soundbomb’s got to die

holding onto whispers




of indifference.

of static cling.

with the pang of your feelings,

Detonate my


with your momentous “what-the-fuck-ever.”

stuck on delay-replay




lick your lips with me now…

like i used to be there





insolvable greed

insatiable belief


i can’t tell love this wall bleeds into me.

i can’t tell you me.

maim to please.


Memes & Classroom Pedagogy: notes on my peers’ teaching day

Woo! I’m live-blogging Bri, Allison, and Brandon’s teaching day on Memes. My *favorite*.

We are starting by watching our school’s Harlem Shake. Ron says, “…is an idiot’s tale, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

So memes are a symbol or image that refers to a thing. signifier and signified. Memes can be textual or visual. Leave impressions.


1). Internet meme- visual social commentary

2). Meme- an idea that spreads around culture.

4Chan. Is life just a meme?

What are the limitations of memetic communication, Bri asks. Allison says, “Image macro.” Idea from something else, pictures do this; the words attached make the meaning something else.

I ask of this: are the two definitions that different?

Then, Brandon urges me to ask, “What makes a meme a meme?” Genes, from Richard Dawkins, are like dna memes, that can be passed on and vital. Biocultural movements and evolution, perhaps image macros are moving culture forward.

Semiotic Analysis PowerPoint is happening now. “A Rough and Tumble…”

Enter: Saussure. Signifier and Signified. There “is not necessarily a concrete connection between them.” Signifier: “Rose” Signified: pic of rose. Signified 2: “passion.” ick.

Now: Kristeva’s big idea is Intertextuality. “Two axes of code” Yes, they’re torturing me by forcing me to watch this.

Just so you all know, I made these awesome once.

I’m not following the discussion right now. I must have gotten excited about Derrida. Token and type is confuse.

Bri emphasized how this meme shows Toto as the signifier and the two signifieds: dog AND 70s super group. Then just good pedagogy:

Have a group of students work with different tokens of the same type of meme. They can discuss the various iterations of their particular meme type and try to trace an evolution of reference along what Kristeva would call the political praxis.


Semiotic Democracy: (<<badassery!)

The People can fight back against Dominant culture via internet memes. (*totes* need this in the thesis) “We can use the Internet to fight back against more vicious elements of our culture, like the over-sexualization of young girls by fighting back with more democratic images.” Kristen brought up the Binders Full of Women meme as a People’s reaction to a harmful comment.

*Have students research copyright/copyfight issues and the idea of Semiotic Democracy. Have them craft their own memes in response to their findings. Perhaps challenge them to work only with materials that are licensed under Creative Commons. (fantastic idea, peers!) I have texts that go with this if anyone who wants it.

They gave us some sweet resources, which I’ll link here.


Allison is now showing us all about Joseph Harris’s Rewriting.

Moves of rewriting:

– Coming to terms

– Forwarding

– Countering

– Taking an approach

– Revising

*Forwarding*: great for memes. “taking something and moving it forward in another context”

Dude, know your meme.


This was ahmazing.

Basicially what Allison is teaching me is to know my dialectic. ;) how’s that philosoraptor? lol.


The amazing Brandon’s turn:

Etymology and how memes “take off.”

His post is titled “Socio-Cultural Implications/Semiotic Democracy”:

There are legitimate memes and deadpool memes. Short answer to how to make something memetic is elusive. Ad-agencies can’t figure out. This brings up the distinction between “forced memes” made by capitalist, Dominant culture vs. Semiotic Democracy memes made by the People. With semiotic democracy, nobody controls a meme once it is out in the wild <Saying no to memes makes a meme.

Explore rhetorical affordances, make a meme yourself or collaboratively! Brandon just threw down amalgamates too, like a bawse. Good stuff there.

Bri: you don’t need a computer. Have students bring in magazines and make their own memes. <<cool idea!

I love all this stuff. What a wonderful teaching day, peers.






Technology is writing: tautologies aren’t just for fun.

History’s importance cannot be ignored. We compies define writing as a technology; therefore its identity subverts the binary argument into a necessary component of what it is. For students to realize that writing, by its nature, is a form of technology, we can then move to show them how writing practices shape and influence culture—not to deny the reciprocal back-n-forth of that as well. As I stated in my last post, we should urge our students to critique their social networks. This can create discussion about composition practices they already know, but may not know. Supplying them with unfamiliar terms, rhetorical praxis, and group analysis are all pedagogical beginnings toward creating a curriculum where students learn to see themselves as part of a writing public that is already there, to which they already belong. And, to hopefully use their spaces “more wisely.”

Post Five for English 658

I have been questioning my own assertion that we should teach code in our composition classes. Perhaps I feel it is more important to teach students to be more aware of the role technology plays in their lives. To ask them: how and where do you compose yourself in your various spaces? Why do you pick these spaces, and what do you get out of composing there? The identity of the writer depends upon where they are writing just as much as what they are writing. A space defines what can be said. A discourse community will shape how. We can create curriculum around showing and encouraging students to look critically at how language, identity, and ideology function in the social spaces to which they already belong, thus subverting the familiar and the everyday-taken-for-granted. What do you think this will offer them?

shift three

Something big was happening to me during the time that I was @tumblesweed and writing on this new blog at wordpress: I was becoming more digitally literate than I’d ever have been before. The very reason I started this blog was because I was a student assistant in my mentor’s English 240 class, Writing in the Public Sphere.

