Post 9: Rhetorical Criticism – Final Reflective Blog Post

 Introduction

When I first started English 301, I was excited to begin this course. I love studying popular media in my free time and analyzing the core rhetoric of the objects. My favorite type of popular culture is memes. When the class began, we covered different perspectives on popular media. These perspectives provided me with different aspects of what popular media is condoning or rejecting. In addition to studying these perspectives, the class is required to do postings on their analysis of the perspectives. This exercise as well as my Critical Essay 2  improved my rhetorical skill.

Understanding the Perspectives

Before this course, I understood rhetoric as anything can view as rhetoric. In other rhetoric classes, I studied other definitions of rhetoric such as Cicero’s definition of rhetoric. Which is, ” A good speaker, speaking well”. In this class, popular media is the main focus. The textbook talks about how popular culture influences us and how we view the world. One of the terms that brought up is called Mediated Popular Culture. This is defined, “as the everyday objects, actions, and events we experience through media channels that may influence us to believe and behave in certain ways” (Sellnow 3). From this definition, we get an understanding of how the media is rhetoric. This also strengthened my previous understanding of rhetoric.

Symbolic Convergence

I understand that rhetoric in popular media is more visually rather than words. That is because, in our day and age, we have social media and video distribution platforms such as Youtube. We are flooded with all kinds of information, and that is caused people to accept different identities and even embracing different cultures. One of the best examples, I cover is my Symbolic Convergence posting of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. That film and book present the audience on both the drug culture and the 1960’s counterculture.

Symbolic Convergence defines as a group of us vs them mentality, and that is what this book and film represent the 1960’s drug counterculture. However, it is still popular with the Baby Boomers and even with Gen Z for the rebellious messages. Despite this, I failed to capture a topic that really captured all of Gen Z. The older generations know this and enjoy it, but unless you are a fan of Hunter S. Thompson or Johnny Depp, you would not be familiar with the book or the film. The internet does help obscure films to be accepted and reach mainstream acknowledgment, but that is not always the case. I learned that day is that do more thorough research on the demographics of a media topic before presenting it.  The best perspective that I found to the most interesting to study the popular media was the Neo-Marxist Perspective.

Neo-Marxist Observations

When I heard the phrase Marxist, the image that went through my head was the communist movement during the early 20th century. However, the textbook pointed out that it is not the intention of the perspective. This is based on Karl Marx’s ideology of the class struggle and the hierarchy. The main goal of this perspective is, “expose material conditions and economic practices shape dominant ideology regarding taken-for-granted assumptions about who ‘ought not to be’ empowered” (Sellnow 135). One of the activities we did in class was looking at one of the pictures and analyze the context and hidden rhetorical message with this perspective. It also gave me a new perspective on how consumerism affects how people and persuading people to buy things.

Rhetor Effectiveness

In order to be efficient at anything, you must know the important foundational parts. With this course, we analyzed the main ideas and representations of the culture. The blog is one of my favorite rhetorical exercises because it allows me to present an artifact without as much stress as a regular presentation. One of the favorite presentations is the previous post, for the Media Centered Perspective. This perspective I covered the Fallout franchise and it allowed my skills as a rhetor to come out. The imagery of the franchise contains many rhetorical messages, that the audience or players are exposed to. It contains the existentialist dread of the end of the world, human nature, communities uniting, and cultural reality.  This topic is the one I used for my Critical Essay 2. In a lot of ways, I learned that I am good at writing rhetoric, but there are some struggles that I need to work on for the future.

The biggest struggles are my public speaking, I have a stuttering problem when I am presenting sometimes. My biggest fear is that my audience would find it boring or uninteresting. This causes me to make my presentations feel sloppy. The largest struggle is understanding my audience. Despite being in the Gen Z demographic, I do not have a complete understanding of that group.  That is because I am not on social media, most of my friends are older than me, and I focus on my work. However, despite this, I still try to do research on what is popular to know my audience.

Despite these struggles, I know that there is no such thing as a perfect rhetor. Life is a learning experience. That is what makes it fun, we are all going to have struggles, it is what just makes us human.

