Tag Archives: rhetoric

The Bro Mob: Meta, Not Beta

“Last month, Mark Zuckerberg spent hours touting his love of jiujitsu, wrestling and UFC [Ultimate Fighting Championship] on Joe Rogan’s podcast, which is known for its hypermasculinity. Watching TV was not active enough, Mr. Zuckerberg said. “Compared with social media, … Continue reading

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‘Mystique of Belatedness’: Mything the Point

Thank you for your visits to this blog and for indulging its mischief in 2022. More joy and less loss be ahead for each and all! (JMN) “I’m convinced. Eliot finished poetry off.” (Matthew Walther) The problem is not that … Continue reading

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‘We Have to Make Forms That Celebrate the Possibilities’: Torkwase Dyson

“The paintings introduced a range of blue colors — oceanic, but resisting a direct reading.” This review bristles with strange energy, coercive structures, geographies of enclosure, and the verb catalyze. But of all the advanced art talk on display, my … Continue reading

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Angry Centrist?

“When was the last time you encountered an angry, inflexible centrist who aggressively demanded that you see things from several points of view?” (Brian L. Ott) (Brian L. Ott, “I Studied [***’s] Twitter Use for Six Years. Prepare for the … Continue reading

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A Flat-Out Wish for the Season

Christmas Eve, Mall of America, Bloomington, Minnesota. Two groups of young men argue in Nordstrom’s, shots are fired, 19–year-old lies dead, suspects being sought. The site of 500 retail stores and 19 full-service restaurants is closed for the evening. “We … Continue reading

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‘Res Ipsa Loquitur’: The Thing Speaks for Itself

“Zelensky is basically an ungrateful, international welfare queen.” (Donald Trump Jr., quoted at https://www.washingtonpost.com/doonesbury/, 12-22-22) Billingsgate of this sort pervades the lowest rungs of public discourse in America. What’s notable for the student of rhetoric is how, even though the … Continue reading

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Saint Brevity, Patron of Blagueurs

“A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” (Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon, 1971) Like a bird on a pole,Like a soul on the dole,I have tried all my waysTo be brief.(JMN, after Leonard Cohen) (Harold Simon is quoted by … Continue reading

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A Dying Hero’s Own Thoughts and Prayers

Vicky Phelan died of cervical cancer last month at age 48 in County Limerick, Ireland. She had been an advocate for fellow victims of botched Pap smears. Her ringing demand for freedom from callous, corrupt leadership has universal application. “I … Continue reading

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Sensing the Presence of Vinegar: Food Poetry

(A squalid detail to put behind us: “vichyssoise” is misspelled in the review as “vichysoisse.” Slipshod, to be sure, but my esteem for Pete Wells’s writing remains intact. Even Homer nodded.) Pete Wells said once that when he became restaurant … Continue reading

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Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Sober Soccer

“I feel 200 percent in control of this World Cup.” (FIFA lord Gianni Infantino) With four games per day in the opening group stage, all played in what is effectively a single city-state, Infantino said the movement of large groups … Continue reading

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