easier.

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Finalized Storify and Reflection.

http://storify.com/cricci/spotify

 

In regards to constructing the Storify argument I made, I didn’t find putting it together entirely challenging. One thing that helped was the incredible prevalence of information on the internet. Storify certainly helped when it came to putting all these things together but I still found myself googling articles and placing the links in as opposed to using the tools offered by Storify. Call me “old school” if you will but my general routine fit my comfort zone. This being said, the tweet/youtube/facebook search options were absolutely stellar and made that part of my quest that much easier.

The part that normally took the longest (the hunt for articles) was surprisingly short because of the options provided by Storify. Had these options not been there it definitely would have taken longer.

I feel as though I did a good job composing everything in a logical format and the options provided by Storify helped me feel better about my craftsmanship. The way it looks aesthetically is equally pleasing and is definitely the best part of the entire experience. As proficient as I feel when it comes to constructing blogs and other similar posts, it’s awfully reassuring to see a drag-and-drop formatting option to make it all look right as I’m constructing it.

Self-appraisal aside, the Storify tool is only as good as the person using it. It’s definitely something that can be used to the advantage of any writer but, in the end, you need to be able to use it and make sense of it. Had I not taken time to analyze other Storify articles and mess around with the program freely prior to this article, I doubt I would have been as confident as I was.

I’d probably argue (with landslide results) that creating this article in Storify was 100% more fun and more efficient than most articles I’ve written in the past. There’s a sort-of egotistical sense of accomplishment when it comes to seeing your essay coming together right in front of your eyes while simply being able to drag and drop all the things you want or need in a logical order as opposed to bending over backwards and correcting everything to make logical sense. That’s the beauty of this tool overall. However, had this project been one strictly set in WordPress, I feel as though I still would have had fun overall.

The argument that I am trying to make is that the downloading culture that we are accustomed to is choking musicians and stunting careers before they are even feasible. I attempted to aim this discussion towards the current generation of college students or people guilty of downloading and streaming so they can see what the underlying problem is.

A lot of the choices I made in regards to the argument were in a comedic vein to try and lighten the mood. I also used more simplistic language so the point I was making would be conveyed in a lighter and easier fashion as opposed to a full on academic dissertation that would turn people off on the subject. I also leveled on various occasions and used direct examples of musicians and songs as a means to make the discussion more relatable to the reader and, overall, more realistic. After each argument, I reiterated the main point as a means to bring everyone back to the overall meaning of my paper and as to not lose the reader in incoherent psychobabble.

I think, overall, people shouldn’t have any sort-of trouble grasping any part of the article due to the simplicity of the writing as well as the superfluous amounts of articles and related material that the user can click on for more information or more clarification. Overall, I really hope that when people read it, they will have a better understanding of the situation and really think about what they’re doing. I also hope that, in doing that, they will take a step back and realize that there are more ways to be a supportive fan of music as well as art in general.

Storify

I recently tried my hand at creating a Storify post regarding an essay I recently wrote.

Overall, I liked it.

Credits roll, everything is resolved, I get the girl in the end, etc. etc. etc.

Clearly, I can’t leave my blog post at that. Allow me to fill it in a little bit.

Here’s a picture of Huey Lewis with a sea lion. Clearly it has nothing to do with this post and I have no idea what I am doing with my life.

The way that the website is set up makes things a lot easier when doing research. A Lot. In text citations are 500 times easier and sources aren’t only validated, but can be notified when you use them. The user interface is simple and foolproof. It’s actually quite unique in it’s setup in the sense that it really takes a lot of effort off of the writer and puts more emphasis on the facts and allowing the user to post them. If this kind of set-up was commonplace in blogs at their advent, we wouldn’t have to worry about unnecessary misinformation or blatant misquoting.

Case in point.

This being said, the service does have a slight flaw. It’s now 100% easier to spin facts and information for the benefit of your point. If you don’t want to talk about X, well, just Google the opposite of X and post all the facts about that. It’s sort-of a double edged sword in the end if you look at it that way; the idea you can use the same tool for equal representative views of both sides by doing the same thing.

 

The only downside to Storify (and with any other program that has an easy user interface) is that it doesn’t tell you or force you to rationalize. This is to say, Storify doesn’t read your article and go “alright, man, this is great and all but what about the other side?” As with all programs, this is entirely up to the user and no-one else. This can be a good thing or a bad thing. It’s good in the sense that, in all your grand naiveté, that you will realize how one sided your argument is and begin to research the other side of the argument in hopes that it will help cement your point even further. The fortunate thing is that finding a counterpoint is as easy as finding the point your trying to prove.

