Saturday, August 12, 2006

The University, Funding, and Religion

State and public universities have anti-bias rules for student groups, which roughly follow the rule that if a student group discriminates it comes to memberships then that group will not receive university funds. For example, the Christian Legal Society will not let people become members if these people do not adhere to its religious beliefs or if they engage in homosexual acts. Because of these beliefs, this organization may not receive funding from a public university. Some universities will allow such organizations to use rooms on the campus and allow the organizations to protect etc, but these groups do not receive funding.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a legal organization that protects "Our First Liberty," sent a letter to the University of Wisconsin, informing the University that it plans to defend religious organizations and force the university to recognize these groups.

Does the anti-bias provisions by any University violate students' rights, especially concerning free speech and free assembly?

Is it the job of a university to promote religion and religious organizations?

Should students be allowed to choose which organizations they want to supoprt?

Is a Univesity perpatuating an anti-bias against religious groups?

Would a student (an atheist for example) whom did not share the beliefs of an organization (such as the Christian Legal Society) want to join the group?

Baseball, Politics, and Religion

One of the most peculiar events at baseball games, either in MLB or any other minor league organization is "Faith Days" when religious organizations received discounted tickets and the baseball teams get a full stadium of fans.

One Group that is no longer welcome for the Atlanta Braves: Focus on the Family (which, the way, shouldn't there organization be renamed to focus on the family, if and only if, your family is conservative, religious, and anti-homosexual, or focus to remake families conservative, religious, and anti-homosexual.

According to CNNSI, though the Atlanta Braves did not provide a reason as to why Focus on the Family will no longer be included, sources state: FoF received the boot for its belief, "that homosexuality is a social problem comparable to alcoholism, gambling, or depression. In addition, the Braves "may have been troubled that Focus on the Family was promoting its Web site, in which the group gives its suggestions for dealing with myriad problems."

The action by the Braves raises a few first amendment issues:
(1) To what extent should a group be punished for its views? (legal or social?)
(2) Is the rhetoric of FoF hate speech, especially since its views do not even accept the humanity of a homosexual (it is only a choice, a disease, not geneitc.)
(3) If anti-homosexual religious rhetoric is hate speech or constitutes "fighting words", should it receive the protection of religious freedom under the first amendment?
(4) Is it discrimination to excluded Focus on the Family even though other religious groups will be there?

Personally, while I do not believe in the views of FoF, I respect their right under the first amendment to try and persuade people their view is correct. For me, I follow the line of thinking in Whitney v. California: the cure for bad speech is more speech.

In the Braves' case, is blocking that speech a form of "refusing to debate" or "we think you possess bad ideas and, unless you change your ideas, you are not welcome?" How much social coercion can you apply to try and alter the minds of a person or ?
group? Since the game will be in Atlanta's stadium, do the Braves need to offer a full "marketplace of ideas." Since this is a private and not public place, fans may not have pure first amendment rights.

Another development, though it may be a little far-fetched right now: can you punish religious speakers for expressing the ideas that sodomites and adulterers should be "stoned" or received the daeth penalty? This seems as if it would be an establishment issue whereby religious law would supercede civil law and, therefore, it would be against the first amendment. However, I know of a few students in Texas who posses these views.

Should religious organizations lose their non-profit status when expressing these views or other political views?

There are many works to consult, like John Locke's Letters Concerning Toleration, Micahel Sandel's Democracy's Discontent, and Marci A. Hamilton's God vs. the Gavel (these are three right by my desk).

Any thoughts?

Friday, August 11, 2006

Look at This

Mike Stark is the loveable genius holding the sign, and his site rocks! Like it, love it, want some more of it.

Monday Night Raw Teaser: Gary Busey and an Ongian analysis of Umaga

It is absolutely imperative that everyone look at this video clip, which reflects exactly what went down at Raw last Monday in Memphis: once again, Shawn Michaels and Triple H get entirely screwed over. Harrogate swears to God, it's what always seems to happen to the proletariat in this country. A blue collar working man like Triple H just cannot seem to catch a friggin break. But Harrogate predicts that things are going to change this coming Monday. Like any soap opera worth its salt does on a Friday episode, Raw this Monday cannot but light it up, because it is their last chance to promote Summerslam. So, workers of the world, faithful readers of The Rhetorical Situation, Raw fans in general, prepare to be assaulted by populist rhetoric from wire to wire. Umaga will get his: Michaels and Triple H will ride high: Cena and Edge will ramp things up another notch, as will Flair and Foley. Oh yes. Harrogate can feel it. The fur shall fly.

