Friday, August 7, 2009

Of Mice and Pizza

I'm airing more rhetorical laundry at AMV today. Here's a little taste (oo, you say, mice and pizza: yum):

Since I’ve been thinking more lately about responsible rhetoric and what my language does once it leaves my mind and my mouth, I’ve noticed a number of Mormon cultural instances in which language has been used by leaders/teachers in what I consider reckless ways. Hence this series of Airing the Rhetorical Laundry posts, which I never intended to become a series (though who knows how long it will actually last) and which have become brief explorations of moments in LDS culture where I think language has been manipulated (knowingly or not) by individuals or groups of saints in their attempts to persuade fellow laborers to greater faithfulness.

Today, I’m taking on the faulty analogies often used to convince people away from movies or books that may be good, “except for one little part.” Notice, first off, that I don’t intend to deal with the idea of keeping our entertainment clean or with the varying degrees of readerly sensitivity, i.e., individuals’ varying capacities to endure evil in the fictions they frequent. Rather, I’m approaching the language itself and intend to judge its merits in purely rhetorical terms—that is, I’m more concerned with what work the language is actually doing than with what it’s intended to do or with whether or not we should watch this movie or read that book because of this steamy scene or that profane word.

And that's all you get here. Jump the link and come on over to get more.