Filed Under (SW9) by Brandon Braxton on 25-10-2010

Religious Satire in Hollywood: How Borat and Saved! Utilize the Offensive Art to Foster Interreligious Dialogue written by Paul Neal Jordan discusses the revealing aspects of ironic and exaggerated satire. Borat’s Baron Cohen exemplifies religious prejudices and stereotypes towards Jews with jaw dropping rhetoric which is effective because he himself is Jewish. Saved! outdoes the doctrines of being an imperfect Christian and the lengths people will go to maintain their faith and servitude to the Lord.

Using an SNL skit to begin this article was igneous. It is a really good use of the work of others and it is also something that brings in the reader because it is well known and is satire, which ties into the rest of his paper. Also, the integration of both movies are prototype examples to support the author’s thesis. The author’s thesis is clear throughout the paper and proposes a strong position through explicit examples from each movie.

Among all types of academic writing the main similarity I notice is research. Also, the best writings have great novel positions by the author that can be supported and make the reader think too. Between my literature review and the chosen Deliberations articles the first thing that struck me is the spacing of each part of the idea throughout the paper. Each part was most importantly adding on to the previous one. Also, most of the writings in Deliberations were not meant for scientific journals. Instead, they were better known topics of the general public, which enables the readers to be more involved in the articles.

Filed Under (SW9) by Bryan Lockwood on 25-10-2010

In the article, “A New Dream: Barack Obama and the Rhetoric of “A More Perfect Union,” Vanderslice describes the tactics that Barack Obama used to win the hearts of Americans in his 2008 speech, A More Perfect Union. In his speech, the soon-to-be president described his childhood as a young mixed-race boy growing up Chicago. Raised by an African father and a caucasian mother from Kansas, Obama spoke about the American Dream and the individual rights promised to the people of our nation.  Despite the drawbacks in his campaign (i.e. his lack of experience, Pastor Wright’s controversial sermons, etc.), Obama used the fact that “his election would fit in with an American history defined by progress and improvement” to propel himself to the head of the election. Vanderslice carefully explained that Obama’s ability to reshape the context in which in the eyes of not only minorities, but in those of “mainstream” Americans as well.

The article’s style and tone contributed well to the overall voice of the writing. The author used a variety of different political writing sources, which added credibility to the already professionally-toned paper. Vanderslice also organized the paper in a unique, yet effective way. The beginning gives a brief background of Barack Obama at the present, then tells how the rhetoric he used in the speech came from his own ethnic background. Most of the writing consists of the author backing up his thesis that Obama’s use of rhetoric was a key factor to his success in the election, and it ends with a description of Obama’s dream of America. Throughout, he cites directly from four books written by the president himself. Using the president’s own words was a brilliant way to show the rhetoric used by the politician, not just in his speech but also in his own writing.

One major similarity I noticed between all the academic writing was the accessibility of the information that was being presented. Even when describing complex topics, such as rhetoric in Vanderslice’s work, the authors condensed extensive ideas and made them clear to a wide variety of audiences. My writing review consisted of detailed experiments involving microorganisms, chemical biocides, and difficult procedures that may have only been understood by someone experienced in the field of science. The literature review I completed in class was on a completely different topic, but the same rules for writing and level of detail applied. The same could be said for Vanderslice’s article and the other articles found in Deliberations; extensive subjects like politics, persuasion, religion, race, and commercialism were made compatible with many different readers without taking away from the underlying meaning in each and every authors work.

Filed Under (SW9, Uncategorized) by Natalie Ferguson on 25-10-2010

In the article “‘Speak Softly and Carry a Lipstick’: Government Influence on Female Sexuality through Cosmetics During WWII,” written by Adrienne Niederriter, the importance of a red lipstick during WWII is explored. The author utilizes various primary and secondary sources in order to make the claim that red lipstick both enabled women to express themselves sexually, which ultimately allowed women to redefine themselves. Most effective in the essay is the author’s use of primary sources, namely, actual posters obtained from the Duke Special Collections Library and journal excerpts. The subject chosen directly involves women in the public, and I felt that using actual sources and not just a historian’s take on a subject made the piece particularly striking. When interviewed during the symposium, the author added that looking through the Duke Special Collections Library was particularly a rewarding aspect of the project. She also drew the reader with an endless stream of insight into women in WWII. It is not a subject that is regularly explored, and I felt that it was particularly impressive that she took on the task of telling a story that is rarely told.

