Thursday, May 04, 2006

Style lesson 10

in this final lesson Williams discusses the ethical responsibilities that writers have towards their readers. he talks about the importance of trying to be clear so that your readers wont have to try to understand you. he says that responsible writers make ideas no simpler than they deserve, but no more difficult than they have to be.

he sites the golden rule of writing as: "Write to others as you would have others write to you." (Williams 179).

he then warns that if you are consistently hard to understand and seem to the reader to be arrogant, then a reputation will build. you will be thought of as incomprehensible and arrogant. the personality that you infuse into your writing is vitally important, as it shows your reader your personality, you should make it one worthy of a reputation.

he says that it is vital to both be clear and memorable, "what really counts, after all, is not what we understand as we read, but how well we remember it the next day." (Williams 180).

he describes clarity as an idealogical value, one that is collectively agreed upon by a community.

he then delves into an in depth analysis of Lincoln's second inaugurational speech. his main point for the analysis is to show us that though Lincoln used manipulation in his words, he was still within the ethical bounderies. he makes his point by steering his listeners in a certain direction, and he never is unethical in that respect.

this book all in all was an OK read. it wasnt something that i would read on an airplane per se, but it was ok as a class text. it never outright put me to sleep which is a positive for an assigned text.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

journal for chaucer class

Nun's Priests Tale

This tale really interested me because Chanticleer is such an odd character. He is clearly an animal because of his animal instincts, such as having sex with Pertelote 28 times in one day, yet he has extensive book learning.
Pertelote was also an interesting character since she tells Chanticleer that she does not love him anymore since he is such a coward. This is clearly hyperbole, but the choice of words is interesting especially considering her reaction when he actually does get abducted. Her claim to no longer love him because of his cowardice is completely discounted after Chanticleer is kidnapped by the fox.
The fox is another character that interested me. I would think that a fox who was clever enough to trick Chanticleer into singing with his eyes closed so that he could eat him, would see through the obvious trick that Chanticleer eventually gets away with. This eventual trick at the end makes the tale seem like it was ended just to have an ending. It seems to me like Chaucer was looking for a simple way to end the tale, so he chose the easy way out.
I really liked the different proof that Pertelote uses to prove to Chanticleer that dream are not important. She uses a lot of philosophers, and makes herself sound very intelligent. But then Chanticleer annihilates her with sources against her argument which made me think that he was simply trying to show off. Though Chanticleer clearly disagrees with Pertelote, it seems extremely unnecessary to me that he would need to outline so many sources against her argument. That particular scene made me feel a little bit more hostile towards Chanticleer, he seemed so antifeminist and pompous.
I also noticed that the tale refers to “Jakke Straw and his maynee”. I especially liked this reference, and the footnotes say that it was a reference to the peasant’s rebellion that had been going on when Chaucer was writing the Canterbury Tales. This makes me wonder why Chaucer would feel like it was important to include political themes in a tale that on the surface is a light hearted moral beast fable. This particular reference makes me wonder whether Chaucer actually meant this tale to be a political commentary.
All in all I really liked this tale and I’ll get more insight into it when I prepare and give my presentation on it.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

even more discussion questions for my sex class

Pg. 67 “In hunting societies, for example, female gender variance was signified by a girl rejecting the domestic activities associated with women and participating in playing and hunting with boys.”

This definition seems to me to describe the tomboys that I grew up with. It is interesting to think that in a different society, the athletic and boyish girls would be considered to be a part of a third gender. Would these girls necessarily have to become third gendered individuals? Or could they simply continue to be normal women, with personalities that coincided with those of tomboyish women?

Pg. 67 “Where male gender variants did not fight, they sometimes had other important roles in warfare, like treating the wounded, carrying supplies for the war party, or directing post-battle ceremonies”

I was wondering if these jobs that here are mentioned to be done by the male gender variants, were there any war type jobs available for women? I thought that usually it was the women in the village that treated the wounded or carried supplies, but if the job was taken by the gender variants then the women would be left out.

Pg. 68 “homogender, rather than homosexual, practices bore the brunt of negative cultural sanctions.”

I find it interesting that in our culture we shun both homosexual and homogendered relationships; although I was wondering if there is a difference in our culture. What I mean is that in the Americanized version of gender, there is really no difference between gender and biological sex. I wonder if the class thinks that there could be a difference in the American psyche between gender and sex.

Monday, May 01, 2006

copy cat of MAXIM article

i found this article in Maxim magazine and it was so ridiculous that i had to copy cat it here.

you should read the original first, my post will make much more sense if you read the original.

How to: Cure a Straight Man
Turn an Unkempt, Unhygeinic Straight Man into the most Fabulous Shopping Partner.

1. Win him Over
Reel him in with your feminine charms, if he believes himself to be straight, then if necessary use sex to get him into your camp. show yourself to be warm and inviting, but keep some wicked witch in the background, we dont want him falling in love now do we?

2. Open his Eyes
He wont switch sides on his own, he'll need some encouragement. show him that homoeroticism is OK by making out with one of your girlfriends and tell him you think it would be hot if he did the same. careful here gals, hes very vulnerable here, so let him know that you still find him to be all man.

3. Treat him Right
Take him shopping with you and have him pick out his own outfits. give him positive responses, even if his taste is not up to your standards. let him know that its not OK to buy anything camaflouged. have him internallize some basic rules. while on your trip get him to rate male bodies with you. this will give you a basic idea of his male type.

4. Shift his Focus
If he is still hesitant at this point, get him into a situation where he must talk with other men. once he is in conversation craftily excuse yourself. If questioned later on why you left, claim that you didnt want to interrupt a possible future relationship. Make more and more lunch and shopping dates. once he realizes that he will get no more than friendship from you he will accept his new sexuality and you will have a brand new gay boyfriend!