Alice Klein's rhetorical vapidity

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QatzelOk
Alice Klein's rhetorical vapidity

 

QatzelOk

[b]there is not really a whole lot of difference between the NDP and the Liberals[/b]

No one implied there was or was not.

My criticism of Ms. Klein's writing isn't about her politics, it's about her crudely crafted writing and the way in which she proselytizes in a really transparent, unclever way. Her columns are never provocative or entertaining - just really, really bland and almost mind-numbingly predictable and partisan.

If I want to be delivered to advertisers - or the Liberal Party - by a Pied Piper of Early Adulthood, I'll pick up NOW magazine (or one of its commercial clones here in Montreal). But that isn't really why I would read rabble.

Cueball Cueball's picture

quote:


Originally posted by QatzelOk:
[b][b]My criticism of Ms. Klein's writing isn't about her politics, it's about her crudely crafted writing and the way in which she proselytizes in a really transparent, unclever way. Her columns are never provocative or entertaining - just really, really bland and almost mind-numbingly predictable and partisan.[/b]

There is a lot of crudely crafted journalism today. Journalists routinely rely on common cliched expressions, aphorisms and metaphors to make complex ideas simple, and to fit them into very restricted space requirement. A cliched expression is an icon as much as it is anything else, like a stop sign, or a yellow light that instantly relay implied and generally understood meaning.

The difference between journalism and creative writing is that the purpose of journalism is conveying information clearly and simply to an wide audience, not making critical breakthroughs in art.

Klein's work is by no means exceptional in this regard, and not even on babble. For instance consider Mallick's use of "pram faced" and "White Trash vote".

[ 29 October 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]

janfromthebruce

I agree, it is appears predictable, that is, talking about Klein's writing. it appears to have the same story line and subplots.
Again, it would be interesting to find out how authors get to have their articles re-networked at rabble.
In the "about us section" I noted there was no information provided about an editorial board or how submissions are accepted.

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by M. Spector:
[b]She's certainly managed to insight a lot of critical response from babblers.[/b]

M. Spector, you give me groan pains.

[ 29 October 2008: Message edited by: unionist ]

janfromthebruce

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b]

M. Spector, you give me groan pains.

[ 29 October 2008: Message edited by: unionist ][/b]


It panes me to see it that way.

QatzelOk

Cueball wrote:
[b]There is a lot of crudely crafted journalism today.[/b]
Of course there is. But Klein's crudeness is tabloid-quality, not rabble-quality.

[b]The difference between journalism and creative writing is that the purpose of journalism is conveying information clearly and simply to an wide audience, not making critical breakthroughs in art.[/b]
Yes, but that doesn't mean that journalism should be completely uncreative. The width of the audience should determine how comprehensive it is. If Alice Klein feels more comfortable writing for a mass audience who need simple propaganda, well, she has access to other more popularist media. She doesn't have to spoil the tone of rabble with inappropriately situated politics-for-dummies.

[b]Klein's work is by no means exceptional in this regard, and not even on babble. For instance consider Mallick's use of "pram faced" and "White Trash vote".[/b]
Heather Mallick's use of these words to make a point is exactly the difference between creative and bland journalism. I enjoy the way Mallick's columns force the reader to consider things like "white trash" in a novel way. It enlightens, rather than manipulates.

The political-correctness of Klein's text is part of what makes them bland. Her use of "our Canada" in the title of one of her recent articles was embarrassingly PC and crudely partisan. The article itself added nothing to any discussion on Canadian electoral politics - except maybe for time-constrained tabloid-readers.

[ 30 October 2008: Message edited by: QatzelOk ]

Cueball Cueball's picture

Mallick used the phrase "pram-faced" and also the phrase "White Trash vote". What is not tabloid about that?

Fidel

Ya but it was hilarious when she did it.

QatzelOk

quote:


Mallick used the phrase "pram-faced" and also the phrase "White Trash vote". What is not tabloid about that?