The essay is very different than the assigned Literature Review. Namely, the readership assigned is broader for Niederriter. Instead of writing for a scientific journal that appeals to a broader scope within those interested in science, she writes to anyone, whether or not they have a historic interest.

Joyce Yu’s paper defines the meaning of “authenticity” through a dissection of  country-pop’s roots, structure, and legacy. She initially and very generally explains that authentic music needs to balance the new and the old. I noticed after reading, that this vague definition was what hooked me into reading the rest of the paper and served as a very solid core to which new evidence and insight is planted on. The first body subtopic brings the audience back to the roots of country-pop and sheds light on why it was widely criticized  and likened to a “plaque.” Yu effectively brings a variety of sources to liven this necessary history lesson: magazine headlines, sociology phenomenons, and example artist. At the end of this subtopic, the evidence skews in favor of the old and makes country-pop look like a digression from an important country music value – community. It keeps the audience reading, wondering how country-pop can still serve as a model for authenticity. Yu shifts gears and examines the merit behind these claims by bringing in a case study of Patsy Cline’s music. Analysis of song structure and lyrics points out the features that are unchanging and those influenced by pop. Inclusion of sample sheet music reflects all the points mentioned and makes visualization a lot easier. A chronological documentation of the evolution of Patsy Cline’s music and her struggle compromising two seemingly polar opposites finally recapitulates that hybrids can create a new identity and bring out the best of both worlds, the very definition of authenticity.

One big aspect of Yu’s writing I greatly admire is her skill with keeping the reader interested. I noticed that my own writing does not carefully withhold information and instead keeps both sides of the story homogeneous. I don’t know if this would be appropriate for scientific writing, but I do know that it is perfect for keeping a general audience (like myself) interested. The contextual evidence is also very well integrated and directly back up her arguments. I know my own writing is not as direct and require a few sentence of explanation; I think that detracts from the focus of my writing.

Works Cited:

Yu, JY. (2010). Keepin’ it real: how commercialization of country music does not define artificiality. Deliberations,

Filed Under (SW9) by Haley Ishimatsu on 25-10-2010

In the article ‘”Speak Softly and Carry a Lipstick”: Government Influence on Female Sexuality through Cosmetics During WWII’, by Adrienne Niederriter (2009), the author explored how lipstick changed how women expressed themselves during the 1940’s. Red lipstick became a staple for women who were either in the war industry or serving in the military. For these women, the lipstick became the symbol of strength and female sexuality. It allowed them  to show that they were women even though they were doing what was considered a man’s job. Women were encouraged to wear make up and to fix their hair up while on duty. However, they found it hard to keep this routine when the demands of war left little time for the women to care for themselves. Women back in the United states had taken begun to volunteer to be featured as pin-up girls. These photos of these girls were supposed to give the men at war more moral. However, these pictures were controversial because some thought that these pictures were too sexual. Female sexuality was dangerous territory, but it was nonetheless needed. The use of red lipstick allowed women to become more independent in their social lives, and their sexuality (Niederriter, 2009).

The author of this article was able to complete the goals of Writing 20; engaging with the work of others, articulating a position, and situating writing in a specific context. Niederriter engaged in the work of others by finding ads, journals, and letters, from women in the 1940’s and interpreting them, even with decades of separation between these women and the author. She was able to articulate a position by stating that the use of red lipstick allowed women to discover their freedom socially and sexually. Niederriter had written this paper for a specific audience in mind, the modern men and women of today’s world. She was able to get this audience to understand the hardships of the women in the 1940’s and how the lipstick was so much more than just make up.

In another article called ‘Politically Incorrect: Gran Torino and Racial Facades’, by Laurel Burk (2010), the character of Walt Kowalski in the movie “Gran Torino” is analyzed. In today’s society, we are taught to be politically correct, even though we may harbor some prejudice in our hearts. Walt, on the other hand, is exactly the opposite. He says many racist comments to his neighbors in the movie, but he ends up befriending the son of the neighbor. He was very politically incorrect on the surface, but held no real grudge in his heart. His actions spoke far louder than words. Walt took the son under his wing and taught him how to fix things and was able to help the son secure a job. In the end, Walt ended up leaving the son his Gran Torino, his most prized possession. Walt represented the exact opposite of how today’s world deals with racism. He did not care if he was politically correct, while people today stress over this all the time (Burk, 2010)

The author of this article was able to work with the goals of Writing 20. Burk was able to engage with the work of others by interpreting the movie “Gran Torino” in terms of racism. She also articualted her position that she believed that in today’s world of being politically correct can be very difficult  to decipher how a person really feels. She was also able to write in the context that she was writing for a fairly general audience and adjusted quotes from the movie accordingly.

