“Dress code, cocktails, looking so fancy
We feel like we’re a little bit classy, cheers to the fact that we’re not dead,
Swimming with the sharks, but we’re still not dead yet” DGD- “Chucky versus the Giant Tortoise”
This line from popular progressive metal group Dance Gavin Dance creates meaning by the use of subjects like a “dress code”, “cocktails”, “sharks” to create a specific theme within the context of the music. However, the story being told would not be the same without the subject of “we” and “we’re”.The descriptive “doers” like “feel”,”dead”,”swimming” create the context in which the subjects are related. Without these “doers” the subjects would appear arbitrary. Finally, the ‘scaffolding’ of every sentence is the use of connectors or articles. Because of the arrangement of words, l can gather that this particular sentence wants to create a theme of associated words like a “dress code” and “cocktails”; to emphasize a meaning of flashiness and class. I can deduce a relation to a subject my seeing “we” and “we’re” I can then confirm this meaning when a descriptor word like “classy” is used. The words “sharks”, “swimming”, and “dead” emphasize that there is a theme of danger. Finally the words “cheers” and “yet”,”still” remind the reader that there is a juxtaposition of class and danger and an element of surprise that the subject has not died.
This quote connects with David Flemings’ City of Rhetoric “Common Places” and our BED analysis project because, in his work, he argues that ideas, people, and other rhetorical entities are partly “grounded” within the context they are. Flemming continues that there are “borders” or ‘boxes’ around ideas, but usually common themes can be related in universal contexts. The context in which a thought or observation is created is the “rhetorical situation”. The common rhetorical ideas in this quote are precisely related to this idea.The connotation of death is common to everyone, and most people know what a shark is. In addition, most people can relate to feeling classy or suave based on symbols like cocktails and a dress code. On the other level, this band is relevant to a current ‘scene’. This particular interpretation of these ideas is meant for the musical climate in which it was written. Out of context, the thought may have a different effect. Instead of being part of an interesting song, written down it is simply a story teller. In addition, this song is part of a larger genre, influenced by a common style or convention built before it.
I was not able to find a trailer for The Polymath however from the short videos of Samuel Delany; he is a very relevant figure to the work we are doing here. One of the examples he used to present his ideas, was first that a black man was killed and was rhetorically equated to a dog being murdered. It is very interesting how perspective can really change how people behave and feel; regardless of how inappropriate it may be to the reality of a situation. This seems to be a focus on pathos. Those who did not feel the compassion for the man who was killed, were emotionally detached through the use of racial slurs and other rhetorical conditioning. As for a response to the excerpt you have provided, it is interesting how beginning to recognize what you know and don’t know through basic inquiry is the first step in getting to a place of wisdom. Interestingly enough recognize what you don’t know is almost more important; because it helps to drive you forward.