Effects on Future

My goal after this course is to apply what I learned for my next classes. The experience in presenting is always beneficial to have at any time in life. When I graduate in 2021, I am hoping to transfer to the Appalachia School of Law. The skills that I learn here will be beneficial at the law school. In some ways, it is required, because what they will be doing a lot is mock court cases to practice being in a courtroom scenario. For those who do not know, law schools are set up similarly to colleges in that there are preliminary courses before deciding your major. This is the same in law schools, students take a couple of courses that are required for freshmen, and then you pick you a certain branch of law you would want to pursue. The particular field I am interested in Administrative, which is legal documentation and even governmental law. In these preliminary classes, everyone would have to perform in a mock court case with a client you have to defend.

Rhetoric plays a role in the court because you have to argue with logic and reasoning to persuade the judge and jury (audience) to your side. Understanding what is popular with your audience it would help strengthen your charismatic power in the courtroom.

Conclusion

Popular media is all around us. The messages we see every day affect us as people. This course presented me with that knowledge and now I have the tools in understanding the audience’s mindsets. Rhetoric is simply the communication of the ideas and thoughts of the speaker or the medium.

Post Thoughts

I hope everyone has a good summer and I hope to see most of you guys next year. Stay cool and stay healthy.

-John Ward

Quote Citations

Sellnow, Deanna D. The Rhetorical Power of Popular Culture: Considering Mediated Texts. SAGE, 2018

 

 

 

 

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Post 8: Fallout Media Centered Perspective

Media Centered Perspective Def: “uses social science methods to examine audience responses to media messages. Popular culture critics, however, may also draw upon many of these theories to examine the rhetorical arguments proposed to them. ” (Sellnow 267)

Effects on Critical Essay 2:

For Critical Essay 2, I am selecting this topic due to my interest and understanding of the artifact. Another reason I am selecting this is also it has a large media popularity and cult following. For example, the smiling Pip-Boy is very iconic and it is the first character when you think of Fallout. It appears on all of the promotional art and is in the game menus. It also has a dark double meaning. The character is not smiling at you but it goes back to the Cold War belief that if you see a mushroom cloud, put your thumb up and point toward the cloud. If your thumb covers the cloud you are at a safe distance if the explosion is bigger your thumb you better run for some cover. However, if you did not know the meaning behind the thumb or have not played the games, you would assume that he is just smiling with a friendly thumbs up. This image demonstrates the tone of the Fallout franchise. It is mostly dark humor and sci-fi inspired.

Rhetorical Situation

Style Breakdown

This video game franchise is highly popular with gamers and non-gamers alike. The selected video comes from the first Fallout released in 1997. In this first game, the particular style is a combination of 1950’s sci-fi futuristic with a slight Mad Max combination. However, starting with Fallout 3 it followed the 1950’s futurism style completely.

Fallout’s Main Story

As mentioned in the intro the story of Fallout takes place decades after a nuclear war. In this universe, the timeline diverged from our own. According to the Fallout Bible, which is written by the creator of the game Chris Avellone. The divergence happened after World War II, in our timeline the United States and most of the world conducted research into miniaturizing computer technology.

However, in Fallout, the United States pursued the miniaturization of nuclear and atomic technology. Which allowed the miniaturization of nuclear fission cores. Despite this marvel of technology, the war still had problems with resources. Ironically, since the United States developed a near limitless supply of energy, its basic technology such as cars and other fossil fuel still relied on those sources of energy up until the 2050s. Since most of the world did not have that kind of technology the rest of the world had to fight in the Resource Wars. This caused America to go to war with China over the last oil well in Anchorage, Alaska. Which you can play in Fallout 3 in the dlc Operation Anchorage. In 2077, the Great War happened which was a brief nuclear war that wipes out most of humanity, leaving the world in a charred wasteland. It is still debated in the Fallout community on who dropped the bombs first. Even the creator of Fallout leaves it a mystery on purpose.

