RCL – News Articles

Posted by on Oct 11, 2012 in RCL | 2 comments

I’m thoroughly convinced that when people log onto the Internet they lose all common sense. This can be attested by simply looking at the comments section of any news website or blog. For this week’s assignment I ventured onto an article about the recent labor protests of Walmart workers. Apparently, the workers are protesting because of tension between Walmart higher-ups and the labor unions. There have been pay-cuts, longer hours which have caused the protests and walk outs.

When I came across the article I expected to see some empathy for these workers but I was sorely mistaken. Instead, the consensus was that if the workers were unhappy then they should just shut up and quit. Last time I checked there was a 7.8% unemployment rate; I don’t think anyone is quitting their job anytime soon. Also, in these comment sections there seems to be a complete lack of rhetoric. Not only do people argue the content of the news stories but they argue with each other as well. When this happens, there is a complete lack of rhetorical strategies. Online debates are vastly different from a face-to-face interaction because one can hide behind a screen and a keyboard when online. On the internet, there is no need to use social graces or etiquette which accounts for the lack of common sense or niceties. I also find that online debate strays from the main point pretty quickly. One can be arguing about the unemployment rate and suddenly someone brings up that the other person is a nerd living in his mom’s basement. There isn’t usually much sense in online debates

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RCL Blog: Thoughts on the Presidential Debate

Posted by on Oct 4, 2012 in RCL | 3 comments

As most people did, I tuned in for the first Presidential Debate tonight on CNN. The hype surrounding the debate was very palpable as most people on my floor watched it together. This surprised me as I didn’t know that so many people would be interested in the debate; but I’m glad that we could all be brought together for a short time by what we feel is our civic duty.

CNN stimulated very good discussions before and after the debate and also setup ways for the viewers to understand what was going on. For instance, one could see peoples’ reactions as the candidates were talking.¬†Debates are natural rhetorical platforms. They are an opportunity for the rhetor to utilize various methods of persuasion in order to sway voters to their side. With the use of not only commonplaces but also a mix of logos ethos and pathos; the candidates worked to perpetuate a persona, use facts, and to put a personal touch on their viewpoints. Both candidates tried to deliver an image of a “better America” that could be achieved through their presidencies.

If you looked on Twitter during the debate, your timeline would have been flooded with nothing but tweets of “Team (Candidate)” or some other political tweet. I think its really interesting to see how social media like Twitter or Facebook can aid in the discussion when concerning politics. It only takes a few clicks to find your like-minded peers or to find someone with viewpoints opposite of yours with whom you can argue with. At times like these its important to look at these factors in order to gauge public opinion concerning such an important election.

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Gangnam Style: Not So Innocent?

Posted by on Sep 27, 2012 in RCL | 2 comments


My RCL post this week is in response to Crystal Anderson’s blog post about the popularity and social implications of the “Gangnam Style” video. Anderson brings to light that the popularity of the video may not be linked to people simply admiring the musical merits of the song but rather that Psy is the laughingstock of American mainstream media. She also highlights previous examples of this such as Mr. Chow in “The Hangover” wherein these Asian characters are only seen as comedic resources.

To look at this from another perspective; earlier today Korean-American rapper Tiger JK let off a rant about his thoughts on the “Gangnam style video” and what it means to him personally. To add some context to the story, Tiger JK was shouted at by fans to perform the “horsey dance” which led him to unleash his frustration over Twitter. Some points raised by the rapper were that he is only looked at as a joke even though he is a serious musician. He also talked about how silly videos like “Gangnam Style” gain so many hits on Youtube but artists like Tiger JK are still struggling to break into mainstream media. The profanity laced tyrant and an accompanying article can be viewed here.

Tiger JK eventually apologized for his rant and also his generalization of whites and their involvement in his frustrations. However, I feel that his rant and also the blog of Crystal Anderson bring up some very good points. I don’t think that these opinions deserve an apology. Both people used their rhetoric platforms to showcase their opinions, albeit unpopular, and to highlight some real problems in our mainstream media.

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RCL Blog- Voter Registration

Posted by on Sep 20, 2012 in RCL | 2 comments

Today during my 9am class a young woman passed out voter registration forms while explaining the process of being able to vote here in PA. Almost collectively, the room of almost 200 people groaned and ignored the girl. I even caught one of the TAs with an annoyed look on her face. I was so surprised, I would have thought that people would at least be somewhat excited to help be a part of such an important election. It seems that many people my age seem hesitant to take a chance to be apart of a civic opportunity. I know that a lot of people are already registered to vote but I also know that a lot aren’t. A process that takes all of two minutes and many of my fellow classmates felt that was too much to spare.

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Response to Do The Right Thing

Posted by on Sep 5, 2012 in RCL | 2 comments

The film Do The Right Thing explores various themes of racial tension, civic duty, and conflicting ideologies¬†among¬†racial groups. The film presents a very honest look at the lives, actions and inner thoughts of the various characters and their struggles and opinions. Each character seems to act according to what, in their minds, is the “right thing”. For example, Buggin’ Out believed that his civic duty was to convince Sal to put black people on the wall of fame, Radio Raheem’s was to spread his music’s message no matter the occasion. When the fights broke out in front of Sal’s the cops fought to contain the crowd in anyway possible, including violence, later resulting in the death of Radio Raheem. There is nothing wrong with being a part of one’s community or having a civic life. However, the characters in the film all have ideologies that conflict to the point of chaos, violence, and tragedy.

Throughout the film there are various instances of racism and racial contempt. A prime example of this is Sal’s son Pino. Pino hates the primarily black neighborhood in which he works and often refers to black people as apes or ”niggers”, a part of the movie I felt did not deserve laughter. His contempt for his fellow black citizens was not only disturbing but unfounded.

The panel discussion that followed not only was controversial but shocking as well. What I saw from some of the speakers upset me greatly as a black person. I felt that pointless stereotypes were being perpetuated and agreed with by a large amount of the people present. I had hoped that the movie and the subsequent discussion would clear away peoples’ preexisting thoughts concerning the subjects presented in the film, but that didn’t seem to be the case.

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