 

The bad thing about this is is that it allows one to become so deeply seeded in their idea that they can just research their point to the point where it’s just redundant. That’s a glaring problem with anything pertaining to mass media; it’s easy to find all different points but, at the same time, it’s a lot easier to find the same point multiple times. This is, of course, a problem on an academic level as well as an interpersonal level. If one keeps beating a point to redundancy, then their argument becomes less strong even though they found so many points relating to their idea.

 

This being said, Storify should be used with an open mind and an open understanding of the subject. Going into this program with the idea that you are going to use it maliciously just to get one point across is an appeal to spin media and is neglecting the options presented by this program. The fortunate thing about Storify is how easy it is and how it makes all forms of media easily accessible to anyone who bothers to use it. The only thing to keep in mind is to understand that there are multiple ways to use is since the program doesn’t scream and yell at you to be rational (yet).

I had no idea how to end this so here’s Huey Lewis again.

SEVENTH GENERATION IS AWESOME (Also, a talk about rhetorical analysis).

To begin, rhetorical analysis is, in short, a paper or an essay that goes ahead and dissects parts of a conversation or a paper and explains to the reader how all the parts, in turn, work together as one to make a point or an idea.

A PAYED ADVERTISEMENT FOR ‘SEVENTH GENERATION’ CLEANERS.

Hey, you! Yeah, YOU. Are you tired of normal cleaners and want something more awesome? Well, try SEVENTH GENERATION cleaners.

Your mom might think that Mr. Clean is the best type of cleaner but come on! She’s old, she doesn’t know what good cleaner is. I’m 22 years old, I’m cooler and younger than your MOM. (Ad Hominem and Ad verexundium).

Pictured Above: Your Mom.

In fact, the only people that use Mr. Clean are old people so it’s clear that Mr. Clean is for old people ANYWAYS! (Non sequitur). So you only got two choices here: be old like your MOM or be COOL and use “Seventh Generation” cleaners (Either/or).

Your chariot awaits, Mr. Clean supporters.

Know what’s so cool about “Seventh Generation” cleaner (besides the obvious fact that it’s COOL)? Well, it’s made of water. That’s right, WATER. And, as you know, we humans are 70% water. THEREFORE, we are actually 70% “Seventh Generation” cleaner! (Confusing Cause And Effect). Isn’t that pretty cool? We are walking BILLBOARDS for this awesome product already. Since you’re made of water and you’re still reading this, it means that “Seventh Generation” cleaner is safe and good to use since it’s made from the same stuff as YOU!

“Thank GOD I’m made of Seventh Generation cleaner!”

Let’s face it, I’m a cool person (unlike your mom and other old people). I’m not the only cool person. There are over a MILLION cool people using this product. Why aren’t you? Don’t you want to be cool like us? (Ad Populum). We know it’s an election year this year but why would you even give a damn about voting for the next leader of the free world when you can be a cool person and buy “Seventh Generation” cleaner?! (Red Herring).

See?! Every Ron Paul supporter knows how important “Seventh Generation” cleaning products are! That’s why they aren’t there!

How about you take a look at it this way: Your mom is OLD, right? And she’s been using Mr. Clean for as long as you can remember, right? Well isn’t it clear?! Your mom is OLD because she used MR. CLEAN. (Post Hoc). Doesn’t that suck? Imagine if I started using Mr. Clean; I’d be as old as your mom by now. Nope! I’m still 22 years old! Why? Because of “Seventh Generation” cleaner, THAT’S WHY. It’s clear that it’s the Fountain of Youth for your cleaning surfaces (and 70% of your body).

Step right up.

But anyways, I digress…

JUST KIDDING.

Are you still shocked at the whole Your-Mom-Is-Old-Because-She-Uses-Mr. Clean thing? YOU SHOULD BE because it’s pretty freaky. I mean think about it. Because she used Mr. Clean, your mom is old. And since she’s old, she’s older than you. And since she’s older than you, she has more power than you, and since she has more power than you, she’s controlling you. And since she’s controlling you, you’ll never be cool. Isn’t that messed up?! (Slippery slope). She’s also evil, too. Mr. Clean has bleach which means Mr. Clean products want you to ruin your clothes WHICH ISN’T COOL (Straw Man)

LOOK!! Mr. Clean ruined their pants and made them less trendy.

