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Date Created: 10/03/15
Lang 1 Adelina Lang Eng96 POV activity Converting from Informative to Narrative A Concert quotfor the Massesquot Have you ever returned home from a grueling school day cranked up the stereo jumped on top of your bed and swung your arm like a windmill mimicking a loved star such as Elvis Presley For those high school students who secretly yearn to perform but don t have 70000 adoring fans at their ngertips there is a sure re solution staging my own concert at home Of course the rst step is picking a band that would allow me to enact a spectacular live show Among the many great acts over the past thirty years alternative rock pioneers Depeche Mode are among the most unique because they have built a huge concert following primarily using less traditional electronic instrumentation With the right set up and performance Itoo can recreate the Depeche Mode live experience in my own backyard Formed in the humble surroundings of Basildon England Depechefor the past three decades have evolved from cult heroes to stadium superstars all while never sacri cing their musical Vision One of the reasons for the Mode s devoted following is their unconventional instrumentation thatespecially in their rst decadecentered around industrial noise a type of Germanic music based on using construction devices to create a wall of sound While most rock bands primarily rely on the more traditional guitar bass and drums to stage a DM show the following sonic tools are needed a Les Paul guitar songwriter Martin Gore s preferred axe and synthesizers as well as PVC tubes metal pipes metal sheeting hammers or any other Lang 2 device that wouldn t be out of place at a Blue Man Group show Make sure my parents aren t around to enjoy such soothing sounds Next choose a set list of songs that you would like to see performed whether they be breakout hits deep album cuts or bootlegged rarities and burn them onto a CD For Depeche the ideal disc would be the amp live albums that documents one of their most important shows the 1988 Rose Bowl performance Since i will be performing along with DM s prerecorded catalogue having a stateof theart stereo system with 4 foot speakers helps After i39ve established the proper sonic backdrop constructing the right stage design is another crucial element in capturing the atmosphere of a Depeche show First I need the right venue an area that has space and exibility where sunlight can easily be blocked out if needed Typically a garage spacious den or living room can be ideal environments Interestingly for the lucky few with parents who are renovating their homes unconstructed empty rooms are ideal spaces to hold a show because they can be easily molded to suit your needs With the proper venue arranged focus on creating the right stage design The quotBoys from Basildonquot are reknowned for their creative visual presentation which includesas Rolling Stone once put itquotan overthetop light show that resembles the last scene from Close Encountersquot Of course on a miniscule student budget creating such a spectacle is unrealistic but i can still offer my own modest yet respectful version At a hardware store like Home Depot purchase green blue and red ood lights these will be placed in the rear corners ofthe room Also utilizing the lights of an old film projector for spotlighting can also illuminate exciting hooks in a song For an interesting oor plan use long firm panels that can be elevated on cinder blocks Lang 3 These quotcatwalksquot can be placed along the sides of the room so that you can perform on them at key moments in the show Once the proper set up is achieved the most crucial element remains the performance Obviously not taking myself too seriously is a requirement therefore an uptight attitude must be left at the door Now whether I am enacting the role of lead singer Dave Gahan or his multi instrumentalist bandmates Martin Gore Alan Wilder or Andy Fletcher playing the role to the hilt is vital in capturing the Mode s live spirit However the most demanding performance does center around Gahan a tireless charismatic showman who is an intriguing hybrid of Elvis Presley the Door s Jim Morrison and the Rolling Stone39s Mick Jagger Every sung lyric quotRockersonIcequot spin top or hip swivel must be executed with the firm conviction that you are having a whale of a time As the last song climaxes offer a Dave Gahanlike send off triumphantly punch my fists in the air and yell quotSee you next timequot If I find myself gasping for breath with sweat on my brow and my shirt ruf ed beyond recognition then I know i ve put my heart into the performance Ultimately staging a mock concert of a band like Depeche Mode French for quotfast fashionquot is an excellent way to escape from the pressures of school and responsibility into a world with 70000 screaming fans Essay 2 Activity and Topic Prompt Questions regarding Smooth Talk Scene Connie a fteen year old girl is Visited by Arnold Friend an older man who has been observing her from afar 1 How does he try to appeal to her To quotSmooth Talkquot her 2 Why does she decide to go quotfor a ridequot with him 3 What is the signi cance of her response to his quotsweet little blueeyed girlquot comment quotWhat if my eyes were brownquot 4 What is the signi cance of her embracing her family after she returns from her quotridequot with Arnold Friend 5 What does her interaction with her sister indicate about what happened with Arnold Friend and how she reacts to her decision I WAS ADDRESSING a small gathering in a suburban Virginia living room a women39s group that had invited men to join them Throughout the evening one man had been particularly talkative frequently offering ideas and anecdotes while his wife sat silently beside him on the couch Toward the end of the evening I commented that women frequently complain that their husbands don39t talk to them This man quickly concurred He gestured toward his wife and said quotShe39s the talker in our familyquot The room burst into laughter the man looked puzzled and hurt