Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Critiquing the United Way Advocacy Ad

1. The font that is used is a dark font, which gives the ad a serious undertone. This may create a solemn effect, and stresses the importance of the issue. The ad only contains one subject and its shadow right in the centre of the ad. This provides the intended focal point, and the audience would be drawn to the subject rather than the white plain background. This focal point serves to emphasise the message of the ad, stressing the juxtapositions of the sporty girl, and her distressed ‘impregnated’ shadow. I find these visual techniques effective, as it was able to draw an emotional response from me. The ad was presented effectively enough that I was able to focus on the centre picture (what the creators intended).

2. The statistic compliments the argument that a high percentage of teenagers are liable to experiment with sex if they do not participate in extra curricular activities. This may mean that, teens without any productive past time hobbies, are more likely to keep themselves occupied by ‘experimenting’ with adult or wrongful acts prematurely.

3. The values that the ad appeals to the traditional times where back then, children are ‘innocent,’ whilst compared to today, children are growing up ‘way too fast,’ experimenting with drugs and sex at an earlier age. The ad effectively chose a white blond girl playing basketball to highlight that, even ‘perfect’ and ‘beautiful’ girls are being affected by this phenomenon. This girl seems to depict a ‘perfect’ role model, sporty, beautiful and talented. However, the juxtaposition of her pregnant shadow in the background causes concern and horror as the audience would realise that, role models such as she were affected, than other girls would follow suit.

In relation to audience-based reasons, this advertisement may target and be persuasive to teenagers themselves, as it shows the horrific result of what may happen if they did not have a productive past time. Some teenagers may see how their futures and body will be affected through the depressed shadow of the girl.

4. If teenagers are not participating in extra curricular activities, they may result in going home and subjecting themselves to the wonderful world of television. Due to the increase in crime and sex related movies, children may be spurred to go and experiment what they see on television themselves. Thus, due to the decreased participation in extra curricular activities induces increased television time. Television time therefore is the cause for the increased teen parent rate. Thereby, it can be argued that decreased after school activities and teen pregnancy are bound by a correlation, not a cause and effect relationship.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Critiquing "The Monster That Is High School"

  1. The social priorities of schools -> concentrate more on popular students such as cheerleaders and jocks -> popular cliques gets their way (manages to get away with things because they’re just kids) -> popular cliques abuse this privilege and bullies other ‘non popular’ students -> ‘non popular’ students become mentally unstable due to the abuse at school and the lack of help from school officials -> ‘unpopular’ student becomes emotionally unstable and breaks under social pressure -> ‘unpopular’ student commits a massacre at school.

Daeha Ko’s argument was persuasive since he used his personal experiences and analogies to be able to personally relate to those students who felt and were in the same situation as he was. This is a persuasive factor of Daeha Ko’s argument, since it emotionally appealed to the audience, creating anger and frustration amongst his readers. However, some readers may view him (the author) to be a little psychotic, and dismiss his views as ‘crazy.’ Therefore, depending on which audience who reads it, the persuasiveness varies.

  1. Daeha’s ethos promoted him to be a little psychotic, as he has the ability to shoot someone at a whim. This may prove to be detrimental to his argument has some viewers may dismiss him to be ‘crazy’ and ‘violent.’ However, personally, I understand how it feels to be pushed to the limit, where you would literally want to ‘murder’ that person. Therefore, again, his effectiveness really depends on his audience. Those who has experience similar feelings would associate with his views. Others however, would dismiss his arguments as ‘illogically insane.’

  2. Alternative explanations:
    1. The social priorities of high school are to blame. Because they allow popular cliques to do what they want and get away with it.
    2. Because of this, the ‘local celebrities’ abuse this privilege, and ‘pick on unpopular kids.’ These create deep emotional wounds which may lead to emotional instability and thus crazy stunts.

To refute other alternative causal arguments, by using reason and logic. He argues that not all parents can supervise their children 24 hours a day, to make sure that they are not doing harmful acts.

He also utilises emotional appeals by stating that ‘schools refuse to accept any accountability and point to parents instead.’ This may allow the audience to view schools to be irresponsible in any form of action, thus decreasing the credibility of the schools’ claims.

