Sunday, December 21, 2014

Final Portfolio

1. Hub site: includes landing page, personal page, coursework page, and reflective essay (coursework page linking to informal and formal work)

2. Tactical Media Project

3. Research Website: includes hypertext, tactical media project, linear paper, annotated bibliography, literature review (comic version as well), and my research

Thanks for a great semester everyone!

Passionate Politics & Upton Sinclair

1) Use Passionate Politics to analyze Bachelder's relationship to Upton Sinclair, foregrounding key concepts from the chapters that you read.

Passionate politics, described in the chapters read by Goodwin, Jasper, and Polletta, shows us how truly important emotions are in the study of politics. Upton Sinclair, an important part of our history's national politics, is no exception. Sinclair used emotions and melodrama throughout his life in politics, and this can be most notably seen in his work The Jungle. The Jungle, in essence, tears down capitalism as the enemy, or the villain, and boosts up socialism as the answer to the problems in our society's economical and social discrepancies. Bachelder constantly "criticizes" Sinclair (in a most loving way), constantly "resurrecting" him and pointing out his ability to disappear and then reappear throughout American political history as he oscillates between both irrelevant and relevant. Passionate Politics comes into play when we look at how Sinclair persuaded his audience and his readers to join the socialist movement. "Emotions, we have argued, are collective as well as individual, and they permeate large-scale units of social organization, including workplaces, neighborhood and community networks, political parties, movements, and states, as well as the interactions of these units with one another" (Goodwin, 16). Sinclair understood this concept and realized how emotions are able to infiltrate each and every thought; therefore, he used emotions in his novels to get people riled up about an idea. Collins also describes how emotions in politics evoke feelings of group solidarity (28), and this was definitely used by Sinclair in his books to join people together, to start a movement. Bachelder realized Sinclair's passion and emotion when conveying his politics, and therefore to educate the reader on Sinclair in his novel U.S.!, he uses various forms of satire and parody to markedly point out Sinclair's melodramatic nature and ability to use powerful emotions to iterate his political view.

2) Describe three modes of satire or parody used by Bachelder in U.S. (in a loving fashion) about Upton Sinclair that you think would be useful for your tactical media project. Draft a mode of satire or parody using your research topic.


  1. One mode of satire that Bachelder uses in U.S.! that I found to be quite funny and also successful was Bachelder's fake syllabus for a class taught by Upton Sinclair; basically, he twisted a normal, collegiate-like ritual like handing out a syllabus and made it funny to point out Upton Sinclair's nuances and unique characteristics. I think that I could use this in my tactical media project by perhaps writing fake DSM criteria for depression to point out the social stigma that exists against mental illness.
  2. Bachelder also uses poetry, like in "My Last Leftist" to once again point out Sinclair being shot/killed and then resurrected, due to his politics becoming important in various periods of American history. The poetry angle in particular could be useful for my tactical media project in that using poetry is one of the best ways to convey emotion. Powerful language is often best used in poetic form, and I think I could use this in my tactical media project.
  3. The page entirely dedicated to exclamation points - I think this points out Sinclair's ability to use emotion and melodrama to make a point. The next page of U.S.!, after the exclamation points (171), describes an interviewer talking to Sinclair in that he used 1,539 exclamation points in his novel. Sinclair claims "Evidently, I didn't use enough". I think Bachelder does this to make a point that Sinclair clearly did understand what melodrama was and how powerful emotions truly can be in making a difference, especially in politics.
Mode of satire or parody using research topic:


I think that I could use the idea of the fake DSM criteria for depression to point out the stigma that exists surrounding depression. I think this would be extremely effective, for not only would it strike attention because it would be funny, but it would also point out how depression is viewed so often in society. I think it could also allow people to rlize when they're propagating the stigma, hopefully so that they can better understand those with depression and what dealing with mental illness entails.

3) Go to two instances of your classmates' work in each of these modes (total of 4, two each). Comment on theirs telling them what you've learned from their site.