quotIt39s truequot he eXplained quotWhen I come home from work I have nothing to say If she didn39t keep the conversation going we39d spend the whole evening in silencequot This episode crystallizes the irony that although American men tend to talk more than women in public situations they often talk less at home And this pattern is wreaking havoc with marriage The pattern was observed by political scientist Andrew Hacker in the late 3970s Sociologist Catherine Kohler Riessman reports in her new book quotDivorce Talkquot that most of the women she interviewed but only a few of the men gave lack of communication as the reason for their divorces Given the current divorce rate of nearly 50 percent that amounts to millions of cases in the United States every year a virtual epidemic of failed conversation In my own research complaints from women about their husbands most often focused not on tangible inequities such as having given up the chance for a career to accompany a husband to his or doing far more than their share of daily lifesupport work like cleaning cooking social arrangements and errands Instead they focused on communication quotHe doesn39t listen to mequot quotHe doesn39t talk to mequot I found as Hacker observed years before that most wives want their husbands to be first and foremost conversational partners but few husbands share this expectation of their wives In short the image that best represents the current crisis is the stereotypical cartoon scene of a man sitting at the breakfast table with a newspaper held up in front of his face while a woman glares at the back of it wanting to talk Linguistic Battle of the Sexes How can women and men have such different impressions of communication in marriage Why the widespread imbalance in their interests and expectations In the April issue of American Psychologist Stanford University39s Eleanor Maccoby reports the results of her own and others39 research showing that children39s development is most in uenced by the social structure of peer interactions Boys and girls tend to play with children of their own gender and their sexseparate groups have different organizational structures and interactive norms I believe these systematic differences in childhood socialization make talk between women and men like crosscultural communication heir to all the attraction and pitfalls of that enticing but difficult enterprise My research on men39s and women39s conversations uncovered patterns similar to those described for children39s groups For women as for girls intimacy is the fabric of relationships and talk is the thread from which it is woven Little girls create and maintain friendships by exchanging secrets similarly women regard conversation as the cornerstone of friendship So a woman eXpects her husband to be a new and improved version of a best friend What is important is not the individual subjects that are discussed but the sense of closeness of a life shared that emerges when people tell their thoughts feelings and impressions Bonds between boys can be as intense as girls39 but they are based less on talking more on doing things together Since they don39t assume talk is the cement that binds a relationship men don39t know what kind of talk women want and they don39t miss it when it isn39t there Boys39 groups are larger more inclusive and more hierarchical so boys must struggle to avoid the subordinate position in the group This may play a role in women39s complaints that men don39t listen to them Some men really don39t like to listen because being the listener makes them feel onedown like a child listening to adults or an employee to a boss But often when women tell men quotYou aren39t listeningquot and the men protest quotI amquot the men are right The impression of not listening results from misalignments in the mechanics of conversation The misalignment begins as soon as a man and a woman take physical positions This became clear when I studied videotapes made by psychologist Bruce Dorval of children and adults talking to their same seX best friends I found that at every age the girls and women faced each other directly their eyes anchored on each other39s faces At every age the boys and men sat at angles to each other and looked elsewhere in the room periodically glancing at each other They were obviously attuned to each other often mirroring each other39s movements But the tendency of men to face away can give women the impression they aren39t listening even when they are A young woman in college was frustrated Whenever she told her boyfriend she wanted to talk to him he would lie down on the oor close his eyes and put his arm over his face This signaled to her quotHe39s taking a napquot But he insisted he was listening extra hard Normally he looks around the room so he is easily distracted Lying down and covering his eyes helped him concentrate on what she was saying Analogous to the physical alignment that women and men take in conversation is their topical alignment The girls in my study tended to talk at length about one topic but the boys tended to jump from topic to topic The secondgrade girls exchanged stories about people they knew The secondgrade boys teased told jokes noticed things in the room and talked about finding games to play The sixthgrade girls talked about problems with a mutual friend The sixth grade boys talked about 55 different topics none of which extended over more than a few turns Listening to Body Language Switching topics is another habit that gives women the impression men aren39t listening especially if they switch to a topic about themselves But the evidence of the lOthgrade boys in my study indicates otherwise The lOthgrade boys sprawled across their chairs with bodies parallel and eyes straight ahead rarely looking at each other They looked as if they were riding in a car staring out the windshield But they were talking about their feelings One boy was upset because a girl had told him he had a drinking problem and the other was feeling alienated from all his friends Now when a girl told a friend about a problem the friend