The year is 2017 and family entertainment is a movie about a demigod reuniting with his long-lost son so they can get into an incestuous ménage à trois with every planet in the galaxy. I confess: I was really not expecting mass planet-fucking when I took my students to see this film. Spoilers will abound.
Guest post by Alyssa Huque, University of Oregon
Editor’s note: Alyssa was one of my debate students, but this particular speech/roast was developed as a satire on/parody of current events in the United States. It uses snowcloning and juxtaposition to extensively re-frame Trump campaign promises across national, theological, racial, and sexual boundaries while recontextualizing the claims against a historical background to attack white supremacy, all while trying to make it funny despite the ongoing unpleasantness of the topic. Links are added for context and are not endorsements.
I’m going to be deported. To Mexico.
This is perhaps a surprise to some people, as I’m a reasonably affluent American citizen who even spent seven years in Catholic school. But please notice: I’ve got brown skin. So unless I can turn that white, I’m probably going to be deported. And, notice, I’m not wearing a hijab, so I’m going to be deported to Mexico.
But that’s okay. That’s okay. I’ve got a plan.
Guest post by SaraJane Griffiths, University of Puget Sound.
Editor’s note: SaraJane was one of my speech and debate students; this is the final form of her Original Oratory entry that qualified for NSDA national speech competition, 2017 (though she’ll be competing in extemporaneous speaking instead). It is the culmination of a couple of years spent researching and learning how to defuse the politics of fear by means of parody and satire. Also available is our earlier work: a Politics of Fear K for policy debaters, by way of apology for being the running brunt of these jokes.
It was perhaps inevitable that we should end the year with “Resolved: The United States ought to replace the Electoral College with a direct national popular vote.” We are informed that this “winning resolution received 56% of the school vote and 58% of the student vote” but it sure feels like it was the inevitable, perhaps tardy, conclusion of November 8th. But now, without further ado, let’s present research for both sides. Continue reading “A Cure for Electoral Dysfunction”
I’m just some guy; I am not a mandatory reporter. Some of my students that I volunteer with appreciate this: they know they can speak rather freely around me and trust me to bet on their ability to live their life. And this is because I believe that friends should bet on each other instead of against each other.
I recently had a young woman who was a bit troubled: she was multi-ethnic in a WASP-oriented school, she was young-faced and adorable but trying to be taken seriously as an adult, and her dad was still disappointed that she wasn’t a boy. She was insanely over-performing in sports, speech, music, volunteering, academically, et cetera, but constantly under pressure to do more and do it all perfectly, performing both as fake WASP and with a mimicry of masculinity in pursuit of her father’s acceptance. She had a chronic feeling of awkwardness. At the point where she was both completely competent yet utterly lacking in confidence we connected and did some amazing work together.
She thankfully ruined The Edge of Seventeen for me. Continue reading “The Edgy Off Seventeen”
“Poverty is a relatively mild disease for even a very flimsy American soul, but uselessness will kill strong and weak souls alike, and kill every time.” –Kurt Vonnegut, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater
Preamble: A capuchin monkey living in a zoo somewhere–I don’t actually know where–has nothing to do with what I’m about to write. On face, it is entirely irrelevant to my purpose. It might take offense at this if I bothered to tell it such a thing and might even fling poo at me, but I’m not going to tell it anything precisely because it is not relevant.
The good people of Walla Walla were displeased when Starbucks came to town at the turn of the century. It wasn’t just that they already had a local coffee shop–two of them, by some measures–but also that Starbucks, being a den of iniquity, was also open on Sundays. But between the heathen carpetbaggers that were buying up farmland for vineyards, the debauched tourists that visited the wineries, and the pagan college students, there was a market for Starbucks in Walla Walla and so it thrived.
When Hochschild writes in Strangers in Their Own Land that “a blue-collar way of life was going out of fashion, and with it, the honor attached to a rooted self and pride in endurance—the deep story self. The liberal upper-middle class saw community as insularity and closed-mindedness rather than as a source of belonging and honor,” it’s important to actually define what honor is and realize that it’s been opposed to capital for centuries. Continue reading “…All Others Pay Cash”