Suggestions for Note Taking While Reading


The social critics whose essays you read in this section have much to say about drug abuse and terrorism. First, summarize their arguments. But now look at how they make their arguments. Basically, what they are doing is looking at: what metaphors people usually use for terrorism and drug problems and then they are shifting to other metaphors. That is, just as in the short reading from Lakoff and Johnson today, Jimmy Carter sees the energy crisis as a war, we typically -- in thinking about certain problems -- see them as war:

  1. engery crisis = war
  2. drug problem = war
  3. terrorism = war

While it is easy to see the first two as metaphors, it might be possible to see terrorism as literally war. If so, though, our understanding of what war is must undergo drastic changes, as the article by Philip Agre suggests. Since the terrorists belong to no nation and inhabit no discernible spot of ground, what country can one invade to attack terrorists? We cannot attack and destroy Osama bin Laden's country -- where is it? where is he? Do you think #3 is a metaphor, as do Joe Klein and Rabbi Waldoks, or do you think it is literally true, as does Agre? Jot down some notes to discuss this in class.

Notice that the social critics whom you will read for today -- Bernstein, Klein, Agre, Waldoks, Kaufman -- take metaphors 2 and 3 and shift them, either by proposing new metaphors, or by insisting that something isn't a metaphor. When reading each essay, take notes that look like this:

Bernstein: drug addiction = _________________________

Klein: terrorist networks = ___________________________

Kaufman: terrorism = ___________________________

If the solution to terrorism is education and "butter," then
for Waldoks terrorism = ?_________________________________

The metaphor "terrorism = war" superimposes a model of war activities onto a model of what should be done to "combat" terrorism. What would the war model entail -- what kinds of things should one do if terrorism is war? Are they like or unlike the things that Rabbi Waldoks wishes to do? When you read "Winning the Battle, Losing the War," ask yourself the effects of redefining "war" as a "war of ideas," as ideology clashes, upon the kinds of actions one might take.