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Third Response 10/15/14 Drugs


A controversial issue in society that has become a hot debate topic is the debate over whether or not all drugs should be legal. Now, in many of the arguments for or against the legality of controlled substances, the rhetorical devices of ethos, pathos, and logos are used. One such example is the 1970 New York Times article “Drugs,” written by as Gore Vidal. In this article, the author uses ethos and pathos to argue that all drugs should be made legal in the United States Similarity, in the article “Don’t legalize Drugs” by Theodore Dalrymple, logos is used to convince the reader that drugs should remain illegal.                                       


To begin, pathos is the use of emotion to appeal to an audience. In one section of the article “Drugs”, Gore notes how, when the Mexican marijuana drug trade was curtailed by the U.S. government, the gangs responded by getting kids addicted to heroin. The author blames these deaths on the government. He believes that it is their war on drugs that caused the children to die. This appeals to the emotion of the reader, as it forces us to sympathize with the innocent kids. Another example of pathos is the quote  “Now one can hear the warning rumble begin: if everyone is allowed to take drugs everyone will and the GNP will decrease, the Commies will stop us from making everyone free, and we shall end up a race of Zombies, passively murmuring "groovie" to one another.” This quote mocks those who feel that, by legalizing drugs, America will immediately crumble. This quote notes how critics mock the ability of the average American to function properly without strict rules. Naturally, people respond emotionally to being mocked.  In addition to pathos, ethos, or the use of ethics to appeal to an audience, is used to persuade the reader to support the legalization of drugs. For example, the quote “the United States was the creation of men who believed that each man has the right to do what he wants with his own life as long as he does not interfere with his neighbor's pursuit of happiness.” With this quote, Gore argues that the government cannot makes drugs illegal as it is a violation of our very constitutional right to do what we please, as long as we do not hurt our neighbor. In this case, he uses our patriotic ethics to convince us that drugs should be legal in America.    


Although Gore’s article made some interesting points, it was ultimately unable to affect my opinion on the issue. You see, although the article is emotionally charged, it lacks the facts to persuade me to follow Gore’s beliefs. Emotion, without reason or facts, is essentially propaganda. Although I was able to emotionally connect with Gore, I am not persuaded by an argument that does not feature evidence.                                                                            

On the other hand, I found the use of logos in the article “Don’t Legalize Drugs” to be very effective. Now, logos is the use of logic to persuade the reader. In his article, Theodore notes the argument of his opposition, and then logically proves why that argument is wrong.  For example, Theodore states the counter-argument that the government has no right to tell its citizens what to do, as long as the citizens cause no harm to another. Therefore, all drugs should be legal, as drug use only damages the individual. Theodore, however, argues that individual drug use does negatively affect society, as every individual is involved in society. Every individual has friends and family, and these people are affected by their drug use. Also, addicts are more likely to commit crimes, and these effects on society are obvious. Thus, the argument that the government has no right to tell its citizens what drugs it can consume is false. Another example of Theodore using logos is when admits that the war on drugs may never be won. So, since the war on drugs is a losing one, should the white flag be waved? Should all drugs be made legal? According to Theodore, no. After all, the war on death will probably never be won by humans. Does this mean that we should stop practicing medicine, that we should just accept death? Obviously, the answer to this question is no. With this in mind, the reader can conclude that society cannot give up on the war on drugs, even if it cannot be won.                                  


By using logic and reason, I find that Theodore makes a much more persuasive argument that Gore does. While Gore’s argument has a grand appearance, it lacks the substance to back it up. This is in sharp contrast to Theodore’s article, which lacks emotion, but it simply reasons with the reader on why Theodore is correct. Theodore’s article lacks the emotional fire of the article” Drugs” but it makes up for this with an argument based on fact; an argument with substance. Theodore succeeds where Gore had failed as he uses facts to back his beliefs up. With this in mind, “Don’t Legalize Drugs” makes the much more persuasive argument.





