Environmental Activism Video Observation and Commentary

  1. Watch the George Carlin and Naomi Klein videos. As you watch, take notes on anything you’d want to include in a rhetorical analysis of the two pieces.

Classify each note you took as belonging in one of two categories: Observations and Commentary. Observations will be neutral in tone, describing what each speaker conveyed and how. Commentary is more subjective, anything that starts to evaluate (however subtly) or give evidence of your own or others’ viewpoints on the subject. Consider these two lists as evidence, and write a reflective paragraph on the two lists. Were your notes focused more on style or content? Did one speaker prompt you make more judgments/commentary, and if so, why?

There is an example from other student.

Naomi Klein and George Carlin both discussed climate change and possible causes. Klein’s talk was an urgent call to action whereas Carlin’s was a comedic dismissal of the issue. Klein’s factual evidence was more clearly stated. Carlin uses multiple lists in an attempt to show that he does understand the severity of the issue. Both speakers use substantial emotional language. Perhaps ironically, Carlin made me more inclined to take action. I hear increasingly more speeches like that of Klein’s but Carlin’s reluctance to participate somehow raised my level of personal responsibility in the matter.