Breezeblocks – ∆

At the start of this video it is hard to discern that everything is in reverse. The cinematography and the slow motion work together to make the viewer believe that things are just slowed down and still progressing the right way obscures how the audience sees the story. After the woman rises from the tub it looks like a traumatic scene of domestic abuse.  The violence depicted draws the viewer into empathizing with the woman who started out held down in the bathtub by a cinderblock.  The playback continue and it is revealed that the woman is the aggressor and of the conflict and the man was acting in self-defense after finding his wife, shown by the matching rings on their hands, gagged and tied to a dresser in their apartment.  The change in the story as it progresses backwards challenges the viewers to reassess the observed struggle in a new way.

The filter they use desaturates all colors except for blue hues.  This tone added to the darkness of the scene produces feelings of melancholy and obscurity.  It makes the viewer unable to see everything in the scene much like a person who is suffering from heartache may be blind to their own situation and what they can do in it.  The reversed timeline makes the video strange to watch.  I personally found myself trying to predict what comes next only to realize that it is actually what already happened.  The start of the scene is really how things ended up.  Perhaps the video is from the perspective of the man looking back at what he did and rewinding his way through what happened.  This is why the video has above described styling.

This video adds tremendously to the text.  My hypothesis about its meaning, in relation to the lyrics, is that the two women actually represent the same person, the male characters wife.  The one tied to the ground represents who the woman was when they were wed as shown by the matching rings on their fingers. She has been bound and silenced by the aggressing woman who represents a side of her that has grown in strength until it was able to overcome her.  This side of her has “gone where the wild things go” as her husband sees it.  They both still love each other, but perhaps part of both of them resents what has become of their lives after they became married and built a home together.  She no longer values the relationship the same way and now the couples conversations end abruptly instead of in displays of affection.  The man is trying to overcome this change in his wife’s temperament that separates them because his love for her consumes him.  He is struggling to maintain his composure as her words wound him enough that he needs morphine, representing his own vices, to cure his internal pain.

The lyrics show love so strong that you are willing to risk your own happiness, and their happiness, to stay together. At the start of the song he talks about how the relationship they had has changed so that it no longer benefits him, but he loves her so completely he is disillusioned about reality.  He describes her change as a fever that has gripped her. The growing distance between them has been something that he has had to struggle with “muscle to muscle and toe to toe”  much in the way that the characters are fighting in the video.  This line also describe how completely his love has a hold over him.  He takes a leap of faith represented in the lines, “The fear has gripped me but here I go/My heart sinks as I jump up/Your hand grips hand as my eyes shut” It features the line “Please don’t go. I’ll eat you whole, I love you so” repeated over and over.

Lyrically, breezeblocks could be a metaphor for the relationship that they have built that has now started to hold them back and soggy clothes could be the result of them weeping over their slipping love for each other.  The man is trying to regain the love that they once had by continually holding the woman back using the life they have built to keep her there.  He doesn’t see what this is turning his relationship into instead he just keeps calling her back.  The title and lyrics of this song didn’t made sense to me until I watched the music video and found out that an alternative name for Breezeblock is Cinderblock.  The glass bottle reforming and cup returning to the table illustrate how quickly things elevate and turn into things you are unable to mend or take back.  His struggles and his wife’s actions contribute equally  to fundamentally change how their relationship is and they are unable to return to what they once had because of the extreme measures they took in the process of trying to cope with their own struggles.

Reflection on the Usefulness of Rhetorical Analysis and Wall-E

Traditional rhetoric was developed over centuries of trial and error to find what methods work in giving words true meaning.  The perfect communication of every idea is the quality writing and speeches using rhetoric strive to emulate; however, something will always be lost in translation.  To ensure the correct decoding of any message rhetoric can be used to give the audience a recognizable pattern in which they will be able to understand more of the points being conveyed.  Rhetorical Analysis is the study of how the presenter encodes their words in order to best carry their message.  The techniques for analyzing rhetoric have been developed to include categories recognizable to most people as Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.  These are ways to describe the content of the message.