Daeha’s argument is a valuable contribution to the controversy. The reason is because various factors contribute to emotional stability of a person. Bullying and emotional abuse is a high chance factor that might cause mental breakdowns amongst students, especially those in highschool. This opinion would also help those who are looking for retribution to realise the other side of the story. Those who are adamant in believing that the victims had no blame may want to reconsider their stance and help improve schooling systems. His cry out would help advocate for better schooling priorities which would be beneficial to all students.

4. His first kairotic moment was when he included his analogy of his own experiences. This moment, allowed him to explain his claim that school officials ignore the cruelty and corrupt highschool. By placing this kairotic moment here, he was able to conjure up his anger and frustration at the injustices in school. However, the impact of this kairos was negative to the reader. The reason being is that, the reader may label him as cruel and corrupt as well for getting into several fights and that he ‘would’ve blown every single one of them away and not cared’ (if he had a gun).

Thursday, September 27, 2007

I have NO LIFE [#4 & #5]

Causal Arguments

  1. Causal chains
    1. Invention of the automobile -> increase in petrol stations -> Decrease of land space -> Redesign of cities
    2. Invention of the automobile -> ? -> changes in sexual mores
    3. Invention of the telephone -> Reduced face to face social outings due to convenience -> loss sense of community in neighbourhoods
    4. Origin of rap in black urban music scene -> introduced/played on radios (radios reaches variety of people) -> the popularity of rap spreads from urban black audiences to white middle-class youth culture
    5. Development of way to prevent rejections in transplant operations -> costlier operations for transplants -> liberalisation of euthanasia laws
  2. Composing claims
    1. Invention of the automobile increases the number of petrol stations which causes a decrease of land space, resulting in the redesign of cities
    2. D
    3. Invention of the telephone allows ‘talk to friends’ more convenient, therefore reducing face to face social outings, thus causing a loss sense of community in neighbourhoods
    4. Origin of black urban music scene is played on radios, radios reaches a diverse population of people, therefore the popularity of rap spreads from urban black audiences to white middle-class youth culture
    5. Development of way to prevent rejections in transplant operations increases cost of operations, thus causing liberalisation of euthanasia laws
    6. Causes and Constraints:

Agreement with moving to another country

Contributing Cause:

  • The increase in pay and travelling opportunities
  • Offers a more luxurious lifestyle

Precipitating cause:

  • Excitement in relation to being able to see ‘cowboys’


  • The inconvenience and complications of moving
  • The love for the country of birth
  1. Causes and Constraints: Why the number of babies born out of wedlock has increased dramatically over the last thirty years

Contributing cause:

  • The increased sexual content shown on television
  • The ease of divorce.
  • The complications of marriage

Precipitating Cause:

  • Growing up and experimenting

Constraints: (of having a baby in wedlock)

  • The union is not accepted by either side of the family

Monday, September 24, 2007

Voting in Australia

‘That voting in Victoria should be optional instead of compulsory’

Who is your audience? In the state of Victoria (Australia), it is compulsory for people aged 18 and over to participate in general elections. Penalties in the form of fines are issued if you do not turn up to voting polls. Since this is the case, the target audience are for the Victorians who are affected by this law.

How much does your audience know or care about the issue? Compulsory voting has been in effect for many years, and is part of the Australian tradition. Thus, it can be assumed, that those who are 18 and above, would have experienced the necessity of going to sanctioned voting booths. Those who believe that compulsory voting is a waste of time and an oppression of democratic freedom or those who believe that voting is a necessary factor for being a democratic would be interested in this kind of question/issue

What is your audience’s current attitude toward your issue? The opinion of this issue varies among people. Those who have a strong interest in politics are most likely to be supportive of compulsory voting. Whilst those who have know knowledge or interest for ‘prime ministers’ or ‘Victorian premiers’ would find that compulsory voting a complete waste of time, being in support that ‘voting should be optional’

What will be your audience’s likely objections to your argument? Those who are objectionable to this statement may argue:

  • That compulsory voting has been around for generations and is an Australian tradition. To make voting optional would be ‘Un-Australian’
  • Compulsory voting would allow people to be more aware of the realm of Australian politics. This would increase their general knowledge.
  • If compulsory voting was not implemented, may result in ‘unfavourable turnouts,’ this the most appropriate leaders would not be chosen
  • ‘Unfavourable turnouts’ may lead insufficient opinions on political leaders.
  • That all of our rights are limited in a marginal way.

