thanks-for-not-writing-on-the-wall

thanks-for-not-writing-on-the-wall

Writing on the walls…

What is the difference between graffiti on a train and a blog on the Internet? How do the small words scratched into the bathroom stall door affect us differently than the typed words on a facebook page? How is it that blobs of ink, pixels on a screen, colors on the sidewalk, can impact our thoughts, emotions, and actions?

Have you ever thought about the true power of language? Picture a cardboard sign in the hand of a begging child that reads: “Abandoned. Homeless. Starving.” Why does a combination of letters, really just a series of lines and curves, penciled onto the back of a cardboard box grab the strings of our hearts?

Picture one word painted across the side of a building: “Obama”. Just this one simple word can draw out anger, frustration, happiness, hope, indifference… How is that possible?

Think about the humor that comes from written language. Picture the image of a T-Rex drawn on your friend’s notebook. Beside the T-rex it says the words “T-Rex hates push-ups”. Maybe the corniness of the joke is too much to make you laugh, but isn’t it odd that words on a page can cause a smile to form on our face and our lungs to fill up with laughter?

This idea got me thinking about my next genre paper. Dr. G wants our papers to be ‘publically impactful’ and I can’t help but to think of the enormous impact words have on the public. However, I am having trouble coming up with a good way to get the general public to care about whatever I write. I think CSU students are ‘chalk-full’ of chalk writing in the plaza, if you know what I mean. How else can I have a public display of words that will draw people’s attention while at the same time being able to monitor how it is effecting people? This is going to take a lot of brainstorming…

Any suggestions?

Alex Reynolds

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One thought on “thanks-for-not-writing-on-the-wall

  1. Alex,

    This is amazing:
    “What is the difference between graffiti on a train and a blog on the Internet? How do the small words scratched into the bathroom stall door affect us differently than the typed words on a facebook page? How is it that blobs of ink, pixels on a screen, colors on the sidewalk, can impact our thoughts, emotions, and actions?”

    Please bring this up when we start talking about the Kress reading.
    It’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately too!
    Your post makes me ask myself some really bizarre questions, like this:

    What does internet graffiti look like?
    What is the closest physical example of facebook?
    Do I get more angry reading something controversial on the screen, or written on the pavement?

    If you’re interesting in something neat about how the physical and digital world can come together, check out this video:

    Maybe that isn’t completely related to your post (even though it is badass), but this thought definitely is:

    You say you’re having trouble thinking of ways to get the general public to care about what you write. I am too! Maybe we should all start with examining the forms of writing that WE care the most about. What genres do you spend the most time reading? What topics do you spend the most time reading about?

    These are the sorts of things I’m starting to think about, so I hope this is useful in some way :]

    Thanks for the thought provoking post!

    -Megan

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