This meme originating in 2008 was passed around Facebook yet again last week:
- What emotion(s) do you think this meme is designed to provoke?
- What aspects of this meme (the image and the accompanying text) provoke these emotions?
- Take a few minutes to read the history of this meme on Snopes Urban Legends site. Using that information, compose a new text to accompany the image that still evokes emotion but that is intended to give the (American) reader a sense of calmness, comfort, and security.
Let’s look at another one. This is one’s from 2013: Glenn Beck making a pathetic appeal that uses emotionally charged language as a build-up and then offers a shocking visual, which is a modern-day use of what Aristotle called enargeia (bringing to life before one’s eyes).
- What emotion(s) do you think this video is designed to provoke?
- What aspects of this video provoke these emotions?
- To get a sense of the ways in which Beck’s rhetoric is emotionally charged, spend a few minutes with this piece designed specifically to cool the emotions, especially points 6 and 7: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/08/29/9-questions-about-syria-you-were-too-embarrassed-to-ask/