Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Raw Thesis!

The emphasis made in most of my posts has been on the real and the raw. That's why I chose non-fiction for my group, and have enjoyed being a part of it.  Issues that have real application, connections between sub genres that are relevant to now.  

Memoirs, confessions, histories, biographies, "how to" books, moral sermons and the like....    What is it about this genre and the realness of it that peaks my interest?   I like to think that I'm drawn to truth.  To honesty.  I'm drawn to the idea that I'm making a real-time discovery, albeit vicarious.  

Works I've recently read like Ten Great Souls I Want to Meet in Heaven, or Confessions by St. Augustine are ones that stay with me and elicit a deep curiosity.  When Samuel Pepys' open diary was mentioned in a post, I had to read it. 

Though it was fiction, the reading, "How to date a brown girl (black girl, white girl, or halfie)" by Junot Diaz is one of my favorites.  Laying bare the human psyche is something that captures the attention of most people, I think.  

Some people appreciate censorship.  I certainly don't.  Would you rather have something be 100% juice and a bit sour, or drink 60% juice with 40% concentrate with an overtly sweet taste? I prefer the sour.  Perhaps it's a question of censorship.  At what point do we say, "Okay.  Too much," and ask for aspartame, rather than sugar?  Diet style. I really don't know. 

What I do know:  I want to take on an issue that has crossed my path a few times in the past four months.  In classes and personal reading, the music I listen to, and the casual conversations I have daily, biblical allusions are plenty.  It's because about three-quarters of the American population identifies themselves as Christians, therefore, those kinds references are inevitable.  

Names like Paul, Peter and references to Sampson are dropped metaphorically and sometimes humorously in casual communication. Bible characters are referred to by music lyrics, poetry, and in quick-read articles....So, then, why isn't the Bible studied in public schools like, say, "To Kill a Mockingbird," or Shakespeare?  

I think it should be, with all of its literary merit and historical credibility.  It should be taught in schools as an objective text of study, so that students have an understanding of allusions made in popular texts, and in popular culture.  


  1. Great point,Jamie. I think the Bible should be studied in school. I believe they used to long ago. Somebody got a strange notion to push it out, I guess.
    I like your analogy concerning censorship and 100% juice. The casual style with which you post makes your writing enjoyable and readable.

  2. You might be interested in seeing the movie, "Expelled, No Intelligence Allowed" with Ben Stein. You would find it interesting. It will discuss your question. You can get the whole movie on YouTube.

    I like your thesis idea. There is a lot of controversy out there on that very question. The movie will open your eyes to much of it.

  3. As I pointed on in face-to-face conversation, I think this type of policy claim is a great direction to go in. Be sure to address counterarguments, and I think you've got yourself a paper.

    I just caught a reference to Samson in the Time with regards to Rafael Nadal's recently shorn locks. RAAAAFAAAA

    1. YES. I'm totally going to use it. Thanks Charly!
      Policy claim. That's exactly what I was thinking when I was reading through the PPT.

  4. There are multiple things you are playing around with here. The Bible issue is the most clear as a claim right now, but I don't think it is as central to your main interests. Censorship is a difficult topic because it's hard to find an engaging angle (unless you argue FOR censorship). I urge you to address some of the issues about real and raw (which could take you to discussions about genre, or about adaptation -- see Hilary's list of thesis statements about slam poetry for one approach.

    1. Yeah. This weekend (with the "tweethis" challenge), has been incredibly helpful in developing my thesis. Like Charly said, it's definitely going to be a policy claim. I don't think I'll focus on the idea of censorship, so much as address the whys and why nots (the counter-argument) of objective Bible study, and appeal strictly to logos.

  5. Just to let you know, this statement, "I like to think that I'm drawn to truth. To honesty. I'm drawn to the idea that I'm making a real-time discovery," made an impact on me and was part of the reason behind my thesis paper. Thanks for contributing!