Ernest Hemingway: The Killers


Ernest Hemingway


In his collection of short stories, Ernest Hemingway writes about an interesting story about two killers waiting in a lunch-counter. In “The Killers”, two men by the names of Al and Max take over a lunchroom in order to attempt to assassinate a very famous boxer. The short story explains that these two hitmen basically walk into the lunch-counter and hold up the entire group of staff. For approximately two hours, these hitmen keep sam and nick tied up in the kitchen while another staff, George is placed at a table closer to the entrance. The hitmen do not accomplish their goal and finally leave the lunch-counter. Later on, Nick visits the target of the assassinations and sees his miserable situation as he lays in his bed. The reason I explained this is to show that the rhetoric of the story is not intended to describe a failed assassination, instead, it is intended to describe a situation which accurately portrays human psychology.            When I mentioned the situation where Nick and Sam are in the kitchen, the others make a unconscious formation in the dining room that Hemingway emphasizes in great detail. The formation looks like this: George very very close to the entrance, Max at the bar, and Al is between the kitchen and the dining room. Throughout the story, Hemingway uses interesting rhetoric to describe George while he looks at the clock, at the door, and basically acts as if he wants to bolt out. Then Hemingway describes Max as trying to pick a fight with George when Max mocks George calling him a “Bright Boy.” Finally, Al is described as a control, when he tries to calm everyone down and make Max shut up. These three men portray an accurate example of how the fight-or-flight situation can mold personalities and behaviors. George being the flight, Max being the fight, and Al being the control or normal personality.

U Street Jazz history: centers and places that used to dominate

Gerorge, Washington Univeristy. U Street Jazz – Venues – Historical Map. Accessed 30 Apr. 2017.

Historic U Street’s jazz clubs

In George Washington University’s article of “Historic U Street”, it explains the musical culturality of the neighbourhood in the early to mid 20th century. It perfectly aligns the history of jazz with the locations it was played in. Moreover, GW also teaches its audience about the magnitude of musicians that lit the street up with beautiful jazz. For instance, it describes native musicians like Duke Ellington, and other famous ones like Louis Armstrong who visited and put up jazz shows . GW made it known that If you wanted jazz in DC, U street was the place to go. Furthermore explaing that this street was and still is such a lively musical street, and  it would be a perfect center for entertainment.

This article shows how prominent the street was in respect for music, and gives my argument a background source. In addition, it serves as an example of David Fleming’s theory of the Persistence of Space. A theory which describes how the rhetoric and discourse, which occurs everyday in a metropolitan environment, shapes the locations of different places in that environment. For example, the theory describes a downtown, where jobs are concerned with government, finance, or legal actions. To give a sort of communal place, Fleming added the existence of musical theaters or concert halls that gave the important neighborhood somewhere to go for some down time. In this example of reality, U street’s biggest musical and entertainment locations are located near the heart of DC’s metropolitan area. This gives a rhetorical explanation of U Street and grants the research for my first essay a source which can be rhetorically analyzed.


12, Briana Thomas on February, and 2017. “The Forgotten History of U Street.” Washingtonian, 12 Feb. 2017,

A Black owned resturant on U Street

In her article on the “Washington Post”, Briana Thomas describes the historically black utopia which was present on U Street in the early part of the 20th century. She explains that the community had more than 200 Black owned businesses by the mid 20th century and how the neighbourhood was increasing in wealth as a whole. For example, she gives us a situation where a Black architect’s assistant was witnessed to go to a Black owned bank and deposit twenty thousand dollars, which is a equal to a hundred thousand dollars today. Furthermore, she even includes the music scene as she describes the numerous jazz clubs and performers which were present on U Street. Finally, Thomas includes how the riots and gentrification of the late 20th century destroyed this unity and success of the community as a whole.

This article gives my research a background source which is beneficial to the base of my research and helps my audience understand what was before. It contains supporting pictures which tell the story of the successful community which U Street once was. In addition, it contains pictures of primary documents which support the image of U Street’s harmonical black community. This source narrow downs the reason why the history of U Street is so significant in the explanation of its gentrification. Lastly, it serves as a reliable argument because of its quotes from numerous people which lived in this community.



Narcos: Tuyo


I am the fire that burns your skin,

Soy el fuego que arde tu piel

I am the water that kills your thirst.

soy el agua que mata tu sed.

Of the castle, I am the tower,

El castillo, la torre yo soy

the sword that guards the treasure.

la espada que guarda el caudal.

You, the air that I breathe,

tu el aire que respiro yo

and the light of the moon on the sea.

y la luz de la luna en el mar.

The throat that longs to be choked

La garganta que ansio mojar

that I’m afraid I’ll drown in love.

que temo ahogar de amor.

And which desires you are going to give me.

y cuales deseos me vas a dar

just to look is treasure enough,

mi tesoro basta con mirarlo,

it will be yours, it will be yours.

tuyo será, y tuyo será.

