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Get Off My Lawn!

Property as God-term in American Culture. A component of Chalkface Rhetorics, JFK-I, FU Berlin, Jan 2016.

Alan Taylor

on 22 December 2016

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Transcript of Get Off My Lawn!

Property is...
Middle English: from an Anglo-Norman French variant of Old French
, from Latin proprietas, from proprius 'one's own, particular'
The Constitution

The Fourth Amendment reads:

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

"Who do we shoot?"
The Grapes of Wrath,
(John Ford, 1939)
Gone with the Wind (1939)
- Hollywood (David O Selznick)
- land ownership = identity
- World War 2 context
- European distribution
- Most successful box-office film ever.
- Audience identification
Thank you!
Dr. Alan Taylor

Ritual, Art, Identification:
Bridging the The Ambiguity of Substance
The Constitution

A component lecturer of
Chalkface Rhetorics, Jan 27th, 2016
Dr. Alan Taylor / a.taylor@education.oxon.org
John F. Kennedy Institute of North American Studies, @FU_Berlin.
Finally: Chalkface Rhetorics
"Get off My Lawn!"
Property as God Term in American Culture.
Kenneth Burke and Property and Symbolic Action
"Metaphysically a thing is defined by its
In the realm of rhetoric, such identification is frequently by property. In the most materialistic sense of the term...man's moral growth is organized through properties in goods, in services, in position or status, in citizenship, in reputation, in acquaintanceship and love." (Burke, RM, 1969, 24)
- something that is owned by a person, business, etc.
- piece of land often with buildings on it that is owned by a person, business, etc.
- a special quality or characteristic of something"

Mirriam-Webster's Dictionary
The Fifth....
"...nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation."
The Homestead Act, 1864
"Signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 20, 1862.

Passed during the Civil war by Northern Congress. Promoted non-slave development Westwards.

160 acres of public land for a small filing fee and to complete five years of continuous residence before receiving ownership of the land.

After six months of residency, homesteaders could purchase the land from the government
for $1.25 per acre.

It led to the distribution of 80 million acres of public land by 1900."

Armstrong, Apollo 11, July 21st, 1969
Sea of Tranquility, The Moon.
Berkeley, May 20th, 1969
Property as God term: "Get off my lawn...."

Ronald Reagan was the governor
of California for two terms,
once in 1967 and again in 1971.

- my word is my bond
- language as natural extension of self
- defines authorITY
- legal, commercial imperatives

PROPERTY: Classroom Plagiarism, Internet and Cyber Invasions
High culture ordering of
the social space.
"This video is designed to supplement teacher lesson plans related to proper cafeteria at Ferguson Junior High School."

The Expensive Film School

"Targeting the university that in 1918 Kenneth Burke evacuated in despair after his sophomore year, Ross (2002) claimed that Columbia owned,

“...most of Harlem; it owns most of the sub-standard city housing in New York. We had to make a profit; we had to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.. Although the money we took from the students was more than enough to educate them, it wasn't enough...So you sell units of education for money, in order to buy real estate. If not real estate, then you invest in something else.” (Ross, in Boorman, 2002, 50)

Not that Columbia was exceptional. The chairman of Martin Scorsese's alma mater at the public NYU Tisch School of the Arts,

“...who was my boss, was reckoning from an undergraduate film department where there were ...1,500 students being charged $18,000 apiece, the Tisch School was grossing about $17 million a year, and we were spending $7 million on their education; so that made a $10 million profit. How do you make a profit? Well...you tell the students what they want to hear, give them an education that is so diverse, and introduce them to a few famous people each year, which their parents think is a good idea.” (Ross, in Boorman, 2002, 51).

University of Missouri student and ESPN photojournalist Tim Tai argues with students at University of Missouri, Monday, November 9, 2015. Just earlier, Tim Wolfe had resigned as the University of Missouri System president.
Q: What aspects of property are motivating action and belief in this sequence?
- persuasion
- identifying interests
- symbolic action


"Kenneth Burke has written about "how the dominant group of a society tends to legitimize its power by linking it to a higher principle..."
"A God term designates the ultimate motivation, or substance, of a Constitutional frame" (Burke, Grammar of Motives, 1969, 355)
as rhetorical
symbolic space
subject to labeling,
as persuasive
means towards

Obama Inauguration, January 20th, 2009.
Property As God Term
- a two stage exploration
And as metaphor....
"The Congress shall have power ... To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries"
Constitution, Article 1, 8, 8...

A right granted to the inventor of a (1) process, machine, article of manufacture, or composition of matter, (2) that is new, useful, and non-obvious. A patent is the right to exclude others from using a new technology.

Specifically, it is the right to exclude others from making, using, selling, offering for sale, importing, inducing others to infringe, and/or offering a product specially adapted for practice of the patent.

- a tabbula rasa mind to be furnished (Locke)
- the banking system (Freire)
- Scaffolding (Bruner)
- No Child Left Behind
- The Core Curriculum
- the Zone of Proximal Development (Vygotsky)
- safe spaces (2015/2016)
-the parlor room (Burke)

Jan 2016 Headlines

"I suppose
Old Man Trump knows
Just how much
Racial Hate
he stirred up
In the bloodpot of human hearts
When he drawed
That color line
Here at his
Eighteen hundred family project ...."

From claiming land to defending land...
"...the psychology of the audience; the creation of an appetite in the mind of an audience and the satisfying of the appetite. ("Psych & Form," Counter Statement, 31)

property and
as metaphors
in educational
Full transcript