Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Here's an issue for's called a thesis statement.

Man, I HATE doing thesis statements before I start my actual essay! But here ya go:

Although it may sometimes make conversation more convenient, electronic communication has greatly reduced our society's social skills because people spend more time conversing technologically than verbally.

Uh...the wording sounds awkward to me. Any suggestions???

Monday, February 27, 2012, I mean issues....

1. Texting - Is texting negatively impacting society? Are the youth of today really lacking in social skills because of texting?

2. Teacher salaries - Are teachers being paid enough for their efforts?

3. Obesity - Is obesity really a growing concern, and why? What does and does not cause/affect obesity and what can be changed to prevent it, especially in children?

4. Dolphins - Is it, or is it not ethical to eat dolphins? Should restrictions be placed upon the consuming of dolphins because of their cuteness?

That's right, I did four options. I think that deserves extra credit!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

True Defiance

In today’s society, could it be possible that people are becoming less confident and less capable of standing up for their personal beliefs? David Brooks, a New York Times columnist, believes that this is an increasing problem in the world today, as he states in his article “How to Fight the Man.” In this article, Brooks suggests that in today’s society, people are not raised with the necessary skill of defending their position in the face of opposition. “How to Fight the Man” is an effective argument to convince United States citizens to defy authority and stand up for their beliefs because it uses sophisticated word choice, authoritative tone, and allusions and relevant examples to create feelings of individuality and confidence.

David Brooks uses specific, sophisticated word choice to make himself sound intelligent enough for the reader to want to listen to him. For example, at one point in his article he says that Jefferson Bethke “responded in a way that was humble, earnest and gracious, and that generally spoke well of his character.” Words such as “earnest” and “gracious” are not usually used in casual, every day conversation, making it sound much more formal. However, Brooks then finishes his thought by saying, “He also basically folded,” bringing in a new, casual feel to contrast with the prior formal voice. By doing so, Brooks sets the readers up then catches them by surprise. This makes the reading more enjoyable and makes the reader want to continue to pay attention to Brooks. Therefore, such specific word choice gives Brooks’ argument more validity and strength in the mind of the reader, making the reader feel like Brooks is intelligent enough to form an accurate opinion worthy of consideration.

“How to Fight the Man” also conveys an authoritative tone; a tone implying intelligence, insight, and understanding. Word choice shows that the writer has an exceptional level of intelligence, creating a more sophisticated and authoritative tone to entice the reader to concur and respond positively. For example, he says, “Bethke’s passionate polemic and subsequent retreat are symptomatic of a lot of the protest cries we hear these days.” Within this excerpt Brooks shows his intelligence and sophistication. This increases his validity and shows the reader that Brooks knows what he is talking about and should be trusted.

Another prime example of Brooks’ tone is when he states, “The old leftists had dialectical materialism and the Marxist view of history. Libertarians have Hayek and von Mises. Various spiritual movements have drawn from Transcendentalism, Stoicism, Gnosticism, Thomism, Augustine, Tolstoy, or the Catholic social teaching that inspired Dorothy Day.” This sets an authoritative tone because it shows increased intelligence and knowledge. The reader is willing to open his/her mind and listen to Brooks because of his sense of authority and exceedingly great intelligence. People will not be willing to listen to somebody if they do not feel he knows what he’s talking about. By showing his extensive knowledge, Brooks gives his readers a valid reason to pay attention to him and consider his opinions.

In “How to Fight the Man,” Brooks also uses multiple examples to prove his point that people need to learn to defend themselves. For example, Brooks opens his piece with the example of a man named Jefferson Bethke. Bethke had created a video called “Why I Hate Religion, ButLove Jesus” in which he explains that religion is not required to be close to God; in fact, he feels religion limits the relationship between man and God. A comment had later been made on this video disagreeing with Bethke’s opinion, and stating that Jesus himself promoted religion while on this Earth. Rather than defending his position, however, Bethke stated, “I wanted to say I really appreciate your article man, it hit me hard. I’ll even be honest and say I agree 100 percent.” Brooks uses this example to show how easily people tend to give in when they are opposed, rather than defending their own beliefs. He argues that in our society today, people are not properly educated with a variety of different views, therefore making them unprepared to create and defend their own opinions. This example perfectly demonstrates and supports his point and by using such an example, Brooks shows the reader that his opinion is valid and worth considering.