  1. I liked Kirk's post describing the different forms of satire that Bachelder used because he also described how each could be incorporated into his own tactical media project. I especially liked his idea in having everyone on campus wear offensive Yak t-shirts with "End the Hate" as the caption on the back. While I think this isn't necessarily parodying Bachelder's style, I think it would make the campus more aware of the offensive Yaks that do truly hurt people's feelings and make people more aware of the offensive hate speech that anonymous apps like Yik Yak produce.
  2. I liked Philip's post, especially in explaining his first mode of satire. The term "anti-joke" is one that is unique and perfectly coined to describe Bachelder's view on Upton Sinclair and satire. Bachelder definitely uses the "anti-joke" to poke fun at Sinclair through his satire, but at the same time, point out how Sinclair was truly important and is still relevant in our society's politics today.
  3. I also liked Natalie's post and how she related each mode of satire to a possible parody she could use in her tactical media project. I think if she were to point out the tragedies that occur with overmedication of horses and then have someone doing the same thing, expecting a different result, this would not only be humorous but also incorporate a true sense of urgency in that this act cannot continue. This is exactly what someone like Sinclair and Bachelder would want.
  4. Lastly, I think Joey did a great job of incorporating each of his suggested modes of satire into his music video. It's extremely well done and I think it truly shows how passionate he is about the issue of the cessation in eating Asian carp. By using a parody of One Republic's Counting Stars song, Joey definitely incorporates satirical ideas from Bachelder's novel to make a successful video with underlying passion and emotion for an important issue.


Final Project

Personal Website
Research Website

U.S! and Sinclair


Melodrama was extremely prevalent during the time that Sinclair wrote The Jungle, due to the social surroundings. The virtue of the proletariat was again rewarded in stories where the evil aristocratic villain was overcome by the power of good. The homelessness that the audience now felt in their new capitalist world was treated by the comfort of melodrama, much the way such feelings would have once been quelled by the comfort of faith and religion. This loss of religion, accompanied by the anxiety of a new capitalist world led to widespread anxiety and feelings of tremendous instability and insecurity, something that is not only demonstrated in Sinclair’s book, but also in the Communist Manifesto.
There is a clear void of religion in Upton Sinclair’s melodramatic tale The Jungle. The story, which I actually read junior year of high school, follows a family of Lithuanian immigrants who come to America in search of the American dream. Their virtue and determination is evident from the start, but so it the hopelessness of their situation. It is clear that to get ahead in the capitalist America, one must drop the preconceived values of American virtue and become a cog in the machinery of corruption and sin. The sense of instability, homelessness, and insecurity is both clear and pervasive. Neither religion, nor any other sacred comfort can be found to defeat these feelings from modernity and capitalism. Sinclair gives us the image that life in America seems morally broke. Around every corner there is a lack of virtue being rewarded—corrupt politicians win elections, pimps make healthy livings, and so on and so forth. It is made evident that capitalism in America has adopted a secularist standpoint and that has left a void in the first chapter of The Jungle.
The introduction of socialism by Sincalir into the plot makes for socialism becoming the indirect hero, riding in to conquer the villain and save the innocent victims. It is left untold whether socialism does conquer capitalism in the story, as the hope was that the melodramatic piece of fiction would lead to the real world defeat of capitalism by socialism. It is basically a cry to arms, which is essentially why The Jungle is seen as such a powerful work. It elicits great sympathy for the plight of the proletariat, and then gives a realistic outline for how this wrong can be corrected and order restored. People must come together, organize and work towards a common good. The feeling of victimization is overwhelming, but the feeling of what must be done to take action, collectivize and defeat evil is graspable and seems entirely possible and manageable. It is clear that Sinclair uses melodrama to effectively isolate capitalism as a villain and to ignite the fire that was needed to bring about Socialism.
U.S! by Chris Bachedler without a doubt treats the topic of Sinclair himself in an interesting manor. At the center of the novel there are two camps, of good and evil: those helping Sinclair each time he rises from the dead and those opposed to him. Or at least that’s how I saw the book.
To me it seems as though Bachelder wanted to almost recreate this idea that Sinclair puts in place in The Jungle, this idea of hope and despair that came about due to the failure of the American Dream. Bachelder brings back Sinclair, only to have him assassinated. He gives us hope that Sinclair will somehow help the characters deal with their problem that, “things aren’t fair,” only to have him assassinated by others (10).
But in the end, I do not think that Bachelder is condemning Sinclair. I think that he without a doubt does poke fun at his writing style, if we look on Page 170, Bachelder presents the reader with a box of exclamation points only to point out that, “there are 1,539 exclamation points in Oil,” and to essentially maybe condemn Sinclair for having been too emotionally driven, but this does not mean that Bachelder does not agree with Sinclair and his views.
By choosing to bring back Sinclair, it could be argued that Bachedler is almost victimizing him, and saying that those who are wrong are those who are rejecting his ideas. To me, this brings up an important idea. Is Bachelder trying to suggest that it is time that we in fact bring back the ideas of Sinclair?  