     Meme found on the internet                                                                                         Meme that I created


    Recently, a phenomenon known as memes has taken over the internet. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Google, Memegenerator.com, or a variety of other websites, one cannot surf the internet without encountering the latest trend. Meme’s can be used for an assortment of purposes, such as making people laugh, arguing controversial political points, or to display a situation of irony. Meme’s have affected how an entire generation of adolescents and adults think and communicate. In this essay, I will analyze how memes have changed the way we communicate. Also, I will analyze the Skeptical African Child meme as a genre. Last, I will create my own meme to further understand the trend.

     A meme is a picture with writing on it that quickly communicates an idea that is usually ironic. The term meme was first coined by Richard Dawkins in 1976. Although memes do not have to be distributed on the internet, it is on the World Wide Web where they have gained the most popularity. A typical meme will have a picture, and two separate pieces of text. One text will be at the top of the picture. The other will be at the bottom of the picture. As previously stated, memes are used to depict irony and satire. The nature of the satire varies widely, from good-natured, to racial, or  political. Culturally, internet meme’s have taken over the 21st century. The internet generation uses memes as a key source of communication. In many ways, this is not surprising. The internet has encouraged quick, simple, mass communication among today’s youth. Memes are perfect for this. They are easy to replicate, quick to read and enjoy, and very easy to distribute with today’s technology. Memes have been a leader in encouraging teenagers to communicate in swift and effective ways. This has resulted in a lot of changes in how we process information, both positive and negative. One positive change is the fact that an individual can easily communicate his thoughts to millions of people. As previously stated, memes allow us quick and short bursts of comedic satire. However, many would argue that memes have also made us lazier. After all, as a result of memes, teenagers expect all information to be quick and easy to find. Anything that requires dedication, research, or focus, is considered too hard by today’s youth. Obviously, the problem with this is that anything related to school or deep knowledge requires long periods of focus on a single subject, which directly conflicts with the advantages of a meme.  In short, memes represent a quick form of communication for the internet generation, affecting this generation both positively and negatively.

          There are a vast amount of popular meme genres. A short list of some of the more popular ones would be: Bad Luck Brian, Overly Obsessive Girlfriend, The Most Interesting Man in The World, and Condescending Wonka. I chose to focus on the Skeptical African Kid meme because of the message behind it. This meme is generally used to mock first world problems. The meme features an obviously poor African kid with an expression of, well, skepticism. My apologies for my racial undertones, but the reality is that many of the poorest people in the world live in Africa. Looking at the background, it is heavily inferred that the child is indeed one of the millions of African suffering from extreme poverty. After all, the walls in the picture are made of sticks, and the ground is just dirt; there is no grass, cement, plants, or carpet, just dirt. The child skeptical look is in the direction of what can be assumed to be a lady from a developed country. After all, she has sunglasses on her hair, an item that only exists in the developed world.  Thus, an internet meme was born. The African kid skeptically looks at the lady, pondering if her stories of the developed world are really true. This results in the reader seeing the irony in our daily lives. We are so focused on our first world problems that we end up ignoring how grateful we should be that we do not have to deal with third world problems. For my particular meme, the kid questions how liking a picture in the internet that brings attention to his struggle will actually improve his life. This is a legitimate question, as liking a picture won’t do anything for the child. True, it brings attention to his struggle, but attention is nothing without action. The irony is that the internet generation thinks that it is helping the child by bringing attention to his struggle, but this is pointless as no one takes the necessary actions to actually help the child.  

      To further understand the genre, I created a meme. This meme features a child questioning the generosity of a lady, showing the irony of the lady’s supposed generosity. True, the lady is giving the child 25 cents a day, but this only amounts to $91.25 a year. For someone who makes $100,000 a year, that is a very small amount. Thus, the person’s generosity is questioned. Yes, she is helping out the boy, but if she wanted to, she could give him a lot more. Her generosity is not real, as she is not helping others nearly as much as she could. The goal of this meme is to question the generosity of Americans. Yes, many of us do donate to charity, but do we actually sacrifice anything? Couldn’t we give more? My meme raises an important question through the use of irony, which is a perfect representation for everything that the Skeptical African Kid meme represents.

     In conclusion, memes are pictures with words that offer satirical messages. The Skeptical African Kid meme is a beautiful representation of the ironic nature of the internet meme. To add on to this, memes have given us a fast and easy way to distribute information, but they may have negatively affected our ability to focus on a single subject for long periods of time.  Memes, despite being a seemingly simple concept, have had an immeasurable effect on culture.