In the intro, it mentions, “A few were able to reach the relative safety of the large underground vaults.” (FalloutWiki 2) In the video, it discusses the many shelters called “vaults” that protected people from nuclear annihilation. Your main character is a vault dweller. Like other role-playing games (RPG’s), you select your character’s gender, age, stats, perks, and karma. Once you finish your character and begin the game. In the later part of the video the Overseer, who acts as both the main quest giver tells you that the vault needs a water chip that purifies the water in the vault. As he mentions, “No water, not vault”. In the game you have a certain amount of time to find the water chip, if you do not do this and not find the chip by the end of the given timer, you lose the game.

How does this apply Media Ecology Theory?

This applies the media ecology theory because of its success as a game and a following in media. When it first came out, it brought the player a free-roaming map, which was new at the time. It gave the people freedom to explore and with the role-playing elements they could be any character they wanted. If you wanted to be a thief and steal, you can, you wanted to be a good person and restore order to the wasteland that was an option.

What made it a huge success was the bleak and dark atmosphere. The music created by Mark Morgan channeled the post-apocalyptic emptiness. The best piece of music from the soundtrack that creates the tone is entitled “City of Lost Angels”. This is a play on words is referencing where it plays. It plays in the section of the game in the ruins of Los Angelos, called the Boneyard in-game.

Another aspect of the game is the simple, yet complex story which you choose the ending. There are multiple ending depending on your game choices. This allows players to have replayability to reflect on their moral choices in the game. What makes it interesting aspect is the moral greyness of the series. There are many factions you can join in all of the games with their own backstories that do affect the game world.

Outside the Game World

Outside the game world, it is well-known thanks to the internet and there are  Youtube channels dedicated to this game series. An excellent example of a popular Fallout YouTuber by the name of Oxhorn who covers in-depth of almost all of the Fallout games. There are a total of 9 games in total. However, one is more of a mobile game exclusive that was released later on all gaming systems. That game is Fallout Shelter released in 2015, along with Fallout 4.

There are big divisions in the Fallout fans, the Fallout purists and the regular gamers. The Fallout purists are the ones who only prefer the original 3 games as cannon. Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout: Tactics.  The reason why is due to Bethesda buying the franchise from the original company Interplay. They argue that Bethesda has changed the cannon and added poorly written stories and characters in the later games. The games that were developed by Bethesda are Fallout 3, Fallout 4, Fallout Shelter, and Fallout 76. The only game that both fans ignore is the game Fallout Brotherhood of Steel which was developed by Interplay in 2005 for the original Xbox.  However, both fan groups do love Fallout New Vegas which was developed by Chris Avellone.

With a huge fanbase comes a large market for merchandise. Bethesda loves to make merchandise. They made a lot of merchandising either to promote or to encourage people to buy the games.

Fallout Merchandise 

The three most successful merchandising was the officially licensed action figures that are primarily sold in Gamestop and Amazon. 

 

 

The other one was a soda-based off an in-universe soda called Nuka Cola Quantum back in 2015 during the release of Fallout 4.   This was successful that the soda company could not keep up with the demand for soda.

 

 

 

They also have a monopoly game released in the theme of the Fallout universe as well.

 

Effects in Popular Media

Fallout has also gotten the attention of late talk shows. One of the popular late-night talk show hosts, Conan Obrien also did a skit to promote the release of Fallout 4.

Here we see Conan wearing the blue vault suit and the other merchandise from the game. The blue vault suit is what your created character wears in most of the games as a starter outfit, with the exception of Fallout Tactics, Fallout NV, and Fallout Brotherhood of Steel.

Like any popular media cosplaying in common in large Comic Con centers and also other conventions. Here is an example of a fan dressed as a New California Republic ranger. This is one of the factions in both the first two Fallouts and New Vegas. However, the ranger is first scene in New Vegas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Concluding Thoughts

Fallout is a simple yet complex series that brings people together to play in a post-apocalyptic world. Each game has its own story and particular fanbase. Fans have also united into the official Fallout wiki which is where I got the intro quote piece, narrated by Ron Pearlman. This wiki is always updated with each new release of a Fallout title.

