Wednesday, September 10, 2008

PITBULLS AND PIGS

With no end in sight for the Sarah-frenzy, it's fascinating how much of the dialogue swirls around issues of language and literacy. This campaign offers so many teachable moments on audience and rhetoric that it almost makes me wish I was back in the classroom.

Depending on whom you ask, it's okay to talk lipstick with pitbulls but not pigs. Then there's the issue of book banning and censorship. Are questions posed by the mayor to the town librarian about whether she would remove questionable books from the library - followed by a termination letter when the librarian says banning is not a-okay - reflective of a book-banning stance or merely, as the mayor-cum-Veep says, "rhetorical"? You'll find lively discussions on both sides of that topic on the blog Librarians Against Palin .

Also of interest is the fact that a new Palin bio comes out in a few weeks from Christian publisher Zondervan. Another Christian publisher, Tyndale, is taking over distribution of the current bio from Epicenter, which has been overwhelmed with orders.

For a fascinating look at rhetoric and image building in the modern American political arena, check out Frank Rich's The Greatest Story Ever Sold. It's a captivating treatise on the misuse of language and what passes for truth - a timely read with 55 days and counting until we elect a new President.

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