Archive for the ‘argument’ Category

Chleuasmos in the Film “The Sandlot”

December 10, 2011 3 comments

The film The Sandlot demonstrates an excellent example of Chleuasmos.  In this movie, a group of middle school age boys, from a small suburban neighborhood, play baseball.  That is all they do.  They eat, breathe and dream baseball.  In fact, the film’s title derives from their makeshift field, the sandlot, where they play the game from sunup until sundown; everyday.

One hot afternoon, another group of baseball loving boys, from the right side of the tracks, arrives at the sandlot to pose a challenge to the gang.  A rivalry clearly exists between these two teams.  The movie sheds no light on the history of this rivalry, but when the interlopers arrive on their bicycles, wearing nice uniforms, a verbal confrontation ensues.  The two gangs of boys engage in a volley of petty insults escalating along this thread:

Watch it, Jerk!

Shut-up, idiot!


Scab eater!

Butt sniffer!

Puss licker!

Fart smeller!

You eat dog crap for breakfast, geek!

You mix your Wheaties with your mama’s toe jam!

You bob for apples in the toilet! And you like it!

This exchange abruptly ends, however, when Ham Porter hollers, “You play ball like a girl.”  With this final comment, the entire group stands in shocked silence; no one knows what to say next.  Clearly, Porter has crossed a line, his arrow has hit the very heart of what all these boys hold sacred and his words have achieved chleuasmos.

Nevertheless, this state of chleuasmos serves a function in the film.  It stops the onslaught of insults between the boys and allows for the intended purpose of the visit to come out.  The rich kids challenge the boys from the sandlot to a ballgame on their real baseball diamond and the plot moves along.  

The Sandlot. Dir. David M. Evans. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. 1993. YouTube. Uploaded by on Apr 4, 2008. Web. 6 Dec. 2011.

Categories: argument, chleuasmos, film

Badass: Archangel St. Michael

December 9, 2011 Leave a comment


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.

Invalid Argument Posters

December 9, 2011 2 comments

By now most of us are familiar with sites like, 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:

Apoplanesis in “Indian Killer”

December 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Similar to political debates, police interrogations and testimonies commonly support examples of apoplanesis. If cornered by an unanswerable inquiry, one may seek to employ apoplanesis in attempts to conserve confidential information. Naturally, the prying party will be alert to the answering party’s response. Such alertness ensures that any unsatisfying response will not go unrecognized, as the following example shall illustrate. Therefore, any chance for a subtle use of apoplanesis becomes unlikely. Though such circumstances have the potential to exhibit apoplanesis’ awkwardness, the answerer can still maintain a sense of grace in his or her subject dodging by keeping a professional, unwavering attitude.

Cover Photo by Frank Oudeman

Evident in Sherman Alexie’s Indian Killer, apoplanesis appears in the form of an interrogation. In this particular novel, a supernatural murder mystery, several scenes involve testimonies. One instance, while questioning the mother of a missing child, the policeman asks, “Mrs. Jones, do you know of anybody who might want to hurt Mark? Or take him?”; Mrs. Jones immediately responds with “No. Don’t you know?” (169). The policeman’s final remark on the situation holds the greatest example of apoplanesis: “Well, there are certain other crimes that may be connected to your son’s disappearance” (169). By not directly answering her question, he digresses the conversation but still holds the subject matter in place, thus providing apoplanesis. Nevertheless, the questioner, as mentioned previously, will not accept unsatisfactory responses. In this case, the questioner takes the form of a distraught mother inquiring over missing child; she, as expected, will not cease the discussion until receiving clarity. Though Alexie ends the chapter with Mrs. Jones’ response, “Listen, I want to know: what kind of monster do you think would take somebody’s child?,” the reader naturally assumes the interaction between these two characters continues (169). Though this example reveals apoplanesis’ ability to maintain confidential information’s concealment, it does nothing to enhance the device’s subtlety; if anything, this example exacerbates apoplanesis’ blatancy.  

Alexie, Sherman. Indian Killer. New York NY: Warner, 1996. Print.

Charientismus in Pan Am

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Pan Am: Episode 5

            The next example of charientismus I found was in an episode of Pan Am. In this episode, one of  the stewardesses is talking to one of her co-workers about how she pawned her engagement ring. The stewardess is very upset and is looking for guidance in the situation. When referring to the pawn, she says “They just sold it to a man in Harlem.. they can do that?” Her co-worker (a pilot) responds with, “It’s in the how to pawn manual.” Obviously, there is no “How to pawn manual” so he is turning this serious situation into a funny one by his comment. This is a clear usage of charientismus. The stewardess does not seem amused by his comment and rolls her eyes.


Kingdom Come

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Photobucket Photobucket

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.

Anamnesis and Buddhism

December 8, 2011 2 comments

A profound example of anamnesis occurs in the text, Buddhist Reflections on Life and Death, by Suk-Ku Song.  Suk-Ku Song is a Professor emeritus of Philosophy at Dongguk University and the President of the International Association for Buddhist Thought and Culture.  Song makes references to Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, Fan Xuanzi, Shusun Bao, and many others to strengthen his claims about the nature of life, death, and other abstracts associated between the two.  Song engages the reader through a gripping introduction where he discusses the Buddhist idea of a “process of overcoming the death through metempsychosis will be followed by ethical consciousness” (1) Metempsychosis is another name for the transmigration of the soul.  For instance, from Plato he conveys a message:

True philosophy is the practice of death.” What he meant is that philosophy is the discipline of overcoming the death and ofconsoling the death. At any rate, to Plato, death means the death of the body. But he thought that death does not mean the end of everything. What remains is the thought that the body will be extinct. Plato calls this thought “soul.” This explains Plato’s theory of the immortality of the soul and that of body-soul dualism. (10)

And he continues his discourse, citing Plato once more:

However, man can understand the Idea through Anamnesis. Tounderstand Idea, Soul should be liberated from the Body by means of “philo-sophie” or philosophical efforts while the Body-Soul complex live on the earth. Eventually, according to Plato, this understanding comes from thedeath. (11)

Through his appeals to authority, Song effectively conveys Buddhist rhetoric by drawing forth many voices from the ancient world and weaving them all together to strengthen his claims about Buddhism and the nature of life.

Song, Suk-Ku. “Buddhist Reflections on Life and Death.” Web. 30 Nov. 2011. < Song.pdf>.