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Last Build Date: Wed, 10 Jan 2018 13:19:37 +0000


No. Just no.

Tue, 09 Jan 2018 16:53:23 +0000

The ancient Greeks put a lot of stock in the ability to speak well in public. They understood effective speakers to have political and cultural power. They made moral judgments about their fellow Greeks based on the ability to speak well in public. In general, it was within the range of unbelievable for them that […]

The John Wayne Shot

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 18:39:30 +0000

My Carbon Trace documentary team is working on a film called Syrian Doctor (working title) about the mental health crisis in Syrian refugee children that has been called “human devastation syndrome.” (You can follow our progress on Facebook.) Along the way we have done some humanitarian work (i.e. provided video) for the Syrian American Medical […]

I Bought A Digital Subscription

Wed, 29 Nov 2017 18:08:24 +0000

I just renewed my digital subscription to The New York Times this week. Last night I added, for the first time, a digital subscription to the Washington Post. I’m a sucker for that “democracy dies in darkness” tag line. Here’s what I actually think about such things. But this an emotional response, not an intellectual […]

Pointing Cameras At People

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 18:20:14 +0000

My Carbon Trace Productions team and I will face many tough issues later this week when we begin filming in Jordan for our Syrian Doctor (working title) documentary. I’m betting the toughest part will be pointing cameras at people (because, from my experience as a news photographer, that’s usually the tough part). But not just people. […]

Rhetorica Update

Fri, 17 Mar 2017 14:38:14 +0000

A few things going on this spring (cuz, yeah, it has arrived in Missouri): My Carbon Trace Productions documentary team has two projects in the works: 1) Student Debt (working title), and 2) Syrian Refugee Doctor (working title). For the latter, my team and I leave for Jordan in three weeks to begin filming. BTW, […]

It Was Supposed to Make Us Smarter

Fri, 25 Nov 2016 14:14:52 +0000

There comes a moment every semester in my class MED130 Fundamentals of Media Convergence (because we couldn’t think of anything else to call it) when I tell students about two things I know to be true: Once you introduce a technology you can’t take it back. People will use technology for their own purposes and […]

A Quick Interjection in the Silence

Mon, 07 Nov 2016 16:57:49 +0000

Rhetorica, as a site examining media-political rhetoric, remains retired. But I have to call your attention — whatever is left of my readership — to Jay Rosen’s current entry on PressThink. The whole thing is important, but this struck me in particular: How can you say to readers: these people live in a different reality than […]

Into The Whole New Thing

Sat, 05 Nov 2016 16:48:36 +0000

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I dipped my toes into the whole documentary film-making thing about two and a half years ago when I began the Downtown project and turned my Carbon Trace blog into a production team site. To check all of this out, you can also visit the official production “company” site at and start […]

On Futility

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 15:55:19 +0000

I should have known better. I was right the first time. I dramatically cut back on blogging here (2010ish) in part because the effort seemed futile. To that point I had created what I think is an interesting body of work (might even be a book in here somewhere). Several academic essays, a book chapter, […]

An Amusing Aside

Mon, 15 Aug 2016 14:05:18 +0000

I’m finishing an essay — due today — for the American Political Science Association conference in Philadelphia. The title is “Race, Poverty, and Police: A Conversation.” Here’s what it’s about: How might we understand #blacklivesmatter and #alllivesmatter in terms of #allmenarecreatedequal? It’s about memes and hashtags and the conversation we’re not having because we cannot […]