Funerals, Rhetorics, and Constructions of History

Clichés about “funerals being for the living” abound. Funerals assist with grieving and with accepting one’s own mortality, popular mores say.  Funerals can also hinder this grieving process: Without realizing it, people sometimes talk about the deceased in ways that can be inaccurate and uncomfortable for others. Sometimes intentions might be more malicious and consciouslyContinue reading “Funerals, Rhetorics, and Constructions of History”

Thanksgiving Day teaches submissiveness.

On this Thanksgiving Day, November 22, 2018: Please try to remember those who might not have anything to be “thankful” for, where thankful means “conscious of benefit received” and “expressing gratitude and relief.” Saying everyone has “something” to be grateful for vocalizes, likely unconsciously, positionalities of comfort and privilege. Thousands, if not millions, of people areContinue reading “Thanksgiving Day teaches submissiveness.”

Women, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Rhetoric of Implied Exclusion

According to written artifacts, Baptist women faced degrees of formal silence for the first time in 2000. Church leaders decreed:  While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture. This new rule points to “texts of terror” (see Phyllis Trible, forContinue reading “Women, the Southern Baptist Convention, and the Rhetoric of Implied Exclusion”

The “Brutal Black Buck” and How To Get Away With Murder

How To Get Away With Murder’s 2018-2019 mid-season finale overpowers and undermines its recent comments about flaws in the judicial system, especially when it comes to perceptions of and treatments of Black men.  Nate Lahey (Billy Brown) receives unstable, developing word that leads him to believe that DA Ron Miller (John Hensley) had his father, NateContinue reading “The “Brutal Black Buck” and How To Get Away With Murder”

“Think For Yourself” – Hidden Power of Words Series, #31

According to Southern mores, “bless your heart” is typically a veiled insult, despite its sympathetic denotation. “Think for yourself” has a similar, contradictory function. Think-for-yourself phraseology appears in my inbox regularly, but only when I have publicly expressed my most original and complex ideas and only from people without any expertise (according to information availableContinue reading ““Think For Yourself” – Hidden Power of Words Series, #31″

“Implications” and the Rhetorical Framing of Critiques – Hidden Power of Words Series, #30

Suggestions that something is classist, racist, or sexist, for example, are often met with dismissively hostile words. People say, “you’re thinking too hard,” “you’re looking to cause trouble,” “you can find [fill in the blank] anywhere if you look hard enough,” “you can’t appreciate anything,” and/or “you’re ignoring the purpose.” I strive to improve howContinue reading ““Implications” and the Rhetorical Framing of Critiques – Hidden Power of Words Series, #30″