So tomorrow morning I'm going to be teaching my freshmen about rhetoric through the most surefire source I can think of: music video parodies. And wow did the upload of Defined Lines this weekend help me figure out how to fill the second half of my hour - now I have two sets of videos to go through with them tomorrow. We'll start with Coolio's "Gangsta's Paradise" and then look at Weird Al's "Amish Paradise." After we discuss those we'll move onto Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" (the uncensored video, since it has to be that to really drive the comparison home) and Law Revue's "Defined Lines."

I also went ahead and put together a handout for them with the lyrics to all four songs, so they can compare more easily.

I think the biggest thing I want to get through to them with is the fact that in the first case the original song strikes a note of critique and commentary on society, while the parody does not aim to address any issues within the status quo of its context, while in the second case the original song is completely conventional in terms of the status quo and the parody is the song that critiques and comments upon problems in society. And from that, how you can take two very different paths toward the same goal, depending on your rhetorical choices (plaintive meditation in the case of Coolio, satirical humor in the case of Law Revue).

Thoughts? Any suggestions for things I should try to nudge them toward in discussion?