When asked in an interview what Bachelder had in mind when it came to his novel, he responds by saying, “I wanted to create an experience, but it’s not as simple as saying I want people to stop being apathetic, but maybe in some way to think more carefully about cycles of hope and despair. Ultimately, I think and I hope Sinclair’s a sympathetic character, because he just doesn’t give up. Just doesn’t give up.” This response to me is interesting for it is clear that Sinclair to in his numerous novels was trying to ignite people to take action, so to me it is clear after reading this response that Bachelder does respect Sinclair, and is maybe telling us as readers to take what Sinclair has written and learn from it.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Response

1. Response to Natalie's post
-I thought Natalie's interpretation of exclamation points in Sinclair's novel 'Oil!' was very insightful. She could have simply ended her analysis with the fact that use of exclamation marks symbolizes one of many satirical devices used in the novel, but she elaborated her analysis with a slight criticism that Bachelder took advantage of one of well-known tactics used by Sinclair. Moreover, I thought it was a creative idea to incorporate Bachelder's method into her project by using an image/fact that is well-known about horses to create a parody. I think it would help the audience easily connect with her project even if they are unfamiliar with the issue she is promoting.

2. Response to Joey's post
-I enjoyed reading Joey's perspective on how Sinclair tried to promote his socialist messages to modern figures such as Reagan and failed. It was a satirical device that I accidently missed, and reading over the specific passages written by Bachelder, I agree with Joey that there is a sense of desperation in his letters. I think these letters could also be representative of weakening political forces of liberals/socialists, and creates a stark contrast between how Sinclair's ideas were almost worshipped in 1934 (as seen by the poem 'Mount Rushmore'), and how they almost seem futile now.

3 Modes of Satire/Parody

First, there is stark contrast between two images of Sinclair that is repeated throughout the novel. One image of Sinclair is that he is idolized. In the poem 'Mount Rushmore (Bachelder, 27), Sinclair is described to be a significant character whose face should be carved in Mount Rushmore. The poem almost laments what could have been done, and what great accomplishments Sinclair could have achieved as the governor of California. However, subsequent chapters show Sinclair cowering behind a couch, scared for his life as people angrily label him as a 'commie'.

Second, Bachelder creates a fake novel called 'Pharmaceutical!' that Sinclair wrote when he was 120. The review of the novel lambastes Sinclair; they point out predictive plotlines of the novel, where the hero is a poor man who is working hard to support his family. Moreover, various anachronisms of the novel are highlighted, which is due to Sinclair being 'out of touch with contemporary culture' (Bachelder, 15). By creating fake and negative reviews, Bachelder shows the weakened socialist views in modern society.

Third, the novel is satirizes the modern society that has become immune to social issues. In a letter 'There Are Problems with the Demo, Lyle' (Bachelder, 37) where a game developer is exchanging ideas, she mentions that 'kids who play our games don't want to make world a better place... They want to shoot things.' (Bachelder, 39). The letter mentions creating characters with superpowers to shoot at, who are 'radicals' in real life. This letter symbolizes indifference and violence that is prevalent in modern society, which is fueled by technology.

For my tactile media project, creating a descriptive/visual contrast between dehumanization of homosexuals by the Korean church and re-humanization of such claims would be helpful in satirizing biased perspective that the church is promoting.