Finally, what values, beliefs or assumptions about the world do you and your audience share? Common links with the audience

  • Our age group: Those who are in the ‘younger generation’ may feel that voting is unnecessary and a waste of time
  • That politics play a major role in our lives since we are a democratic country, ‘where people rule.’ Thus, it is important for people to aware of politics so democracy is implemented properly
  • That our rights in a democratic country are preserved; we should not be forced to do things that we have no interest in.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The age of innocence (Pocoyo and Friends)

In a simplistic view, this photograph may just be another 'cute picture' to the passing eye. However, as we consider society's rapid pace today, this kind of picture holds the characteristic that is nearly absent as we enter into the new generation/era, 'the age of innocence and unity.'

As we grow older, our knowledge and innocent eyes are subjected to a world of violence, sex and drugs through the influence of television and celebrities. The bright 'happy and joyous' colours of the photograph, as well as the characters' expression of surprise, wonder and awe allows the viewers to reflect on the forgotten age of innocence, where in our youth, all things great and small either would surprise us with great delight or small anxiety. Frozen in time, this innocence serves to remind us that life is and will be full of wonders and surprises, no matter how dark the era might be.

Through the representation of 'different and unique' characters, the picture also serves to generate a sense of 'multiculturalism', where size, shape, colour or race, should not matter. This variation of characters depicts how we can enjoy life, learn and experience great friendships from binding with and accepting others who we may deem as 'different' than us.

This photograph, captures a moment that allows us to realise that through all the 'horrors' or 'darkness' that society may present, we should never forget that life still holds the many wonders that we all experience as a child. Mainly, to experience these wonders to the fullest height, we must be able to accept and befriend all of those around us.

Waive Maths Requirement?

The argument made by Gordon Adams contains a valid ideology that is present in if not all but most students. “Why should we waste time and pay for classes that are not even related or beneficial to our future careers?” Being a student myself, my friends and I have muttered this inquiry subconsciously many times whilst trudging to and from our classes, without ever conjuring up a satisfying answer. However, we must take into consideration that students nowadays want to 'race through' their education, avoiding the 'long winding road' to their destination. Adams’ notions are from the perspective of a student. Yet, instead of relentlessly complaining why we 'have to study' certain subjects what if we consider the reason why we have required courses?

It can be said that the main reason by having a ‘core course’ system is due to the fact that, students who graduate from high school, are too young to have a secure and stable vision of their careers in the future. This may consequently lead students to ‘waste more time and money’ switching majors due to their indecision. Core classes covering different subject areas may thus allow students time to decide on their ‘true calling’ as they grow older and become more mature.

Also, it is only logical that, once one person is allowed to ‘opt out’ of a required course, then, as justice requires us, we have to have the same considerations for all other students. Just imagine, the ‘chain effect’ once a person has been allowed ‘leeway.’ We have to remember that the argument of having to do subjects not required for a particular course, has been in the mindsets of many students throughout their schooling years. Thus the university itself will be overwhelmed with similar situations as in the case of Gordon Adams. As we contemplate more into the future, we may have to face serious situations. Not only may there be an increase in unemployment and a diminishing variety of subjects, due to the decrease of student participation in certain areas of study, but students will have a less ‘well rounded’ education.

If the United States is willing to change its whole curriculum and school system from a long tradition, then waivering subjects due to their irrelevance on a certain major can proceed. However, we must consider the advantages of having requirement courses and remember, that education, can only serve to benefit us, as well as our future generations. Consider this: You have a child, he/she comes home with a mathematics assignment and asks you a question, you have one of two options: 1) You fortunately have had the advantage in studying in college and is able to answer his/her question. 2) Tell them that you're sorry, you didn't study it at school because it was not related to your major. Which one would you choose?

“The more you know, the more you grow, the more you grow, the greater your voice, in making a decision or making a choice” - anon.