For Tuesday night and Wednesday, with comments on Taibbi

  1. Do research for Essay 3.  With your overall question in mind, consult at least four sources (essays/articles/books/documentaries/podcasts/videos/friends/professors/ other people/etc).
  2. Write an annotated list of those sources (your “annotation” should be a couple of sentences on each, explaining what the source is and why it’s relevant to you.)
  3. After reading/consulting each of at least two of those sources, do at least 4 pages of informal writing toward your essay:  what have you learned/what do you think/what do you still want to know, etc.  The 4 pages don’t have to work as a whole–they can be pieces of ideas that you may want to include in Essay 3.
  4. BY TUESDAY NIGHT, OCT 30: Copy and paste both your annotated list and your informal writing into a single post on our Moodle site (in the forum listed under the week of Oct 29-Nov 4.) If you’d like the class to discuss your writing on Wednesday, send me an email.
  5. FOR CLASS ON WEDNESDAY, read Taibbi’s first section (pp 163-184 of Best American Magazine Writing 2017).
  6. Comment to this post with an observation on that reading, particularly about Taibbi’s “voice.”
  7.  SHORT PAPER 4 is a report on any event you attend at Trinity, written with attention to your “voice” as a narrator.   Due on Friday, November 2.
  8. As usual, continue blogging and commenting.
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9 thoughts on “For Tuesday night and Wednesday, with comments on Taibbi”

  1. Taibbi’s voice in this piece was extremely fun to read. He presented himself almost as someone who hates Trump because of the analogies and similes that he wrote, but it also feels more like a person who was simply watching everything go down. I also think that the way he is able to get the story of what he is seeing down in a way that feels so genuine made me really enjoy reading this. My favorite part of this was probably the sections about Ted Cruz, as I could definitely feel Ted’s voice of slow talk and word usage on the page. I would for sure say that this was a great piece of writing.

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  2. Taibbi uses his voice humorously, and he took the stance against Donald Trump, saying that he basically was unfit to run for office, but was masterfully defeating his opponents. The author uses humor throughout the entire essay, but I have to ask the question, do you think that he would be laughing now. Given all that we have seen in the last from Donald Trump in his entire life, including the run of presidency, and now hit the two year mark on his presidency — how do we prevent him from repeating the same sort of run?

    I really liked how the author used comedy in this piece, I dont think doing that makes it loose its legitimacy because as well as cracking jokes he does make serious assertions that are backed up with fact and reason. The addition of comedy also just makes Donald Trump as a politician more hilarious and comedic, but honestly he brings it all on himself and opens the door for it all. But maybe that works, who knows. I really enjoyed this reading, although reading things that happened before Donald was elected just keep making me realize how much of a mistake he was, and just how many obvious warning signs there were, we just all ignored.

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  3. Taibbi’s piece about Trump is excellent. Taibbi gets Trump and can see why people gravitated towards him, and that this is because there is no BS, and Taibbi writes with no BS either. Taibbi’s voice is real, funny, and to the point. Taibbi definitely does not like Trump, but I think he loves watching his presidency unfold like so many other Americans. I also do not believe i have read an essay that understands Trump better than this. The analogy of if Trump and Stephen Hawking were in a cell for an entire year Trump would not come out talking about politics, but Hawking would be talking about models and football. The voice Taibbi uses is almost something I feel like Trump would write himself… it’s inappropriate, unorthodox, but still entertaining. All things that are Donald Trump.

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  4. Taibbi paints a picture of Trump that simultaneously makes fun of him and commends him on the way that he’s manipulated the country. While he is clearly in opposition to Trump’s presidency, he makes comments that speak to Trump’s power and capabilities. I found Taibbi’s voice somewhat more subtle, compared to authors we’ve read in the class. While there is clearly a voice, the focus is on Trump and his actions, rather than on the speaker and his perspective. Taibbi’s voice is eloquent and vaguely humorous, but it also is laden with heavier undertones, suggesting the seriousness of Trump as a world leader and the fact that someone so theatrical can charm and act his way into the presidency. For me, I found the article startlingly accurate, as it came across as humorous at first, but readers can later pick up on an underlying discomfort that stems from the situational despair of Trump’s election.

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  5. What immediately struck me about Taibbi’s voice in this piece is the brutal honesty mixed with an extremely snarky tone. At times it almost reads like a well rehearsed comedic rant, with lines like “it’s harder to recall a dumber situation in American presidential politics” and “What these tweedy Buckleyites at places like the Review don’t get is that most people don’t give a damn about ‘conservative principles'”. In a way, the voice is what Trump might sound like if he had the apt vocabulary and rhythm of a stand-up comedian. I think for Taibbi, the voice works really well in this piece, his willingness to criticize his own camp (the press) also makes his points more credible and fits well into the everyone sucks ranting style that he uses.

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  6. I really enjoyed this reading. I loved Taibbi’s comedic voice seen throughout the reading. I feel like his voice was also authentic and very clear. I normally can’t seem to sit and tolerate many pieces that we have to read for this class that are about Donald Trump, but to my amazement I did this time around. It was very clear that Taibbi did not like Trump and found him to be unfit to be president, but I liked that Taibbi was still able to see why all of these people are interested in him and how he is able to stand out amongst his other competition. I also enjoyed the analogies being used in this article. This article to me seemed very accurate and that is probably why I liked it so much.

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  7. As I read the piece by Taibbi, I could hear the irony in his voice and he wrote the piece not as this research paper based or very serous writing but like someone who was talking to a relative or friend about Trump and his campaign. I found that very attractive as a viewer, I got hooked by the way he writes, for example, when he used, “King Trump. Brace yourselves America. It is really happening” instead of something else like “Americans should be ready to have Trump as their president,” it really made a difference, it had humor and it displayed his voice very vividly. He certainly did a great job in writing this essay also because at times he agreed with the things Trump said and never tried to denied them, he just tried to explain how it might not work like Trump plans it. He also acknowledged Trump as being the first to “realize the weakness in the system” and he uses it to his advantage. He might not agree with Trump, but I feel like he does respect him for his different ways of viewing politics and his smart ways of using the media without having to pay.

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  8. I believe Taibbi’s voice is proactive and interesting. It is very clear that Taibbi takes a stance against Trump and he tells the stories in an authentic and entertaining way that I am enjoying reading. This writing, for someone like me who doesn’t know Trump well, clearly portraits what Trump is like in the author’s view and what ideas Trump are coming around. I remember Taibbi portraits Trump as a “corporate Tyrant” somewhere in the writing.

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  9. Taibbi’s voice is very entertaining. The whole essay is very light hearted, and his voice kept me engaged throughout the whole thing. I appreciate how he included his views, but not in a harsh way. When I was reading I definitely got the gist that Taibbi didn’t think Trump was fit to run for office, but it didn’t feel like another bashful “dump Trump” piece. I also really like page 175 when Taibbi says when talking about Trump, the word “claims” should always be used.

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