Archive for the ‘amplification’ Category

Meiosis-The Boomtown Rats/ Brenda Ann Spencer

December 10, 2011 Leave a comment

Meiosis can also be found in the Boomtown Rats 1979 release of the song “I Don’t Like Mondays.”  The background of this song is more of why that it can be considered meiosis rather than just the song itself.  The song was spurred on because of what the person, Brenda Ann Spencer, had said of his actions.  For those of you not familiar with her, let me elaborate.  In 1979, a sixteen year old, Spencer opened fire on children that were going into Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California.  This event occurred on Monday, January 29.  In the process, Spencer ended killing two men while wounding eight more students and even a police officer.  When finally captured, she told a reporter that she had done it because and I quote, “I don’t like Mondays.  This livens up the day.”  She said a few other things while in police custody but this one is the meiotic saying.  And it is also the quote that aided to the creation of the song.  This can be considered meiosis since she tries to evade the big issue of killing and shooting those people as it was no big deal.  It was done for a lesser reason than for actually having a big, somewhat normal, reason for doing so.  Normally, someone would say something strong to convey their reason for doing it but with her it was like she was brushing it off and like eh, I did it because I do not like Mondays.  It is no big deal.  We all do not like Mondays anyway.  So, this is why could her reasoning is more meiotic then the song itself.  The song does, however, keep this saying in contemporary culture in our thoughts and remembrance of this terrific event.  The chorus mentions her famous utterance, “I don’t like Mondays,” and it then goes on to say, “tell me why.”  These two juxtaposed is kind of like the interrogator and Brenda Spencer are having their conversation about the incident.  The repetition of this over and over again is using it as a sense of amplification.  This particular line is also very effective and serious because of the fact that Spencer uttered it herself so there is not much more seriousness and effectiveness that could not be uttered than by anyone else than but by the individual herself.

Geldof, Bob. “I Don’t Like Mondays.” Rec. Summer 1979. The Boomtown Rats. Paul Wainman, 1979. CD. Also available:

Mikkelson, Barbara. “ I Don’t Like Mondays.” Urban Legends Reference Pages., 26 Feb. 2010. Web. 09 Dec. 2011. <;.


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.

Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man in the World

December 8, 2011 2 comments

While advertisements often use slogans or catchphrases at the end of their allotted time, few function as an epiphonema as well as the Dos Equis most interesting man in the world. Concluding with “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis… Stay thirsty my friends,” highlights his other amazing, if not impossible, achievements and equates the Dos Equis brand with these. Imploring his friends and audience to ‘stay thirsty’ demonstrates the ambition with which one should live while continuing to enjoy refreshing beverages.  Whether he falls several hundred feet in a kayak from an airplane or taming wild cats with a fierce glare, his encapsulation of brilliant accomplishments produce an awe effect upon the audience, intending them to revere this Mexican beer as much as his deeds.

Dos Equis. Advertisement. Television.

“Double Trouble Duel” – Yu-Gi-Oh Three Part Episode

December 8, 2011 2 comments

In this cartoon the heroes of the show, Yugi and Joey, are locked in a tag team match against a pair of twins named Para and Dox, otherwise known as the Paradox brothers. As the game commences the protagonists are baited with a riddle that will help them escape the labyrinth they have found themselves in. Should they answer the riddle and win the card game they will have their freedom. The riddle is a retelling of a classic riddle that goes as follows: there is a traveler wishing to go to the village of truth. Along his journey he is told that bordering the village of truth is the village of lies which is full of bandits and thieves that will destroy the traveler. It is also revealed that guarding the fork in the road leading to both villages is a resident of either village. Upon reaching this villager the traveler is offered to ask a single question to find his way. The riddle is then given over to the listener to provide the answer which is, “Take me to your village.” The guard would then take the traveler to the village of truth regardless of his origins. However in the three part Yu-gi-oh episode the riddle is expanded to include two guards on the road, two travelers, and a two question allowance mirroring the duel happening in the cartoon. The riddle is based on a classic known as knights and knaves. The old riddle is basically the same as the one featured in Yu-Gi-Oh with the major exception that there is an actual answer. What makes the riddle work is a premise known as the liar’s paradox. The phrase “this sentence is false” is the most popular form of the liar’s paradox. As long as the liar in the scenario always lies then the riddle can work. In the cartoon’s example both guards are lying causing the paradox to arise.

This added complexity baffles the pair of heroes at first causing a state of confusion. This confusion is shared by the audience who is no doubt trying to answer the riddle also. Joey is the first to answer having been familiar with the original riddle. He is reprimanded for his rashness in wasting his question. After having vanquished the two brothers it is left to Yugi to provide the final question. From here it is revealed that there is no correct answer. The riddle is impossible because of its delivery. The Paradox brothers cannot be trusted because if one only tells truths and the other lies there is no way of knowing which is which. They can be both lying. This causes a paradox not in the answer but in the originating instance, a riddle having an answer and no answer at the same time. The riddle is both wrong and right. This duality is only possible in a paradox. The correct answer is revealed when Yugi exposes the twins as frauds. The protagonists would have been wrong no matter what they did. Having discovered the truth the heroes are then granted the proper exit. Through this whole ordeal paradox is used to shed some light on the characters. Yugi is shown as the level head that ultimately prevails while his rash counter-part, Joey, learns a valuable lesson about trust. The villains are shown as conniving and sinister for presenting the false riddle. Paradox serves to highlight character traits and flaws in an interesting way with the final product of being entertaining.