Brooks also utilizes the allusion technique in support of his argument. For example, he explains to the reader that in order to stand up and defy authority, it is necessary to gain a great knowledge of many different aspects, rather than just focusing on his/her own opinions. If not, “You’ll lack the arguments, convictions and the coherent view of reality that you’ll need when challenged by a self-confident opposition.” In support of his argument, he alludes to a philosopher from the 19th century (Wicks):
My own theory revolves around a single bad idea. For generations people have been told: Think for yourself; come up with your own independent worldview. Unless your name is Nietzsche, that’s probably a bad idea. Very few people have the genius or time to come up with a comprehensive and rigorous worldview. If you go out there armed only with your own observations and sentiments, you will surely find yourself on very weak ground.
In this quote, Brooks alludes to Friedrich Nietzsche in an almost satirical sense. Nietzsche’s views provided a basis and foundation for Nazism, which (though in a negative aspect) definitely changed the world. By referring to Nietzsche in this way, Brooks supports his point that most people’s opinions will not be able to change the world so significantly; therefore, he believes it is crucial that people familiarize themselves with many different views in order to create a more educated view for themselves. By so doing, they will be more prepared to “defy authority” and defend their opinions and world views.

“How to Fight the Man” is a very effective argument. Using various techniques, David Brooks proves to his audience that many people do not know how to properly defend their opinions in the face of opposition. Using word choice, tone, and examples/allusions, he leads the reader to recognize the need for change, and creates a desire for them to learn to “defy authority.”

Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus

Works Cited

Wicks, Robert, "Friedrich Nietzsche", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.),

Friday, February 24, 2012

I should just start numbering these blog posts....

Don't you guys just LOVE rhetorical analyses? Well I don't. I'll admit that I didn't dislike it, though. I thought this was much easier to write than the OpEd. I did like how the OpEd was my own view and opinions, but for some reason it was more difficult for me to write. The rhetorical analysis seemed much more straight-forward and simple to write, in my opinion. First of all, I'm a very indecisive person; therefore, creating a solid opinion of my own is very difficult for me, making the OpEd difficult to write. The rhetorical analysis, on the other hand, was somebody else's paper and all I had to do was analyze the different styles and types of rhetoric they used to write it. Opinion isn't a big factor in the RA, and having somebody else's article to read gave me something easy and more concrete to write about. This isn't to say I hated the OpEd, but compared to the RA.....yeah, I liked the RA a bit more. The end.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Peer Reviews

Peer reviews are quite an interesting topic. Actually, no, they're really not. I'm not a fan of OpEd peer reviews. I thought the RA peer review was actually pretty helpful, but the, not so much. I don't know why exactly, but for some reason it just didn't seem like I got much help on my OpEd. That could possibly be because it was my own opinions and people are afraid to comment on others' opinions, but it just wasn't very helpful. I did find the RA peer review helpful, though. My group was very good about telling me what I needed to work on and change and it will greatly improve my final paper. So basically, the OpEd review was pointless, and the RA one was great. The end.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Idiotic drivers!!!

I am SO glad this is a free-write blog today because I'm ticked at the moment. Alright, so here's the situation: I live in the New Heritage building on 900 East. That's a pretty nice building, right? I agree. I love it here. The problem is the idiotic people who DON'T live here! For some reason people think that they can come drive through between the buildings on the SIDEWALK when I'm walking there! Is this acceptable? No! It's a sidewalk, implying that it's a place outside the road limits where people can walk. This means NO CARS; yet somehow people think they are cool enough that they can drive through when I'm walking there so I have to move for THEM. Grrrr, it's soooo irritating! I can't tell you how many times I've stepped out of my building on my way to class and almost been run over. There are even signs that say "NO CARS ALLOWED" or something like that in front of the sidewalk entrances, so why the heck do people still do it?! Maybe they're just too stupid to read the signs? (in which case they shouldn't be driving anyway) Or maybe they're just arrogant and think they're cooler than the rest of us? Or maybe they just don't think at all? No matter what the reason, it's annoying. In case you can't tell, I'm fed-up with it. I think next time someone does that when I'm walking there I'm going to just sit in the middle until they back-up and go back the way they came. Anyway, there's my random ranting and venting for the day. Oh, and I've got a nice little video here for you to watch, too. I'm sorry for all females who watch this; I'm not against women driving, this video is just funny. Enjoy!!!

