Homework #11 for 4-16-18:
Read "How the Poor Are Made to Pay for Their Poverty" (364 and online), and write a 3-paragraph essay that analyzes 3 reasons, according to Barbara Ehrenreich, how poverty is expensive for poor people. Or read Linda Tirado's "You Get What You Pay For" (370) and write a 3-paragraph essay that analyzes 3 reasons Tirado doesn't feel invested in her job. This last essay is not online.
Essay #3 Options with 3 Sources Due 4-23-18
One. Develop a thesis that analyzes the human inclination for staying within the tribe of sameness as explained in David Brooks’ “People Like Us” (very popular with students).
Consider these counterarguments:
David Brooks speaks the truth, but his thesis is overreaching. Tribalism takes second seat to the following:
Education opportunities (good schools)
Good Technology (cable, data speed)
Two. Develop a thesis that compares “People Like Us” (525) and J.D. Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy” (531).
Three. Based on your reading of Harriet McBryde Johnson’s “Unspeakable Conversations (93),” write an argument that addresses Peter Singer’s philosophy of euthanasia.
Four. Defend, refute, or complicate Steve Almond’s thesis from his essay “Is It Immoral to Watch the Super Bowl?” (125)
Five. Develop a thesis that compares Barbara Ehrenreich’s “How the Poor Are Made to Pay for Their Poverty” (364) and Linda Tirado’s “You Get What You Pay For” (370).
Almond’s claim that watching NFL is immoral is supported by the following:
One. We glorify violence.
Two. We live vicariously through the violence of others, using the players as proxies or substitutes for our own vicious impulses but put all the risk on them for head trauma, paralysis, broken limbs, life-long crippling, etc.
Three. We sponsor brutality with our cash dollars making us complicit in the life-long injuries and premature death suffered by NFL players. Studies show that on average NFL players live from mid to late fifties, about twenty years less than average lifespan.
Four. We are complicit in the abuse and ill regard of women, misogyny when we consider that football encourages male aggression, overpowering others through sheer will and strength, entitlement, and a lack of accountability (we close our eyes to misbehavior because we want our “stars” to show up and help us conquer our enemies on game day).
This link between NFL aggression and misogyny is evident in the high rates of domestic assault.
The culture that glorifies football players as their warriors free to do as they please, including violence against women, is sometimes called the jockitocracy.
Misogyny against women is further evidenced by cheerleader labor abuse lawsuits.
Five. Some defend the NFL by citing new safety rules, but these new rules are, to use an effective analogy, lipstick on a pig. The fundamental violent nature of football remains unchanged.
Six. Some defend the NFL by saying players choose to play at their own risk, but this assertion is countered by the fact that many players are poor and lack viable options.
Seven. The NFL doesn’t want the truth about brain trauma to be exposed because the trauma is prevalent and severe, resulting in dementia, brain damage, violence, suicide, and other pathologies.
Eight. More and more parents won’t let their sons play football at any level because of the reports of permanent head trauma.
Nine. NFL legend Mike Ditka says he wouldn’t let his children play football if he knew then what he knows now.
Ten. NFL uses tax loopholes and other forms of trickery to parasite off US taxpayers to fund its stadiums in spite of its astronomical profits.
On a Meta Level:
Almond expresses his heartbreak that as a fan he has lost his faith in the religion of football, a religion that has given him magic and suspense and belonging and sustenance all his life.
He is a reluctant nonbeliever.
On a meta level (from a broader perspective), NFL is America, masculinity, and religion rolled into one.
On this meta level, the NFL is toxic and contains streaks of evil.
On a meta level, the NFL is about lonely men who suffer from wounded masculinity who come together and find connection with fellow fanboys. This is their whole life. Does this sound healthy? Or more like a toxic addiction?
A good thesis is a complete sentence that defines your argument.
A good thesis addresses your opponents’ views in a concession clause.
A good thesis often has mapping components or mapping statements that outline your body paragraphs.
