Film and Television – Things On My Mind Series, #8

I use the Things On My Mind series to share collections of working, not necessarily related, ideas that don’t (yet, anyway) warrant their own article or have another home. Law and Order: Special Victims Unit receives its fair share of criticism, much of it warranted; however, here I want to mainly recognize some of LawContinue reading “Film and Television – Things On My Mind Series, #8”

Banning “Traditional” – Hidden Power of Words Series, #32

As words, “traditional” and “tradition” conceal far more than they can ever reveal. Their connotations often center around static historical, narrow, privileged worldviews. While an outright ban would probably lack productivity, these words are used in such divergent ways, often with ulterior motives, so as to lack any specificity. Thoughts about “banning” the word “traditional”Continue reading “Banning “Traditional” – Hidden Power of Words Series, #32″

Black Men Driving: Race, Gender, and the Rhetoric of Announcing Presence

I have had regular hour-plus commutes for over a decade now. During this time I have consistently noticed an interesting correlation: Drivers who drive with the driver-side window down and with their arm/hand on the edge or slightly outside of the car are often (80-90 percent of the time) Black men. Said driver is alsoContinue reading “Black Men Driving: Race, Gender, and the Rhetoric of Announcing Presence”

Unemployment data is a distraction.

Despite rhetoric from businesses and governments, unemployment/employment statistics do not provide useful information. And worse, whether about the Great Depression or about today, they are a distraction.  Unemployment data says nothing about: what work or employment mean what jobs pay available “benefits” how many jobs a person has how many hours a person works underemployment unofficial economiesContinue reading “Unemployment data is a distraction.”

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”

“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″