In my perpetual attempt to educate the world, there's an awful lot of room for play. Because of this, I'm able to write a blog post titled "Frank Klepacki is a genius", and then proceed with using this title to make visible a certain point of view. Just because.
There are many ways to react to the statement that the venerable Frank is a genius. One of the less obvious ways is to ask what it means that the one making such a statement makes such a statement at this very moment. Of all the possible things this person could say - of all the things this person might be expected to say - zhe says this one particular thing at this particular time. Of all the thousands of dormant modalities that exists latently in their discursive subjective position - pardon. Why this particular thing, why in this space, why at this time?
If this was a dialogue, we might be experiencing one of those uncomfortable silences, or an attempt to take the conversation in another direction, or an attempt to not say anything at all, or maybe even an answer to the unvoiced question of what we're (at least one of us) thinking about. Alas, this is a blog post, and it doesn't seem to be an answer to just about anything, so it would seem that there's no particular reason for this to be said at this particular moment. Frank hasn't been mentioned anywhere before in this space, isn't exactly the kind of celebrity that can be mentioned without a particular reason, and is on the whole a very unexpected name to drop. Foucault, Derrida, even Cixous would be more expected at this juncture, but - Klepacki?
Why? What's the motive of this statement, and what's the situation for this rhetorics?
And how come the author chose just the fourth of February as the date for this statementing? Why not the third or the fifth? Of all the dates and times - in the middle of the night, mind! - available for stating, why this one? What made the author spot this spot with this x factor?
Why did the author pick this one moment among the literally millions of other moments? Why is now better than any other time that ever was and will be?
And what is said? That Frank Klepacki is a genius? Why is this important to say, of all the things that could have been said? Is Frank's status as a genius under attack? Is it well established, but on its way to be forgotten? Is it what potential readers wants to read? Is there some sort of informal Sword of Damocles in the air, punishing the author should this not be said?
What is the real motive behind stating that Frank is a genius?
After this wordy verbal bombardment of questions, you might be wondering what the point of it all might be. Assuming that you just read the wordy verbal bombardment of questions you just read, I can safely say this: just because. Just because these are the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself before reading something someone else writes. There's always an infinite amount of other things they could have written instead of what they actually wrote, and there's thus ample reasons to think about the reasons they chose to write that instead of everything/anything else. Important reasons.
It's given by the situation that people write what they write - and thus, we'll have to take it upon ourselves to try to understand the situation in question before answering it. And, indeed, before answering anything about the writ, not in the least the writ itself. If the writ is in itself a response to someone else, then we'd want to know who this person is, what this person is (that subtle distinction), why they are in communication - what is this situation, and why are they saying things at all?
Given time, it's also given that people write what they write when they write it - and thus, we'll have to take it upon ourselves to understand the zeitgeist when our time comes. If it's, for examples, an anniversary, a communal mourning for a recently departed, a competition, or simply many people talking about the same thing at the same time - then it follows that people tag along. They may or may not know what they're doing, but they sure do think long and hard about what to write when they write, and it's seldom a mere coincidence that people write the things they write at the time they write them.
And, at last: what is written? Mayhaps a seemingly banal question after all this, but - well. Zhe could have written literally anything else that is possible to write. Something in the author's mind made what was actually written more important than all other possible writings, and whatever this is, it's important to mind it.
This may or may not go without saying, but people don't just say things at random. At least not when they put intent into it. With intent comes reasons - reasons for writing, for the timing of the writing and the writing of the writing. And if we mind these reasons, the intent for writing will become clearer to us - even if the words won't tell us.
I have now committed the sin of writing the same blog post twice. In the same post. One might ask why I bothered to do it twice, when once would have done the trick. -
Apparently, I didn't think once was enough. And should you now ask the question of intent, I'd say that this whole endeavor is an attempt to make your relating (not your relationship, mind - you're the subject of this reading) to the written word that much more subtle than it was before reading. When you read it the first time, you might have nodded in noncommittal agreement; when you read it the second time, you probably wondered why we weren't making any progress; and now, this third time, I'm suspecting you'll want to hit me with something in retaliation for hitting you upon the head with the same thing over and over again.
Such are the ways of sophist teaching.
If you are in any communication at all with other people, you're using rhetoric. At all times. And thus, I thought that this time would be the best of all times to teach you about that which is rhetorical analysis - without bothering with all the words and definitions and stuffs.
If I succeeded? Now there's an open question, which requires its own analysis to be answered. I will, though, end with this one short statement:
Frank Klepacki is a genius.
Originally published June 24, 2010