A good thesis avoids the obvious and instead struggles to grapple with difficult and complex ideas.
A good thesis embraces complexity and sophistication but is expressed with clarity.
Thesis That Supports Steve Almond
While I am a lifelong football fan who has enjoyed the suspense of close games over the years, I am convinced after reading Steve Almond’s anti-football manifesto that I can no longer patronize the game I once loved because it is morally and intellectually bankrupt evidenced by its bloodthirsty violence, misogyny-fueled domestic abuse, parasitic taxpayer trickery, exploitation of the underclass, high risk of permanent brain trauma, and narcissism-inducing jockitocracy.
Thesis That Opposes the Above
While I concede that the NFL has its fair share of pathologies as cited in the above thesis, the author makes a weak case for boycotting the NFL because he relies on focusing exclusively on the lowest common denominator of NFL behavior; he ignores the countless examples of NFL good works throughout the land, including charities and other social service programs; he ignores the fact that risk of danger exists in many vocations that are not held in such condemnation; and he ignores that the NFL provides opportunities for the economically disadvantaged.
Thesis That Opposes the Above Refutation
While I concede that the NFL is not Evil Incarnate and is capable of doing good works and providing good jobs, its abominations far outweigh its virtues evidenced by its refusal to compensate or even acknowledge the widespread head trauma, its dependence on the underclass to feed into its pool of exploited labor, and its recalcitrant record on domestic abuse.
Thesis That Supports NFL
McMahon, you are heartless. Give men their Sunday football, for Chris-sake. Unless you have a superior alternative to help these lonely men who, divorced, cheated on, despised by their children, laid off by their factory, and spit upon by society, have nothing else to cling to. Shut your mouth, McMahon and let these men embrace the only thing they have left on this God-forsaken planet. Otherwise, men in mass will transform into Walter White. If that happens, McMahon, you've got blood on your hands.
Thesis That Refutes the Above
McMahon is actually in the right here. His adversary is staking his claim that lonely, rejected men are entitled to have the NFL as a sort of drug that soothes their wounds, but this adversary fails to address the NFL's long-term brain damage, its toxic masculinity, and its false solution for men who need real answers to their life problems.
You may consult the following:
A comma splice is joining two sentences with a comma when you should separate them with a period or a semicolon.
People love Facebook, however, they don't realize Facebook is sucking all of their energy.
People love Facebook. However, they don't realize Facebook is sucking all of their energy.
Though people love Facebook, they fail to realize Facebook is sucking all their energy.
Patience is difficult to cultivate, it grows steadily only if we make it a priority.
Patience is difficult to cultivate. It grows steadily only if we make it a priority.
Because patience grows within us so slowly, patience is extremely difficult to cultivate.
You can use a comma between two complete sentences when you join them with a FANBOYS word or coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so).
People love Facebook, but they don't realize Facebook is sucking all of their energy.
Student Comma Splices Part One (the second sentence feels like a continuation of thought from the first sentence, which it is, but it still requires a period before it)
- My department decided to set up another office for me to do my work, I was no longer sitting out front like the permanent receptionist.
- The permanent receptionist never spoke to anyone in the offices, he just answered phones.
- He said, “You have a few choices, they need a coordinator at the new jobsite or working the business side as a coordinator.”
- I was lucky, many opportunities came to me and now I had the required experience to get the job I wanted.
- There was no stopping me, all my achievements were completed on my own.
- I was promoted quickly, I went from coordinator to senior executive within a few months.
- The drug dealing lifestyle was insatiable to Jeff Henderson, he believed he could elude the feds.
- Our methods paralleled, my method was legal, his was illegal.
- Jeff Henderson rose to the top of his game, he had established his fortune.
10. Jeff Henderson had no choice, it was either work or stay confined in his prison cell.
11. She was going to marry her high school sweetheart, what better way to spend the rest of your life in bliss?
12. He asked me to marry him, he was a Marine after all stationed in Japan.
13. Her life was finally beginning, she could leave Los Angeles.
14. This was her life, she did what she wanted.
15. Now she had nothing, she had given up her job to move overseas.
16. Life was too much of a challenge, she accepted that fact.
Jerry ate ten pizzas a week. Nonetheless, he remained skinny.