Passionate Politics and Chris Bachelder

US! by Chris Bachelder proves once again that emotional conflict is 'a central concern of political analysis' (Goodwin, 2). Bachelder revives Sinclair over and over again because 'The poor is still with us. We still have tainted meat. We still have layoffs. We still have an economic system that eats people to get stronger.' (Bachelder, 57). Social injustice is still prevalent in the country and an intervention from the political left is more necessary, yet we find that liberals are considerably weak in modern society. This phenomenon is prevalent from emotional conflict between Sinclair and the narrator. The narrator, in frustration, yells 'That's what you are, a misjudger. An epic American midjudger with a bad ear for dialogue and an exclamation point problem. You've misjudged an entire country' (Bachelder, 56). Moreover, Sinclair's life is constantly threatened. He receives a phone call that whispers, 'do not let the sun set on your communist ass' (Bachelder, 47). And as soon as he hears a gunshot, Sinclair, 'the human rabbit, was off the couch and behind it before the sound had died away' (Bachelder, 55). These emotional states symbolize a weaker liberalism that no longer has a capacity to change the society as it once did 100 years ago.

Moreover, it is argued in 'Passionate Politics' that 'loyalty to a "collective identity' might encourage an individual to participate even if cost-benefit calculations at the level of the individual did not favor it (Goodwin, 5). Narrator's uncle, Ray, admits that ' I'll watch TV and root for him. I hope he shakes things up. But I don't want to get involved. I don't want to make it my...' (Bachelder, 61). His attitude symbolizes disinterest of the modern citizens towards social issues, an obstacle bigger than any that Sinclair or the political left had once faced.

Final Portfolio

personal site: nataliesterrett.weebly.com
project site: theperfectprep.weebly.com

Everything else is linked from the 2 websites.

Passionate Politics and US!



Bachelder’s US! is a satirical novel that simultaneously praises and pokes fun at the life and beliefs of novelist and socialist Upton Sinclair. Sinclair, famous for his novel The Jungle about the meatpacking industry in the early 20th century wrote hundreds of political novels aimed at creating social change. As a political writer, Sinclair’s writing is melodramatic by nature. Passionate Politics is a book that seeks to argue that emotions play an extremely important role in politics and political movements. The authors argue against the scientific notion that emotions are connected to irrationality. In many ways, Bachelder’s US! embodies this idea. Bachelder uses a type of emotional transformation described in the first chapter as, “transmutation of the initiating emotion into something else: the emotion which arises out of consciousness of being entrained within collective focus of attention”, in order to simultaneously criticize and praise the work of Sinclair. Passionate Politics also states that “emotions help sustain movements in their less active phases”. In a sense, the constant killing and resurrection of Sinclair does just that; it is a constant reminder of the importance of the constant struggle of society and the role of political writers. Bachelder seeks to show how consistently hopeful Sinclair was that his work was useful and that in a way is emotional and tied to his identity, as Passionate Politics explains, “the strength of identity comes from its emotional side”.

Describe 3 modes of satire used by Bachelder in U.S.! about Upton Sinclair that you think would be useful for your tactical media project:

Much of the satire in US! involves Sinclair’s relentlessness when it comes to conveying his political messages. Bachelder does not miss any opportunity to poke fun at the vast amount of books Sinclair has written and the repetitive nature of each book.

On Page 12, Bachelder pokes fun at Sinclair’s collection of writing via a review he writes for Sinclair’s novel, Pharmaceutical!  The review states that Pharmaceutical! is  “simplistic Socialist screed this country has not seen since, well, Upton Sinclair.” Bachelder is again criticizing Sinclair’s unyielding desire to spread his political beliefs. The novel makes Sinclair out to be a nagging figure who will somehow never die, like his writings.

Page 192 again uses satire and comedy to humorously attack Sinclair’s writing style and books. The scene involves a picture of a response to a survey given by a publishing company after the purchase of a book by Sinclair. The picture shows the response to the question, “Would you recommend Upton Sinclair novels and RSP to a friend?” is “No, I like my friends”. I am not sure how this type of satire could be used in my tactical media project, but I think that if I found a way to incorporate this type of sarcastic tone, it would be very effective.


