May I let my voice be a clarion call. I will use these words for justice. I will use these words for truth. And humour.

Friday, April 6, 2007


Post 3 for today: Repetition is a Powerful Strategy in Rhetoric

In class last week, our professor was talking about Rhetorical Criticism, and made clear that one of the best tactics of rhetoric is to repeat yourself.

Two quick examples that express my ire about media oppression:

1. In the New Testament in the Christian Bible: Paul of Tarsus gets an awful lot of column space to express his arguments. So much space does he get that it seems that there were hardly any other voices or opinions from Christ Followers in the early days of the first millennium AD (CE). But we all know there were a million other people in Rome, many of them familiar with Jesus' teachings, and many who were traveling around spreading the good news. We don't hear much if anything from them. Why? That falls into a type of biblical criticism called "canonical criticism" which basically says the people who compiled and authorized the bible chose their books, and the versions of those books to match their ideologies/theologies.

2. In the mass media of modern America, and much of the rest of the "developed" world: Certain pundits, politicians, generals, experts, and "leaders" get to be on television quite a bit, because the words they say reflect the ideologies (and more tacitly, theologies) of those who are allowed to control the broadcast spectrum, and of those who have the money to put together and control the digital cable and radio. Turn on the radio and search for a Christian station. When you find one, will they be saying something that reflects our (yours and mine) theologies? Or will they be trying to persuade you to think in terms of their own frames of reference?

In either the case of Paul, or today's newscasters and preachers, you are welcome to believe the words they say as the absolute truth ONLY if you are going to accept the responsibility for how their words will affect your life, the lives of those around you, and life in general.

The band is playing our song
And we won't go home 'til morn
Tom Waits "Woe"

colors: blue and grey

mood: blue

chant/prayer/mantra: free speech is only free when its accessible. saying what you want to 5-10 people is not the same as broadcasting to 10,000,000 people. because the human nervous system works to set up neural connective patterns based on the frequencies of messages/thoughts, the free speech of the mass media, especially if repeated and drummed into listeners' heads, is an infringement upon the free speech of those who do not have access to broadcast media. that is a crime against democracy, because it means that one-to-one conversations are beset upon by all sorts of pre-conceived notions that have been emblazoned into our brains, depending on which bias of media source we choose. i still want my own tv station though -- i think i could be a lot more responsible to the truth. after all, with the freedom to express your views, one also has the responsibility to be honest, on a deep level that transcends presumptions.

pax hominibus,

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