It's as not-tabloid as Obama is not-Marxist.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Obama is not Marxist.

QatzelOk

quote:


Obama is not Marxist.

Sorry, Cueball. I was referring to [url=http://ca.youtube.com/watch?v=BweAFSDT0RE]this paradigm-shattering interview[/url] when I answered your "How is Mallick not tabloid?"

I thought that's what you were referring to.

[ 31 October 2008: Message edited by: QatzelOk ]

Cueball Cueball's picture

Nothing there.

pogge
Cueball Cueball's picture

Thanks. Well ok, kind of mixed blessing. I am not sure I am better for having seen it. How is this related to Klein?

QatzelOk

quote:


I am not sure I am better for having seen it. How is this related to Klein?

Well, the interviewer seems to be using the same kind of [i]high-school girl-clique[/i] investigative techniques to 'crack open the nut' that is that liberal-apologist Joe Biden.

If I had been her (them), I'd have drilled him more on what it's like to be a liberal. He simply can't afford to be seen as one this close to the election. Plus, I don't know what else to ask famous people who seem really serious.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Surely you can come up with a better way to describe what is being done there, than to call it [i]"high-school girl-clique investigative techniques"[/i]. I would actually characterize it as McCarthyte red-baiting, which it is.

But I guess your inference now is that Klein can be dismissed because of her [i]"high school girl clique"[/i] reporting. I guess I am a little disappointed that the thread has taken this turn, and it seems we are heading in precisely the direction some here critiqued in an earlier thread, about thread titles and the use of the term "vapidity."

I disagreed that there was anything particularly sexist about the term "vapidity", but I noted that the context of such descriptions indicates where they are really coming from.

[ 01 November 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]

QatzelOk

quote:


I disagreed that there was anything particularly sexist about the term "vapidity", but I noted that the context of such descriptions indicates where they are really coming from.

I reserve the right to refer to "high school girl cliques" when describing both Alice Klein's giddy but shallow endorsement of her own political gang, and of that interviewer with the fabulous bleached blond hair who asked Biden how he wasn't socialist.

You can accuse me of whatever crimes you like, Cueball. It doesn't disprove my point at all.

Cueball Cueball's picture

And, now you are moving into the realm of blond jokes I see.

[ 01 November 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]

QatzelOk

Cueball, I think maybe a lot of contributors on this forum went to university back when "politically correct" was being toted as "the way" to peace.

Instead, it just lead to yet another deterioration in our society's ability to communicate. Everyone is so careful to use the correct vocabulary that they can't really express any ideas or feelings anymore. And the only opinions that have any "authority" are of those who write as if the KGB is holding a gun to their temple.

It's boring and intellectually vapid. The interviewer of Biden was bleached blond. It's not illegal to say that.

Though YOU may actually wish it was.

Cueball Cueball's picture

Lets see Klein is "vapid". She engages in "high school girl clique" reporting. She compares to TV journalist who is notable for her "fabulous bleached blond hair". No comment on Kleins "frizzy brow hair" thankfully. Is there no end to the pejorative diminishing language you are willing to shovel here?

I thought you were opposed to cliched writing? Did you come up with "fabulous bleached blond hair" all on your own?

Let me know when the literature begins, or even better, some kind of serious commentary on Klein's writing that moves beyond the aesthetic of women's hair styles.

pogge

Yon interlocutor has been banned and won't be able to reply.

Don't know if you're interested but it turned out that the broadcaster who interviewed Joe Biden in that clip is married to a high ranking official in her state's Republican party. That might explain why her questions seemed so close to the GOP Talking Points of the Day.

Cueball Cueball's picture

It is interesting. I am doing my best to ignore that whole process, though. It only encourages them in thinking that the "ballot bowl" is important by making it seem like their antics have meaning. I caught some CNN coverage today, quite by accident, and thought I was watching WWF before I realized what was going on.