Women Drivers

Happy Friday everyone!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Well it looks like there are a few different forms of figurative language in David Brooks' "How to Fight the Man." So here they are:

Brooks' tone is very formal (and I'm too lazy to find the best examples, so these will have to do):
"This seems to be a moment of fervent protest movements that are ultimately vague and ineffectual."
"The paradox of reform movements is that, if you want to defy authority, you probably shouldn’t think entirely for yourself."

Rhetorical Questions (or suggestions, I guess?):
Using questions makes the reader think for themselves before the writer presents the solution clearly for them:
"Maybe people today are simply too deferential. Raised to get college recommendations, maybe they lack the oppositional mentality necessary for revolt. Maybe people are too distracted."

"A blogger named Kevin DeYoung pointed out, for example, that it is biblically inaccurate to say that Jesus hated religion. In fact, Jesus preached a religious doctrine, prescribed rituals and worshiped in a temple."

There ya go. Have fun!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

RA Thesis

David Brooks' article "How to Fight the Man" is an effective argument to convince the reader to defy authority and stand up for their beliefs because it uses sophisticated word choice, authoritative tone, and relevant examples to create feelings of importance and individuality.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Few Options...

I'm a few minutes late because I was on a date, so hopefully that's a valid excuse. If's my blog post anyway. So, I've found  a couple interesting articles, but I want to keep looking so I'm not for sure if I'll use any of these. But here's what I've got:

1) This article is about people who feel close to God, but they feel that declaring a specific religion limits them.

2) This article is about the hacker group Anonymous eavesdropping on an FBI phone call and posting it on the internet via Twitter.

3) This article is about the economy and the hopes that America is finally recovering.

Those are the most interesting things I've found so far, but we'll see what else I can come up with.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Last OpEd Post!!

Well, I guess I'm just supposed to tell ya'll about how I feel about writing my OpEd, right? Well, I hope that's right because that's what I'm going to do.

So once upon a time I was told to write this thing called an opinion editorial. First off, I was supposed to brainstorm some ideas. I came up with some ideas that I thought were fairly decent, but I didn't really know which one I wanted to write about. Finally I decided that the one that would be easiest to write about was whether or not BYU professors should be LDS; however, the real problem with that was: I didn't actually have an opinion on the subject! So I decided to just pretend to take a stance on the subject for the essay's sake, and the stance I took was that professors SHOULD be LDS in order to teach at BYU.

The next item of business was to write my first draft. Do you have any idea how annoying it is to write an essay about something you don't actually care about?? Well, let me tell you that it is pretty dang annoying. But I eventually finished a decent first draft and forgot about it for a week until the next draft was due.

I finished my "polished draft" and added the new things Professor Husberg told us about in class. I changed some things so I could better appeal to ethos, pathos, and logos and also added more counter-arguments and support. Then I turned this in and forgot about it again until the night before the final draft.

The class before the final draft was due, I realized that I hadn't gone to the writing center to get my paper checked yet.  Luckily (or rather, unluckily) I had a valid excuse (aka: family emergency) so I got an extra 12 hours to get it done. It was still annoying, but I did get it done and posted my essay a whopping 2 minutes before it was due.

So, the moral of this story: I did not enjoy writing my opinion editorial. I think it's good for me to know how to do it, and I'm glad I can write one if I ever need to; however, this doesn't mean I have to enjoy it. Well, I think that's about it. So...I'm going to end this now. If you made it this far without falling asleep, congratulations!! If not...I hope you had a great nap!