In academic writing, all authors have to engage with the work of others. They use this information as evidence to form a position on a particular argument. Also, writers also have to write with specific audiences in mind to effectively get their point across. In my literature review I expected that my audience would have a fairly good background in science. Therefore, used terminology that might not be understood by a broader audience. My literature review would be inappropriate for Deliberations because much of what I wrote would not be understood.

Works Cited

Niederriter, A., (2009), “Speak Softly and Carry a Lipstick”: Governement Influence on Female Sexuality through Cosmetics During WWII. Deliberations, 4-9

Burk, L., (2010), Politically Incorrect: Gran Torino and Racial Facades. Deliberations, 21-24

Filed Under (SW9) by Sean Dickey on 25-10-2010

In the essay, “Religious Satire in Hollywood: How Borat and Saved! Utilize the Offensive Art to Foster Interreligious Dialogue,” Paul Jordan takes a look at the previously mentioned films and analyzes the messages behind their overly exaggerated depictions of religious groups. In Borat, he focuses on the title character’s Anti-Semitism as a means to expose this absurd form of bigotry. In Saved!, an analysis is done on young fundamentalist Christian groups and the irony of how unlike they imitate the deity in which they worship.

Borat is a movie about a respected reporter from Kazakhstan who comes to America in search of a solution to his idea of his countries three biggest problems: “economic, social and Jew. ” He begins his journey across with his producer and engages in funny, often outrageous, social situations with various Americans. During the whole movie, Cohen, the actor playing Borat, makes a strong effort to insert insults and fake traditions from Kazakhstan about Borat’s views on Jewish people.

The movie titled Saved!, is a movie that focuses on fundamentalist teens in a high school setting. The story is focused on a group of high schoolers called “the Christian Jewels,” who are the “most righteousness” students at school. The main character is Mary, a member of this group who has just found out her best friend is now gay. She along with the other strong Christian friends view his sexuality as an affliction and seek a method to “cure” him. Mary ultimately decides that having sex with him is the solution.

Jordan began his paper by presenting a very recent example of satire in the media and compared it to a news magazine’s attempt to be edgy. Referring to the parody of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live, he looked at how widely accepted this satiristic attempt at a  political figure that, while taken literally, essentially called her a dumb, attractive woman in politics, was in the mainstream. In the magazine, Newsweek, the author remarks how the use of a mildly provocative picture of Sarah Palin was met with much backlash. He sets up the notion that satire has an great amount of freedom to present ideas in a way that is typically offensive or simply politically incorrect. When describing the purpose of Borat, Jordan makes the claim that by playing a character that is so extremely anti-Semitic, Cohen, a Jewish man, essentially shows how stupid and obnoxious bigotry is. In Saved!, the irony is seen as Mary, who ended up getting pregnant from trying to “cure” her best friend, is ostracized by her Christian friends, but accepted by her Jewish friend.

Jordan made a very good effort to explain the complexities of political incorrectness in the media and how useful it can be to expose prejudices, and ironies in society. By doing so, he seemed to present a topic that can be quite controversial in a way that seemed accessible and relevant to any kind of reader. In my own literature review, I didn’t exactly write for as broad of an audience as the author did. In contrast, his paper had a tone, and subject that could relate to almost anyone. Another aspect that I appreciated about his paper was his, while claiming that religious satire has a good purpose of bringing attention to stereotypes in society, he acknowledged the other side, or the counterargument, how such films could be taken out of context and only anger the groups that are mentioned in the films. This move lends him a great amount of credibility as takes away the ability of opponents to completely strike down his claims.

Filed Under (SW9) by Jania Arcia-Ramos on 25-10-2010

Adrienne Niederriter’s article “‘Speak Softly and Carry a Lipstick’: Government Influence on Female Sexuality through Cosmetics During WWII,” explores the relationship between cosmetics, women’s sexuality, and the war effort.  During WWII, women had to abandon their traditional gender roles as housewives to fulfill jobs that had traditionally been held by men.  While this was a necessary change, society still desired women to maintain their femininity.  As a result, the government during WWII widely endorsed the use of cosmetics, especially red lipstick, by females since it kept their sexuality in place as these women increasingly took on masculine roles in society.  Red lipstick became a symbol of strength and femininity, and a necessity to women both directly involved in the war, and those supporting the war effort from home. Niederriter argues that the use of the red lipstick during WWII influenced women to expand their independence, and foreshadowed the feminist movements of the 1960s and 70s.