Fallout also has brought some philosophical and moral questions in each of the games such as what lengths would a person do to survive and how would you survive the apocalypse? Another aspect is how would you rebuild society, from scratch? These questions are up to the player’s choice.

 

Works Cited:

“Fallout Intro.” Fallout Wiki, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License , fallout.fandom.com/wiki/Fallout_intro.

Sellnow, Deanna D. The Rhetorical Power of Popular Culture: Considering Mediated Texts. SAGE, 2018.

Links to Websites:

Oxhorn- https://www.youtube.com/user/ClassyManIAm

Fallout Wiki-https://fallout.fandom.com/wiki/Fallout_Wiki

 

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Post 7: Mad Men Lipstick Scene

Information about Mad Men

Mad Men is a show that is about the culture of marketing and advertising during the mid-20th century. The show covers many themes such as capitalism, sexism, gender, and sexuality.

Rhetorical Situation

In this selected scene, it first shows a group of top executives discussing the new brand of lipstick. What is important about these scenes is that it is all men deciding what women should wear. What makes this scene very cringy is that they are testing the women with a room of mirror and the brand of lipstick is a coordinated area. It has a dystopian feel, with all of the female employees are sitting and following the instructions of a woman who has a clipboard.

The male executives are watching this as entertainment. One man, even asks one of the men if he could masturbate to the women putting on lipstick. It is very disgusting to see the men drooling at this behind hidden glass while women are innocently putting on makeup. For additional information, this show takes place before second-wave feminism, which was rising in the later 1960s.

This scene could be viewed by two different perspectives Liberal and Radical. Liberal for the opportunities that these women are not getting in this scene and the sexism that these men are showing by hiding and staring at the women lustfully. Radical is the obvious patriarchal oppression in this scene.

From a Liberal Feminist criticism standpoint, these women are not given much freedom for opportunities. Early in this scene, we see only men deciding what women’s makeup could look like. There are no women consenting to what they want to wear, the only piece of freedom in this scene is when one of the ladies asks when she wears makeup. When does she put her makeup and how does she decide what color to wear it with.

In the Radical Feminist criticism perspective, the differences between men and women are what defines beauty.  It follows that women must hold to a high standard of beauty by wearing makeup. Another important behavior in this clip is that women are looked on as inferior due to their innocent and sweet actions. Men are looked on strong and take action, women are viewed as inferior.

The implications of this artifact are that the writers of this series wanted to present the 1950’s and 60’s as not a great time for everyone. For women, it was a struggle to work in an office. There was no Title IX  yet, many women were sexually harassed or abused in the office. Another aspect that these writers wanted us to see is how we have improved thanks to feminism and other cultural reforms.

 

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Post 6: Neo-Marxist Perspective on a Coronavirus Meme

Rhetorical Situation

This meme takes place in a grocery store during the Corona Virus pandemic. The language of the sign and the labels indicate that this photo was taken in an American store.

The Goal of the Neo-Marxist Analysis

According to Sellnow Neo-Marxist Analysis goals is to, “Help expose how material conditions and economic practices shape dominant ideology regarding taken-for-granted assumptions about who ‘ought to be’ and ‘ought not to be’ empowered” (Sellnow 135).

Artifact Description 

In this picture, we see a grocery store with a box of Corona Extra brand beers with toilet paper stacked on top of the crates. The dominant ideology is capitalistic in nature, a store is using the COVID 19 as a means to sell more beers and toilet paper. Above this display, there is a sign that quotes, ” Free Roll with every carton of Corona Extra”.  This sign also the main joke of the meme. It is a reference to the Covid 19 or Corona Virus and since there is a beer that is a similar name people will make jokes about it. The “Freeroll” is a reference to the unnatural and strange amount of toilet paper being bought. Unlike most epidemics, these one people are not stockpiling on supplies, but toilet paper. There are empty shelves in places such as Italy that are empty. The sign looks to be an official since it is hanging over the crates and typed professionally, the store is using this funny sign in order for people to buy more beer and get a free roll of toilet paper. This excess is causing these toilet paper shortages in many of the stores. This is caused by the media coverage of the virus and it is feeding the fears of the people.

