08 August 2014

Greenpeaces of Rhetoric

Rhetoric and Legos have a lot in common, and thanks to Greenpeace, one of those things is the environment.

A key trait shared by rhetoric and Legos is the ability to construct something elaborate out of connected pieces (of language or blocks, respectively). Much like Legos construct whole worlds, rhetoric builds our world. As we define and frame events, decisions, actions, and our surroundings, we put together understandings that become the world we live in. For example, the Lego brand has partnered with Royal Dutch Shell to build Lego worlds complete with Shell's corporate symbols and oil operations. As the partnership brings Shell into the rhetoric of Legos, it reinforces the oil company's standing as a major part of our world.

We can also deconstruct both rhetoric and Legos, and Greenpeace has done exactly that with a video example of critical rhetoric. Watch it below:

LEGO: Everything is NOT awesome from Greenpeace on Vimeo.

Critical rhetoric challenges dominant forms of rhetoric and attempts to expand our understanding of the world. By taking the symbols of Shell and Lego, including the song, "Everything is Awesome," and raising questions about them, Greenpeace deconstructs the world the two companies had built and replaces it with a different world. In the world put forth by Greenpeace, the partnership between Shell and Lego is neither innocent child's play nor "awesome." Rather, the partnership is corrupting and, above all, threatens the environment, a threat Shell and Lego had neglected to include in their world.

A critical approach to rhetoric works by disconnecting the pieces of dominant rhetoric and reconnecting them to form a bigger picture of the world. Lego should know a little about that. Greenpeace sure does.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.