Now let me ask the ultimate question. Do you want to use Mr Clean? Or do you want to use a product that makes you cool, keeps you young, is made from the same stuff you are, and doesn’t ruin your clothes?

Just give me your credit card and I’ll make you cool right now.

Appeals Commercial

I decided to take the original and pretty lame Hoveround commercials and add a new spin to them. HERE’S MY VIDEO

For those who may or may not have experienced these commercials, here’s the original.

As you can tell from observing it, the audience it is directed to is a very distinct and, arguably, narrow audience. The imagery of the nursing homes and the grandchildren serve as weird ultimatums for the elderly who cannot walk with ease any more; if you can’t walk CLEARLY you’re going to go to a home and you’ll never see your grandchildren anymore.

The solution?

The Hoveround of course!

The commercial is full of information to help the elderly person make the choice that would give them mobility again, including imagery of helpful telephone assistants, the aptly named Tom Kruise, the plethora of elderly people hanging out with their families and doing the things they love. Clearly this commercial is more ethos and pathos driven as it gives you tons of information and doesn’t use much in the sense of imaginative sales tactics.

This is my problem with this commercial. It serves as an infomercial as opposed to a goofy commercial.

My goal with this commercial was to change it into a nonsensical pathos driven advertisement. Aimed particularly to younger gentlemen who want to be “cool” or “hip.”

In my video, I decided to remove any form of information. I also removed any instances of old people talking in the form of testimony. I kept in Tom doing his introduction to welcome the viewer to the product itself but that’s about it. I then found plenty of clips on Youtube of people doing stupid stunts on Hoveround’s and randomly placed them into the video amongst images of old people riding them around. For an added effect, I removed all the audio and replaced it with a song by the band The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion; a hard-rock/punk/blues band. I included a video of them preforming and randomly placed clips of it throughout the video as if the commercial was, in fact, a music video for the band preforming.

The end result is a video that is more rock orientated and more viewer friendly. Since it is not contextually stated that Hoverounds are for old people, the imagery of the band preforming and the kids preforming stunts on the device sell it successfully as more of a toy and less of an aid to those in need. Because of this, it’s clear that the commercial is much more pathos driven than the original. I feel as though the advertisement does succeed in the respect that it now successfully sells the product to a younger group of people and even more so because of the amount of misinformation.  The idea that a simple change of tune and context can make a product completely different is proven to be factual with this video.

Commercial Thoughts and Lack of Progress.

The idea of this project is really cool; it’s always fun to mentally imagine how certain things would be different in a movie or a book or any form of fiction. However, thinking how a commercial can be different is a different situation.

The thing that’s interesting is the fact that about 95% of commercials on evening television are Pathos driven. Is it because of our culture? Is it because we don’t care? Is it because deep down we like the idea of flashing images of girls in bikinis while being serenaded by the smooth musical styling of Motley Crue is a great way to sell a car?

“Hello, let us show you how wonderfully innovative this car is” said nobody in Motley Crue.

Lets face it, commercials are getting increasingly mindless for the sake of cutting costs. What’s cheaper? A payed sponsor talking about Insurance or a bunch of pyrotechnics and a talking lizard? The former, of course, but in the end people are more likely to remember the latter. For example, take into account how popular the Geico Cavemen commercials were about ten years ago. It was to the point where Geico separated the image of the cavemen from their commercials and started a sitcom based off of the run-on gag that the phrase “It’s so easy, a caveman can do it” is actually a racially intolerant statement since, obviously, Cavemen own nice apartments, dress in suits, and drink fancy drinks.

“Waiter? What were we sponsoring again?”

This being said, it’s easier for one to take a Pathos driven commercial and make it into a Logos or Ethos based one. However, I want to try to do the opposite; I want to find a completely legitimate and informative commercial and make it into a Pathos driven commercial. I have two ideas in mind for this.

 

The first idea being the old Apple computer commercials with Jeff Goldblum bantering about how cool they are. The commercials are full of information and, to top it off, are narrated by Jeff Goldblum; one of the dorkiest actors in recent history.

The best authority for computers.