Project Two Rough Draft













Comments (10)

Jason Ahmed said

at 1:57 am on Sep 15, 2014

For my essay, I will focus on the Kobe Bryant pass meme. This meme makes fun of Kobe for playing selfishly and refusing to pass to his teammates enough. In my essay, I will investigate where this joke originates from. Also, I will investigate why memes on celebrities are so popular.

Meme opening

Jason Ahmed said

at 1:17 pm on Sep 17, 2014


paragraph 1
history behind memes

Paragraph 2
explain my specific meme

Paragraph 3
Explain my sub-genre of my meme

Paragraph 4
Analysis the cultural impact of memes

Paragraph 5 Make my own meme,and explain it.

Briona Ely said

at 3:55 pm on Sep 22, 2014

1)Yes, there is a clear thesis/argument in this paper. The last three sentences is the thesis statement.

2)Yes, this paper does have a clear purpose. I feel that this analysis is important, and should be interesting to an audience made up of people like myself because it is a popular issue and topic. Everyone has seen at least one "feed the children" commercial in Africa or an ad on Facebook about helping feed African children. The purpose of this meme is to raise awareness of an ongoing issue with a bit of satire.

3)This paper follows a clear structure, and has good transitions, that helped me figure out what each paragraph would contain without even reading it yet. This paper stays on topic for the most part, and I believe that all of the info. is necessary info. (The term meme was first coined by Richard Dawkins in 1976.) was not needed.


5)The first and third paragraphs were the strongest parts of this paper in my opinion. The first paragraph gives you an overview of the whole paper, and the third paragraph gives you all of the important details.

6) In my opinion, there aren't any weak parts in this paper, but the conclusion could have been longer.

7) Yes, I was convinced by this paper that this author understands what a genre is. Not only did he give credible and valid examples, he even chose a genre, and sub-genre and created his own Internet meme out of it.

8)Although wordy at times, this paper overall was well written.

9) I would give this paper a 90%. A-

fr1495@... said

at 4:03 pm on Sep 22, 2014

1. The thesis is, "In this essay, I will analyze how memes have changed the way we communicate."
2. The purpose is to analyze the Skeptical African Child meme, and memes in general. We should be interested because, as stated in the paper, we are greatly effected by all the memes, even if they are such a simple thing, and that is also why it is important that we analyze them, because they do play such a great roll in our lives.
3. The paragraphs do make sense together.
4. You didn't seem to exaggerate, and nothing seemed unwarranted.
5. I think the strongest part of this paper was the third and fourth paragraphs. It not only talks about the meme, but it explains why the meme is so important. The most powerful part, specifically, was, " We are so focused on our first world problems that we end up ignoring how grateful we should be that we do not have to deal with third world problems." This is so powerful because it shows that, although this meme is funny, it has very serious undertones to it.
6. The weakest part was the conclusion. It seems like it was just quickly thrown together because you just wanted to be done with the paper. While it does cover everything that was talked about in the essay, it is very vague and not the greatest ending it could be.
7. While you did get very deep into the meme, you don't really talk about genre other than the meme being ironic.
8. The only problem I can really see that involves grammar would be that there seem to be too many periods in paragraph two. For example, " One text will be at the top of the picture. The other will be at the bottom of the picture." These two sentences could easily be combined, which would make the paper flow better, along with a lot of other sentences in paragraph two.
9. If I were to be grading this paper based on question number 2, I would give this paper 100%. But since this is a genre-based essay, the grade would be much lower, because you didn't really talk about genre all that much.

Jason Ahmed said

at 8:27 pm on Dec 1, 2014

Response 6

1. The proposal is that more health workers be sent to combat Ebola in Africa.
2. This proposal prioritizes the solution. The article spends most of its time focusing on how Ebola can be combated.
3. The audience has fear towards Ebola. The audience has believes that Ebola could become an epidemic, so they are frightened by it.
4. The article has explained how the lack of adequate healthcare in Africa has helped Ebola thrive in the region.
5. The article does a great job explaining how more healthcare workers can fix the problems in Ebola.
6. The article uses facts to persuade.

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