In the Netflix original series, “Narcos”, there is an introductory song that is played that really captivates most viewers. Written by Rodrigo Amarante, “Tuyo”, is a song that has a melody that sounds like a sweet serenade. If it weren’t in a soundtrack of a tv series about a drug kingpin, then it would probably be in a romantic latino movie. According to the artist, Rodrigo Amarante, he was inspired by the thought of what Pablo Escobar’s mother would have listened to while raising her ambitious young son who would go on to be an infamous drug kingpin. Altogether the song creates a luring effect that I believe plays a big part not only in Escobar’s life, but also the lives of the narcos. The song starts out with two lines that have a similar rhetoric, but two different meanings. The first one sounds like an actual harmful situation but then the second creates a sense of urgency, or need. If you analyse them closely, they create a concept of something that sometimes kills you but is also essential to your survival; kind of similar to a relationship between two close, long-time lovers. Since the series has no main plot about love between two people, it seems like evil is one of the lovers trying to lure the narcos into a relationship with it. With evil’s promises of wealth and success, at the end of the song, it pulls the ambition of the narcos into its trap and controls them almost like a wife controls her husband. The rhetoric of the serenade really shows you the dark and twisted lives that the narcos live because of their obligation to evil.   

The Importance of Space

The Persistence of Space

Space plays a very important role in the lives of american citizens. I have noticed that over the years many people have deserted various no-name towns in order to create a life in big, famous cities.  In his “The City of Rhetoric”, David Fleming accurately portrays a country where citizens are valued by their job skills, job wage, and job information. This value, Fleming goes on to describe, is crucial in separating different towns, cities, or even states into a two groups: valuable spaces and devalued spaces. Fleming explains that the new world order that we live in has basically taken all the big high-skill jobs and concentrated them in command and control centers like New York, Tokyo, London, etc. He continues to explain that “”devalued spaces” spaces that are more and more isolated and separated both from each other and from the “valuable spaces””(32). More specifically, Fleming explains that the rise of concentrated areas, where legal, financial, and government work happen, has attracted young professionals. With “cultural-entertainment complexes and recently gentrified neighborhoods”(33) many traveling professionals, entrepreneurs have found means to settle down and offer their inhabited city the best in terms of their high-skill jobs. He concludes his argument with the idea that while rich and affluent communities continue to create enormous wonderful things like private shopping centers just as social spaces, while poor and middle class communities struggle to pay for a place to live.

Examples of Fleming’s idea can even be seen around the world.  According to a study done by the Human Resources for Health, “ More than 23% of America’s 771 491 physicians received their medical training outside the USA.” Their study also showed that 6% of physicians in the entire sub-saharan africa are part of the percentage mentioned earlier. You start to see that people tend to leave their homeland in order to seek better futures. Fleming’s argument is not just about the increasing spatial inequalities, but really, it’s about the importance of place and the role it plays in determining a person’s future.  

Works citied:                                                                                                                                                               Hagopian, Amy, et al. “The Migration of Physicians from Sub-Saharan Africa to the United States of America: Measures of the African Brain Drain.” Human Resources for Health, vol. 2, 2004, p. 17.


                Fleming, David. City of Rhetoric: Revitalizing the Public Sphere in Metropolitan America. SUNY Press, 2008.


Reading Analysis of City of Rhetoric: What is The Postmodern Public?

If we lived in a world of republicanism or liberalism, we would follow certain principles and daily procedures outlined in the fundamentals of these beliefs. But then, we would only be subjected to the limitations and bounds that these concrete definitions present. Currently, we live in a society where people go beyond the fact that our world is made up of concrete laws and create unimaginable things to create a world with more change and possibilities.  In his City of Rhetoric, David Fleming creates a compelling argument about a space we supposedly live in today known as the “Postmodern Space”(29).  According to Fleming, this space occurred somewhere in the last half of the 20th century. With the “invention of the microchip in 1959, the Kennedy assassination in 1963, or the 1972 demolition of the Pruitt-Igoe public housing in St. Louis”(29), Fleming shows us that this space is something out of the ordinary bounds of principle. He shows us that this space is made up of an imminently flexible ideas all unified in an attempt for a largely supported change.  So unified and associated, this postmodern space is so vast that Fleming refers to it as a network of unified, yet interchangeable parts all working together to construct a public that has the power to change anything. Specifically, this space Fleming writes about, is a space that engenders the mentality that anyone can create a reality different from the contemporary thought, or simply that anyone can do anything they desire. As fleming puts it “As theorists and teachers we have moved away from the cultural models… towards models of discontinuity, juxtaposition, and hybridization”(29). He describes the postmodern space or public as a sort of revolution to the orthodox  idea of life, where what you were told or taught is the only possibility. David fleming creates a description of a world without any bounds, a world where change is praised and encouraged. Frankly, I believe he describes the modern world we live in today, a world which has grown and advanced from the past. A past where people would die with a small cold to today where colds are a one week nuisance. Today is the postmodern space where new organs are made from single cells in order to save a person’s life. Turning away from medicine, today is a world where most people do not worry about getting hot water, or waiting a week for an urgent message to get to their significant other. Fleming gives us a world where we can step outside of the box to believe in ourselves to indeed make a change, more specifically a change for the good.  