If this was pathos driven, I could see it interlaced with explosions (a’la Independence Day) and/or dinosaurs (a’la Jurassic Park) whilst Jeff Goldblum serves as a sort-of hero using the Apple computers to stop this absurdly cartoonish violence. Giving the consumer the impression that computers can (and will) defeat dinosaurs. A concept that, though sounding absurd, isn’t out of the realm of advertisement possibilities.

The other commercial I was thinking about was one of the age-old classic “Hoveround” commercials

The antithesis of a Pathos driven advertisement.

Everyone has seen them; old people shown rolling around in pure ecstasy because the idea (present by the commercial) of a electronic wheelchair has given them a second shot at living their lives (side-note: it’s not like electronic wheelchairs are a NEW thing or anything, so these commercials are ironically re-inventing the wheel in the first place). The commercials tastelessly exploit older people and show them off as being either completely hopeless in the mobility department, but also living in a world of weird ultimatums where the idea that “if you can’t walk that means you will lose your house AND your family” are actually common place and the only solution is a Hoveround.

They try to make this up by showing some older people doing synchronized hover-driving, making birdhouses, and visiting the Grand Canyon. Despite this, the commercial still hilariously presents these people as being terrifyingly aged in an almost caricature fashion; some of the old ladies scream at the camera while the old men sit around and watch baseball or something.

“WHAT DID YOU SAY?! I CAN’T HEAR YOU OVER HOW AWESOME MY HOVEROUND IS!!!”

The commercials are laced deeply with factual information and statistics to the point where it seems like a miniature infomercial as opposed to an commercial. If this was a pathos driven commercial, I could see the soundtrack being replaced with a silly song about rolling around (Rollin’ by Limp Bizkit is a possibility) and just filled with images of people in Hoverounds doing awesome things.

Hoveround Wheelchairs: COOL PEOPLE ONLY.

Who needs facts anyway when you have loud music, crazy sequences, and star power?

Blog #6: “Ethos, Pathos, Logos”

Besides sounding like a goofy trio of villains in a historically inaccurate animated movie about Ancient Greece for children, Ethos Pathos and Logos are two very important things in the world of not only rhetoric, but basic discussion in any situation.  The terms themselves sound quite a bit more intimidating than they actually are, and the words are easy to define. Differentiating them, however, is a seemingly daunting task.

ETHOS

The idea of “Ethos” stems from the idea of credibility. In a nutshell, Ethos has to do with the authority of the person making the argument. For example, in a medical situation, if a claim is made about a particular substance by a man who has a PHD in the field itself has a stronger ethos than, say, a man on a soap-box in the middle of Boston Common making the same claim. However, the fact that they are both making sound claims, it could be argued that the ethos of the argument isn’t all that faltered, but the credibility of it is put into question with the soap-box man as opposed to the Doctor.

Snidely Whiplash wouldn’t be a good candidate to promote home security, for example.

LOGOS

Where Ethos has to do with the person making the claim, Logos reflects directly to the claim itself. The logic that is used to present an idea or argument as well as the facts in the claim or argument form the Logos. Like any situation, the more facts and testimony you use will help you pass off your ideas more fluidly. If, however, you’re lazy and don’t think that it’s important to back your claims up, this can lead to people not taking your idea seriously or you as a person seriously either.

Another part of Logos has to do with how the idea is conveyed. If you are good at detailing your thoughts or making your ideas more accessible to someone who might be a casual onlooker, you are more likely to get people behind your ideas. If you decide to half-ass it and decide to not talk clearly or fumble with your presentation, people might not take you seriously and might ignore your points.

Pictured Above: Impenetrable logic held tightly together by Logos.

PATHOS

Alright, you got your idea and you got your logic, now what? Well, you need to dress it up and sell it like nobody’s business. Pathos has to do with the more emotional, auditory, and visual means of conveying logic. For example, if you’re going to present an idea at a business meeting, it’s a good idea to look formal and look official as opposed to looking ratty and dirty when you walk in front of top executives. Logically, you’d wear a big suit and dress to impress so the people observing visually believe that you look like you should be presenting this information.

Yes, the biggest suit you can find. No if, and’s, or but’s. David would be a master at any business meeting.

