- Stephanie: It's surreal hearing all these people getting married right now. I feel like people are preparing for something that I'm not aware of.
- Grace: Like a massive flooding and there's a new Noah's Ark?
- Stephanie: Something like that. Would you ever want to get married?
- Grace: I think I'm too selfish for that. I know that when I think about funerals---
- Stephanie: I think that's Freudian for "No."
Dear Modern American Society (MAS),
Why are we so loud (i.e. at vuvuzela decibel) when we’re upset or unhappy about something? Why are we never loud when we’re happy? And in those rare occasions when we are shouting from the rooftops, why are we suddenly slapped with the “crazy” label (please refer to Tom Cruise and the violation of Oprah’s couch) and tackled by ex-WWE nurses from the city asylum?
Due to certain cognitive biases and rhetorical framing, the majority of media outlets and media consumers (particularly those who are too lazy to do their own Googling) are going to believe that the current government is terrible at their job, that the iPhone 4 is shit, and that the oil catastrophe in the gulf is 100% BP’s fault. With all this noise, it becomes difficult to remember that running a powerful country is, oh, harder than getting a high score on Rock Band; the iPhone 4 is still being enjoyed by a lot of Apple cult members; and maybe, just maybe, we each had a tiny bit to do with the oil thing because of our dependence on horseless carriages. It’s easy to drown in this sea of negativity and, in order to stay afloat, we become complacent and apathetic. Complacent because we remember that we’re still pretty big deal in the cafeteria of United Nations High and apathetic because any possible attempt to change the tide of popular opinion seems futile.
I’m not saying that we need to ignore the bad things. That’s naïve and it’s impossible to accomplish. There’s a lot of crap out there, but there are also a lot of great things. REALLY GREAT THINGS. We need to restore balance in the world like Aang, the Last Airbender (I don’t care what you say, I love the animated television series) and what needs to be restored is positivity. So what I propose, MAS, is that we should try to be loud about good things. Just once I would like to see “CONGRESS ENJOYS PICNIC ON WHITE HOUSE LAWN; PELOSI SINGS BEATLES COVERS, MCCAIN PLAYS GUITAR” on the front page of the Huffington Post. Until then, I will be out there with my megaphone:
“WHAT A WONDERFUL DAY! THANK YOU FOR THE GRAY OVERCAST, BEIJING POLLUTION! THANK YOU STREET FOOD VENDOR, FOR THE UPSET STOMACH AND THE OPPORTUNITY TO SPEND MORE TIME IN THE RESTROOM!”
Más positividad, MAS. ¡Más positividad!
Nota Bene: This, however, does not apply to Sarah Palin or Mel Gibson. It really is true that a lot of people cannot relate to her logic (myself included) and that Mel Gibson is best seen in his award-winning role as sedated alcoholic in straitjacket.
- Molly (after flipping through her used copy of F&Z that she ordered from Amazon): In the cover of the Franny and Zooey it says "Chris, you mean the world to me [heart] Elyse."
- Grace: How sweet.
- Molly: Clearly Chris didn't feel the same way.
- Grace: SAD.
i was wondering how this thing worked! haha! i’m glad. sorry to hear your shoes didn’t fit. have you thought about doing an etsy for more shoe creations? i think there’s a market to pander to!
Here’s a description the typical situation.
• The Republicans outmessage the Democrats. The Democrats, having no effective response, face disaster: They lose politically, either in electoral support or failure on crucial legislation.
• The Democrats then take polls and do focus groups. The pollsters discover that extremist Republicans control the most common (“mainstream”) way of thinking and talking about the given issue.
• The pollsters recommend that Democrats move to the right: adopt conservative Republican language and a less extreme version of conservative policy, along with weakened versions of some Democratic ideas.
• The Democrats believe that, if they follow this advice, they can gain enough independent and Republican support to pass legislation that, at least, will be some improvement on the extreme Republican position.
• Otherwise, the pollsters warn, Democrats will lose popular support — and elections — to the Republicans, because “mainstream” thought and language resides with the Republicans.
• Believing the pollsters, the Democrats change their policy and their messaging, and move to the right.
• The Republicans demand even more and refuse to support the Democrats.
We have seen this on issues like health care, immigration, global warming, finance reform, and so on. We are seeing it again on the Death Gusher in the Gulf. It happens even with a Democratic president and a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress.
Why? Is there anything the Democrats can do about it? First, it has to be understood. It doesn’t just happen.” —
George Lakoff is dropping serious knowledge this AM.
I don’t understand why some people still consider the virtues of effective communication to be second-rate. I also don’t particularly like answering the question of “What is your major?” (communications and rhetoric, thankyouforasking) because it necessitates the following explanations:
1) No, it has nothing to do with telephones or tech engineering. I believe what you’re thinking of is telecommunication.
2) Language is a lot more complicated than stringing a couple of nouns and verbs together with a dash of predicates and a sprinkle of articles.
3) No, I don’t sit in class to gab about the latest Grey’s Anatomy episode, twirl my hair, and get a grade for it.
To be honest, I don’t mind explaining it because most people get it and find it interesting. It’s the strange, vacant expressions I get from the other group. It’s blows my mind when I discover that they think don’t think studying the way we communicate is legitimate.
How is it not legitimate? The complexities of language and the way we can use it to frame the meaning of a message is a major characteristic that separates us from animals.
Even a person without thumbs can make a really good point.
The Shanghai Apple Store will be opening this weekend and Apple will be giving away 5,000 of these babies during the event. It’s a creative way of turning something that we usually see on the product (“Designed in California, Made in China”) and building a closer relationship by adding changing a word. A single word: 为 (pronounced wèi, meaning for). This is communication at its simplest form and what a mighty wallop it packs.
I want one so BAD.