There are many devices used to properly convey the message like style, point of view, and metaphors.  These things make the message more relatable while not altering the actual content.  Analysis like this is not just used in academic articles and campaign speeches.  Increasingly people are using rhetoric to write articles online or develop new media for a broader audience on the web.  The same rhetorical styles can be used across mediums.  I find the transition from text to type to be an amazing process that was experienced by generations of people around the world only decades ago.

Being able to recognize these devices is a powerful skill that will improve the nature of the information the reader consumes.  Knowing the style of Edgar Allan Poe’s writing before reading The Tell-Tale Heart will not make it any more or less thought provoking, but it will help the reader identify the themes of remorse the manifest in the beating sound in the narrator’s ear.  Understanding the rhetorical situation can lead to a better conception of what actions the writer wishes to come to fruition.  People are willing to suspend disbelief under certain circumstances and listen to arguments formed in specific rhetorical situations.

The most common of these circumstances would be movie theaters.  Since a young age we are taught anything can happen in a movie.  Audiences have been convinced that the silver screen is a land where unreal fantasies are played out for our enjoyment.  The makers of movies lace films with messages vailed or overtly that persuade audiences to act a certain way.  My primary examples of this would be recent animated films like Happy Feet or Wall-e.  These both have environmentalist undertones that are vailed by a story of a lone, unlikely savior.  Without rhetorical analysis these movies messages would be incomplete, but even a child can understand their message.  Everybody possesses the skills to properly analyze text, but they may not understand why they perceived the message communicated to them.  Learning the process in which messages are encoded in text can lead to a broader understanding of the writer’s meaning, and in turn help the reader to decide whether or not they agree with the principles and content presented to them.

Analyzing Buzzfeed Content: The ABC’s of Generating Ad Revenue Online

Facebook has been taken over.  there has been a viral attack on its servers. Everyone on your friends list has been infected by BuzzFeed.  When browsing a News Feed users no longer see valuable information about their peers which may give them a deeper understanding to who they are as a person.  Instead they see a quiz score that answers the age old question of What’s your super hero power? ( or perhaps you were wondering Should You Text Your Ex? (  This is the content that BuzzFeed started creating.  They made their website able to be shared on virtually any platform in order to make it easy for users to access and become engrossed in their constantly updated content.

The website is divided in multiple ways.  Every article posted to the website is given tags that define it as News, Buzz, Life, Entertainment, Quizzes, Videos, or More.  These are the categories posted on the main navigation tab of the site.  In the more category there are many other topics that are explored.  Articles are not confined to only one category on the website.  They may be in many at once to ensure visibility.  If you sign in, which is made into a 2 click process using Facebook to transfer your information,  you are able to vote on the content using the reaction buttons they have at the end of the articles.  These include LOL, EW, OMG, FAIL, YAAASS, and many more.  Once the article is voted on enough it appears in the Feed for that particular reaction.  This allows users to sort articles by the reactions of others to the content.

The success of this website, and the reason it took over Facebook’s News Feed, is because its content is unpredictable, rapid, and easy to digest.  The diversity of the content on the site means that anybody is only two clicks away from something they are interested in reading about.  Reading the article titles as a list on the website reminds me of listening to my five year old cousin at the zoo.  The topics range so widely it is hard to keep track of what is actually on the site.  The format is designed to look good in any setting. I get a similar experience opening it on my phone and opening it on my desktop.  The content has to keep up with pop culture, so it is constantly being updated.  I have yet to see the same article twice.  The inconsistencies in the styles of writing actually work with the haphazard way the content is thrown together.

The revenues from BuzzFeed come from the advertisements on the site.  This makes their only goal directing more traffic to their site.  They do this by making a broad base of topics and making these articles quick and easy to read.  The things on this site are not intended to change your career path or edit your views on life itself.  They are meant to capture you for a short time, make you interested in the pictures or subject, and then get closed and forgotten about.  Rinse and repeat. Due to the emotional nature of the content every thing on the site must be fleeting like the emotions it creates.  If a person has to wait to find out what Disney Princess they are than they will leave the site and find another short distraction that works better.

