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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Words Fitly Spoken: Part IV

Damaged ETHOS, Repaired PATHOS?
and A Lighter Look at Lacking LOGOS

When I began this “Words Fitly Spoken” series, it was because I was missing my old classroom setting during the political primary season. I miss interacting with students about current events and critical thinking. I was a young teacher during the Reagan Revolution, and for eight years he was an interesting illustration of Aristotle’s elements of rhetoric: ETHOS, PATHOS, and LOGOS.

Last week Obama was recovering from the PATHOS issues of his "pastor disaster," but it seems that toothpaste has been put back in the Youtube. In part because this CBS Youtube Clip with over a million views triggered a telling ETHOS implosion for Hillary.

As mentioned in Part I, ETHOS is that intangible quality that says a speaker's character, knowledge, and judgment are worthy of respect. Had this merely been a lapse in reasoning or facts (LOGOS), the story would not have legs, but because it underscores two decades of Clintonian ETHOS issues, it has fueled a 48-hour news cycle and will likely lead to harsh hindsight like this from Dick Morris, this blast from the New York Times, this most damaging account from Slate, and kinder but not gentler critiques like this from Peggy Noonan before going away... but the damage is done. [Update 3-30-08: Then a week later this issue came up.]

But enough about this latest political pothole!

Before we take a serious look at LOGOS, I thought it might be fun to study the unending supply of “logic” from that legend of Youtube known simply as Dax Flame. This 16-year-old is one of the most watched “stars” on the internet. My daughter started showing me these clips months ago. (They appeal to the generation that made Napoleon Dynamite a hit.)

At first I wasn't sure if Dax was an outspoken savant (in the form of AS described here) or a convincing actor from the school of “random thought.” I'm introducing you to him not to make fun of muddled thinking, but as a reminder that all of us have had those moments when we've lost our train of thought or when we've been expected to listen to a speaker whose LOGOS is clearly faulty.

Some of Dax Flame's Youtube posts receive more than half a million views within weeks. Some time when not satisfied with main-stream TV, spend a night with Dax. Whether "real" or "fake," Dax is well aware of the entertainment value of his pseudo rationality as he provides the world a lighter look at lacking LOGOS :

Questionable Logic (next 5 red links)

Dax Flame teaches his knowledge

Why Dax won't eat at Chick-Fil-A

Dax does the impossible

Dax explains "global warmings"

Dax goes Christmas shopping

The Unfolding Love Saga (next 6 purple links):

Dax buys a car on Ebay and sees Annie in class

"How to win a woman's heart" Part I

"How to win a woman's heart" Part II

Asking Annie on a date Part I

Asking Annie on a date Part II

Bad Dream about Annie gets Dax grounded

Good and Bad days at school (next 5 green links)

Dax Reacts to the news that he can't major in magic

Why Dax hates "Picture Day" at school

Dax explains bathroom Safty (and a secret crush)

Dax gets banned from PE hockey

Bad day on the school bus

(Before you become sad that poor Dax is a living Charlie Brown or a troubled teen, here is some "proof" that Dax Flame is likely an act. And here's more proof that Madison Patrello does not lead the bizarre life of his Youtube character. That should relieve the guilt of laughing with him (not at him) as he shares his misguided mishaps. Here are more than 100 other vlogs with more than ten million views. [Check out this odd tribute from a talented fan: Dax painted in chocalate syrup..]

In Part V of "Words Fitly Spoken" we will look at the legitimate end of the LOGOS spectrum.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

When my parents were "fetching me up", one of the biggest concerns was my character. My mom used to be concerned about who I associated with and so forth. She also used to tell me that our family was well known in the community and be that known to me---I should think about what I was doing while I was out with my friends. In other words I shouldn't think I could ever "get away" with anything BECAUSE it would always get back to them somehow. So with that being said...the Hillary snafu of this week. MMMmmmm I have to wonder on her "fetching up"!! I'm thinking Big Picture here throughout the years in Arkansas, then the White House and now on the campaign trail. You bring up some good points re: ethos. As for the YouTube guy...I'm not one who searches that venue on "the net"...think it's a generational thing. :-) Thanks for your ponderings.

27/3/08 7:07 AM  
Blogger Dr.John said...

I wish I had the time to look at all those u-tube videos. The one's I looked at were funny. I know how long it takes to put a list like that together.
But I have other blogs to visit and I must move on.
Thanks for sharing.

27/3/08 11:49 AM  
Blogger Janet O. said...

This is my first time using this. I have had a difficult time getting my comment sent to you. I am a relative of yours. I have been reading "Patterns Of Ink" since reading the booklet given out at your mother's funeral.

Like I said this is very new to me. If you look me up you can find out a little more about me.
Janet O.

27/3/08 11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is one of your other anonymous readers. I have not commented in a long time but I read every week. I think I would like to have been in you speech lcass. You make it interesting. Thank you for saying that Dax is acting becaause I think he has problems if he is not. He is funny and really proves what you are saying about lacking logic.
I am the person who sked you many months ago if you would finish the story about the ache of joy. I hope you will sometime. The first parts were very interesting. Glad you are back.

27/3/08 12:46 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

How wise of you to recognize "generational things." Youtube as a way of showing video clips is something I can understand, but "the world of Youtube" where people connect with the world through video blogs... where people comment via video blogs... where a person can become a source of "new entertainment" for millions of people at virtually no expense at either end... THAT IS REVOLUTIONARY and very much a generational thing, but it is huge. It has had a huge impact on this year's presidential race--the days of being able to get away with fiction on short notice are over...and we ain't seen nothing yet. =)

Dr. John,
I suppose it would have taken some time if my daughter had not started showing me these clips months ago. So it was basicly just a cut and paste operation based on the most memorable clips that illustrated "lack of LOGOS."

Thanks so much for stopping by. I'm honored to have extended family reading here. I tried the link and it didn't work. For some reason it wouldn't open your blog page. Keep trying. I will come by again. Thanks for the support at the funeral. It still hardly seems possible.

Other Anon,
Thanks for commenting. I do remember your question about "The Ache of Joy," and yes, I will bring that to the top of the blog and finish it some time. (The beginning is back in the Dec. 2004/ Jan 2005 archives for those who don't know what Anon means.)

I'm glad you all see the humor in Dax. I'll bet he's on TV some day.

27/3/08 4:52 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

I tried to go to your blog again tonight, but there is something wrong and the page will not open. I wish I could help you out. I've never seen that happen with a blogspot link.
Anyway, thanks for trying.

27/3/08 10:19 PM  

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