This was a class basically designed for my own history with composition. I had been writing in the public sphere for years already (with little knowledge of how I’d read myself from then now). To add to this, I was also heavily interested in studying social movements and writing about global social issues. I had done some venturing in this direction back on my livejournal. Starting a blog for this form of my work felt completely natural.

And then I met @somenode.

My active engagement with twitter and studying Occupy Wall Street led me to meet someone who will have forever shaped my understanding of technology. The first few months of 2012 began a period where I learned more about computers and Internet infrastructure than I could ever imagine.

I learned about encryption and privacy by instant message and email on/through Cryptocat, pidgin, and a few other Internet clients and programs. These things gave my digital knowledge growth and depth; I didn’t know such privacy was possible.

My phone also played a big role in my work. It connected me to all of the discourse communities in the Internet: instagram, twitter, wordpress, tumblr, and email all on my phone. The iPhone screenshot has been my way to document my work as I see it stream onto my screen. Activism made easy. Or easier. My phone also let me document my experiences, which often show how I use technology in my everyday life. Without a doubt, most of what I do is with the help of a machine.

Then my digital literacy brought a machine into being. I learned how to code my own program with the help of one of my bosses at my tutoring job. Hello World is just a simple little program that starts a conversation. It is caring, and concerned with the user’s wellness. In fact, I named the string “wellness” for that reason. I wanted a program that shared feelings. Reflective of all my cyborg theory? Yes, I guess so. Nevertheless, this experience helped me to understand that coding a program is completely rhetorical. The programmer has to be aware of what the audience will say in response—all possible responses—in order to preemptively write code that will allow the program to continue to interact. In this case, my program only accepts one word responses. If more than one word gets inputted, it doesn’t read the extra terms. I will have to edit accordingly, which creates more exciting complications. Coding, just like writing, is never finished.

The title of my program reflected my acquiring knowledge of a new discourse community:

The Internet is here, and I wanted to know more about it. April 2012 became an instrumental month for me where my interest in the Internet collided with my graduate career. I decided to study the idea of Anonymous. I wrote this post because something took to itching in my mind.

In June, I decided to go fully unidentified self. I became @soundb0mb3r.

There were several reasons for this alternate identity. I had to quit being @tumblesweed because of my own discourse communities smashing together. My personal friends at this time were highly conservative. Many disliked my constant retweeting of Occupy and Anon. I also felt the pressure of having my actual self being known to those willing to exploit identities at will. I wrote a bit about this later, once I reconciled my selves.

It seemed like creating an identity to speak into the activist community was a good idea—one that would keep me safer than the one I had connected to my profession and articulations of motherhood. And there are always conversations with the ninjas to be had there. Words that don’t make sense make the most sense. soundb0mb3r lent my voice some anonymity.

{But no one is anonymous from Anonymous.}

I began making places for myself in other spaces where no one knew where I was. You may now enter the place where I didn’t want to be me.

teaching capitalism by teaching code

Please read this tweet

I’m going to pull from the work I’m currently doing in my thesis to remark about the historical implications of teaching code and other uses of emerging technologies in the composition classroom. I saw this tweet this morning, and thought about what this means: that exposition can be replaced by the act of coding. Then I asked: what does this do for writers?

In some respects, this is straightforward–that code is a writing process. I will not argue against that. But, to do some further research, I found that the woman who said this may have a more capitalist reason for speaking. “Coding as a Liberal Art” may very well mean well. The actual performance of coding is identical to the performance of writing. It requires knowledge of all writing processes and the rhetoric of form. But let us keep in mind how the business sector uses coders.

Coders perform coding to serve the interests of finance capital. Kimball’s experience with Silicon Valley, Microsoft, Harvard Business School in no way convince me that her interests are otherwise. Her investment to convince us that coding is inherent to the liberal arts is not from a liberal arts perspective. I rarely think any of her professional affiliations consider the humanism behind what they do. So when we begin considering coding in the classroom, we cannot remove it from the implicit and tacit uses of it. Yes, we can–and should–teach coding. But we should provide our students with access to Selber’s argument that humanistic perspectives are what compose the humanities (and “liberal” arts). We must embed our pedagogical emphases in the practice. If but for any other reason than they won’t get it elsewhere.

teaching visual rhetoric via Wysocki

Some of the activities in Wysocki’s essay “The Sticky Embrace of Beauty” can be done in groups so students learn how to collectively analyze ideological meaning(s) in visual compositions. I found the “Rhetorical Observations” examples to perform what she says of Foss and Shklovsky: “…a process which we can change relations we build with each other through the communications we make for each other” (171-2). Though she emphasizes the sentences to follow—with imposed right curly bracket no less—Wysocki draws from the more community-oriented teaching of critical pedagogy. This is why I think creating assignments in a more collective sense would benefit students to not only assess images as they encounter them, but possibly rupture their meanings through discussion and shared participation toward what an artifact says to the discourse community of the classroom.