RhetoricLee Speaking
I Come to Eulogize Kobe, Not to Praise Him–Ep 15 RhetoricLee Speaking

I Come to Eulogize Kobe, Not to Praise Him–Ep 15 RhetoricLee Speaking

August 25, 2020

Back in January, basketball legend Michael Jordan gave a eulogy for other basketball legend Kobe Bryant after Kobe died tragically in a plane crash with his daughter Gianna. Commentators praised the speech because it was “tearful,” “moving,” and “heartfelt.” 

I agree that Jordan’s speech is AN example of a eulogy. But I disagree that it is a model for ALL eulogies. It praises Kobe for a bunch of different attributes, all of those attributes are probably what anyone would select if asked to give a eulogy for Kobe Bryant, all of those attributes are positive, and they get thrown in with a few insider anecdotes  (we know all about anecdotes from episode 14), and, of course, a few jokes.

But a eulogy can and should be SO much more than that. Jordan’s central values for Kobe are passion and competition but there’s another value I want to pull out: being a pain-in-the-ass, a nag, someone so focused on the details that they don’t let up. And that’s what I want for Jordan’s eulogy; if he wants us to be more like Kobe, then I want that to mean being more of a pain in the ass.

Read the blog version: https://rhetoriclee.com/i-come-to-eulogize-kobe-not-to-praise-him/

Episode 15 of RhetoricLee Speaking is part of The Big Rhetorical Podcast Carnival 2020: The Digital Future of Rhetoric and Composition. Be sure to check out the other podcasts participating in the carnival this week: 

*Learn more at https://rhetoriclee.com 

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*Don’t miss an episode. Subscribe on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, on Google Podcasts, on Stitcher, on Youtube, on Spotify, or via RSS

*Take 20 seconds to leave a short review and 5 star-rating (I’ll even take 4 stars, I’m not greedy). Reviews help future #rhetoricnerds find the show!

*Have mixed feelings about the show or think I may have stepped in it? Let’s discuss on social media or at rhetoriclee@gmail.com

Announcing The Big Rhetorical Podcast 2020

Announcing The Big Rhetorical Podcast 2020

August 24, 2020

It's the last week of August 2020 and the #rhetoricnerds are sending summer off in style with the inaugural week of The Big Rhetorical Podcast Carnival! Eight podcasts are participating this week on the theme The Digital Future of Rhetoric and Composition including yours truly.

In addition to checking out this week's episode of RhetoricLee Speaking, be sure to check out the other podcasts participating in the carnival, including:

Enjoy!

 

Fake it Till You Make It: Ethos, Rhetorical Leadership, Code Switching, King Ezekiel from The Walking Dead–Ep 14 of RhetoricLee Speaking

Fake it Till You Make It: Ethos, Rhetorical Leadership, Code Switching, King Ezekiel from The Walking Dead–Ep 14 of RhetoricLee Speaking

July 28, 2020

Of all the leaders on The Walking Dead, which is a show that takes place in a zombie apocalypse, I would choose the flamboyant, Shakespearean Black man with the giant tiger. Why? Because he, who goes by the name King Ezekiel, is the most rhetorical character. 

 

When I say that Ezekiel is the most rhetorical character, I mean that he is the most aware that meaning is something that has to be created--that there is no such thing as the “right” belief or the most “authentic” person. There are just different performances of reality and authenticity.

 

And that’s the focus for today: what does it mean to be a rhetorical character? gonna talk about a word you may have heard around the way: ethos. Why Ezekiel’s rhetorical qualities make him the best leader, especially in a zombie apocalypse. And also my complex thoughts on the cliche:

Fake it till you make it. 

I also push back against this obsession with “who” your leaders are…”who” really is Trump and “who” really is Biden. The habits of a leader give you more than enough information to make a decision. Sure, you can wait for the deep conspiracy theories to be proven right. You can spend all of your time asking about the underlying truths of “who they are.” Or you can just look at their decisions, as a pattern. You can ask, “let’s suppose this is all just one giant act. If this is the leadership act they’ve chosen, are they the person I want as my leader?”

 

In that case, I would want King Ezekiel, because his behavior reveals who he thinks human beings are: highly imaginative creatures in need of myth and larger than life narrative that inspires them to a community of belonging.