Follow these links for the original Yu-Gi-Oh episodes:

For another example of the riddle see this clip from the 1986 movie Labyrinth:


Works Cited:

Henson, Jim, dir. Labyrinth. Prod. George Lucas. Tristar Pictures, 1986. Film.

pedestrian42, prod. Sarah’s Certain Death Riddle. 2008. Film. <;.

Sugishima, Kunihisa, dir. Double Trouble Duel, Part 1. Writ. Junki Takegami. Studio Gallop, 2000. Film. <

Sugishima, Kunihisa, dir. Double Trouble Duel, Part 2. Writ. Junki Takegami. Studio Gallop, 2000. Film. <,vepisode,1,0

Sugishima, Kunihisa, dir. Double Trouble Duel, Part 2. Writ. Junki Takegami. Studio Gallop, 2000. Film. <,vepisode,1,0

Hyperbaton: “(500) Days of Summer”

December 8, 2011 2 comments
In his 2009 film, (500) Days of Summer, Marc Webb used visual hyperbaton by inverting the chronological order of days in the movie.  The story followed Tom Hansen (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who fell in love with Summer Finn (Zooey Deschanel), who worked at the same greeting card company as Hansen.  From their first meeting onward, Webb showed the relationship over the course of the next five hundred days.  Rather than working strictly chronologically, Webb skipped from day-to-day and at times presented a day that disrupted the order.  Using a nifty transition to mark the change of days, Webb used this non-linear storytelling model as a means of deftly showing the peaks and valleys of a relationship.
Two days in particular exemplified this notion of life and death of a relationship.  First, Webb moved the story to day 282 of the relationship when the couple was having problems staying together.  While in an IKEA store, Hansen played with the non-operating sinks, making a joke by saying “Our sink is broken.”  A swivel of the camera to Finn’s face revealed that the joke failed in soliciting a positive response.  On the last day of the example, the story reverted to day thirty-five, the first time Hansen and Finn went shopping at the same IKEA store.  As the couple shopped, they told jokes about how each of the appliances was broken (again all non-operational) as they ran through the store before sharing a loving embrace on a display bed.  Through the emphasis of good and bad juxtaposed in this brief example, Webb emphasized the change in feelings of a relationship.
Our human nature often prevents us from critically analyzing a past relationship, as we want to focus primarily on either the positives or negatives, depending on the result of the relationship.  By juxtaposing the good days with the bad days of Hansen and Finn’s time together, however, Webb wants the audience to see the relationship as a whole.  When Webb places days 282 and thirty-five side-by-side, he adds emphasis on this notion of the relationship as a whole.  Finn’s revulsion at Hansen’s sink joke, which she made during their previous visit on day thirty-five, amplified Webb’s idea.  None of these days is a single, isolated incident, but rather all parts of one larger experience.

Webb, Marc, dir. (500) Days of Summer. Fox Searchlight Pictures, 2009. Film.

Categories: amplification, film, hyperbaton

Full Metal Jacket

December 8, 2011 1 comment

Full Metal Jacket focuses on war and its effect on the Vietnam generation. Private Joker, Matthew Modine, finishes the movie with the lines, “I am so happy that I am alive, in one piece and short. I’m in a world of shit… yes. But I am alive. And I am not afraid.” The background of these lines features the chanting of the Mickey Mouse Club theme song by a large group of soldiers walking through burning rubble, illustrating the basic and simple mindset war has engrained within them fighting in such hellish settings. Escaping death during the war leaves the narrator and his fellow generation with whom he served with a simpler new viewpoint from which to perceive their surrounding life and culture. The change and maturation throughout the movie from boot camp to actual combat service initiates a subtle evolution, or devolution, of the men fighting the Viet Cong and rebels. Concluding the movie with this inner-inspection focuses the audience’s attention upon the individual impact of warfare. Private Joker’s evolution during the war elevates his view of life into a simpler individualist perspective.

Full Metal Jacket. Dir. Stanley Kubrick, Natant, 1987.>

Categories: amplification, epiphonema, film

Stand by Me

December 8, 2011 1 comment

Stand by Me follows a group of childhood friends as a man recalls the innocence of childhood friendships and the obstacles that such friendships overcome. Gordie Lachance, the fictional narrator, finishes the movie stating “I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve. Jesus, does anyone?” This reflection captures the elevated status of childhood friendship, which hardly ever factors in other characteristics or components outside of their control such as economic status or other prejudices. As a grown adult, his perspective allows for a more personal appeal when asking the audience to reflect. The boys overcoming challenges presented to them over the course of the plot reinforces the power of friendship and its pure connotations at that stage of life. The summative final lines capture the effect of the reader and force a nostalgic reminiscence.

Categories: amplification, epiphonema, film