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L.T. Smash - Live from the Sandbox Malgorzata Wyrzykowska Ana Jelena Perić Petra Neset Natia Mihnjak Johanna Roering LPS: New Media Texts and the Iraq.

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Presentation on theme: "L.T. Smash - Live from the Sandbox Malgorzata Wyrzykowska Ana Jelena Perić Petra Neset Natia Mihnjak Johanna Roering LPS: New Media Texts and the Iraq."— Presentation transcript:

1 L.T. Smash - Live from the Sandbox Malgorzata Wyrzykowska Ana Jelena Perić Petra Neset Natia Mihnjak Johanna Roering LPS: New Media Texts and the Iraq War SoSe 2008

2 Outline I. Introduction II. Communication Model and Language III. Narrative Model IV. How is the Medium Blog Used? V. How is War Represented in the Blog? VI. Group Work VII. Discussion

3 I. Introduction problem: blog not available on the Internet anymore 

4 I. Introduction written by Scott Koenig (LT Smash) first: news blog IndepunditIndepundit – conservative – political comments employer offers him “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take on a leadership role in a major international venture“  new blog “Mr. Smash goes to Washington” for his family and friends

5 I. Introduction simple, plain, clear layout, links to other blogs and media no videos, no pictures (except one of “LT Smash” in the upper left-hand corner), no advertisement header: “The Indepundit”  independent + pundit (Kritiker, Experte) “about”, blogger’s address

6 I. Introduction in Kuwait troop supplier, team leader blog begins two months before war starts more than one post per day diary, everyday life; interrupted by jokes, … narrator (his feelings, emotions, experiences) in the foreground, indirect war reporting very structured (headlines) but: is there a plot line?

7 II. Communication Model and Language Sender Blogger: A set of signs Family, LT Smash, and symbol Friends, Management, Visitors. Dad. Receiver Message

8 II. Communication Model and Language Who is posting?  LT Smash most of all  Dad : “ Eternal Father, Strong to Save”, “Navy Hymn”, p. 130  The Management: “Tom Adams Tribune”, p. 133  Kevin and his brother, p. 151 Who is addressed?  An audience is addressed: “Took a little time to read your last night.”, p. 130  Sometimes single people are addressed: “Hi Mom!” p. 150; “Can you hear it?”, p. 152

9 II. Communication Model and Language LT Smash uses  Sentence fragments and informal language. “Thanks. Keep ‘em coming”, p. 151; “Can’t read every letter…”, p.130.  Sarcastic, ironic language. A letter to Saddam, p.152.  Military expressions; “Blasting Operation”, “defensive position”, “junior officer”, ”Saddam’s WMD“. Abbreviations: MRE =Meals Ready to Eat, WMD=Weapons of Mass Destruction  Direct speech: “Took a little time to read some of your s last night”, p.130.

10 II. Communication Model and Language  The use of dialogue and narrative forms: Example: “Fifteen Minutes” – Dialogue. “Life During Wartime” – Narration.  The use of Capital letters: “That is MY team.”, p.155; “…I can hear the occasional BOOM”, p.147.  The use of diary form and grammatical language.

11  Repetition for emphasis: e.g. “Food Glorious Food.”  Onomatopoeia: “Tick. Tick. Tick” (imitation of the sound associated with a thing or an action) II. Communication Model and Language Rhetorical Figures

12 III. Narrative Model Journalistic (in structure) Autobiographical (1st.p.sing) Interactive (‘we’, directed at audience) !!! Pop Culture References !!! JOKER (132) - Batman FOOD GLORIOUS FOOD (145) – Oliver! THE BEAT GOES ON (146) – The Whispers IN THE AIR TONIGHT (146) – Phil Collins STAYING ALIVE (147) – Bee Gees, movie by Sylvester Stallone FIFTEEN MINUTES (150) – film with Robert DeNiro, 2001

13 III. Narrative Model What are the recurrent themes? Food (packages, breakfast, etc) Weather Troops Saddam Bombings/ raids Team leader job

14 IV. How is the Medium Being Used? Is it a ‘typical’/ ‘conventional’ blog? What means does he introduce to add variety? Dynamic combination of various on/offline genres: (p.130, 147) Poem (131) History book (131) Joke (132) (Knock, knock…) Hollywood Kitsch (133) Speech (144) Obituary (145) Interview (150) Parallel (152) Procedures (147) (step1, step2…) Narration, short acoounts imitation of spoken language (pssst…)

15 IV. How is the Medium Being Used? How is the blog used? Rather political with personal content

16 V. How is War Represented in the Blog? Which part of the war is LT Smash concerned with? Main Part: Everyday life Why? He talks about: Food Laundry The relation to other soldiers Combats are only mentioned when he talks about TV.

17 V. How is War Represented in the Blog? How does he present the topic of everyday life? He uses informal language. → easier to follow, does not need specific terms because he talks about common-day events Form of narration: He uses different styles which occur in everyday life: Conversation Letter Revision of the day in form of a diary

18 V. How is War Represented in the Blog? What kind of effect does this narration create on the reader? No direct description of a combat → the danger of war does not seem to be present War is only a subplot. He is more concerned with the persons.

19 V. How is War Represented in the Blog? Authenticity and Credibility of the Blog The diary form helps to create authenticity. Other points: Relation to local persons Talking about the weather

20 V. How is War Represented in the Blog? Authenticity and Credibility of the Blog Credibility not that obvious in the blog because: The author is not named → pseudonym He does not provide any information about the military action

21 VI. Group Work Group 1: March 7 – March 10 (p ) Group 2: March 20 – March 21 (p ) Group 3: March 25 (p )

22 VI. Group Work Focus on – language (informal, formal, abbreviations, military expressions, rhetorical figures,...) – communicational model (who is speaking? who is addressed? …) – content – narrative model (journalistic, autobiographical, pop-cultural references, …) – authenticity? credibility? how achieved? – effects on reader note: the war started on March 20, 2003

23 VII. Discussion How is war represented compared to “Men in Black”? Is there a recurrent theme throughout the blog (roter Faden)?

24 References Buzzell, Colby. “Men in Black”. Reader p. 122–129. Koenig, Scott. “Until We Meet Again.” 09 Dec The Indepundit. 03 June 2008.http://web.archive.org/web/ /ht tp://www.indepundit.com/ “L.T. Smash – Live from the Sandbox.” Reader p. 130– 56. Roering, Johanna (2007): Saddam Fired Scuds at Me: US-amerikanische Milblogs aus dem Irakkrieg. In: Jg. 8, Beitrag 8. Online Publikation: ering.pdf


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