 

Read the blog version: https://rhetoriclee.com/fake-it-till-you-make-it-king-ezekiel/

 

*Learn more at https://rhetoriclee.com 

*Follow the show on Facebook and on Instagram @rhetoriclee for more teasers, highlights, and awesome graphics

*Don’t miss an episode. Subscribe on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, on Google Podcasts, on Stitcher, on Youtube, on Spotify, or via RSS

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Juxtaposition and the Obama-Trump Inaugural Photos on the Rhetoricity podcast–BONUS RHETORICLEE SPEAKING

Juxtaposition and the Obama-Trump Inaugural Photos on the Rhetoricity podcast–BONUS RHETORICLEE SPEAKING

July 26, 2020

Quick announcement after a long hiatus!

 

A lot is going on in the world. It’s a wonderful and terrible time to be a rhetorician #blacklivesmatter and #stillpodcasting

 

RhetoricLee Speaking will be back soon with a new episode feat. King Ezekiel of The Walking Dead. 

 

In the meantime, head over to the podcast Rhetoricity hosted by fellow rhetorician Eric Detweiler and check out a new episode featuring several analyses of juxtaposition (putting two things side by side to make an argument), including one from yours truly about discriminatory design in the Obama-Trump Inaugural photos. https://rhetoricity.libsyn.com/

 

Here's a little more from Rhetoricity:

 

This episode of Rhetoricity features contributions from four rhetoric scholars: Kati Fargo Ahern, Ben Harley, Lee Pierce, and Rachel Presley. Their pieces address questions asked by previous guest Damien Smith Pfister: "What juxtapositions in rhetorical studies have you found fruitful, generative, aiding in the process of invention or theorizing, and/or what juxtapositions ought we have? Is there a juxtaposition of two things that we ought to explore but we’re not currently exploring?"

The contributors respond to Pfister's questions from a variety of angles, touching on memoir, sonic rhetorics, everyday life, visual rhetoric, discriminatory design, cartography, and indigeneity. You can find the photos referenced in Pierce's piece here.

Sit tight and I’ll be back soon with the next episode of RhetoricLee Speaking!

*Learn more at https://rhetoriclee.com 

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*Don’t miss an episode. Subscribe on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, on Google Podcasts, on Stitcher, on Youtube, on Spotify, or via RSS

*Take 20 seconds to leave a short review and 5 star-rating (I’ll even take 4 stars, I’m not greedy). Reviews help future #rhetoricnerds find the show!

*Have mixed feelings about the show or think I may have stepped in it? Let’s discuss on social media or at rhetoriclee@gmail.com

Anec-don’ts and Insta-fails: Storytelling, social media marketing, and Jenna Kutcher of Goal Digger–RhetoricLee Speaking Ep. 13

Anec-don’ts and Insta-fails: Storytelling, social media marketing, and Jenna Kutcher of Goal Digger–RhetoricLee Speaking Ep. 13

May 26, 2020

An anecdote is not a story. An anecdote is a quick, “this thing happened to me.” An anecdote is a one-dimensional series of facts that people call a story when they don’t know better. An anecdote may have had a point. It might even have some concrete detail. But the one thing it doesn’t have is the one thing that a good story can’t exist without:

Plot. Structure.

What’s missing from the anecdote is what we call in rhetoric “vicarious experience.” The whole reason stories exist is to trick my brain into believing that I have experienced something that I haven’t experienced. When I listen to a really good story, my brain processes the experience as it would if I had been doing the play by play of the story myself--not exactly, obviously, but approximately. 

Not understanding that isn’t really your fault, though. You’re getting a lot of superficial, profit-driven advice.

Like the platitude-fest called the Goal Digger podcast, created, not surprisingly by some social media influencer business guru person named Jenna Kutcher. Episode 13 analyzes the “storytelling” advice from Kutcher, reveals it to be just advice about anecdotes and Instagram captions, and discusses the importance of creating vicarious experience in your stories.

Then I leave you hanging until Episode 14 to learn how to write a really stellar story. But I do play you a clip from Fight Club, so we’re even.

Read the blog version

Watch the YouTube version

*Learn more at https://rhetoriclee.com 

*Follow the show on Facebook and on Instagram @rhetoriclee for more teasers, highlights, and awesome graphics

*Don’t miss an episode. Subscribe on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, on Google Podcasts, on Stitcher, on Youtube, on Spotify, or via RSS

*Take 20 seconds to leave a short review and 5 star-rating (I’ll even take 4 stars, I’m not greedy). Reviews help future #rhetoricnerds find the show!

*Have mixed feelings about the show or think I may have stepped in it? Let’s discuss on social media or at rhetoriclee@gmail.com.