Page 73 of US! contains a rather amusing letter from Sinclair to President Reagan in which Sinclair asks when he should come visit the White House. He also continues to contact to Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the NFL commissioner. These satirical scenes best show how stubbornly Sinclair hoped and believed that his political novels would have a true impact on society.  Bachelder once stated in an interview that he chose Sinclair as a sort of “hero” because he felt that Sinclair embodied an indistinguishable hope for political change. I try to incorporate this relentlessness in my work in order to emphasize the reasons why Chinese international students choose to study abroad and how their experience is positive, not negative.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Passionate Politics and US!

Upton Sinclair was extremely passionate about his work. He got caught up in what he believed in and came off as "intense." Chris Bachelder plays on Sinclair's passion, admiring Sinclair's love for his work, while making fun of him at the same time. I read U.S.! and thought of Sinclair as a sort of symbol. He represents socialism and change, but in an extreme way. In the novel, Bachelder repeatedly assassinates and then resurrects Sinclair whenever there is a need for socialism and change. He brings Sinclair back so the Socialist party can ask him for guidance, and Sinclair just keeps coming back with more and more outrageous views and novels, refusing to back down and give up. In this way, Bachelder also uses Sinclair to represent passion. Bachelder might not agree with everything Sinclair stands for, but he admires that Sinclair is very honest about his views and knows exactly where he stands. Sinclair is passionate about what he believes in, and Bachelder is trying to bring that back, bring the passion back to politics. Passionate Politics is attempting to do the same.

Passionate Politics is a collection of novels in which Jeff Goodwin, James Jasper, and Francesca Polletta try to analyze the importance of passion in politics and social movement. "Emotions, properly understood, may prove once again to be a central concern of political analysis" (pg. 2). They provide examples of which passion played an important part in social movement, such as the Civil Rights movement. In the first chapter, Goodwin introduces two types of emotional transformation, the first being "the amplification of the initiating emotion," so how intense the initial emotion is, and the second, "the transmutation of the initiating emotion into something else," so how to use that emotion and apply it. It is very clear how Chris Bachelder uses these types of emotional transformation throughout all of U.S.!. Although the novel can be interpreted many different ways with many different emotions and transformations, I first felt amusement, like, of all people, why would Bachelder want to resurrect Upton Sinclair? Who is he to me? But after continuing to read, that amusement, almost indifference, turned into pity and sympathy. Sinclair was only trying to help the country, and he kept being assassinated because no one took him seriously.

Chris Bachelder brought passion into politics. What could have been a boring novel, Bachelder used Upton Sinclair to make his readers feel something. He used Sinclair to make us interested and understand politics, which is what Goodwin, Jasper, and Polletta is trying to achieve.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Updated Linear Essay and Reflective Essay

Final coursework website: kirkgulezian.com

Project site: tacklinghatespeech.weebly.com

Linear Essay

Reflective Essay

Project Video

Passionate Politics in Bachelder's U.S.!

  1. Use Passionate Politics to analyze Bachelder's relationship to US! foregrounding key concepts form chapters you read (Ch 1 & 2)
Bachelder's relationship with U.S.! is centered around his hope to create a "shared focus of attention" (p. 28) on the ever-changing political atmosphere in the United States. Bachelder's entire story is somewhat nostalgic, as he discusses the decline of the radical left in the United States. Although much of his book is quite satirical, Bachelder attempts to resurrect the extreme nature and methods of political figures like Sinclair. In my opinion, the purpose of the novel is not to highlight the wonders of Upton Sinclair, but rather to praise those who criticize the harsh capitalistic society we live in. He does so by choosing one specific politician, Upton Sinclair (who is actually well known for his dry sense of humor), and resurrects him, over and over again. "All movements which have any track record of sustained experience learn how to dramatize their ritualistic activities so that they mobilize a larger penumbra of support." (p. 31) And that's exactly what Bachelder does. He most literally brings Sinclair back from the dead, dramatizing his resurrection and disgust of the jarring differences between Sinclair's society of the early 20th century and modern day capitalistic society. "Social movements are awash in emotions. Anger, fear, envy, guilt, pity, shame, awe, passion, and other feelings play a part in the formation of social movements." (p. 58) Bachelder expresses each of these emotions in his story about Sinclair. But instead of using his "movement" to rile up support for Sinclair's beloved socialism, Bachelder attempts to disseminate his personal love for radical politics. 