Emotional appeals are always used in any argument, particularly in the news and on television. For example, one thing constantly argued is the severity of animal abuse. There are countless papers and articles about the subject, but the most powerful means of conveying the brutality of animal abuse is though visual means. Because of this, people universally agree that the Sarah Mclaughlin SPCA commercials are the most powerful and poignant when it comes to countering animal-abuse (also ruining “In The Arms of an Angel” for anyone with a heart).

An image that has lead to trillions of channel-flipping/television-muting instances around the globe.

Why is this the case? Well, visually, it appeals to our instincts that pets are cute and should be loved and that, when this is infringed, it’s really bad. It instinctively makes us all very upset and puts us in a situation where we visually see something dreadful on television but we cannot do anything about it, making us helpless and eager to do anything to fix the situation. It’s a winning argument using a very strong form of Pathos though, ironically, there are absolutely NO facts on the screen or any other form of logic to help balance out rational thought. Similar usages of this include the Montana Meth advertisements and any footage you see of the Vietnam war. All of these images, though not logically based, force us in a very off-balance flight-or-fight situation through Pathos that convince us instantly of a point (Abuse is bad/drugs are bad/war is bad).

Highly effective but, if misused, can be seen as a red herring.

Professor Plum’s “New Yorker” Essay

“As I’ve learned through past experiences, it’s better to recall and write down incidents that never happened at all as opposed to ones that are forever ingrained in your memory. People want (and prefer) a good story as opposed to something unrelentingly harsh and real. The life and abrupt demise of Colonel Mustard that I have chosen to write will be as true to me as it will be to him.

“A man like Mustard is a man who has been prone to awful luck since birth. Unfortunately for the Colonel, he was born in the wrong century. He would have been contempt living in the early 1900’s gallivanting through the Serengeti with a musket ball and a flask topped with brandy or even in the 1800’s triumphantly calling to his platoon as he single-handedly took down the Southern Resistance. This, of course, did not prevent him from trying to live out these historical possibilities.

“His love and lust for hunting is, posthumously, ironic when one is to look at the circumstances behind his death. Staring down the stock of his sidearm placing his future pair of boots in his cross-hairs was something Mustard lusted about. All the while blissfully oblivious that someone else would successfully give him a taste of his own blood lust.

“Maybe this is something that excited Mustard, maybe he felt that this form of earthly departure was fitting for a man in his situation. These are all things I would never know, nor would anyone else. This does not make the blow of his death any less poignant, no.   His death is something I would have never wished for, but it’s something that we all need to assure ourselves was constantly on the mind of the hunter.

“Any man worth his weight in alligator shoes knows of the risks of leading a hunt or stalking through alien territory. A man like Mustard has come to terms with this on many occasions not only by the places he goes, but also by the sport itself. I’m sure that each time he unlatched his gun-case (in the second cabinet below the whiskey on the third floor of his mansion next to the large panda pelt on the wall) and decided which tool will be fine enough to get the job done, he saw that the power that sat firmly in his hands only made sense because it rivaled what it was he was after in the first place.

“I was there when his life was taken from him and I wish that I hadn’t been. I and my colleagues were helpless when the lights faded and we were left in the shadow of our own mind and, potentially, irrational thoughts. The sound of his adversary and the resulting cascade of gore leaving but a crimson thought-bubble around his head left us all bewildered. His final thought was clear to all of us; he was not alone in this grim fandango and his dancing partner was still amongst us. I, as a man with two left feet, couldn’t possibly dance with death (especially with the lights off), but regardless of talent or will, we all agreed that his partner didn’t matter as much as the weight of his final pirouette. A man constantly dancing with death took his final curtain call on his own empty stage, and deserves the gratitude any performer has rightfully earned. His partner should not get the same glory.”

What was interesting about writing a non-fiction essay is the fact that it has a strong focus on reality (hence the title “non-fiction”). The writer of a non-fiction essay needs to have a strong sense of prowess in his writing abilities and strongly focus on not fictionalizing the events that you are mentioning. I made Plum go through this crisis at the beginning of this essay by making him rationalize with the reader the difficulty of writing a non-fiction essay (since he isn’t Gore Vidal or Noam Chomsky). At the same time, in saying this, I made Plum rationalize the fact that his stress on the facts in a non-fiction essay, in turn, rhetorically create a reality where what he says is true. Because of this, he can clear his mind by making it clear he isn’t the killer since the essay will be considered non-fiction by the people who read it, thus making the claims of his innocence true.

