Why don’t we value Rhetoric

Rhetoric.

rhetoricalsituationoverheadIt’s a dirty word isn’t it, snake oil coming from a car salesman’s mouth or the speech of a slick politician trying to poor the wool over a herd of sheeple.

But what is rhetoric really?

( Taken from wiki ) Its best known definition comes from Aristotle, who considers it a counterpart of both logic and politics, and calls it “the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persuasion.

So yes, rhetoric can, especially devoid of ethics allow us to manipulate people, though, let’s face it, that’s going happen without Rhetoric isn’t it? Anyone who has a child, can understand that manipulation is almost intrinsic within ourselves.

But what else does it do? It allows us to analyze arguments, to understand the emotional manipulation and logical fallacies that most people use on a daily basis.

(Bonus points if you can name off any logical fallacies)

Rhetoric allows us to better understand the assumptions we make when we believe or argue anything as well as others. It makes us more informed citizens.

And it is something that many people never learn.

An example from one of my classes:

What is one assumption in saying, we shouldn’t ban guns because the Fourth Amendment says we have a right to bare arms?

I get some of the basic answers and wait….

silence.

What does it say about our Constitution?

Again silence until someone finally says, “well that the constitution trumps everything else.”

Bingo.

We then start a discussion on what the Founding Father’s believe, on who they said could vote, on the way the laws have changed over the year and secretly I giggle as some of the students eyes light up and they start to question, are the archaic words of a few men may not be the end all be all.

And that’s why we need Rhetoric.

This is why.

Being a mother has been kicking my artist’s bum

Ever had those days when you realized you haven’t created art in a while. A long long while. And further yet the bits of free time that you have had for art, are spent piddled away on meaningless stuff like Facebook or watching bad reruns of television shows you didn’t even like in the first place. You realize you are in an artist slump.

sadpandaThe has been me for the past five months (since the birth of my daughter). And don’t get me wrong, bringing a little people into the world is awesome opossum, but lacking the drive to do something you love, or worse, wanting to do it but feeling stuck in the snow white pages that lack your imagination.

I’ve been keeping myself busy collaborating on my children’s book, which is exciting and awesome, but I’m realizing that isn’t filling the void.

So what do you do when you are unispired, stuck in a rut and don’t have that much time to get anything done?

Monster family

For those who don’t know, I’m working with Lil Girl Art on a children’s book. It’s coming together very nicely, check out her work!

Lil' Girl Art

Working on the family portrait as part of the world building for the children’s book.
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[Monster family portrait– digital drawing with manga studio ex]

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Word Play is now available for the Nook!

book cover

What do two elderly continental-breakfast thieves, a fire-bug artist, two underplayed video game characters, an over-worked fairy god-mother, and a couple on the verge of breaking up have in common? Their tales all come to life, in the new work by Rachael Stanford, Word Play, intertwining questions of humanity and reality with a touch of whimsy and tragedy which is guaranteed to entrance the reader.

I’m pleased to announce that my book, Word Play, is now available on Nook Price for the great, low price of 2.99…(a version for the Kindle will be available shortly).

For the price of a cup of coffee, you can enjoy a collection of award winning plays and monologues while supporting an avid indie artist and blogger!

This has been a labor of love for me. I’m pleased to finally take my work out of the theatre and into the homes of people all around the world!

Hoop on over to the NookPress or use this link.

Kickstart my heart? (hope it never stops…)

woman-sitting-silhouette-clipartI’ve been slowly formulating a kick starter campaign for one of my children’s projects. And it is completely never racking. I haven’t yet launched it. This is odd because as any artist I am used failure. It is my friend, a chance for me to rise like the phoenix and dust off the prose that sully my wings.

This though is never-racking.So I’m asking for advice? What would you like to see in a Kickstarter campaign? What has or has not worked for you? what other funding tools have you used?

Iggy Pop can’t make a living off his art and apparently neither can I

So if you haven’t read Iggy Pop’s recent speech, and you are an artist, you should. It’s a bleak but true analysis of the current world for musicians, but not just for musicians, its true for artists.

