Rants and Raves

Opinion, commentary, reviews of books, movies, cultural trends, and raising kids in this day and age.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


* The Battlestar is back, after what one reviewer called an agonizingly long wait - two months. Tough - last year I think it was six months.

Galactica has been moved to Sunday. Usually a move is a sign that the show has jumped the shark and is being put out to die. But in this case I think it's because it now has a fan base that will follow it anywhere. If you put it on at 1 a.m. Monday morning some of us would be staying up to watch it.

As I said here http://rantsand.blogspot.com/2006/11/great-political-discussion-of-our-time.html Battlestar Galactica is where the really important political debate of our time is going on - and I was only sort-of kidding. Actually, I'm not kidding at all.

That debate is over the question, How can a society survive as a free people under extreme stress?

* Started what are possibly my last semester of classes at this university. I finally managed to find an opportunity, and an excuse, to study Rhetoric. It's something that has interested me for a while that I never had a chance to study formally.

Did you know that when you use an expression of the form (for example), "Donald Trump is not exactly a poor man" that that kind of expression has a name? It's called "litotes" (lee-TOE-tays).

Or that the old piece of doggerel, "I'd rather have a free bottle in front of me than a pre-frontal lobotoby" is called "chiasmus" (ki-AS-mus), Greek for "criss-cross". It doesn't matter whether it's ridculous, like the bottle, or sublime like Winston Churchill's,

"You were given a choice between war and dishonor.
You have chosen dishonor, you will have war."

It's the form that counts, the criss crossing of words or phonemes.

If you look here http://rhetoric.byu.edu/ you'll find the Silva Rhetoricae, a site that explains it all, from "abating" to "zeugma".

* Speaking of jumping the shark, what are we going to say when James Woods' show Shark, jumps the shark?

* The other day we caught Republican Gov. Bill Richardson and Hillary Clinton announcing their respective candidacies for president. My impression: Richardson said "I'm going to... I'm going to..." a lot. What he was going to do to fix this country. Oh are you? All by yourself or will you have help? And if you can, is there something preventing you from doing it now, or do you absolutely have to be president before you can start helping your country?

Hillary on the other hand, came off far more humble (the effort must have nigh killed her) and spoke of "working with..." people.

I mentioned this and my wife said, "I was thinking exactly the same thing." Remember, she knows my prejudices but as a Polish citizen she doesn't have a dog in this fight. (Though admittedly a lot of Eastern Europeans would probably be Conservative Republicans if they could vote in our elections, just on the foreign policy agenda.)

Hillary has a lot of personality issues that handicap her. But, reports have it that the lady entered the senate with cap in hand and asked the old pols to show her the ropes. Who'd a thunk it after her arrogant behavior as First Lady?

If I'd never seen either of these people before (and in fact I haven't seen a whole lot about Richardson, I'm only barely aware of the name) I'd go for her. I don't know who the nominees will be come election time, but if it were these two I'd say Hillary would kick his ass.


  • At 7:27 PM, Blogger Evanston said…

    Thank you for the link to the rhetoric web site and the many observations.


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