Some Pain, Some Gain: Chris D’Elia’s “No Pain”, Cancel Culture, and Personas

Some Pain, Some Gain: Chris D’Elia’s “No Pain”, Cancel Culture, and Personas

May 13, 2020

Corny-ass comedy: I'm here for it!

Comedian Chris D’Elia’s new standup, “No Pain,” which premiered on Netflix a few weeks ago and was unanimously a let down to everyone who analyzed it. D’Elia has been a mid-level stand-up for a while now. He really took off last year as the host of the podcast, “Congratulations with Chris D’Elia.”

At its best, “No Pain” transgresses and pokes fun at the expectation that people have to suffer to be interesting. That’s a totally worthy theme. D’Elia even jokes that when he tells people he has suffered, people suddenly find him interesting. This is the best of what comedy does--make fun of an implicit bias that you didn’t even know you have so that now you realize you have it. And the suffering artist is a pervasive and deeply problematic cultural bias--just ask Charles Bukowski or Robin Williams. Oh you can’t, they’re dead.

D’Elia won’t commit to just being the dorky nice guy stand-up comic. That’s why his voices and his persona are all over the place--he’s conflicted about his style even though, as far as I can tell, there’s no reason for him to at all throw in the hard flex other than what I’d guess is probably the stand-up-comic celebrity version of peer pressure. 

D’Elia has done me a favor because he’s written a stand-up in which his WORST material is when he’s ragging on how “nobody can say anything anymore” which means I don’t have to PC police him because the joke is even more NOT funny than it is offensive. 

And the worst part is, D’Elia could be a very good nice guy comic and the world could use some of that right now. You clearly have thoughts swirling around in that peer-pressured brain of yours that are worth salvaging. 

Read the blog version: https://rhetoriclee.com/some-pain-some-gain-chris-delias-no-pain-cancel-culture-and-personas/

Watch the YouTube version: https://youtu.be/EQ9Qn5Ai6wE

*Learn more at https://rhetoriclee.com

*Follow the show on Facebook and on Instagram @rhetoricleespeaking for more teasers, highlights, and awesome graphics

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*Take 20 seconds to leave a short review and 5 star-rating (I’ll even take 4 stars, I’m not greedy). Reviews help future #rhetoricnerds find the show!

Have mixed feelings about the show or think I may have stepped in it? Let’s discuss on social media or at rhetoriclee@gmail.com

RhetoricLee Speaking Podcast–Banishing Banality, One Speech at a Time–Trailer

RhetoricLee Speaking Podcast–Banishing Banality, One Speech at a Time–Trailer

May 13, 2020

What’s up Rhetoric Nerds! Welcome to RhetoricLee Speaking--a podcast about banishing banality, one speech at a time.

I am your hostess with the mostess, Lee Pierce, she/they pronouns, lover of rhetoric, professor of communication, and loather of cliches.

Join me most Tuesdays on YouTube, your favorite podcast app, or my blog at rhetoriclee.com for a whirlwind tour of the banality in culture, politics, and whatever was on Netflix at 3am.

Be sure to subscribe wherever you watch or listen so you never miss an episode. And I’d love to connect on social media--I’m @rhetoricleespeaking on Instagram and @rhetoriclee everywhere else. 

I promise to follow back but mark my words: if I see one vapid-ass quote about living, laughing, or loving come across you’re feed...Dueces

*Visit https://rhetoriclee.com for show notes and more

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*Have mixed feelings about the show or think I may have stepped in it? Let’s discuss on social media or at rhetoriclee@gmail.com.

Drink Analogies Not Bleach + Fresh Prince, Obama, Trump’s Lysol Moment

Drink Analogies Not Bleach + Fresh Prince, Obama, Trump’s Lysol Moment

April 28, 2020

Get a great list of fast and dirty strategies for constructing a kick ass analogy and listen to me mini rant about how Democrats ought to be out visiting the victims of bleach poisoning, sympathizing with those poor people who are so terrified that grasp at a desperate solution, instead of shitting all over them for being idiot sailors led by Captain Idiot on the idiot cruise.

Kicking off with Britta’s hilarious explanation of analogies from the recently revived Community, RhetoricLee Speaking is all about analogies this week--the good, the bad, and the structurally sound criminally negligent.

An analogy is the comparison of two things, tenor and vehicle properly called, for the purpose of transferring a single idea. Or as Britta puts it after Jeff hits her with the mansplaining, “an idea with another thought’s hat on.” Analogies are similar to metaphors except their idea isn't immediately apparent but with metaphors the idea is usually relatively self-evidence. Sometimes analogies are called extended metaphors for that reason.

