Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Second prompt - for Ronson, due 2/11/11

This time around, we're doing a chapter from Jon Ronson's Them: Adventures with Extremists, titled, "The Klansman who Won't Say the N-Word." As with Kincaid, you're a little robbed here - because this is a chapter from a much longer piece, you're missing some of the context surrounding it. It's probably enough to tell you that Ronson is a Jewish, British journalist (all of which is relevant in this chapter) who got really interested in conspiracy theories and groups of different kinds. The book follows his journeys as he meets with these various groups, and in this chapter, he'll sometimes reference previous chapters that you don't have access to. The groups he talks about shouldn't be too hard to figure out, though - if you have any real trouble, look it up, or ask a question here and I'll address it.

First chapter, standard summary. I'm guessing you may find this slightly harder than Gross, because it's presented so heavily in narrative format. Try as much as you can to avoid describing what happens, in favor of presenting what you feel is an implicit or explicit point of the piece. Again, try to get this focused down to one point: what is Ronson trying to say? What impression does he want you to leave with? Is he just talking about the people he actually meets, or gesturing towards more general ideas? How do you know?

The second paragraph can, once again, pretty much be your reaction. What do you think about this new incarnation of the Klan? Are they a vast improvement on the old? Is using inoffensive language a step in the right direction? Any bits that were confusing or obscure? And, of course, did you like it or not? I think it's hilarious; your mileage may vary.

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