DaPorschia Goss by wanghonghx


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DaPorschia Goss

Professor Gravely

Comparative Rhetorical Analysis (Revision)

08 December 2009

                              Is Incivility The New Norm?

       September has been one month full of rude acts. With Serena Williams at the U.S. open

cursing out a judge, South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson calling President Obama a liar during his

healthcare speech and Kanye West snatching the microphone from Taylor Swift at the MTV

Video Music Awards show, it really seems like America became more rude. “America

overreacted to Kanye‟s VMA insult,” written by Gail Druschke goes into how it was wrong for

West to take the microphone from Swift but the VMA situation in itself was not that important.

The Los Angeles Times (L.A. Times) posted an article (“Another „new normal‟,” written by

Meghan Daum) explaining how rudeness maybe the “new thing/trend,” but rudeness is not

something that just began to happen in America. The San Diego News Network (SDNN) posted

an article (“Corbin: Kanye‟s diss on Taylor Swift the latest lack of American civility,” written by

Stampp Corbin) to their website which stated that Americans are doing nothing but teaching their

children how not to act civil by displaying uncivil acts and having no public decorum with no

real consequences that follow these acts of incivility. With its use of common sense and rhetoric,

Corbin‟s article was the most persuasive with the use of ethos and logos while Druschke‟s article

was the least persuasive, putting Daum‟s article in between the two.

        Throughout his entire article, Corbin addresses the rudeness displayed by Americans

today. Corbin states that he is not surprised by the uncivil acts demonstrated by Williams and
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West. “They say that cultural norms for any organization or society start at the top. If that is the

case, America is really in trouble,” says Corbin. This has much meaning because in today‟s

America everybody wants to do what they see on television. If people see their biggest role

models and stars publicly acting out back to back, then they may think its ok and cool to follow

or mimic what they see when it‟s really not. The entertainers and role models of this generation

need to step up and show the children that it‟s better ways to deal with things than acting out

with rudeness. This is where the logic comes in; you exposed people, especially children, to

enough of something they began to do what they see. In this case, if role models began to display

more civility and morals then the children along with the rest of America just may follow along.

       Corbin calls on the character of America when he asks, “How does a parent teach their

children civility when all around there is nothing but incivility by those who are celebrities

within our society?” What good is it to teach children manners and respect when no one around

them uses it? People as humans by nature “do what others do and not what others say.” Even

though there are still some people out there who are civil, they are outnumbered by those who

are not. So while parents at home trying to teach their children how to act civil, they‟re learning

the total opposite when watching television and experiencing the rude acts of society. With no

one opening doors, saying “please and thank you,” or giving up a sit for the elderly it‟s a tough

task to try and find civility. With no real consequences for their actions but a dry apologies,

Wilson, Williams and West do nothing but show America (mainly the youth) that you can do

what you want with and just saying sorry will make it ok. Corbin feels that America should react

with more force, which is true, and hit the three public offenders in their wallets where it matters

by not buying West‟s current album or products endorsed by Williams and by not voting for

Wilson. He knows this is too much to ask of Americans. So even in their rudeness, they still
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make money. “What does that say to America‟s children,” says Corbin. This teaches children no

matter how you act towards others you can still make it to the top in this world.

       Corbin‟s argument was persuasive because he demonstrated character with sincerity.

Even though he was discussing the incivility of stars and role models, he did not make excuses

for their behavior nor try to make America feel sorry for them. Instead he used logic to make his

point. Some people say “monkey see monkey do,” and this is what Corbin gets across in his

article. If the children of America continue to see these many acts of incivility, that‟s what

they‟re going to mimic, not what their parents taught them but what they see when then watch

their idols. Corbin makes his point and persuades while doing so.

       Daum opens up her article with how if something happens three times it‟s a trend later,

using the “no pants” craze of the summer introduced by Lady Gaga and Beyonce as an example

of how trends begin. Daum goes on to say “…the “trend” is almost a foregone conclusion: The

whole world has gone irrevocably rude.” This is semi-true, even though most of the world is

picking up on the “new era” of rudeness there are still some people in the world who still pride

themselves in being civil and having the will power to do what‟s right, even with all of the

incivility displayed by so many people.

       Daum states how one can gather actual evidence of rudeness and incivility instead of just

monitoring the celebrity outbursts and ending it with just talking to friends or blogging, so

instead of being left with “something in the air, you‟re left with solid facts.” Most don‟t watch

television or don‟t have time to so all they know is what they hear form word of mouth, which

most of the time is heard from a friend. Most of the time, friends and bloggers may share the

same opinion. With no difference in opinion it‟s less room for disagreement.
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       Druschke‟s article really had no real persuasion. The author runs down the whole

situation with West at the VMAs his apology on the Jay Leno and his apology to Swift. The

author underrates West‟s actions by giving a few examples of things much worse that he could

have done like shot a puppy. Even though Druschke gives a concession that West was wrong for

his actions, she tries to lessen the blow that he is taking from fans and the media. Even though

things could have been worst West, as well as America, still needs to know that there are always

going to consequences. People can‟t just do what they please and not expect something to be

done about it. Druschke‟s damages her argument by trying to make excuse for West when he

was wrong. Truth enough everyone makes mistakes but the civilized thing to do is own up to

them. Druschke didn‟t take enough heed to the counterarguments which also harmed her

argument. She didn‟t place any focus on Swift or her fans side of the story.

       In short, Corbin was the most persuasive followed by Daum then Druschke. The

intensions of all articles seem to be to reach out to America as a whole. Civility is something

majority learns at a young age and slowly forgets as they get older. Rudeness is not something

new to America but it just may be making a new mark. It seems as though no one knows how to

hold a door for another person, say “please and thank you,” or make any nice gestures anymore.

Even though some of the role models are acting out, we still have some who know how to act

civil. Those are the ones children should pay attention to and others should try to be more like.
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                                           Work Citied:

Druschke, Gail. “America overreacted to Kanye‟s VMA insult.” The Spectator. 21 September 2009.

        22 September 2009.



Daum, Meghan. “Another „new normal.‟ ” Los Angeles Times. 24 September 2009. 24 September 2009

        < http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-daum24-


Corbin, Stampp. “Corbin: Kanye‟s diss on Taylor Swift the latest lack of American civility.”

        San Diego News Network. 24 September 2009. < http://www.sdnn.com/sandiego/2009-09-


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