2.  Describe three modes of satire/parody used by Bachelder in US! in loving fashion about Upton that you think would be useful for your tactical media project. Draft one form of parody
    • On page 67, Bachelder creates a fake English class with a "visiting professor," Upton Sinclair. Sinclair's course objectives include using "journalistic techniques and sexual repression to write socially engaged, morally outraged fiction with unambiguous endings." Bachelder pokes fun at Sinclair's outdated forms of propaganda and literature. I could have used a technique similar to this one in my campaign to end anonymous hate speech by inserting an older and seemingly wiser man or woman into the Emory culture. We as students could then watch his/her reactions to the hate speech on campus, and, god-willing, he/she would have some words of wisdom.
    • On page 26, Bachelder writes a poem that imagines "that he wins in '34." Bachelder is describing a world in which Sinclair won the 1934 presidential election. He writes that there would no longer be a rich and a poor, but rather everyone will be content and "celebrating through the night." This is an example of Bachelder's satire, as he pokes fun at the socialist ideals. I could integrate this into my project by creating a video in which there was no longer a “cool” or “uncool,” or a “socially acceptable” and “not socially acceptable.” The culture at the school would be extremely welcoming, yet at times almost creepy. The video would show that there is no easy way to fix the culture of campus, and constant kind words is impossible. But I would note that there does need to be a more conscious effort into being welcoming to all demographics on campus.
    • On page 35, Bachelder writes a letter to his "son," Albert, describing the socialist society that would exist given Sinclair had his way. He explains that the people are rioting in the streets, and they "do not stop at banning books; they must burn them as well." (p. 35) He also criticizes alcohol and women, making fun of Sinclair's outdated ideals. I could create a video in which each demographic on campus always holds true to their stereotype. The video would be absolutely ridiculous, and would show the stupid nature of the anonymous generalizations about Emory students.
    • My form of parody would involve Emory students walking around with offensive Yik Yaks (that pertain to their demographics) printed out and posted onto their shirts. By doing so, students highlight the public, dangerous, and constant nature of Yik Yak posts. The back of their shirts would then read, “End the hate,” in an attempt to publicly denounce the hate speech.

    Examples of Satire in U.S.!

    On page 143 Bachelder writes a story of Sinclair eating with a “black guy, a Jew, a Mexican, a redneck, and an Eskimo” at a bar. At the end of this story that portrays ethnic/religious stereotypes, Sinclair is shot one more time. Bachelder uses this—as I would call it—anti-joke satirical element in order to convey an important message. I think that the reason why Bechelder uses this racist story is due to the many criticisms that Sinclaire got on two of his works: Oil! and The Jungle. Oil! was critiqued to be an anti-Jew while The Jungle was thought to be anti-black. Even though I’m not sure about the reason behind Bechelder’s use of this story, I am guessing he just wants to point at Sinclair’s stand on racism as negligible compared to the significance of his contributions to the socialistic ideology. Therefore, I think Bachelder makes something that is not as important—at least in his opinion—into satire in order to then direct the attention of audience to the more important content. I can use this element in order to be in control of my audience’s attention—which as Passionate Politics says is limited—when I make my educational video to be able to skim over unimportant arguments and get to the core in a short amount of time. 

    On page 170, Bachelder writes about Sinclair’s excessive usage of exclamation points by dedicating an entire page to just exclamation points! I feel like the reason why Sinclair and Bechelder use exclamation points so excessively is to convey a sense of urgency. Conveying a sense of urgency for change is one of the characteristics of melodrama and I can use that for example in my manifesto in order to grab the attention of my audience and show them why it is important to support Iranian refugees who seek refuge in the United States.


    Another satirical element can be seen in the chapter that starts on page 67. I feel like Bachelder sets the scene perfectly for a great satire at the end of the story which also very astutely portrays Sinclair’s idea about America’s reward system which puts people against each other. I feel like had Bechelder not set the scene so perfectly, this joke would not have worked anywhere close to the way it did in this story. Setting the scene for sarcasm is very noticeable in Bachelder’s book and is something that I will definitely be using in my educational video since I want it to be funny but at the same time informative about a topic that is inherently serious and dramatic. 