But on to this edition of Harrogate's mid-week analysis. Given the events of the last three weeks, he has no choice but to put the spotlight on Umaga. Indeed, in the last three weeks Umaga has scored (albeit cheaply) victories against,in order: Jon Cena, Shawn Michaels, and Triple H.

But what would Walter J. Ong, rest his soul, have to say about this Umaga, who makes a living affecting a Samoan savage dwelling squarely "outside literacy"? In ways Umaga might even be considered a low-cultural representation of the Rousseauian noble savage.

But as Oxymoron pointed out to Harrogate on the phone this afternoon, Ong in Orality and Literacy was emphatic about distinguishing between Preliteracy (not Umaga) and Illiteracy (Umaga). Harrogate has wrestled (no pun intended) with this for more than a week, and has finally come to the conclusion that Ong would have found Umaga a pressing reminder of how much work needs to be done in terms of bringing that important distinction more vividly into the mass eye: for with Umaga's every wild gesticulation, his every breathtaking step towards losing control and pummelling fans, announcers, and pretzel salesmen with impunity, the distinction becomes more and more elided, and people assume that everyone before writing was a complete buffoon.

At this point Harrogate feels the need to remind readers that Gary Busey is a product of literate culture.

Harrogate hopes everyone is setting themselves up for a fantabulous weekend filled with wine, erotics, and song. And that they will cap that weekend off on Monday Night by tuning in to Raw, and following the live blog of Raw right here on The Rhetorical Situation, a blog that has won three major awards already.

My Own Confession

I was visiting a friend's blog yesterday. As I read through her recent posts, I encountered something very saddening and painful. In her confession MegsG-H admits that she came very close to posting a farewell message to her readers. Yes, it's true: just weeks into her blogging experience, she is considering a more passive and voyeuristic role in the blogosphere. Her rationale is that her blog is too much of chore, something that she has to make time for every day.

MegsG-H, I know exactly how your feel. As you know, all three contributors to The Rhetorical Situation had been talking about creating a blog for a very long time. And it was not until last week that Solon took the initiative to put our plans into action. It was very exciting to get this thing up and running. However, I must confess that, much like you, I am today far less enthusiastic about the blog. Yes, it was fun to talk about the possibilities of The Rhetorical Situation. But it’s not as much fun to actually do.

In my own confession here, I know that I risk breaking the hearts of my fellow contributors, as well as the hearts of my many devoted readers who have come to expect from my posts profound cultural commentaries, the likes of which only emerge when one is compelled by an intense and genuine passion to contribute to the advancement of the human race and its conditions. But it is important, I suppose, that my readers not place to much weight on my contributions. While I am always sincere in my posts, I caution readers against viewing me as an instrument of divine social intervention. The reason: these posts don't come as effortlessly as they may seem, as I hate writing.

That's right. Despite my decision to pursue a career in academia (in an English department, no less), I hate writing. It's just too damn hard, and it takes me forever. And for this very reason, much like MegsG-H, I find blogging too much of a chore. However, I'm going to hang in there, and I encourage Megs to do the same. It will be good for us, especially with dissertations looming over our heads. Since graduate students rarely write as often as we should (usually just at the end of each semester), let our blogs serve as public journals. By doing so, we will learn to generate words more readily, and writing will become less difficult and, subsequently, less of a chore. We may find that we look forward to blogging and perhaps writing in general. Accordingly, blogging may ultimately help us finish our dissertations quicker. I know that Harrogate and I, having both taken Peter Elbow’s advice to heart, believe this. (I don’t mean to exclude you here Solon, but you’re already well on your way to finishing your dissertation, and what’s more, you and I have never really discussed this point.)

Christians "for" Israel

There have been a few posts around the web this summer on the relaitonship between Christians and "Is-real-al". Here is an article on Christians Zionism that discusses a new political organization, Christians United for Israel. If this is not enough, you can examine the "highly arbitrary" Rapture Index and read about the imminence of the Rapture on the site Rapture Ready or discuss the imminence of the Rapture on the Rapture Ready Bulletin Board.

