How Deep is Your Love?

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(You really should play the song below while you read this post. For the full audio-visual experience.)

A routine turn of phrase in the English language is to enhance a claim by using the metaphor of depth — thoughts can be deep, the hero looks deeply into his love’s eyes, or “deep down, I feel that…”. Conversely, of course, a lack of such depth signifies insincerity and probably insufficient intelligence — after all, “Shallow Hal” was a movie all about overcoming a preoccupation with surface appearances, learning instead to see true, “inner beauty.” Continue reading “How Deep is Your Love?”

The Birth of Irony

pubicPut it down to sloppy reading, perhaps, or more likely early-adolescent titillation that causes one to skip ahead, read every third word, and hope that there’s pictures on the next page, but I admit that when I first got the technical specs on “where babies come from” — yes, from a book that my mom gave me and yes, there were tastefully drawn pictures with, wait for it…, anatomic precision — I was puzzled by why it was called “public hair.” Continue reading “The Birth of Irony”

On the Spot with Leslie Dorrough Smith

“On the Spot” backs members of Culture on the Edge into a corner to talk about their backgrounds, their ongoing work, and what might be gained by an alternative understanding of how identity works.

leslieQ: Leslie, you have a book out soon that is on the way a certain rhetoric of chaos vs. order is used by some groups in the U.S. to organize themselves, by distinguishing their members from others, their preferences from others, and their values from others. Is that a fair (if general) description of your project? Could you tell us more?

A: Yes – this is a fairly unorthodox approach to a very mainstream subject.  The book, which is about the rhetoric of one Christian Right group, is entitled Righteous Rhetoric: Sex, Speech, and the Politics of Concerned Women for America (Oxford, 2014). Continue reading “On the Spot with Leslie Dorrough Smith”

“Nobody Joins a Cult”

membership1My ear caught a line in a TV show last night:

Look, nobody joins a cult. Nobody joins something they think is going to hurt them, or anyone else. You join something with people that you really like. People you believe in. Don’t you? Continue reading ““Nobody Joins a Cult””