This weekend, my friend and I packed out bags for a local comic book convention. It was our first time as vendors. And after eight hours of selling our hand made goods, I have a mixed feeling about the whole experience.

art_booth

Not because we didn’t sell as much as we would have liked, which we didn’t, but because of how we were treated by the consumer who bartered and belittled our prices again and again.  I understand that a little good-natured bartering is a part of every con, but there become a point at which it is, well, insulting.

People offering you half and even less of the price you are selling at. What was worse, some of these people were fellow artist, fellow vendors.

And worse, if I rejected the price, there was an indignant rage? Why wouldn’t I take it? Wouldn’t I want to sell something at any cost?

No, honestly, if it means I’m going to lose half my cost, I’ll save my art for later, thank you.

Yes I  understand that Walmart and china cheapies exist.

But why and how do they exist? Because other countries have awful labor laws. They exploit people, children, ect.

It saves you money. I get that. As someone who has been dirt poor, I understand limited funds. But if that is the case. If you don’t have that much money to spend at my both, just come over, say hi, and admire my work. Don’t try to barter and then get annoyed when I say, “no I can’t do that.”

No I don’t do this to make a living. And it’s a good thing because if I did I would be hosed.But I put money and time into making each of these crafts, and I find it ridiculous that people expect to pay cents on the dollar for crafts.

Because a vote for me is a vote for humanity (ok not really but please vote)

Torrid Literature published my poem, We is, this summer and is now having a contest for their literary hall of fame. If you would be so kind to vote for me, that would be awesome. I’m on page three, Rachael Stanford, We is. You can vote

A vote for me, is well, a vote for me. :)

A vote for me, is well, a vote for me. 🙂

We is by Rachael Stanford

We
Is

Laughing at linguists who
could never comprehend

though the space between our
fingertips

is wider than the Grand Canyon
the barren plains punctuating
I forge, unashamedly naked
The bitter November winds
lick my flesh

We is

Enveloped in blurred realities
Of your memories, warmed by the linger
Touch of your flesh, a permanent tattoo

I run, unwavering by demons of doubt
A happy toddler, each step in you

A cosmos
We.

Thanks again for the vote, I’m happy to return the favor!

He’s just a poe boy (from a poe family)

poeEdgar Allan Poe died yesterday. Well not yesterday, yesterday, but many yesterdays ago. And while I was scanning my facebook yesterday, I came across this piece of his death:

Edgar Allan Poe is dead. . . . This announcement will startle many, but few will be grieved by it. The poet was well known, personally or by reputation, in all this country; he had readers in England, and in several of the states of Continental Europe; but he had few or no friends; and the regrets for his death will be suggested principally by the consideration that in him literary art has lost one of its most brilliant but erratic stars.”
—“Death of Edgar A. Poe,” New-York Daily Tribune, October 9, 1849

For those who study Poe’s life or work, this isn’t exactly a surprise, but it I think a reminder that those with great talents still face great hardships in life (and some time they face it because of their talents.) So take a moment and appreciate the work  and life of a man.  The lonely winter-telling wind of October gives the perfect excuse to curl up with one of his works.

My new montra: find the writer

findthewriterAshy: How have you been?

Me: My week hasn’t been too bad, keep kinda thinkin’ heavy thoughts but that happens every so often doesn’t it? Oh moody artist

Ashy: Life’s heavy. Use your heavy thoughts and put ’em down on paper 🙂

The shot in the foot text I needed. You see I’ve been in a funk- the heavy, can’t catch your breath in a crowded night club sort. And understandable burden since the death of my father, but, usually I’m able to  make my way through and catch my breath if only for a second. This though, is constant. But perhaps the problem has not been in the sorrow, its depth undeniable, but rather in my schedule which has precluded me from writing and myself who has as of late, found it more appealing to surf the web or spend time on the blackhole of facebook, rather than explore the tangle of my thoughts, a dangerous web to be sure, but one which left to its own devices will continue to expand.

In short, I needed to just do even if I didn’t want to, even if it sucks.

And so in the last two days I have: found a collaborative paying writing effort (nothing big or very profitable but something that will get me writing.), advertised for an artist again for my comic idea, and started (though not finished so it is not yet posted) a kick starter campaign for another children’s book I have started.

Life is and I suppose always shall be amazing, beautiful, sad, horrid, immortal and terminal and it is I who will have to just learn how to weather each storm.