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Showing posts from April 29, 2012

Wrestlemania III -- Professional Wrestling's Quality Event -- Writer's Poke #388

Wrestlemania is WWE’s annual sports entertainment spectacular. The show itself is typically four hours long, and event usually sets attendance records for whatever stadium that houses it. Wrestling fans know by heart, for example, that Wrestlemania III attracted 93,000 people to the Detroit Pontiac Silverdome. This event was headlined by Hulk Hogan defending his heavyweight title against Andre the Giant. Hogan even managed to body-slam the 500 pound giant, but the effort it took to do so almost destroyed his back.

Not surprisingly, wrestlers usually didn’t try to body-slam Andre, but it had been done before and would be done again. And yet, nobody talks about Kamala or Big John Studd or Ultimate Warrior slamming Andre. They don't even talk about Hulk slamming Andre at other events. All people remember and all they talk about is Hulk slamming Andre at Wrestlemania III. Something about this slam was different and special. Something about this slam could only happen at Wrestlemania. B…

In Defense of Propaganda -- Writer's Poke #387

Propaganda is a rather discredited term, but not necessarily a discredited concept. Probably best recognized in politics (and generally called “spin”), propaganda has its origin in the Reformation. Back in the 16th century, the Catholic Church was trying to keep the faithful from turning Protestant, and so they developed a propaganda office to forward their cause. Even today, some people try to defend propaganda by suggesting that all it is, really, is a way for activists to promote a position. As long as propagandists allow the facts to speak for themselves, refrain from omitting some details and exaggerating others,  and avoid purposely using logical fallacies, then propaganda is good. The problem is: the term “propaganda” is no longer associated, if it ever was, with “good argument construction.” Propaganda is associated with manipulation. The propagandist has no interest in letting the facts speak for themselves; rather, the propagandist wants to direct your thinking in a specific w…