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Badass: Archangel St. Michael

December 9, 2011 Leave a comment

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Ben Thompson has made himself into a small internet celebrity for his website Badass of the Week, where individuals both real and fictional with unique stories of fortitude are told in a manner more befitting with friends than from someone with a History degree. Thompson often uses a unique form of Apodioxis whenever needed or humorous, as shown in his article on the Archangel Michael.

Nowadays, the term “angel” has become more or less synonymous with “pussy.” It conjures up images of disproportionately huge-breasted ninty-pound lingerie-clad Victoria’s Secret models having sweaty pillow-fights in the clouds, or innocent-looking fat kids playing the harp and blowing kisses at butterflies and rainbows. It’s a term used for wussbag cherubs that shoot arrows at teenage couples having picnics in the park on summer afternoons, or the sort of thing a grandmother coos out when looking at a photo of a human child no matter how cute or hideous it may actually be. With all this lame-ass angelic bullcrap going around, people unfortunately tend to forget that the most hardcore of all the Harley-riding, heavy metal-listening, battle-axe wielding, cocaine-snorting bastards from Hell got his snot epically annihilated by the biggest badass Heaven has to offer—the Archangel Michael: the Chief Justice of Wrecking Evildoers’ Faces and leaving behind a trail of severed tendrils, ichor-stained carcasses, and broken-in-half demon giblets (Thompson 88).

Note how this form of Apodioxis is different from the other examples we have looked at. For one thing, the speaker does not attack the opponent for making the opposing argument. Rather he lets his position speak for itself. Most modern portrayals of angels are either fat naked babies or gorgeous women. However, when one looks at the biblical portrayal, they have more in common with H. P. Lovecraft. This is opposite to the portrayal of Satan, who was also once an Angel: he is always portrayed as the greatest threat to all that is good and cannot possibly be defeated. However, again the biblical evidence shows that other than the Garden of Eden, and thus the Fall of Man, he is a loser who has lost every fight against the other Angels, lead by Michael. This is not Apodioxis against the argument of another person, but rather against the argument given by our culture. The effect is that it both re-educated the readers about what Angels were supposed to be, and show the reasons why Michael fits the title of the book and website.

Thompson, Ben. “Saint Michael, The Archangel.” Badass: the Birth of a Legend: Spine-crushing Tales of the Most Merciless Gods, Monsters, Heroes, Villains, and Mythical Creatures Ever Envisioned. First ed. New York: Harper Paperbacks, 2011. 88. Print.

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Invalid Argument Posters

December 9, 2011 2 comments

By now most of us are familiar with sites like http://www.icanhazcheesburger.com, where an image of anything has a caption placed over it, often making a humorous or non-sensical observation on the image itself. A common theme is to have an odd or nonsensical image, and then have the quote state the subject of the image, and them claim Apodioxis, worded as “you’re argument is invalid.” Below are some examples.

These posters are often used on message boards during a debate, or by a third party, often in a humorous joking way in order to derail said debate. The affect is that its nonsensical correlation between the image, the quote, and how it relates to the debate can have a way of releasing tension in a heated debate.


Categories: apodioxis, argument, humor, website Tags:

Billy Madison

December 8, 2011 2 comments

Debate takes place in a multitude of settings beyond an argument or the debate tables. Even when taking a test or on a game show you are engaging in debate. After all, whenever you answer a question you are claiming that you know the answer to said question.

However, sometimes your argument is wrong, plain and simple, which manifests as an incorrect answer. In the film Billy Madison, Adam Sandler is on a game show and answer’s a question, however, it is evident that his answer is wrong on so many levels it can only be called Epic. And the host, in the video provided, lets Sandler’s character know just how wrong he is with one of the more extreme examples of Apodioxis we will be examining.

The effects, even from such an isolated and removed from context clip, are clear. The intelligence of the person the host is speaking to is call so much into question that it goes right around and goes to being completely known: as being nonexistent. Also, considering how gameshow hosts are expected to be professional, respectful and generally present themselves as nice guys all the time, the fact that the host presented not only breaks that convention, but shatters it with an air-fuel ordinance bomb means that the answer argued was just that wrong.

Video posted by user Bound4Earth

Billy Madison. Dir. Tamra Davis. Prod. Robert Simonds. By Adam Sandler. Perf. Adam Sandler. Universal Studios, 1995. Billy Madison – Ultimate Insult (Academic Decathlon). YouTube, 26 Nov. 2009. Web. 7 Dec. 2011.