While there seems to be a great deal of inherent anti-"love thy neighbor" sentiment on the Rapture site-- dicussed here --this does raise a few interesting conflicts of public policy and value commitments, especially how can you be "for" something when it calls for the necessary destruction of something and to what degree can religious interpretation shape political and military policy?

Oh, well. "That's great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane, Lenny Bruce is not afriad."

Bonus to anyone who knows what this song is about, which is ironic for this post.

Value Commitments and Value Disagreements: 30 Days

Value Commitments and Value Disagreements

Last night I watched this week’s episode of 30 Days by Morgan Spurlock. If you are not familiar with the Show, Morgan Spurlock is the creator of Super Size Me, a documentary where he ate nothing but McDonalds for one month. Actually, he did not finish the one month duration since his Doctor told him it would be too unhealthy for him to continue.

Last summer, his show 30 Days debuted on FX. Currently, FX broadcasts is on Wednesday at 10pm EST. The basic premise of the show is that a person submerges him/herself in a culture that conflicts with his/her belief system or immerses him/herself into a way of life that is unfamiliar in order to “walk in their shoes” for 30 Days. Along the way, Morgan Spurlock travels the country, interviewing people, and presents “both sides of the argument.” At its best, it is enlightening for the people involved; at its worst, it is banal, possessing that “if only you saw it my way you would be free of your false consciousness,” and reducing a controversy to a false dichotomy. Sometimes, the show creates so much tension in the people’s lives that you can feel it as you watch; other times, it is a train wreck from which you cannot turn away.

In the last episode, a train wreck occurred. In “Atheist/ Christian,” an atheist moves into a family of evangelical Christians who live in North Texas. While the atheist moved in with the family to explain her views and see how the other half lives, the evangelicals sought to convert her. At its most interesting point, the Christian family sat with a group of atheists and the husband said, “It is Love thy neighbor not Love thy Christian neighbor.” At its least effective point, the atheist discussed her views on life on a local radio show and the Christian family listened. When she returned, the husband from the Christian family stated, “I do not know what you believe.” Tension must have been high in the household since the show pulled an unusual move—it brought the family of the atheist to say with the Christians. This almost never happens (I can only think of one other episode—the minimum wage episode where additional family members were brought on the show, but that was to show the impossibility of living on minimum wage).

This last episode suggests that when individuals adhere to certain values/ worldviews that shape their lives, persuasion is not possible. While everything may have a rhetorical aspect to it, not everything can persuade. In this case, the Christian family was unable to persuade the atheist (Two notes: First, 30 days may not be enough to alter fundamental world views. Second, I am not sure if the atheist was trying to persuade the Christian family—her intentions were not as clear. Though it was clear that the Christians were trying to persuade the atheists.)

Here are a few questions I am throwing out to you:
(1) What are your limits of persuasion (what can you not be persuaded to accept)?

(2) Is it ethical to persuade someone? (A very liberal position, stemming from Kant, is that it is unethical to do this because it would violate the rights of an individual? Persuasion would be linked to coercion. This is “The Rhetorical Situation” and would should address this point.)

(3) How do you formulate public policy when there are incompatible world-views? (The show mentioned crosses on public ground in Utah—though the intent of these crosses was to memorial fallen police officers and not promote religion and the “In God We Trust” in American currency—which is an endorsement of religion (there is no doubt about this) but may be de minimis (without significance) for the Court’s to touch).

(4) How do you cultivate morality/ virtue/ and ethics within society without making appeals to religion? (Kant’s categorical imperative? Secularize religion but lose the meaning of religion?)

(5) If you are atheist or agnostic, how do you raise your children? If you are religious, how do you teach you children to respect the beliefs of others? (The Christian family in the show seemed unwilling to accept the disbelief in "something higher." The atheist family discussed their disgust that their children were thrown to the ground and tanted when the atheists' children refused to say "under God" in the pledge.

If you have not watched the Show 30 Days, FX will broadcast a 30 Days marathon this Saturday (8/12) beginning at 12pm EST. I highly suggest taping and watching them all, but if you could only watch or tape a few, do not miss: Atheist/Christian, Muslims and America, Minimum Wage, and the best one, Immigration. (The other three are very entertaining and informative; however, in these four episodes, the show deals with subjects that are more political and more hostile for everyone involved.) Here is the schedule”

12:00 Anti-Aging
1:00 Binge Drinking Mom
2:00 Atheist/Christian
3:00 Muslims and America
4:00 Outsourcing
5:00 Minimum Wage
6:00 Immigration

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Are we really all Witnesses?

