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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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yteMugRAc0

Geldof, Bob. “I Don’t Like Mondays.” Rec. Summer 1979. The Boomtown Rats. Paul Wainman, 1979. CD. Also available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yteMugRAc0

Mikkelson, Barbara. “Snopes.com: I Don’t Like Mondays.” Snopes.com: Urban Legends Reference Pages. Snopes.com, 26 Feb. 2010. Web. 09 Dec. 2011. <http://www.snopes.com/music/songs/mondays.asp&gt;.

Pink’s Song “U + Ur Hand Serves as an Example of Chleuasmos

December 10, 2011 2 comments

Pink’s song, “U + Ur Hand” offers another representation of chleuasmos.   Though most women have had to ward off some sloppy drunk’s unwelcome advances, Pink cuts right to the quick with her dissuasion.  When “Dick Head” approaches her and puts his hands on her, she responds with a plethora of insults that would cause any man to tuck tail and run.  One can only imagine how a gentleman might respond, or choose not to, when confronted with this barrage:

You’re in the corner with your boys, you bet ’em five bucks
You’d get the girl that just walked in but she thinks you suck
We didn’t get all dressed up just for you to see
So quit spillin’ your drinks on me, yeah
You know who you are, high-fivin’, talkin’ shit
But you’re going home alone, aren’t ya?
‘Cause I’m not here for your entertainment
You don’t really want to mess with me tonight
Just stop and take a second
I was fine before you walked into my life
‘Cause you know it’s over
Before it began
Keep your drink just give me the money
It’s just u + ur hand tonight

The song does not share what the man says, but it does not take much imagination to come up with a list of cheesy pickup lines, and, although, Pink replies a little harshly towards her suitor, she does have a point.  Her trip to the club, at least on this particular night, was not for the gratification of the predatory wolves.  She and her friends have chosen to treat themselves to a girls’ night out and would prefer that the boys just play with themselves.

As in many cases of chleuasmos, this verbal onslaught should achieve the desired effect.  One can hardly envision another man having the courage and/or stupidity to approach Pink and her friends again on this night.

http://www.pinkspage.com/us/videos/u-ur-hand

Dave Meyers, dir. “U + Ur Hand”. Sony Music Entertainment Inc. 2006. 2011. Web. 6 Dec. 2011.

“The Needle and the Damage Done”

December 8, 2011 1 comment

Neil Young’s “The Needle and the Damage Done” assesses drug abuse and the impact on others. Young concludes his song with the phrase, “and every junkie’s like a setting sun.” This simile functions as an epiphonema appealing to time and nature. A setting sun symbolizes an ending or conclusion. This metaphor often extends to aging and death. The connection between a setting sun and the perilous lifestyle of a drug addict function to instill a bleak emotion within the audience. Drug addict have plenty of means at their disposal to break their habits, with families and friends often acting as mediator between stages towards sobriety. However, the power of drug and substance abuse regularly prove too much for an individual to desire help or support. Thus, the inevitability of a setting sun further illustrates the difficulty of preventing harm to the individual and those around them. Young’s epiphonema effectively coveys the stifling and potentially deadly character of substance abuse through an apt simile.

Young, Neil. “The Needle and the Damage Done.” Harvest. Reprise Records, 1971. Mp3.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0t0EW6z8a0>

Indignatio: Rotti and Shilo – Repo! The Genetic Opera

December 7, 2011 Leave a comment

This use of indignatio by the villain Rotti consists of two songs addressed to Shilo, a supposedly sick girl, vilifying the Repo-man (secretly Shilo’s father, Nathan, who has been trying to protect her). In these songs, “Rotti’s Chapel Sermon” and “Interrogation Room Challenge,” he mentions her oppressively sheltered childhood to make her indignant toward whoever had “kept [her] in the dark” and creates a feeling of fraternity with his “belief” that she has been wronged by that. He then proceeds to focus the indignatio toward the Repo-man by implying an earlier encounter she’d had with him was actually an attack on Shilo that Rotti heroically stopped, while at the same time, commiserating that the Repo-man has wronged him as well. The titles of these songs also hint to their rhetorical nature, as they are a “sermon” and a “challenge” to Shilo. The effect Rotti strives for—and almost achieves—is to turn Shilo against her father, but like a true classical villain, his rhetoric is not able to overcome true love for her father. The indignatio in this instance may not have succeeded in the end, but it is a brilliant example of how one can use another’s experiences and with a few carefully turned phrases can ignite anger in his audience, anger that will (sometimes) drive them to tragic actions.


Sorvino, Paul. “Rotti’s Chapel Sermon.” Repo! The Genetic Opera: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Deluxe Edition). By Darren Smith and Terrance Zdunich. 2009. Mp3.

Sorvino, Paul. “Interrogation Room Challenge.” Repo! The Genetic Opera: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Deluxe Edition). By Darren Smith and Terrance Zdunich. 2009. Mp3.

Indignatio: Cake – “Rock & Roll Lifestyle”

December 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Cake’s music video for “Rock & Roll Lifestyle” juxtaposes a musical narrative of an ingenuous music fan who does all the right things to fit in with images of the band dressed in poorly put-together Roman garb and acting out a scene of imperial decadence. The narrative of the song is directly addressed to its target, the stereotypical “poser” fan who “drink[s] at clubs/ to music [he] hasn’t even heard of.” The chorus questions the authenticity of this fan with its pondering of how he affords his lifestyle. It calls into question his grounding in reality where people who are on their own have to pay for everything themselves.

