In order so that we can figure out which project to pursue, we’re going to vote in the comments section of this post. We have 7 issues, and we’re going to try to figure out which one to work with. Of these seven, please rank your top 4 in the comments section, from 1-4. We’ll pick this up in class and get moving. If we’re lucky, these rankings will determine the issue. If not, it’ll still work out fine.
- Gestation crates for animals.
- Gun control
- Police brutality
- Increasing minimum wage.
- Free tuition CUNY
- Racial misrepresentation in the news media
So, in the comments below, place your rankings.
Two reading assignments for Monday. We’re going to continue reading Stephen Duncombe’s Dream: Reimagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy, this time chapter three “Play the Game: Grand Theft Desire.” Here’s the link to the whole book. If you can, please print it out this chapter and bring it to class.
Second, read your classmates responses to Response 13 and leave comments for them. Spread the love so everyone gets some.
In class on Wednesday, we discussed the rhetorics of persuasion, in particular the role logos (reason, truth) plays in traditional forms of rhetorical theory (logos, ethos, pathos) and then we introduced the idea of persuasion as identity taken from Kenneth Burke, that we are persuaded by those things with which we already identify (religion, race, nationalism, gender, neighborhood, etc.). And this is an important point that Duncombe emphasizes in chapter one, that we read for last class. In particular, that when trying to persuade others, rather than trying to crack through their identity images (the way people see themselves) by using logos, that another way is by grabbing onto something with which they already identify. For instance, I have a gay friend who is currently studying religion and spirituality and he’s making the argument that Jesus’s love was love for all of those who are outside the mainstream, the excluded, the minority, the destitute, the poor, the prostitutes, and homosexuals. His argument, then is Jesus himself was queer (meaning outside the norm) and that his followers are also queer (outside the mainstream). It goes against popular conceptions of theology, yes, but it also seeks to make an inroad by identifying with the other through the common ground of the figure of Jesus. In other words, he’s setting his sites on those beyond the usual, leftest preaching-to-the-choir. In your blog posts, you all gave similar examples of using identification as persuasion rather than logos as persuasion.
In chapter three, Duncombe adds a different wrinkle to this notion of identifying with those who are like “us.” He draws attention to our deviant tendencies through a discussion of the game of Grand Theft Auto. In some ways, this discussion echos Thomas Frank’s ideas concerning the corporatization of rebellion that we discussed earlier in the semester. But here, he thinks differently from Frank; unlike Frank, he’s interested in how we can learn from GTA for the sake of world-changing and world-building. After you read the chapter, explain in Response 14 what your thoughts are concerning what I’ve said above and what Duncombe makes you think about. You can relate it to the tactical media project if you wish, but not required. I’m interested in hearing the thoughts that drive you.
We’re going to discuss both Response 13 and 14 in class Monday along with our other work, so review the blog posts your classmates write for both 13 and 14 and be ready to discuss.