Harrogate's been talking about the Witness commercials for a while, often with Sarah over at Mommy, Ph.D. Notice the exploitation of Christian rhetoric (beyond the obvious use "witnessing," that is), and even imagery--the fourth frame, for example, quickly scans across two white crosses.

A few random thoughts...

"I read the news today oh, boy"

(1) It seems that the "war" aspect of the war on terror is not doing well (Afghanistan, Iraq). However, it seems as if the "criminal investigations," in the war on terror are successful (today's capture, other arrests).

There needs to be more elaboration on this point, however, the language in "the war on terror" needs to be reexamined. While "police action" and "police investigations" are not as powerful as, in President Bush's words, "this nation is at war with Islamic fascists."

(2) the weapon of choice: MP3 Players or "mubtakkar".

I will elaborate on these points in the next few days. This is just the beginning.

Terror Alert Signification

It changed again today, as everyone by now must know. And Harrogate hopes everyone reacted accordingly. He knows he did.

But in all seriousness, is there any other possible purpose behind this (empty?) signifier than fostering fear? What's granny in the Bronx supposed to do when the thing goes from one color to the next, anyway?

FOX and Lieberman: Knowing Thine Enemies

Check this out, note especially the first sentence of O'Leilly's spewage.

Harrogate warned of this the night he took the lead in correctly calling Lamont's victory. Between then and now, unfortunately, Harrogate has been proven right: the Conneticut primary has been solidly framed in the media as a victory for extremism.

Bush postpones 2008 election

Click here to take an entertaining glimpse into the future.
(Note that Lieberman won the Senate race as an Independent.)

A billboard in Arkansas...

Maybe it's just me, but these eyes don't really encourage abstinence. Sexy.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Pedagogy and the Limis of Politics

Over at The Volokh Conspiracy, David Berstein wrote that it is not appropriate "to hold a class lecture at an ideological 'teach-in,'" nor is it "appropriate to require students to attend an ideological event to see the professor's own scheduled class lecture." The problem with doing this is that a professor places "politics in the classroom."

I disagree with this statement since whether or not is appropriate depends on the class and student involvement. I commented to the posts; unfortunately, I commented at the end. (Most of the comments agreed with the posts, especially at the beginning and by the time I responded there was little interest.)

I would like to reopen this question here though. Is it appropriate to hold class at an "ideological 'teach-in?'"

Triple H, (Wayne Booth), and Stephanie McMahon

One day after Harrogate's child burst onto the scene, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon's daughter followed.

Click here for some analytic perspective on how Stephanie and/or Aurora might impact Triple H and Shawn Michaels' chances at Summerslam (Harrogate, meanwhile, continues to petition Mrs. Harrogate for clearance to purchase the event on Pay Per View, thus to share with his readership).

In Rhetoric of Fiction, Wayne Booth speaks at length about the concept of an implied author versus that of an imagined or so-called "real" author. Triple H's situation speaks brilliantly to the phenomenon upon which Booth has expounded. Is the "real" Triple H the one who is happily married to Stephanie McMahon and, undoubtedly, on good terms with new grandaddy Vince? In this scenario, the implied Triple H would then be the on screen persona attempting to rhetorically negotiate the complexities of fatherhood with a messy divorce while defending his own honor, and that of Shawn Michaels, against those terrible Elvis impersonators, Vince and Shane McMahon.

But then again, we could say that the real Triple H is the one brought to the people every Monday Night, and that the happily married Triple H is actually the construct about which nobody has any real knowledge.

Ahhh, the humanity of it all!

(On a slightly related note, Harrogate would like to apologize for misspelling Lita's name--during Monday's live blog he referred to that walking venereal disease as Leda, as in the Yeats poem. Thank Mrs. Harrogate for catching the mistake (though her own intense dislike for Lita no doubt tempted her, for a moment at least, to allow the misspelling to stand).