Niederriter’s title was very clever since it alluded to Roosevelt’s widely known slogan “Speak softly and carry a big stick” but was cleverly and appropriately modified to “speak softly and carry a ‘lipstick’.” This title not only draws the reader in by presenting something that is known to the reader but with a twist, but since Roosevelt’s slogan had to do with the war, the title gives a hint as to what the article will be about.  Furthermore, the author uses a wide range of works previously done by others such as advertisements, letters, personal diaries, and newspaper articles, among others, to support her position about the influence of lipstick, and other cosmetic use, on women gender roles during WWII. The author effectively ties in her article to her respective discipline, the rhetoric of what we wear, by describing how wearing red lipstick during WWII not only allowed women to maintain their feminine sexuality while they fulfilled masculine jobs, but how it also influenced women’s movements to gaining independence. 

Since for Aquatic Invasive Species we are writing for a scientific community, some of the techniques employed by the author would not be appropriate for our literature reviews. For instance, the author introduced her topic with:

“Imagine manning a submarine beneath the Pacific waves at the height of war. You receive orders to surface immediately and evacuate to safety. In your dash to escape, what items would you bring with you? Precious photos? Letters from home? Your favorite watch?”

Although using a theoretical scenario was extremely effective for the author, it would not be an appropriate technique to introduce a scientific writing. Furthermore, in a scientific literature review, the use of direct quotes should be minimal since they can be confusing, while in the writing of the author, the use of direct quotes strengthened her position.

Filed Under (SW9) by Dan Tully on 25-10-2010

Grace Wei’s writing piece titled Gaining Access to Myanmar, follows the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis and how the people of Myanmar, in desperate need of the foreign aide, are being barred from the aide by the Myanmar militaristic government.  The Myanmar government believes that accepting foreign aide will make Myanmar appear weak; however, this strategy has backfired as more and more nations condemn Myanmar for its inhumane actions against its own citizens.  Yet the Myanmar government still refuses to concede that it needs help dealing with the aftermath of Cyclone Nargis.

One aspect of Grace’s writing the differs from my literary review is that Grace uses some militaristic rhetoric to portray her strong dismay about the Myanmar government.  Although I initially used similar rhetoric in my first few writing pieces for this course, since reading and responding to Larson 2005, I have learned that militaristic rhetoric has little place in scientific writing.  However, I believe that in pieces of writing similar to Gaining Access to Myanmar, such rhetoric is necessary in order to properly demonstrate the  gravity of the situation.  Grace accomplishes this by using phrases such as “abysmal official response,” “military government suppresses political activity,” and “[the government’s] lack of sincerity.”  Additionally, Grace effectively uses quotes that follow similar rhetoric to help support her argument: “for the government, these people are no more than dead animals in the fields.”

Furthermore, one aspect that my literary review lacks is pictures.  In addition to effectively using quotes, Grace also effectively uses pictures to portray the devastation and suffer that the people of Myanmar are experiencing.  For example, the pictures of all the Cyclone survivors show faces of pure disappointment and anger in their government, a will to fight for survival that is slowly being broken, and diminishing feeling of hope.  These pictures do a very good job supporting the position that Grace is articulating.  It seems almost impossible to be able to find a picture of an invasive aquatic species that could have the same effect as these pictures of the cyclone survivors.  Readers can more easily connect to the emotions shown in Grace’s pictures than with pictures of invasive species because everyone at one point has felt either almost helpless or entirely helpless.

A combination of Grace’s writing tone, details, pictures, and quotations help to support her position on the situation in Myanmar following cyclone Nargis.  Her tone and details effectively portray her passion for her position.  And lastly, the pictures and quotations help supplement her own thoughts and make her writing piece even stronger.