There is an implied audience to which the indignatio is directed, which consists of such regular people who have to worry about money and surviving. This is intended to make the genuine fans and regular folks angry at the target in a “proletariat v. bourgeois” sense. The ingenuous fan spends money he didn’t earn on music and things he doesn’t know or appreciate, while regular people never have the freedom to be so flippant. This underlying narrative of conflict is only enforced by the “emperor” addressing the “gladiators” during different descriptions—the younger one at the line, “is it you or your parents in this income tax bracket?” and the older, presumably more proletariat one, at “how long will the workers keep building him new [guitars]?”—and pitting them against one another in a mock gladiator battle. This is one of the more positive uses of indignatio, as its intended effect is to encourage all audiences to be true to themselves. It accomplishes this through it use of humour to arouse the audience’s emotional response.

Cake. “Rock & Roll Lifestyle.” Motorcade of Generosity. 1993. Video.

Aposiopesis: Example 1

December 6, 2011 1 comment

The first example of Aposiopesis being analyzed is in a song that was written and performed by Imogen Heap, titled “Hide and Seek.”  The song, according to an interview with Imogen Heap at barcodezine.com, is about “losing something very dear to me and how much of an impact that person had on my life and about maybe how when something awful happens to somebody else, how other people react to it.”

Because the song is of a very sensitive subject, Imogen Heap slowed it down and made it very emotionally stimulating.  To do this, she uses several different effects, one of them being aposiopesis.  Throughout the song, silent pauses between segments of words are implemented strategically to invoke specific feelings in the listener.  Towards the beginning of the song, she uses many long pauses.  In this section, the lyrics are quiet and slow.  She uses a large amount of imagery, and the meanings of the lyrics are not clear.  At this point, where there are pauses is when Imogen Heap intends for listeners to concentrate on the lyrics in attempt to decipher them, while simultaneously experiencing their own stirred emotions.

As the song progresses, there are fewer pauses, and the pace of the song quickens.  The lack of the pauses, as well as a change of sound in the song, intends to display emotions of impatience or frustration.  At this point, the lyrics become more apparent, and there are no more moments of reflection for emotions, but now only fast-paced singing and the closing of the song.

Another affect being achieved by aposiopesis in this text is amplification.  In most texts, the primary purpose of rhetorical devices is to amplify certain words of the text.  With aposiopesis, what’s actually being emphasized is the silence itself.  The time period of each moment of silence serves as a moment for the audience to absorb the previously mentioned emotions, which in turn amplifies the emotional relationship between the audience and the rhetorical text.

“IMOGEN HEAP LYRICS.” AZLyrics. AZLyrics.com, 2011. Web. 1 Dec 2011.

<http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/imogenheap/hideandseek.html&gt;.

Imogen Heap – Hide and Seek. Youtube, 2009. Web. 1 Dec 2011.

<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYIAfiVGluk&ob=av2n&gt;.

The White Stripes: “The Hardest Button to Button”

December 6, 2011 Leave a comment

Michel Gondry’s 2003 video for The White Stripes’ spare, gritty, bluesy “The Hardest Button to Button” relies heavily on visual anadiplosis. At every sharp beat, an instrument or an amplifier is duplicated. From one bass drum to two, to three, to more, strung along at each beat, with drummer Meg White sitting at each new kit. When singer/guitarist Jack White begins to play, he walks from one Fender amp to a new amp, to amp number three, to more. Sometimes the instruments trace a path through the park, along the sidewalk, down the stairs, in and out of subway cars at a station. Sometimes the instruments are arranged in clusters—dozens of drum kits in a grassy field arranged in a Busby-Berkeley-style fireworks pattern choreographed to rotate with the beat, stacks of Fender amps arranged in rows that appear and disappear with the beat. Visual anadiplosis provides the defining aesthetic and logic for this stunning video.

The musicians are never duplicated; we never see more than one of Jack or Meg. With just one musician visually assigned to the accumulations of equipment, the video emphatically claims the crucial importance of the beat: the beat, beat, beat—it’s all about the beat. Quantity of instruments suggests volume and depth of sound. This band’s reputation for its spare-ness—it’s just the two members—is further amplified, perhaps ironically, by the equipment/musician ratio. By my count, at least thirty-two identical Fender amps and drum kits must have been used in production of this video. At times, the accumulating stacks and rows of amplifiers visually suggest the sound-bar indicators on a music mixer’s graphic equalizers—a perfectly suitable metaphorical construction. When the setting of the video is under an urban overpass or in a tunnel, the anadiplosis creates a visual echo that imitates the aural echo that would be produced if the song had been recorded in that particular location. Visual anadiplosis in this music video thus serves in a variety of ways to complement and amplify the tonal quality and the driving beat of the song. Additionally, as with frame-by-frame stop-motion animation, viewers are left to marvel at the meticulous planning and beat-by-beat behind-the-scenes additions and removals of equipment.

Gondry, Michel, dir. “The Hardest Button to Button.” Perf. The White Stripes. 2003. The Work of Director Michel Gondry. NY: Palm Pictures, 2003. Also available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sudk3ZdMsVA.