Final Thoughts

This funny picture is posted as a sort of counter-measure to ease the tension of the Coronavirus fears. Memes are an expression of the times, it is a new art form.  When I first saw this I found it hilarious since it is true, even in Farmville there are empty shelves of toilet paper, yet the wet wipes are still well-stocked. I selected this artifact since it was appropriate since Longwood classes are online.

I hope everyone stays safe, ahead in their courses, and healthy.

Sources

Article Link

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/11/heres-why-people-are-panic-buying-and-stockpiling-toilet-paper.html

Textbook Citation

Sellnow, Deanna D. The Rhetorical Power of Popular Culture: Considering Mediated Texts. SAGE, 2018.

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Post 5: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Symbolic Convergence

Rhetorical Situation

For the Rhetorical Situation, it is two men Hunter S. Thompson and Dr. Gonzo are driving in a red car to Las Vegas for a story. Thompson is a freelance journalist whose goal for this trip is to find the American Dream. The biggest twist to this story is that both Dr. Gonzo and Thompson are going to be high on a mixture of drugs and alcohol. Later in this scene, Thompson makes a list of their stache of “uppers, downers”. We later get to hear the negative effects of the drug culture killing 160 GI’s on the radio.

Fantasy Theme Definition

Definition: It breaks down an artifact into 5 different characteristics: protagonist, antagonist, plotline, and sanctioning agent.

Protagonist: It could be more than one. Usually, they are considered heroes, but it could also be villains being the main character. This is affected by the narrative on what the character’s morality.

Antagonist: Usually a character who is in a villain role. However, it could be a force or a group of characters as the antagonist. Antagonists are not always evil, it could be an opposing morally driven characters such as a hero.

Plotline: The narrative or a cohesive storyline. This can be affected by the genre of the story.

Sanctioning Agent: The main goal or reason for the narrative.

These are useful in breaking down the narrative into comprehensible pieces. It also makes understanding the rhetorical themes and morals easier to understand.

Artifact Fantasy Theme Application

Dramatist Personae: The characters are Hunter S. Thompson and Dr. Gonzo going to Las Vegas, to find the American Dream.

Protagonist: Hunter S. Thompson and Dr. Gonzo. They are not heroes, they are the main characters. Their morals are not very lawful, both take illegal drugs and are destroying their bodies and minds with them.

Antagonists: The main antagonist is a group of individuals, some are real and hallucinate such as the bats. Another antagonist is the police and other law enforcement.

Plotline: Thompson has been sent by a magazine to cover a drag race in Las Vegas. However, he changes midway to find the American Dream. With his buddy and lawyer Dr. Gonzo and a bag full of drugs, they explore Vegas.

Sanctioning Agent: The main force of the story is the pursuit of finding a supposed ideal of the American Dream. Another desired goal is to go to Vegas, through a drug polluted mind.

Final Thoughts 

Despite Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas appears to have a straight forward narrative it can be difficult to breakdown the main protagonist and antagonist. This is due to there is no direct link to the audience. The tone of the story shows Hunter and Gonzo going around Vegas getting high but like the film, they each become their own antagonist. What does not help the narrative is that it is coming from a drug addict’s perspective. Many of the other antagonists do not exist or coming from their drug-induced states. The cop later in the film did not act as an antagonist, he was doing the standard procedure of pulling over a speeding driver.

 

 

 

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Post #4: John Wick Baba Yaga Dramatic Analysis

This is from the film John Wick, which is my favorite action and thriller film. I selected this one out of a fun interest in analyzing these scenes for dramatic analysis. My paper will not be on John Wick rather, V for Vendetta.

This scene is early on in the film where we are starting to understand John Wick’s characteristics and backstory. I will break down into the five elements: Act, Agents, Agency, Scene, Purpose/Motive.

Act

John Wick is a professional hitman for Viggo Tarasov. Who is the face seen telling his foolish son Iosef for stealing John Wick’s car and killing his dog. Viggo and Iosef are part of the Russian mafia.