    Passionate Politics vs. U.S.!

    Chris Bachelder does a phenomenal job of familiarizing his readers with Sinclair’s works and shrewdly admiring his political beliefs at the same time with extensive uses of sarcasm. Bachelder believes that even though Sinclair’s political view might not be completely prevalent in today’s society but there are many noteworthy points that if modernized, can change the society for the better. For example in the section Every Knock is a Boost, the publisher of the Lanny Budd series says that Lanny belongs to the early- to mid-twentieth century and therefore they need a “younger hero” to whom the modern-day audience can relate (193). Therefore, in the book U.S.! Sinclair is assassinated and resurrected whenever socialism is hated or needed in a certain situation. This constant dying and resurrecting of Sinclair is meant to show the constant struggle in our society and the great need of a socialistic political system in America.

    It is not hard to notice many melodramatic characteristics in Bachelder’s book U.S.!, as he makes use of emotion evoking elements to promote a certain political system. The book Passionate Politics also is a analytic description of the different ways of using emotional evoking elements in politics. In the first chapter of Passionate Politic, Goodwin introduces two types of emotional transformation that are involved in collective rituals. The first one he says is “the amplification of the initiating emotion” while the second type “involves the transmutation of the initiating emotion into something else: the emotion which arises out of consciousness of being entrained within collective focus of attention. I believe that in the context of Bachelder’s book, we can very clearly see the second type of transformation. Bachelder takes his readers through this transformation by starting off his book with a series of very vague short satirical stories which make the reader wonder why Sinclair’s ideologies which were so highly regarded at some point are so irrelevant in today’s society. Then he slowly transitions into a phase of subtly praising Sinclair’s works and showing how a great number of people criticize him mostly because they don’t really have the wit to understand his works and contributions. Therefore, Bachelor uses this transition to first grab the attention of his audience to actually make them passionate and concerned about the issue. 

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    Satire in U.S.!

     On page 12 of U.S.! Bachelder writes a review of Sinclair’s latest novel, Pharmaceutical! The reviewer states: “One might have hoped that a few months of cemetery rest would have reinvigorated Sinclair’s literary project, but this is sadly not the case.” He calls the novel the “simplistic Socialist screed this country has not seen since, well, Upton Sinclair.” Bachelder uses the review of Sinclair’s novel to parody the idea that Sinclair keeps producing the same works over and over. The topics change as the times change, but the stories are exactly the same (just as bad as they always were). I think I could apply this idea to my tactical media project in the sense that even as rules change and we see tragedies regarding horse show medications, trainers are still overmedicating their horses. For example, suppose a trainer has had several horses die at horse shows (though thankfully this is fiction) and we see her giving another horse the same drugs. I could have her say something like, “Oh, I thought it would be different this time.”

    On page 170, Bachelder types a whole page of exclamation points. Then, in an interview, someone notifies Sinclair that he used 1539 exclamation points in Oil! and he responds saying “evidently, I didn’t use enough.” Bachelder clearly satirizes Sinclair’s writing style and his overuse of exclamation points. However, the exclamation points have become a defining characteristic of Sinclair. Though it may be a little bit ridiculous, they are one of the characteristics that make his novels unique. Bachelder takes advantage of a characteristic that everyone associates with Sinclair. In this way, other people will recognize the satire and relate to the humor. I could use the same idea of satirizing something that the entire horse show world associates with. For example, I’m sure that everyone can think of a barn they think always sedates their horses when they’re fresh (whether that’s true or not). I could create a parody where I make fun of that and viewers will associate it with someone specific.


    On page 192, Bachelder prints an information card filled out after someone purchases a Sinclair novel from Red Shovel Press. They say they would not recommend Sinclair novels to a friend because they “like their friends.” The card asks, “Do you have any suggestions for Red Shovel Press?” and the person writes, “Die, please!!” I thought the idea of the information card was particularly humorous, especially since people can often write pretty funny comments on these. I’m not sure how I could use this in my own tactical media project. I don’t think drug companies send out information cards, but it might be funny if a rider or trainer sent one back saying “Didn’t get my horse quiet enough” for a bottle of Dormosedan or something else that completely knocks them out.