Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Comedic Analysis: Meet the Parents

Please number and post your responses here.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Poetry of Song: Poetic Transfer

Heaney (A-E): Synthesize Heaney’s attitude toward his familial heritage and his own aspirations. How do the literal and figurative elements of the poem fuse or collide to communicate a profound and universal quandary?

Eady (F-K): Discuss how Eady utilizes an overtly inane suggestion (title) to propose a weighty universal idea. How does dancing serve as a separate metaphor for the relationship between mother and son?

Hogan (L-Q): Explore the duality encased within the dynamic nature of red and articulate the oblique- yet palpable- universal idea communicated through this poem.

Frost (R-Z): Distinguish Frost’s tone and discuss his ability to balance sympathy and detachment in the aim of making a profound statement. What does his blatant use of personification tell the reader about fate?

Monday, May 7, 2012

POS: Backmasking and Reverse Speech in Music

Backward messaging in music (commonly known as backmasking) has been a controversy ever since the late 1960s, when messages were found backwards on some Beatles' albums, hinting that Paul McCartney had died. Some of these subliminal messages have been identified as purposeful while some are apparently inadvertent. Some believe that many of these backward messages were in fact examples of "Reverse Speech" in music. Speech reversals occur naturally in all forms of speech, sung or spoken. Explore some of the links and sites regarding this subject and offer your opinion on at least 10 specific examples. Do you buy into the theory of Reverse Speech or is it all a bunch of hogwash?


(1) Human speech has two distinctive yet complementary functions and modes. The Overt mode is spoken forwards and is primarily under conscious control. The Covert mode is spoken backward and is not under conscious control. The backward mode of speech occurs simultaneously with the forward mode and is a reversal of the forward speech sounds.

(2) These two modes of speech, forward and backward, are dependent upon each other and form an integral part of human communication. One mode cannot be fully understood without the other mode. In the dynamics of interpersonal communication, both modes of speech combined communicate the total psyche of the person, conscious as well as unconscious.

(3) Covert speech develops before overt speech. Children speak backwards before they do forwards. Then, as forward speech commences, the two modes of speech gradually combine into one, forming an overall bi-level communication process.

List of Backmasked/Reverse Speech Songs

Jeff Milner's Site

Reverse Speech Site

Click here to hear a well known sample of backmasking from Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven". This audio file will play both forward (original context) and backward (backmasking revealed).

Post a reflection that a) discusses your opinion of backmasking and reverse speech, b) assesses the validity of the examples you experienced. I expect direct, specific references to songs, artists and lyrics. Be sure to demonstrate the level of your investigation by being precise and thorough. (3-5 paragraphs)