When analogies go well they produce understanding, enjoyment, and the translation of a complex idea. When they go bad, they look like Dr. Phil trying to explain to Will Smith how sex is like cars cuz abstinence.

When analogies go well you get Obama’s classic cars analogy from the early years of the 2012 campaign as people were shouting across the country about the Republicans, “you can’t have the keys back!” 

Which begs the question: what kind of analogy was Trump’s implicit comparison to hand sanitizer during his so-called “Lysol moment” last week? Structurally sound but criminally negligent.

Read the blog version: https://rhetoriclee.com/drink-analogies-not-bleach-fresh-prince-obama-trumps-lysol-moment/?preview_id=381&preview_nonce=cf188603d9&preview=true&_thumbnail_id=387

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Have mixed feelings about the show or think I may have stepped in it? Let’s discuss on social media or at rhetoriclee@gmail.com. Know more at rhetoriclee.com

Tiger Kink Part 2 of 2–Tiger King, Transgression, Trump

Tiger Kink Part 2 of 2–Tiger King, Transgression, Trump

April 21, 2020

Part 2 of a 2-part episode defending only the first ⅗ of the very first episode of “Tiger King.”: A piece of cultural criticism as epic as “Tiger King” is not.

Tiger King bashing--which is not the same as nuanced cultural criticism--is demophobia to the core. Demophobia means a fear of the demos.

Tiger King gives you pleasure, at least in the first ⅗ of the first episode, because it toes the line of kink--of queer transgression around sexual identity and practice. Not in a mean, sad way but in a fun kind of loving way

Talking about wanting to get peed on--which he’s almost certainly into--might have been the only thing Trump could have said that would have lost in the election? Why? Because we spend way too much effort as a society shaming people for basic, fun, transgressive instincts like being peed on, having gender subversive identities, experimenting with language, or doing anything else, especially when we’re young, that might mess up the tidy binaries we all spent too much time defending between straight/gay, woman/man, us/them, appropriate/inappropriate, and so on and so forth.

Thus we arrive at the ultimate disappointment that will be Tiger King’s demise: the playful kink transgression sketched in the first episode, where viewers first get to test the waters of their pleasure with the text, quickly gives way to mean-spirited.

Tiger King works the same way. It feels good because it rehearses a bunch of stereotypes you have about rednecks and drug addicts and women. Sitting around immersing yourself in misogyny and stand-your-ground entitlement and the cult of personality doesn’t feel good but it does feel good. It’s a cycle of mean-spirited perversion. But that’s not all it is. No, there’s also something beyond the pleasure principle, which is playful transgression and kink and gender and genre bending.

Read the blog version:http://rhetoriclee.com/tiger-kink-part-2-of-2-tiger-king-transgression-trump/

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Tiger Kink Part 1 of 2—Tiger King, Media Cliches, Queer Country Renaissance

Tiger Kink Part 1 of 2—Tiger King, Media Cliches, Queer Country Renaissance

April 14, 2020

Part 1 of a 2-part episode defending only the first ⅗ of the very first episode of “Tiger King.”

Part 1 you will get today, which is an episode that achieves what we in the critical world call a “ground clearing.” See, when something is as popular as Tiger King, and as radically mis-read, you can’t just jump in with an alternate interpretation. You need to clear some ground first, move away some cliche cobwebs to make space for another idea. The second episode--coming to you Tuesday next--will be a reading of Episode 1 of Tiger King that is kinky and queer in the most literal and interesting senses of the word. 

From “missing the point of the big cat trade,” to “alien and strange,” to “snubbing the underprivileged,” this episode is a tour of the more insightful of the uninsightful media cliches trying to explain the love of Tiger King to the people who love it without actually explaining all that much.

Along the way are a few clips from Joe Exotic’s albums including “I Saw a Tiger,” “Here Kitty Kitty,” and “Pretty Woman Lover.” Also: Rebecca Black’s 2010 “Friday,” which will make sense later.

Along the way we discuss the etymology of the word bizarre, the paradox of queer country renaissance, and the misuse of the word irony. For the record, there is nothing ironic about anything I saw in this episode; I am earnest through and through, from the tops of my appreciation for Joe’s baby tiger snuggles to the bottom of fake Carole Baskin’s silver meat platter. 

I earnestly appreciate all of it; I earnestly validate none of it.

Read the blog version

ENJOY THE SHOW?

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DIDN’T ENJOY THE SHOW?

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