This song is dedicated to the remaining two expectant fathers contributing to The Rhetorical Situation, Oxymoron and Solon, as well as to "C" who has developed into something of a nationwide cult figure on the blogosphere since his introduction on Separation of Spheres. Good work, fellas: Now go fetch that ice cream!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Home from my weekend trip

Although I've only contributed but one post to The Rhetorical Situation since its inception last week, I was pleased to return home from my weekend trip to find that I had already established a small but devoted audience of readers, some of whom have created games and posted videos in my honor. If you had told me last week that my absence from this blog would have evoked such responses, I wouldn't have believed it. But here I sit this evening touched by the enormous affection of all of my fans.

For those of you who were unable to correctly guess where I've been, here you go: I was in Arkansas. More specifically, Eureka Springs. I was there visiting my brother. He moved there about a year ago, and I had not yet been there to see him. We had a really great time. The first day we walked around the downtown area, which is more or less a winding street lined with small specialty shops, cafes, and restaurants. Eureka Springs is one of the top arts and culture destinations in the country, so it should come as no surprise that many of the shops are actually small galleries featuring the work of many local and regional artists. I found many cool things but nothing I couldn't live without. Even thought the shops offered much to see, the real attraction of Eureka Springs is its architecture and scenery. The city is more or less a nineteenth-century Victorian village nestled in the Ozark Mountains. To say that it's awesome hardly does it justice. Therefore, let me say that had not Mrs. Oxymoron been left behind in Texas, I'm not sure I would have returned. Yes, it really was that cool.

After walking around the first day, we returned to my brother's apartment and popped open some beers. We then sat down in front of the television and started playing video games. Having too much fun to stop, we played unitl early morning. And when we woke up the next day, we started again. Although I've never been much of a video game player, we literally played the entire second day of my visit. But before you assume that my trip was "wasted" on a Nintendo Game Cube, I will say again that the only reason for my trip was to visit my brother. Yes, I might have missed out on some of the many attractions of Eureka Springs, but I did not miss out on quality family time. My brother and I had a great time. And I even won one game of video golf, a game of video football, and a handfull of video boxing bouts!

So there you have it. For those of you who wondered where I was, you now know. And for those who missed the sound of my voice, miss it no longer, for I am back on The Rhetorical Situation.

BTW, does anyone know where I can get a fringed leather jacket like the one Richie Sambora is wearing in that video? Sweet!

Worst Song Ever

I just watched the last four performers on the show Rockstar: Supernova, where one (un)lucky contestant will win a popularlity contest, and as a result, join Supernova, which features Tommy "Please have the helicopter pick me up in the middle of the street" Lee, Jason "you might know me as the bassist player from Metalica, but problably not" Newsted, and Gilby "I am just an unemployed guitar player with nothing else to do and no chance of being on tv without this show" Clarke.

One contestant-- (My name is) Lukas-- performed "Creep" by Radiohead. Never before did I want to hear this song as a love song; hopefully, I will never hear this version again.

WHat are other songs that would make the "Worst Song Ever" Category:

Update: Lieberman is in Fact Toast!

It is 9:50 p.m., Conneticut Time. Harrogate is going to jump a little ahead of his other high-profile colleagues in the media and call this for Lamont. Now, Harrogate realizes he's been a little harsh with Lamont: but tonight, against his usual cynicism he allows himself to feel proud of the voters of Conneticut and yes, to feel a glimmer of hope in this nation.

Now, watch as the "liberal" media demonizes left bloggers like Harrogate, in a vicious backlash against Lamont's anti-war, pro-civil liberties stance. Also watch as Lieberman continues to build on his petty ethos by running as a "Petitioning Democrat" Blech.

But tonight, it's champagne:

Looks like Lieberman's Toast

If so then Yes there will indeed be partying

10:36 p.m. Texas time--

Harrogate checking around the blogosphere, The Lieb is on TV conceding, and he's pissed, and he's vowing to run as an independent. How pathetic.

Congratulations, Ned. Now don't let us down: go out there and get that seat in November!

A New Game

A name game for The Rhetorical Situation viewers: "Where in the World is Oxymoron?"

Readers are encouraged to offer their suggestions as to "Where in the World is Oxymoron?"

Winners will receive a sincere "Thank You" by Oxymoron. Hugs may also be available.

See official contest rules whenever they are posted.

Dedicated to Oxymoron, Whose Voice Harrogate Has Deeply Missed

Monday, August 07, 2006

Live Blogging: Lincoln at Gettysburg

Tonight, as a special to The Rhetoircal Situation, I will provide a live blogging experience of Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg. Check you local listing for a TV or satelite feed of this event.