Kingdom Come

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

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In the Graphic Novel Kingdom Come, the DC Comics’ universe has been projected 20 years into the future, where the violent and gritty style of superheroes then popular in the 90s has taken its logical extreme of gang fighting in the streets, and no real way of telling the heroes from the villains, and the threat of the Superhumans whipping all life from the face of the earth just from existing is a credible scenario.
In the scene we look at, Superman has come back from his self-imposed exile to get the world back on track. He walks into a superhuman bar (no, there is no joke), and asks the resident’s to shape up and join the reformed Justice League, and then leaves. Many of the individuals are impressed by the offer, but some are still not sure.

Then comes the arrow imbedding itself into the column.

It comes from another old superhero, by the name of Green Arrow, who says that it was now time “for the Democratic response.” There is no verbal Apodioxis, only one given through actions. This new generation of “heroes,” and yes the quotes are intentional, is violent and responds better to relentless, merciless justice that they revel in. By using his arrow as a way to get their attention, the Old Hero, Green Arrow, implies that he too thinks of solving problems like they do, and thus understands where they are coming from. This being something that Superman, and the old comic book-style of Superheroics he represents, is said time and again to be incapable of getting. Even though he offers a ‘Democratic response,’ assumedly in as respectful a tone as can be expected, Green Arrow is in affect saying that he doesn’t believe that there is any choice: Only his argument to hear, his team to join, and his rules to follow.

Waid, Mark, and Alex Ross. “Kingdom Come.” Graphic novel. First ed. New York: DC Comics, 2002. 86-87. Print. Elseworlds.

Hellsing Ultimate Abridged

December 6, 2011 Leave a comment

A new genre of media is the Abridged Series: Someone (or a group) who is a fan of a visual work, will edit it’s installments down to manageable size, then add a dub of their own making, consisting of exaggerated personality traits while usually maintaining the general plot. In this example, Apodioxis is shown starting at the 10:00 mark when the topic of the source of a series of attacks is discussed. Alucard (the guy in the red jacket) asks if the ‘large organized group’ his superior talks about could be “The Nazis.” Her response? Remarkably similar to that of a High School student.

“That would be retarded.”

The use of Nazi Survivors or Sympathizers in fiction has quickly become a cliché, to the point where an audience is likely to assume that the writers have run out of ideas, or are so juvenile that they cannot come up with anything unique. By using Apodioxis, the character speaking it works as a stand-in for the audience who might, while watching the unabridged and thus dead serious version, have the same reaction of the thought of Nazis being the villains of the piece. It also signifies the speaker not taking the idea of Nazis being a threat seriously, which in turn shows some ignorance, or even arrogance, on her part, foreshadowing a comeuppance later on when Alucard’s assumption inevitably proves correct.

To watch the example, skip to 10:00

Hellsing Ultimate Abridged. By Takahata101. Perf. Takahata101, Nowhacking, and Megami33. YouTube, 1 Nov. 2010. Web. 5 Dec. 2011.

Categories: apodioxis, argument, humor, website Tags:

Juvenile Brush-offs

December 6, 2011 2 comments

We hear these all the time in our schools, our homes, and even walking down the street: two youths, often boys, will be talking about a topic (be it sports, an assignment, an anecdote), and one or the other will give out a short little retort that shows their dislike:

That’s gay/dumb/wack/(fill in the blank)!

It isn’t something that would be seen as professional for a real debate, but it is Apodioxis nonetheless: It is the rejection of an argument, whatever it may be, as ridiculous in an indignant manner. However, it is a form of Apodioxis that should be frowned upon, as it hurts the Logos of the individual using it.

Categories: apodioxis, credibility, speech Tags:

A Few Good Men

December 6, 2011 Leave a comment

In the play and film A Few Good Men, the drama plays out in the courtroom scene between the characters of Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson, with the former being the defense attorney, and the latter being on the stand.

“You can’t handle the truth” is Apodioxis, pure, simple and is quite biting. Cruise’s character has grown from a rather lazy attorney who goes from rushing for a plea bargain to actually trying to defend his clients. However, Nicholson’s character, a hardened marine, rejects this character growth, going on to claim that Cruise cannot handle the grim and disgusting reality of what the Marines are required to do in the defense of everyone in the room and all they care for, and thus his demand for honesty is ridiculous. As we see in the clip, in just a minute Nicholson tears down Cruise so that it seems like the latter has no legal authority to do his job. In fact, if the film were to end right here, and this scene was all that we knew of the work, we would walk away assuming that Nicholson’s character was the good guy, defending his distasteful, but ultimately right, actions to an arrogant, entitled, ignorant and opinionated individual who never had to truly suffer. Because of this, we as an audience are encouraged to celebrate the dressing down provided by Nicholson’s character.

YouTube video provided by user PheasantBreezy

A Few Good Men. Dir. Rob Reiner. Prod. Rob Reiner, David Brown, and Andrew Scheinman. By Aaron Sorkin. Perf. Aaron Sorkin, Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, and Kevin Bacon. Columbia Pictures, 1992. YouTube.