Jamesy Boy: How James Burns got out of Jail.

“In my mind, there’s a boy who exists in chains. Inside a cold, dark room of painful solitude is where he will remain.Behind these walls, the sorrow is inevitable, as relentless as the passage of time. Mentalities corrupt and dark,brainwashed, and hopelessly blind.Prisons are packed with crowded spaces, lifers and guards with hollow faces. Shackled hearts afraid of changes,and weakened wills become complacent.Yet, I maintain with patience, time can limit but not shatter my will, strength blazed across my chest as solid as penitentiary steel. But the silence speaks, it tells me all I need to hear, it confirms my beliefs and its promises I have to fear. It reminds me that without freedom, I’m alone. And these whitewashed walls don’t make up for blackened souls. I’ve given 95% of my boys a handshake than a pound, before they were either locked down or buried off in cemetery grounds. What I’ve done is who I am, but who I am is what I do now. I won’t let up or cease to fight. Just time, I plan on doing it right. And what’s right lies within me. I’m learning to appreciate my struggle for it would be hard to find the joy of accomplishment without it. We live and we learn. We rise and we fall. Like the heartbeat of a sleeping giant, with bittersweet dreams. Stay up, never down.” – James Burns Over the weekend, I watched a movie named Jamesy boy. It was about a true story of a 14- year old boy named James Burns and his trouble-making personality. It begins with him trying to get into high school after months in juvenile detention and his home arrest sentence. The movie shows the eye-opening  transition from a troubled boy who lives in his mom’s house to a street-born young man that makes his money outside of the law. However, shit hits the fan, and he finally gets tried as an adult and locked up for a sentence of 4 years. In the moments he is in jail, James Burns stays a troubled young man as he was in the past and continues to get into physical fights. But, after a couple of unfortunate events he finally understands that his past was pretty much a “free trial” at life and that  he needs to take his mind of his time in jail and look to the future. At an age of 16 this young James Burns matures and starts to think about what life is actually about. He understands that all this ego-driven, and animalistic fighting is not worth losing his life over. Naturally, he takes a pen and paper from a inmate friend and begins his journey into poetry. The reason for this in-depth explanation of James Burn’s history before he took up poetry is to show how closed and secluded his life was before he opened his eyes. At the top of the page I took a very important excerpt from a beautiful poem he had written in jail. The poem was about, as I said, a secluded boy locked up in chains waiting to actually see the real world. But, at the end he puts this sentence to remind himself that there is a way to get up after you mess up. This sentence, with its reference to a sleeping giant, explains that no matter how bad you mess up, do not look back. Distract yourself with something unprecedented, a new hobby, a new thought, anything that will help you “stay up, never down”. Its rhetoric reminds us that there is always a way to distract yourself from the past and look to the future. Rhyme and wordplay is what helped James Burns get up and stay up.  

Commonplace #2

Juan M. del Potro@delpotrojuan  Jan 29


Thank you both, don’t you ever quit tennis!! GRANDEEE ROGER   So inspiring!!

This past Sunday one of the legends of tennis, Roger Federer, won his long awaited 18th grand slam. To a non-tennis fan, this may seem like another sport legend doing what he does best, but I can assure you that this win was not like any other. The tweet that is posted above came from one of Federer’s strongest competitors, Juan Martin Del Potro. If I am not mistaken, this tweet sounds like something straight out of a die-hard federer fan’s newsfeed. This only raises the question: exactly how significant was Federer’s victory?

First off, Federer is 35 years old. This seems young for such a healthy human being right? Well, most tennis players retire before the age of 34 and there were only a few that had the strength and desire to play into their late thirties. To further limit his chances, Federer just came back from a 6-month injury. Lastly, to further diminish any Federer fan’s hopes and dreams, the last time he won a grand slam was 5 years ago.

Now, one would think that the significance of this victory was that Federer overcame all these obstacles, but the real significance is the rhetoric in the tweet. The phrase “don’t you ever quit tennis” is the phrase Federer heard when everyone doubted that he would win another grand slam. This phrase, along with many other acts of love, came from the multitude of Federer fans over the years. This tweet fits in with the story of Roger Federer because it describes a feeling towards him that rings through every fan’s mind. It explains the love for Federer that is in fact so “inspiring” and “Grande” (big in portuguese).