Jerry ate ten pizzas a week, but he remained skinny.
Barbara didn't buy the BMW. Instead, she bought the Acura.
Barbara didn't buy the BMW, yet she did buy the Acura.
Steve wasn't interested in college. Moreover, he didn't want to work full-time.
Steve wasn't interested in college, and he didn't want to work full-time.
I don't want you to pay me back the hundred dollars you owe me. However, I do want you to help me do my taxes.
I don't want you to pay me back the hundred dollars you owe me, but I do want you to help me do my taxes.
I don't want you to pay me back the hundred dollars you owe me, but I do, however, want you to help me do my taxes.
I feel that our relationship has become stale, stagnant, and turgid. Consequently, I think we should break up.
I feel that our relationship has become stale, stagnant, and turgid, so I think we should break up.
Students hate reading. Therefore, they must be tested with closed-book reading exams.
Students hate reading, so they must be tested with closed-book reading exams.
Avoiding Comma Splices and Run-Ons
Fused (run-on) sentence
Klee's paintings seem simple, they are very sophisticated.
She doubted the value of medication she decided to try it once.
A fused sentence (also called a run-on) joins clauses that could each stand alone as a sentence with no punctuation or words to link them. Fused sentences must be either divided into separate sentences or joined by adding words or punctuation.
I was strongly attracted to her, she was beautiful and funny.
We hated the meat loaf, the cafeteria served it every Friday.
A comma splice occurs when only a comma separates clauses that could each stand alone as a sentence. To correct a comma splice, you can insert a semicolon or period, connect the clauses with a word such as and or because, or restructure the sentence.
After each sentence, put a “C” for Correct or a “CS” for Comma Splice. If the sentence is a comma splice, rewrite it so that it is correct.
One. Bailey used to eat ten pizzas a day, now he eats a spinach salad for lunch and dinner.
Two. Marco no longer runs on the treadmill, instead he opts for the less injury-causing elliptical trainer.
Three. Running can cause shin splints, which can cause excruciating pain.
Four. Running in the incorrect form can wreak havoc on the knees, slowing down can often correct the problem.
Five. While we live in a society where 1,500-calorie cheeseburgers are on the rise, the reading of books, sad to say, is on the decline.
Six. Facebook is a haven for narcissists, it encourages showing off with selfies and other mundane activities that are ways of showing how great and amazing our lives our, what a sham.
Seven. We live in a society where more and more Americans are consuming 1,500-calorie cheeseburgers, however, those same Americans are reading less and less books.
Eight. Love is a virus from outer space, it tends to become most contagious during April and May.
Nine. The tarantula causes horror in many people, moreover there is a species of tarantula in Brazil, the wandering banana spider, that is the most venomous spider in the world.
Ten. Even though spiders cause many people to recoil with horror, most species are harmless.
Eleven. The high repair costs of European luxury vehicles repelled Amanda from buying such a car, instead she opted for a Japanese-made Lexus.
Twelve. Amanda got a job at the Lexus dealership, now she’s trying to get me a job in the same office.
Thirteen. While consuming several cinnamon buns, a twelve-egg cheese omelet, ten slices of French toast slathered in maple syrup, and a tray of Swedish loganberry crepes topped with a dollop of blueberry jam, I contemplated the very grave possibility that I might be eating my way to a heart attack.
Fourteen. Even though I rank marijuana far less dangerous than most pharmaceutical drugs, alcohol, and other commonly used intoxicants, I find marijuana unappealing for a host of reasons, not the least of which is its potential for radically degrading brain cells, its enormous effect on stimulating the appetite, resulting in obesity, and its capacity for over-relaxing many people so that they lose significant motivation to achieve their primary goals, opting instead for a life of sloth and intractable indolence.