I think the speech tonight may be monumental. Anticipation is quite high.

Prepping for Monday Night Raw

Beginning at 8:00 Harrogate will be continually updating this post, following the action on Raw. A couple of things to bear in mind as you all go out and get all the beer, burgers, and dogs for your Raw party:

1)Accept the fact that Edge (depicted above) is WWE Heavyweight Champion. Indeed, to paraphrase a great sitcom moment, it is the Summer of Edge.

2)George Lakoff's ideas on framing, which have achieved popular attention through his engagement of how the GOP frames the political discourse, offers a particularly accurate lens through which to observe WWE's superproductions. Sweeping definitions regarding masculinity and heroism abound, as do very specific treatments of the role of women in a male-dominated society. Lakoff's work helps us understand how WWE is able to provide such a compelling construct within which it is impossible to imagine manliness as synonymous with, for example, baking cookies for the kids' sleepover.

See y'all at 8:00!

8:06 p.m. Memphis, Tennessee, baby! Monday Night Raw is rocking out tonight!

Things kick off with one of the very worst Elvis impersonations Harrogate has ever seen. Damn those McMahons! Now Edge interrupts the women's championship match and announces he's taking over Raw. He exploits the Rhetorical Situation to the fullest, playing up his whiny rep with the fans. But like him or hate him, he is indeed the Champ! More later...

8:23 p.m. Edge is getting pretty free with the violence against women thing, in Harrogate's opinion. Thank goodness for Carlito!

First match of the night: Big bad Kane destroys Shelton Benjamin and becomes number one contender for Johnny Nitro's Intercontinental Championship Belt.

Typical Cena, he's a true soldier, his rhetoric drips with integrity. Harrogate loves Cena, was pleased wit Cena's implication that Leda (Edge's woman) is a walking venereal disease. And then Crying Bitch Illustrated, that's powerful rhetoric.

The Cena/Viscera match should be entertaining. Both guys put on a helluva show in the ring.

8:42: Cena disposes of 500 lbs worth of faulty rhetoric. I wouldn't want to be Edge at Summerslam! (And why can't Big Visc accept that Lillian just wants to be friends?)

8:53 p.m. Last night Harrogate wrote: "Harrogate predicts that McMahon will find some sneaky way to get Michaels out of the arena so that Triple H is surrounded by numbnuts, with no allies": Exactly what has gone down in Memphis. Sigh. Triple H better have an ace in the hole....

9:11 p.m., Harrogate's discomfort with Edge's lack of chivalry grows. How dare he spear Trish (though some may argue that it was inadvertent, Harrogate suspects otherwise)! It is at this point that Mrs. Harrogate goes to bed, secure in the knowledge that she will be updated as to Triple H's fate in the morning....

9:30 p.m., Harrogate has always been a huge Ric Flair fan. "Also Sprach Zarathustra" is definitely the greatest entrance music in the history of entrance music. Wooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! An "I Quit" match between Flair and one of
Mommy PhD's all time favorite's, Mick Foley: With all due respect to Harrogate's esteemed fellow blogger, Foley's goin' down at Summerslam!

9:54 p.m., All right, all that's left now that the dust has cleared, is the main event. For Harrogate it's been all about Umaga/Triple H all week. Strap on your rhetorical seatbelts, it's about to get hairy up in Memphis!

Well, we called it from the beginning, Umaga's unbeaten streak continues, and though he's certainly a rolling ball of blades, lately his wins are all coming due to external help, to phrenetic undulations disrupting what should be a stable Rhetorical Situation once the men in tights step into tha squared circle. Burke, Harrogate believes, would emphasize the importance of Scene to what is happening with Umaga right now.

Regardless, it's been a pleasure: good evening everyone!

Countdown To Extinction: Lieberman v Lamont

Well, it's crunch time in the Conneticut Democratic Primary: Lieberman's death grip on the seat may well be reaching it's final frontier as of tomorrow. Harrogate is holding his nose and endorsing Lamont, who's seeming zeal for Israeli aggression must be viewed in context with his overall committment to getting the US out of Iraq and, protecting civil liberties from the current drubbing it suffers in this country.

Moreover, Harrogate sides with the left blogosphere in the contention that Lieberman rhetorically impaled himself with his petulant vow to run as a "Petitioning Democrat" in the event that he loses the primary.

