Monday, 27 February 2012

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Scott Eric Kaufman's Visual Rhetoric Compendium (as of 7/09/13) Films: Batman Begins (classic horror) - Christopher Nolan Blow-Up (I) - Michelangelo Antonioni Blow-Up (II)- Michelangelo Antonioni The Dark Knight (I) - Christopher Nolan The Dark Knight (II) - Christopher Nolan Fellowship of the Ring (conventions of high fantasy) - Peter Jackson Fight Club - David Fincher Fight Club (II) - David Fincher Fight Club (III) - David Fincher Ghost World - Terry Zwigof Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind - Hayao Miyazaki Superman - Richard Donner Superman Returns - Bryan Singer The Dark Knight Returns (animated) - The Zack Snyder School of Literal Filmmaking 30 Days of Night - David Slade Television Shows: Avatar: The Last Airbender - "The Ember Island Players" Breaking Bad - "Buyout" I (Naturalism) Breaking Bad - "Buyout" II (Realism) Breaking Bad - "Say My Name" Breaking Bad - "Gliding Over All," Said the Fly to the Money Pile Breaking Bad - "Gliding Over All" the Invisible Lines and Immaterial Connections Breaking Bad - "Gliding Over All" Until You're Not Buffy the Vampire Slayer - "Hush" Doctor Who - "Time of Angels" Doctor Who - "Time of Angels" - Buckling the Frame Doctor Who - "The Eleventh Hour" Doctor Who - "Amy's Choice" Doctor Who - "Vincent and the Doctor" Doctor Who - "The Pandorica Opens" Doctor Who - "The Big Bang" Doctor Who - "The Impossible Astronaut" Game of Thrones - Embiggening Men in "Blackwater" Game of Thrones - "Winter Is Coming" for Poor Will Game of Thrones - "Winter Is Coming" for Bran Game of Thrones - "Winter Is Coming" for Catelyn Stark and Jon Snow Game of Thrones - "Winter Is Coming" for Will and Bran Game of Thrones - "Lord Snow," you're no bigger than a half-man Game of Thrones - Everyone is alone, everyone is surrounded in "The Wolf and the Lion" Game of Thrones - How circular is "A Golden Crown"? Game of Thrones - Table-setting and brain-burning in "You Win or You Die" Game of Thrones - Learning to use "The Pointy End" Game of Thrones - Swords! Swords! Swords! in "Baelor" Game of Thrones - "Valar Dohaeris," Indeed. But who? Where? To what end? Game of Thrones - Eyelines of miscommunication in "Second Sons," Part I Game of Thrones - Eyelines of miscommunication in "Second Sons," Part II Game of Thrones - It's always been "Rain[ing in] Castamere," because yes, I am trying to break your heart Game of Thrones - Awful Greek words that apply to "The Rains of Castamere" Hannibal - The frail horror of shallow focus Law & Order: Special Victims Unit - "What will become of the children?" Why, they'll be raped and murdered, of course." Leverage - "The Van Gogh Job" Louie - "Daddy's Girlfriend II" Mad Men - "Don and Sally in 'A Little Kiss'" Mad Men - "The Ballad of Peggy and Pete, Redux, in 'A Little Kiss'" Mad Men - "The Grown-Ups" Mad Men - "Shut the Door. Have a seat." Mad Men (I) - "The Rejected" Mad...
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Pay attention or I'll **** you up, you little ****. Though I suppose this would get me fired in Arizona, I’ll admit that I strategically punctuate my lesson plans with profanity. That guy in the back of the class who thinks he failed his engineering midterm yesterday and spent all night fretting about it instead of sleeping? He’s drifting off — and would be, no matter what time it was or class he was attending. How can I keep him awake? Profanity. Don’t believe me? Ask science: The unique emotional power of taboo language reflects properties that affect cognitive processes like memory and attention. Cursing is unlike other forms of speech; it is more physically arousing, as evidenced through physiological responses such as skin conductance or neural activity such as amygdala activation (Jay, 2003; Jay, Harris, & King, in press). The image accompanying that post also caught my attention, as it reminded me of something I wrote a few years back but feel all the more strongly about now: the language of Deadwood. I’ll put it below the fold, though, as this is a family blog, but I’ll note that the best part about what I wrote may well be one of the comments. So: Why does this sentence work? Ellsworth: I’ll tell you what: I may have fucked my life up flatter than hammered shit, but I stand here before you today beholden to no human cocksucker. My best guess: The “I’ll tell you what” is conventional enough. Only, which convention does it partake of here? Is it the quiet, conspiratorial “I’ll tell you what” salesmen whisper when they want to do us a favor and throw in the top coat for an extra $400? (They’ll have to run it by their manager.) If it is, the “tell” and “what,” the speech and its content, would be emphasized; the “I” and “you” would sink, unstressed, in order to abnegate responsibility for the fucking “I’m” about to do to “you.” That doesn’t seem to work. So, how about the one in which the stresses fall drunkenly on the first and third beats? “I’ll tell you what” embraces the responsibility for the beating “I” declare, for all to hear, that “I’m” gonna put on “you.” This works much, much better. Such statements should, by law or enforced custom, incite terrible violence … only this one doesn’t. Instead, we’re treated to a somber but forceful self-introspection. Ellsworth, we learn, “fucked [his] life up flatter than hammered shit.” Look at mess of alliteration and assonance there. We have the f sounds stumbling in and out of “fucked,” “life” and “flatter.” Notice how the poetic trickery staples the phrase together. The fə occurs in “fucked” and draws “life” and “up” together, almost into a single word (li-fəp), uniting life up with that what’s been fucked. You know, life. The third f introduces the next sound, what linguists call the “near-open, front unrounded”) æ which occurs in the word which best describes it: “flat.” The flæ pulls together the alliterative fs with the assonant æs....

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