Agents

John Wick hunting Viggo and Iosef for revenge is not a lawful action to take. Especially for stealing a car and killing his dog. Viggo and Iosef being part of mafia which commits organized crimes is against the law as well. These people are not heroes, in some lights, they are all villains. However, John Wick is a neutral karma in my point of view. He is doing something that we would all want to do if someone stole our car and kill your best friend on the same day.

Agency

Viggo and Iosef use their criminal connections to cover nefarious tracks. Hence when Viggo is not upset when Iosef mentions he stole a car. However, what Viggo is upset is that John Wick holds a grudge and will not give up until he eliminates his targets.

John Wick’s greatest tools are stealth and intimidation. In addition, he has  1960’s Mustang he drives during the films. His weapons are a Heckler and Kock P30 9mm pistol. This is not shown during these clips, however, it is seen during the later fight scene. John is also able to use any firearm available due to being a hitman and a former US Marine.

Scene

The clip begins with Aurelio’s garage, this is where cars get worked and repaired. This is where John Wick’s stolen car is about to get sold. However, Aurelio is Wick’s friend and he would not sell his friend’s car. When Aurelio asks about whose car is it, he strikes Iosef due to messing with his friend and killing his dog. However, as it progresses we see more of Viggo, he is calm and calculated. When he calls Aurelio, he is holding back anger you can tell by the musical score and the tone of his voice. However, upon hearing about his son’s actions, his disappointment is reflected in “Oh”.

This transitions to my favorite scene of the Baba Yaga or John Wick’s backstory. What helps is the music and the side by side scenes of Viggo telling the story and John Wick recovering his gear. Notice where his gear is stored, it’s in concrete representing trying to bury his past. However, John using a sledgehammer represents his anger and thirst for revenge tears down the constructed walls he built. Despite hearing this story, Ioself claims he can take down John Wick. The emotions are felt thanks to the amazing acting and slow movements of the actors.

Purpose/Motive

Although no clear purpose for Viggo and Ioself. It is loosely mentioned by Viggo that they do what they do is for power and money. While John Wick tries to kill them, out of revenge, for Ioself destroying everything he cared about.

 

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Post 3: V for Vendetta Film-Narrative Analysis

Full Quote Link: http://www.whysanity.net/monos/vendetta.html

Narrative Perspective Definition: rhetorical tool for identifying, ideas, arguments, and thoughts about certain social-political or other topical events.

Rhetorical Situation: This is from the film V for Vendetta film, that is based on the DC comics of the same name written by Alan Moore. The context of this scene is that V is addressing the whole country of Britain about the issues and the lost freedoms that the Norsefire party took away. V wanted to use a speech to unite together on the 5th of November or Guy Fawkes Day to stand against the tyrannical regime

Narrative Perspective Application Goals:

The main goal for the narrative perspective device is to identify what are the arguments or themes of the film that conveys a message to the audience to follow.

This film has a variety of themes and morals that could be viewed in different ways.

Main Themes:

  • Totalitarianism
  • History
  • What is freedom? 

Artifact Description Through Narrative Perspective:

The scene that I selected is midway through the film and comic. However it follows the coherent narrative of the totalitarianism.

At the very beginning of the video, we see the not the Union Jack as the flag of Britain, rather the red cross like flag of the Norsefire Party. Not only do you see the flag change you see the leader of the regime of Chancellor Sutler who is played by John Hurt. His face is in a portrait surrounded by the flags in a nursing home. The next scene is the TV station with the cameras monitoring London. This reflects the party’s eyes and ears on the citizens of the city.

When V first speaks to the citizen’s the music that is selected is a calming music. The music selection is to calm the citizen’s whose normal TV programs are interrupted by the new broadcast.

V begins discussing the ethics of the everyday life. In quote, “I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of the everyday routine, the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition”. This means that it is good to be living is a stable society and balanced. However, this quote has a secondary meaning such as the everyday routine could blind you from  what is going on around in the world.