This is putting a lot of faith in the genre itself, but is something that Plum needs to remind himself of while writing. Due to his absent mindedness, he inadvertently points out oddly specific facts that would normally incriminate a man (the exact location of his gun case) but due to their factuality they can’t be disputed in the essay. A few times Plum stresses his innocence indirectly which can be taken as either an earnest attempt to clear his name or a blatant attempt to admit guilt.

Overall, the rationalization that Plum has is that since Mustard was a hunter, he was also a man who had to come to terms with death anyways so his death isn’t a shock so much as it is a bother. Since Mustard can’t really defend himself due to the fact that he is dead, Plum has the authority to write in whatever he pleases and claim that it’s something Mustard would agree with or believe in.

In the end, the idea of writing a non-fiction essay is a great way for one to clear their thoughts. However, it’s also a good way for someone to rhetorically alter reality and pass it off as something true when done correctly. Plum, in this case, exploited the genre due to him knowing that if his manufactured innocence is marketed as “non-fiction,” then in the eye of the public he will actually be an innocent man.

Blog #4.5: “The Rhetorical Situation”

To begin, it should be noted that I am doing this in the wrong order. I was a little too eager and did the blog that was due on September 17th before the one that was due on September 14th (hence the title).

Pictured Above: The Time Machine I would use to correct this horrendous blog error.

For the sake of my error, I will now write the rest of this blog in the past-tense to give the viewer the impression that this blog was actually submitted on the correct date:

I read the article “The Rhetorical Situation” by Lloyd Bitzer and it was clear that he knew what he was talking about. To clarify, Blitzer’s writing style was dense enough to give off the impression that he knew what he was talking about but, in the end, succeeded in bouncing around the point long enough to give off the idea that he knew what he was talking about.

The dense rhetorical fog caused by Lloyd’s writing made it hard to find my way home after reading it.

Fortunately, the questions proposed made it clear that I had to come up with a definition as opposed to finding Lloyd’s definition.

QUESTION #1: Define “Exigence”

To define “exigence,” I had to remember my days laboriously dragging my sorry self through philosophy courses back in the day. Though the word itself seemed intimidating, the definition was something a lot more simple to convey. Exigence is the catalyst to rhetorical conversation; the idea that causes one to discuss rhetorically.

QUESTION #2: Define “Audience”

Despite the name, it doesn’t necessarily have to do with the people observing the discussion. The audience is the person (or persons) that the discussion is directed to.

How I picture my rhetorical audience (and potentially the people looking at this blog [I hope not])

QUESTION #3: Define “Constraints”

With discussion (or anything at that matter) there are certain things you cannot do depending on your situation. Constraints are things that you cannot do rhetorically because of your social position or your morals. For example, if you’re an employee at an office, you position restricts you from yelling at customers and those higher up than you because you’re in a position where defiance can have a negative impact not only on your career, but any rhetorical point you try and get across.

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeven if your boss has you come in on Saturday.

QUESTION: #4: “Write what you understand and don’t understand about Bitzer’s concept of the rhetorical situation”

All the points made in Blitzer’s concepts made complete sense to me. However, one thing that did bother me was the style which he wrote it. It’s something that really can be said for most of the authors who specialize in rhetorical studies; Why on Earth do the heads of coherent rhetorical though deem it completely necessary to bounce around subject matter and use completely outlandish ways to compare A and B. For example, Blitzer made it clear that he was going to sketch an idea of rhetorical situation. However, instead of something that makes sense upon reading, Blitzer made a strange analogy with John F. Kennedy that really didn’t make any sense until the reading was over.

A depiction of how I took my anger out on Blitzer’s writing style/my computer.

On a side note, I am trying to look at these articles from an outsider perspective as opposed to someone that is already versed in the ways of rhetorical discussion. Out of the articles I read, it’s clear that the people who are major proponents of rhetoric know what they are saying. However, I found it ironic that they decide that the best way to rhetorically convey their point is to bloat it with an insane amount of analogies and comparisons that are not only irrelevant to most coherent conversation, but also unnecessary in the grand scheme of things. If they wanted to rhetorically prove a point about rhetoric, wouldn’t it make more sense to make it more accessible to someone on the outside looking in while still maintaining all the points you really want to make to those who are already well versed in rhetoric? I feel as though bloating your papers to the point of irrelevancy isn’t a good way to convey a point, especially to people who might not know what the hell you’re talking about in the first place.