responded by asking probing questions and eXpressing agreement and understanding But the boys dismissed each other39s problems Todd assured Richard that his drinking was quotno big problemquot because quotsometimes you39re funny when you39re off your buttquot And when Todd said he felt left out Richard responded quotWhy should you You know more people than mequot Women perceive such responses as belittling and unsupportive But the boys seemed satisfied with them Whereas women reassure each other by implying quotYou shouldn39t feel bad because I39ve had similar experiencesquot men do so by implying quotYou shouldn39t feel bad because your problems aren39t so badquot There are even simpler reasons for women39s impression that men don39t listen Linguist Lynette Hirschman found that women make more listenernoise such as quotmhmquot quotuhuhquot and quotyeahquot to show quotI39m with youquot Men she found more often give silent attention Women who eXpect a stream of listener noise interpret silent attention as no attention at all Women39s conversational habits are as frustrating to men as men39s are to women Men who eXpect silent attention interpret a stream of listener noise as overreaction or impatience Also when women talk to each other in a close comfortable setting they often overlap finish each other39s sentences and anticipate what the other is about to say This practice which I call quotparticipatory listenershipquot is often perceived by men as interruption intrusion and lack of attention A parallel difference caused a man to complain about his wife quotShe just wants to talk about her own point of view If I show her another view she gets mad at mequot When most women talk to each other they assume a conversationalist39s job is to eXpress agreement and support But many men see their conversational duty as pointing out the other side of an argument This is heard as disloyalty by women and refusal to offer the requisite support It is not that women don39t want to see other points of view but that they prefer them phrased as suggestions and inquiries rather than as direct challenges In his book quotFighting for Lifequot Walter Ong points out that men use quotagonisticquot or warlike oppositional formats to do almost anything thus discussion becomes debate and conversation a competitive sport In contrast women see conversation as a ritual means of establishing rapport If Jane tells a problem and June says she has a similar one they walk away feeling closer to each other But this attempt at establishing rapport can backfire when used with men Men take too literally women39s ritual quottroubles talkquot just as women mistake men39s ritual challenges for real attack See box The Sounds of Silence These differences begin to clarify why women and men have such different eXpectations about communication in marriage For women talk creates intimacy Marriage is an orgy of closeness you can tell your feelings and thoughts and still be loved Their greatest fear is being pushed away But men live in a hierarchical world where talk maintains independence and status They are on guard to protect themselves from being put down and pushed around This explains the paradox of the talkative man who said of his silent wife quotShe39s the talkerquot In the public setting of a guest lecture he felt challenged to show his intelligence and display his understanding of the lecture But at home where he has nothing to prove and no one to defend against he is free to remain silent For his wife being home means she is free from the worry that something she says might offend someone or spark disagreement or appear to be showing off at home she is free to talk The communication problems that endanger marriage can39t be fixed by mechanical engineering They require a new conceptual framework about the role of talk in human relationships Many of the psychological explanations that have become second nature may not be helpful because they tend to blame either women for not being assertive enough or men for not being in touch with their feelings A sociolinguistic approach by which malefemale conversation is seen as crosscultural communication allows us to understand the problem and forge solutions without blaming either party Once the problem is understood improvement comes naturally as it did to the young woman and her boyfriend who seemed to go to sleep when she wanted to talk Previously she had accused him of not listening and he had refused to change his behavior since that would be admitting fault But then she learned about and explained to him the differences in women39s and men39s habitual ways of aligning themselves in conversation The next time she told him she wanted to talk he began as usual by lying down and covering his eyes When the familiar negative reaction bubbled up she reassured herself that he really was listening But then he sat up and looked at her Thrilled she asked why He said quotYou like me to look at you when we talk so I39ll try to do itquot Once he saw their differences as crosscultural rather than right and wrong he independently altered his behavior Women who feel abandoned and deprived when their husbands won39t listen to or report daily news may be happy to discover their husbands trying to adapt once they understand the place of small talk in women39s relationships But if their husbands don39t adapt the women may still be comforted that for men this is not a failure of intimacy Accepting the difference the wives may look to their friends or family for that kind of talk And husbands who can39t provide it shouldn39t feel their wives have made unreasonable demands Some couples will still decide to divorce but at least their decisions will be based on realistic eXpectations In these times of resurgent ethnic con icts the world desperately needs crosscultural understanding Like charity successful crosscultural communication should begin at home Deborah Tannen professor of linguistics at Georgetown University is the author of quotYou Just Don39t Understand Women and Men in Conversationquot published this month by William Morrow