Part One. Lexicon
One. Media’s role in framing: Looting vs. finding 123 and 124, last paragraph
Two. Implicit messages and value judgments 124, second paragraph
Three. Michael Eric Dyson’s first argument: Since the media framing is implicitly racist, we can not believe media reports of heinous crimes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and have to suspect those crimes were exaggerated. This has been the source of great debate and is the source of today’s research paper. But one can frame the Katrina events fairly AND report crime to its full extent.
Four. Michael Eric Dyson’s second argument: We should tolerate greed in the poor lest we are guilty of “self-righteous indifference.” See 126. Should Dyson have lower standards for the poor?
Five. Criminalizing the victims is Dyson’s major criticism.
Essay Options for Essay #3:
#1: Refute or defend the idea, as laid out in Michael Eric Dyson's "Frame of Reference" that in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina there was exaggerated or hyperbolic claims of crime, which gave an unjust picture of poor black society in New Orleans.
#2: In response to Spike Lee's When the Levees Broke and Michael Eric Dyson's "Frames of Reference," write a research paper about the role of racism and economic and social class as they pertain to the victimization that ensued from Hurricane Katrina.
For this option, you might contrast the way Spike Lee humanizes the victims of the Hurricane while some media reports, as Dyson points out, demonizes those victims.
#3: Defend or refute Peter Singer’s position that there are moral grounds for infanticide or “mercy killings.”
Peter Singer’s utilitarian position on infanticide is asinine, full of false claims, vague definitions, and morally bankrupt.
While Singer’s argument for infanticide is consistent with his utilitarian worldview, his position collapses under the close eye of scrutiny in which we detect huge holes or flaws in his reasoning. These flaws include __________________________, ___________________________, ____________________________, and __________________________.
McMahon has treated Peter Singer’s infanticide argument with gross unfairness. While McMahon is correct that Singer needs to tidy up some of his vague definitions, Singer’s general argument is rigorous, moral, and defensible.
#4: Sample Thesis: Ariel Levy and Brook Knight analyzes the major causes behind the Internet culture of webcam exhibitionism. The major causes include ____________________, _____________________, _____________________, and __________________________.
#5: “Watch Me!” by Brooke A. Knight (150) offers various defenses of webcam exhibitionism. It’s claimed to be resource of education, love, community, authenticity, a “new machine/body,” healthy profit, and personal liberation.
Defend or refute these claims.
#6: Ariel’s misguided strident attack of raunch culture collapses under the weight of several logical fallacies, unsubstantiated claims, and cheap emotional attacks, which include __________________________, ________________________, __________________________, and ____________________________.
#7: Women who justify their raunch look by claiming they are empowered and liberated are woefully blind to the fact that they are willing participants in their own demise evidenced by __________________________, __________________________, ________________________________, and ____________________________.
#8: Write a defense or refutation of US policy of torturing terrorist suspects as a way of improving national security. Be sure to show the arguments for both sides, in a about a page or 2, before proceeding with your argument and mapping components. Also be sure to include a minimum of 3 research sources.
A pro-torture thesis with concession clause might look like this:
While torture entails many abuses, torture is justified in certain situations, including _________________________, _____________________, ________________________, and _________________________.
An anti-torture thesis might look like this:
While the pro-torture debaters are good at drumming up all sorts of scary scenarios, their arguments for torture collapse under the weight of several fallacies, myths, and misconceptions, which include _____________________, ________________________, ________________________________, ________________________, and _____________________________.
A thesis that “rides the middle” might look like this:
To embrace a “pro-torture” or “anti-torture” is over simplistic nonsense. The potential for abuse in the realm of torture is huge, to be sure. But sometimes there are in fact extreme conditions that warrant torture. Therefore, torture should be allowed in the most narrow of circumstances and stringent conditions, which include ____________________, ____________________________, _________________________, _____________________________, and __________________________________.
The most useful, complex, insightful treatment of torture I've read is Mark Bowden's "The Dark Art of Interrogation."
The most notorious case of American rendition that I know of happened to Khaled el Masri.
#9: Based on Writing #5 on page 143, contrast the superior moral code of “anti-cute” with the moral bankruptcy of “cuteness.”
Whereas cuteness is a grotesque mental affliction characterized by ________________, ________________, ____________, and ________________________, anti-cuteness is a healthier frame of mind defined by ________________________, _____________________, _________________, and ______________________.
Research Paper Checklist:
- Make sure your thesis is more argumentative than informative in order to give your essay more of an edge. An informative essay tends to summarize, which makes your essay flat and boring.
- Make sure to use headers in Microsoft Word.
- Make sure to spell your final page Works Cited, not “Work Cited,” not “Works Sited.”
- If one of your Works Cited listings is more than one line, the subsequent lines for that heading are indented 5 spaces. Your next listing is not indented 5 spaces. Only the second and subsequent lines are.
- Make sure to staple your essay in the right order.
- Make sure your paragraphs are meaty, a good 120-150 words.
- Make sure to use italics for movies, books, websites, newspapers, and magazines. We are reading Acting Out Culture in McMahon’s English 1A class.
- Make sure to use quotation marks around essay titles, short stories.
- Make sure to use a striking, salient title for your essay. Don’t use “Essay #3.”
- Make sure to attribute all direct quotes and paraphrases from your sources.
- Make sure to avoid “academic speak,” which is often plagiarized from your sources. Example: “We deem the arbitrary oscillations of the economy to be an inevitable part of a society beholden to irrational exuberance or the Machiavellian machinations of unscrupulous stock brokers.
- Be prepared to defend your essay as its sole creator. Do not excuse your essay’s mistakes by abnegating your responsibility to a tutor, another teacher, spell check, grammar check, etc. Blaming others for your product is a sign of failure in life. Successful people take charge of their own lives and succeed or fail by their own choices.