Filed Under (SW9) by Braxton Deaver on 25-10-2010

“Speak Softly And Carry Lipstick” was the main article that I chose to read. Written by Adrienne Niederriter, this article goes in the women’s role in the aspect of war. During WWII the frontier was a savage place almost viewed as being no place for a woman. But on the contrary, 350,000 women served in the armed forces while 19 million held jobs in supporting war efforts. Instead of carry a big stick as Theodore Roosevelt said it, Carry lipstick is put in its place. The women wanted to be able to work hard and support our troops while keeping their beauty about them. Women felt that wearing the red lipstick would show off their sexuality in times of war. Also, women wanted to boost morale and show the troops that there is something worth fighting for, and that was the female beauty.
The fight for sexual freedom is what I thought portrayed this article. The author does an incredible job and describing the female hardship’s and that a women just plainly wants to feel pretty when sometimes things are going so “pretty”. The way that the article is structured is an attention grabber for me especially. The author did a great job and almost making a time line of how women and their sexuality as progressed over time. Almost giving the reader a look into how women’s sexuality has been debated over the years and what those opinions were. That what was striking to me was the author used old ads to articulate her position. I women wearing make up but flexing her bicep and a caption that read “We Can Do It! Gave off the perception that the women was not just a housewife but also an able bodied worker that could help toward the cause. Using the works of other authors she contrasts the pros and cons of pin up adds during the war. By considering both sides of the argument, I really felt like the author did a great job and supporting both sides and still articulating her opinion. Similar to my own literary review, I tried to see other sides of others opinions and added that to my article. At the same time I kept my position on the issue in tact as best as I could.
After reading this I has definitely helped me for my own future writing. The way that the author hooked the reader at the beginning by giving the ultimatum of what to take of an evacuation of a submarine, pictures? Letters? It really had me thinking about what would I take in a crisis like that. Lipstick was not my first thought and that’s what really snags the reader. You wonder what could lipstick have to do with anything? And then goes on to give substantial background information on what was going on. I had no idea the women’s war effort was so great and I think its something really interesting to read no matter your reading level.

the goals of writing 20 i believe were fully accomplished in this article. the writing was clear and understandable and she did a wonderful job and keeping the reader interested and engaged. the article flowed together and transition from paragraph to paragraph was excellent.

Filed Under (SW9) by Lindsay Gaskins on 25-10-2010

In “Politically Incorrect:  Gran Torino and Racial Facades,” Laurel Burk shows readers that in the movie Gran Torino, the character Walt is a good example of a person who on the exterior, seems blatantly racist, though through his actions, he seems to be the complete opposite.  This sparks a discussion on politically correct language in today’s culture.  Burk says that watering down our language when discussing race simply seems to have an inverse effect upon the situation, only making the person seem like they’re trying to cover up their racism instead of trying to be less offensive.  This seeming racism on the inside yet not on the outside has been dubbed de cardio racism, or “racism of the heart.”

Burk then continues with a discussion on the plot of Gran Torino and how Walt’s racial slurs, though shocking to an audience today, are not actually representative of how he is, and in fact, inside, he is not a racist.  Burk uses the movie Gran Torino to structure her paper, first discusses politically correct language today, then following the plot of Gran Torino to show how though at the beginning of the movie, the audience may write off Walt as a complete racist, since we are so unaccustomed to hearing racial slurs, but as we look closer at Walt’s actions, it becomes clear that he is in fact, not what he appears to be.  His neighbors, who are asian, may hear him use a lot of offensive slurs and stereotypes against them, but in the end, he actually takes the teenage boy in the asian family, Tao, under his wing, and in the end, makes the ultimate sacrifice for the family’s well-being and safety.   This shows the audience that Walt is really a “de cardio nonracist.”  Burk not only engages with the movie Gran Torino, but also with other papers on racism and uses these to back up and help articulate her position on racism and being potilically correct in an interesting way.  Burk would present an idea from a paper or the movie, and then interpret it and bring in her own ideas to make it relevant to her paper and tie together her thesis.  It was very well-done and put together.  This piece is well-situated in Deliberations because, like Burk said herself in the little paragraph under her picture, it was tough to strike that balance between what was acceptable to include in a paper such as this, but not being to PC in a paper discussing just that.  Despite this challenge, I think she strikes the perfect balance.  The thing that struck me most about this piece was the way that the author was able to discuss being PC and de cardio racism by simply following along with the plot line of a movie and letting that foster discussion points.  I thought the way she wove that together was masterfully done.

Though my literature review and Burk’s piece were obviously on vastly different topics, there are some very basic similarities.  We both have a thesis, which we develop throughout the piece, and also begin with a sort of introduction at first on the topic to segway into the greater point.  In my case, I gave some background information and examples of damage done by purple loosestrife; in her case, she gave a little background information on the evolution and creation of PC before the segway into Gran Torino.  There are also many differences though, especially since my literature review asks for introduction and research on beetles, whereas her review asks us to consider an aspect of how our culture has evolved.  I don’t quite think my literature review would fit into Deliberations because I wrote it with the intention of it being read by an audience from Frontiers, so I wrote on their level of background knowledge and more towards their interests, whereas the casual reader of Deliberations would be completely overwhelmed by some of the scientific jargon and concepts that I present.