He then discusses the historical aspect to the discussion. With this quote, “But in the spirit of commemoration – whereby those important events of the past, usually associated with someone’s death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, are celebrated with a nice holiday – I thought we could mark this November the fifth, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat.

This quote he is referring to is the Guy Fawkes holiday. Which today is celebrated in England and parts of Ireland. Guy Fawkes was a freedom and tolerance of Catholics in England. He plotted a terrorist plot of using gunpowder explosive to kill King James I. It failed and he was executed, however he is remembered for his sacrifice and bravery. V wears a mask based off of the face of Fawkes. His plan in the film and book, is to destroy parliament to collapse the regime and restore the people’s freedom.

Implications of the Artifact: 

The implications of this artifact is that V for Vendetta is a timeless movie and book. It convey’s a message of warning of totalitarianism can appear in many ways. Historical study is important for a free society. The biggest impact this film has made is its association with fighting for freedom. An example is that, in Hong Kong many protesters are wearing this mask during the protests.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Post 2: Neo-Aristotelian Analysis Steve Jobs Address Stanford University (2005)

Full Speech Transcripthttps://news.stanford.edu/2005/06/14/jobs-061505/

This is the 2005 speech of Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple. The rhetorical situation is Jobs doing a speech at Stanford University. He is discussing to the graduates about his journey to becoming a famous ceo. The purpose for his speech is to inspire the graduates to have perseverance and think independently.

Rhetorical Elements: Audience, Appeals, Claim, and Medium

The elements he applies is a focus on his audience, which are primarily the graduates. They are young adults going into the working world. He uses his ethos of his life story as the main medium for his life lessons. A life story is also more relatable and easier to understand.  Another element he focuses on is claim of success , which he has shown as his reputation as being the famous ceo of Apple and the creator of the Ipod. People already knew who he was before coming onto stage. Jobs uses his fame to inspire the audience to think different and or “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish”.

Five Canons: Invention, Arrangement, Style, Memory, and Delivery.

For invention, he uses a life story or a biography of his life and the hardships he went through created endurance. Jobs wanted to relate that idea into the speech and tell the student how to take the steps to achieve their goals.

The arrangement, was in the order of a biography of his life. It started with his genetic mother giving him up for adoption because she was a uneducated mother. Then he discusses the journey of being adopted by working class parents and his dropping out of said college. Then comes his journey into creating  Apple and what inspired him to do so.

Job’s rhetorical style is less of a professional rhetor and more of a inspirational speaker. He focuses more on his paper than looking at the audience in some ways he wanted less of appearances and more on the message. Which is a simple, but effective depending on the message itself.

The speech does not apply memory in any of the speaking. He did not memorize the speech, he read the whole thing. Jobs looked at his audience a few times, but it is unprofessional behavior in the world of rhetoric. The only application is when he wrote the speech. He used memory to create the biography, which will later be used in his actual published biography in 2011.

Like his rhetorical style his delivery is less professional and more common. He stares at the paper more and can be very distracting. His message is well thought, however it feels like he could have improved by memorizing the speech and looked at his audience more. There was also a hint of nervousness in his voice. If you look at the presentations he did on stage in those days, he was more confident and energetic. Here it feels like he is scared of his audience.

Overall, despite his delivery is unprofessional, this message is a timeless speech that everyone could learn from. I personally love this speech. Ever since I first learned it in my community college English class, I like to look at this as my inspiration.

 

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Post 1: Introduction to John Ward’s Pop-Culture Rhetorical Journey

Hello, everyone. My name is John Ward and I am an English major with a concentration in Professional Writing at Longwood University. This blog is part of the Rhetorical Criticism class as well as my own interest in the rhetorical aspects of popular culture.

This blog is for everyone who wants to see an rhetorical observation of popular media or culture. What I am going to cover is a variety of topics such as technology, literature, music, and some occasional memes.

For this blog, the intended audience is primarily my peers and Dr. Guler. However, it could be some outside observers who like blogs about popular culture. When the class concludes this blog can be an excellent exercise in my understanding of blogging and social networking.

I am really excited to begin this adventure and I hope you also enjoy the ride as well.

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