The most common appeal used on this site is emotional.  I have observed many calls to nostalgia, articles about overcoming personal events, and 17 things “Horrible Bosses” taught us about life as we know it.  Sometimes the stories contain insights that are valuable to the reader, but most of the time they just reinforce concepts that they already know.  Every time a person visits the site it has fresh content to pour over and share with Facebook friends.  This is why it spread on Facebook like wildfire.  The comparability between the two sites is impeccable. A person never even has to go to in order to get its content.  Instead, they can navigate through articles by clicking hyperlinks from other social media sites.  The haphazard format of the actual site is evidence of the intended use of the website.  It doesn’t need to be pretty it just needs to be easily understandable and ever-changing to capture the interest of unwary internet users.

Everything is an Argument

Conflict is synonymous with argument.  Fighting often arises out of conflict.  These terms polarize the meaning of the word argument to have a negative connotation.  These articles show that arguments are just a form of communication, and in fact our primary form of communication. The term argument should not be thought of as an adverse operation of human interaction.

Argument is really more closely synonymous to expression.  Interests are a form of argument that identifies an individual as part of a group.  At first when I read the title of this paper I thought ‘Everything is Conflict’ as the meaning when the truth is that it is closer in meaning to ‘Everything is Expression’

People argue for many purposes.  Sometimes people will make arguments without even realizing that they have made one or what the purpose of it is.

For example, during the changing of the seasons people dress in a diverse range of clothing.  Some maintain the styles of the previous season well into the beginning of another.  This makes an argument for them that they wish the season before had lasted longer and they are not yet ready to concede to the new weather patterns created by nature.  This situation is considered an argument to inform.  The person wearing a tank top in fifty degree weather is informing you that the current conditions are not desirable for them and are not ready for the end of summer.

Arguments are sometimes more overt as well.  Listen to current election advertising to hear the most inconspicuous arguing possible.  This appeals do root themselves in conflict, but the conflict is inherently about expression due to the democratic process.  Voters want to elect the person who expresses interest in areas in which they identify.  People do not always share viewpoints with each other, so contrasting candidates are chosen to find out what arguments to represent.

How does one make an argument?  This article explains the triangle of rhetoric with the three points as three separate sets of appeals.  Logical, Emotional, and Ethical appeals are made in every argument, but the balance of the three is important to how rhetoric operates.  Pathos is an emotional appeal, and is used the most often.  It is easy to call upon emotions of people in order to persuade them.  Sometimes people may not respond to a logical argument because it does not feel right to them.

If argument is conflict than is that a bad thing?  Conflict is a driving force in many advancements both culturally and technologically.  The computers we use today would not be present if argument did not exist.  Conflict drive progression.  This fact is shown in our very nature through evolution, so it is evident in our interactions and rhetoric.

Rhetorical Analysis of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Poster



This poster is advertising the second film in the Planet of the Apes remakes called Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.  This movie follows Rise of the Planet of the Apes.  The end of that last film features the apes escaping over the Golden Gate Bridge and disappearing into the Great Sequoia trees.

I plan on evaluating the poster from the background to foreground showing the rhetoric styles it uses.

The photo’s medium appears to be in a type of paint and not a photograph.  This goes along with the theme of a rising civilization overtaking an existing one.  The apes have yet to develop photography, but they may be able to make paintings which is a simple concept.  The brush style reminds me of Washington Crossing The Delaware.  Both the paintings feature a leader of the forming nation looking into the dawn while crossing a body of water.

The furthest from the viewer is San Francisco on fire.  The buildings look decrepit and war torn.  This symbolizes the fall of man.  It is assumed by the viewer that this damage was caused by the beasts in the foreground, but in actuality it was caused by panic in the Simian Flu epidemic.  The fall of man can be seen through the destruction of the cities that their combined labors have created.

Closer to the audience is the golden gate bridge, a symbolic bridge between the worlds of man and ape, burning and split in half.  This shows the break between the two civilizations.

On ground level you can see some of the supporting ape cast.  A few have battle scars from the apparent violence in the movie, but where will the violence emanate from?  The lack of humans shows that they are not the focus of this film.

The main subject of this poster is Caesar, the great ape leader, riding a black horse shouting to the other apes with a Gun held upside down waving in the air.  But what does this mean?  In the most primal sense it means victory for the apes.  In a few years they have mastered skills like horseback riding.  Skills like these took years to develop in human history.  The apes rapid advancement in front of the decline of the human built infrastructure illustrate the idea of the movie as a pivotal moment in the series and an epic depiction of the fall of man.