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More than Monsters
Transcript of More than Monsters
"Analyzing Rhetorically" from PRAXIS
"Monster Culture (Seven Theses)" by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
"George Romero's Zombie Films: A Plague of Meaning" by L. Andrew Cooper and Brandy Ball Lake
"Dawn of the Digital Natives" by Steven Johnson
Night of the Living Dead
"George Romero's Zombie Films: A Plague of Meaning"
By L. Andrew Cooper and Brandy Ball Blake
KAIROS and Today's MONSTER:
Blake, Brandy Ball and Cooper, Andrew L.
"George Romero's Zombie Films: A Plague of
Meaning." Monsters. Ed. Brandy Ball Blake and L. Andrew Cooper. Southlake: Fountainhead, 2012. 55-62. Print.
Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. "Monster Culture (Seven
Theses)." Monsters. Ed. Brandy Ball Blake and L. Andrew Cooper. Southlake: Fountainhead, 2012. 11-33. Print.
Johnson, Steven. "Dawn of the Digital
Natives." (e)dentity .Ed. Stephanie Vie. Southlake: Fountainhead, 2011. 23-27. Print.
So, what does KAIROS have to do with MONSTERS?
Monsters are an example of KAIROS:
1.) They are "born" into culture out of convergences of time, place, and people--more specifically, monsters come from social and/or political unrest of some kind.
2.) Monsters are metaphors of a culture's anxieties, biases, and political struggles.
3.) So, analyzing a monster in its originary context (time, place, and people) will show a specific, KAIROTIC conflict.
Monsters are a cultural body
"The monster's body quite literally incorporates fear, desire, anxiety, and fantasy" (Cohen 12).
Night's debut was the first of it's kind in a lot of ways. The cannibalistic content was shocking for its day; however, its political tones resonated most with viewers, something Romero never even intended (Blake and Cooper 55).
The film's premise:
The idea of a traditional voodoo-zombie combined with that of a plague
A small group of people are trapped in a farmhouse, fending off zombies, referred to in the movie as "ghouls"
Poignant political themes:
"This relatively uncomplicated scenario might not have been recognized as an ingenious commentary on its political milieu had it not been released in 1968, a year that saw the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy as well as serious developments in both the Civil Rights Movement and the antiwar movement that would eventually convince the United States to withdraw from Vietnam" (Blake and Cooper 56).
"In this context, the horde of mindless attackers suddenly seemed like metaphors for every
possible social ill" (Blake and Cooper 56).
"They were simultaneously antiwar protesters and the Vietnamese people. They were paradoxically agitators for racial equality and the reactionary white mobs that fought to maintain the status quo" (Blake and Cooper 56).
"They offered a grim reflection of the brain dead generations being raised on the relatively new phenomenon of television and other mass media, on which the film reflects extensively. . . . " (Blake and Cooper 56).
". . . . the film's monstrous masses had the potential to signify any Other whose threat came from the possibility of overwhelming numbers" (Blake and Cooper 56).
The KAIROS of MONSTERS
: a Greek word often translated as the right or opportune moment to do something
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech: page 75 of PRAXIS
Arguments are received in a certain context, and then as we revisit them, we reconfigure how context (or kairos) impacts their continued use and interpretation—especially for texts that have continued relevance.
Some things you might talk about and do:
What are key points made by MLK, Jr. that are still relevant today?
How do elements of kairos affect the relevance of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech? (how do we use kairos to analyze its relevance for today?)
As a starting point, you might think of some literal or figurative places important to this discussion.
Find a recent article, post, tweet, image--something!--relevant to your discussion of MLK, Jr.
Do you see parallels between today's zombie and today's cultural problems, anxieties, social conflicts? Or is there another monster that might serve as a better metaphor?