Our article (Adam Ellwanger and I) “The Rhetoric of Moderation in Deliberative Discourse: Barack Obama’s December 1, 2009 Speech at West Point,” is online in the journal Cogency. I really thought our collaboration worked well in this article, and that it says several valuable things about how political discourse is formulated.
H and I learned recently that the baby is a boy. While I was going to be fine with it either way, I have to say that this is exciting, now that we know for sure.
Now I have a sort of general concern about being a dad, which veers from mild worry to abstract terror. It seems like there are a lot of things I could screw up, but none of these is anything in particular. People seem to learn as they go.
Female hostage-taking and male would-be rescuing is pretty common in films, which leads me to one of my pet peeves in fiction – the scene where the hero or the hero’s friend or love interest is captured.
In the hands of a halfway competent villain, this means the story is over. Said captive(s) will be killed/maimed/broken in some permanent fashion.
But heroes typically avoid this. There is a big damn rescue scene where the villain is thwarted, enabling the story to continue, and completely draining the story of any real terror or consequence. The stories that do use capturing characters at all that interest me are the ones where the hero does NOT rescue his or her friends or dies or is broken in some fundamental way.
In short, we’re looking at a preponderance of super-competent heroes and moronic villains.
Yesterday was the due date for my tenure file. Now that it’s in, I can concentrate on teaching and on other projects.
I haven’t been writing here much lately, partially because I have starting keeping a private journal on my iPad where I can let loose about whatever, whereas here I am more circumspect.
One thing I would like to share today, though, is that over the summer when I wasn’t teaching, I wrote a novel. I would loosely characterize it as a post-apocalyptic adventure. The idea for it has been in my head for a few years, but I didn’t make the time for writing it until very recently. I haven’t marketed it to agents or publishers yet, as I have some friends reading it over and I would like their input first, but I plan to do so soon.
So that’s exciting, and I’m thinking that since I was able to crank one out relatively quickly during the summer break, writing several thousand words a day, I could conceivably write another next summer. It wouldn’t affect my scholarly output because I use the long semesters, regardless of teaching load, to write that stuff, anyway.
Also, an important date is coming up tomorrow. H and I will have our tenth anniversary together. We had our first date on Oct. 8, 2004.
Additionally, I would like to announce (though it was already announced on Facebook some time ago) that H and I are expecting our first child next spring.
There is a new review out of my co-edited (with Star Vanguri) book, The Centrality of Style, in the journal Pedagogy. It is very flattering about the contents and the authors. It is written by Gretchen Dietz.
I can’t link directly to it as it requires a subscription, but I can link to the journal, and suggest accessing it through a library.