Here is the transcript from their July 7th debate

Naturally, both fellas are engaged in some eleventh hour politicking.

And see The Nation for some interesting rhetoric about the contest.

Finally, for the many Conneticut voters who have yet to make up their minds, here is Ned Lamont's website for your perusal.

We'll see what happens tomorrow!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Monday Night Raw Teaser

Last Monday Night Shawn Michaels got completely screwed in his match with the viscious, undefeated, and unbelievably talented Umaga. Check out the video (and note Jim Ross's reference to The Sopranos ) for how it went down--if you like high theater, you'll love the action, and you'll want the Heartbreak Kid to have his revenge.

Notice how, towards the end of the video, Shane McMahon exploits the Rhetorical Situation to the fullest through mimicking Michaels' big move--here "Shane O'Mac," as his father likes to call him, shows an acute sense of audience awareness, not to mention an instinct for humiliating those with whom he disagrees politically.

And as you can see here, the great Triple H was escorted by the authorities out of the New Jersey arena for possessing illegal Cuban cigars. But the cigars were planted on him by Mr. McMahon (But perhaps Triple H really is the father of Stephanie McMahon's newborn daughter, in which case The Game gets the last laugh, as it were)!

In any event Harrogate agrees with the people on this: he doesn't like dirty rhetoric, and therefore despises Mr. McMahon.

The Main Event on Monday Night presents yet another chance for Umaga to get what's coming to him, as Triple H, aka The Game, aka The King of Kings, will square off with him. Harrogate predicts that McMahon will find some sneaky way to get Michaels out of the arena so that Triple H is surrounded by numbnuts, with no allies.

Tomorrow Night Harrogate begins live update blogging of Monday Night Raw. Check it out from 8:00-10:00 p.m. central time.

Whitlock: A Figure who Inspires Harrogate's Steroids Columns

Here is a taste of Jason Whitlock's superior sportswriting. He is especially beloved by KC Chiefs fans, but has been a national fiugure for some time and writes about a gamut of salient sports issues. He's very dialed into his own Rhetorical Situation, constantly maintaining his audience awareness and remembering that writing is largely about implying a persona and then building on, branching from, that persona in ways that will impact readers.

Anyway, all these years Harrogate has writhed internally over the steroids rhetoric without knowing how to articulate how he was feeling (in itself a terrible feeling for any rhetorician, as we are sure Harrogate's fellow bloggers will readily attest). But for the last several months Harrogate has been dialed in to Whitlock and a lot has become much clearer. Especially laudatory is Whitlock's continual invocation of the Barkeley mantra, an instance of which may be found in the article entitled "Find Heroes Elsewhere." Here is an excerpt, but Harrogate strongly suggests that you read the whole article:

"Again, I’m uninterested in putting Landis or Lance Armstrong or Barry Bonds or Mark McGwire on trial. I’d just like to see all athletes taken off a pedestal. It’s unhealthy. It’s improper. It’s a position they don’t want or deserve.

They’re entertainers. They’re no different from Jim Morrison or Justin Timberlake or the movie star who goes in and out of rehab.

Athletes and the bad deeds they get involved in are not what’s wrong with our kids. We’re what’s wrong with kids, those of us who keep praying that our children grow up to be professional athletes, those of us who fail to accept the responsibility of being role models to the kids within our own families."

Now, Harrogate is a new parent. He hopes, together with Mrs. Harrogate, to teach values rather than expecting them to be gleaned by turning to great atheletes like Triple H, Lebron James, Oxymoron, and the Tour de France studs for tips on how to be a decent human being. Yes, yes, yes! Whitlock is a cultural critic who gets where Harrogate is coming from quite well.

Now, don't get Harrogate wrong. Whitlock has said many things during the steroids controversy that don't fly here, and which will come under further scrutiny in the coming installments: for example, the (in Harrogate's opinion) specious suggestion that the hunting of Barry Bonds has been primarily driven by race. As Harrogate's next post on steroids (Wednesday for all you Rhetorical Situation fans out there) will demonstrate, such hunting betrays a motive less connected to racism than to the equally human penchant for scapegoating as a way to avoid acknowledging complicity.

Geatest Book(s) You Have Never Read?

Sunday Poll: What is the greatest book you have never read?

Sunday-- Open Thread

What is on your mind Springfield?