Critical Reading ~ Tony Shilling

“Many Renew America readers, I think, are acquainted with my pro-life credentials.”

The phrase goes, “Booms, goes the dynamite.”  The first statement of any article, paper, or analysis is always the most critical, even more so than the concluding line; the first sentence makes or breaks the audience and is the snap-decision for whether or not the rag will even be worth reading.

That said, Ms. Randy Engel makes a bold, interesting case; “interesting” is, depressingly, not a standard for “good,” though.  In a document like this, Engel desperately needed to pull out a run like Secretariat, the famed race-horse, and should have led in rather smoothly; launching forward at maximum speed and forcing her audience and companions to chase after her was a severe misstep.  Not everyone is a Renew America reader, actually, so the point of preaching to the choir is rather pointless; if they know, and are even actually reading a site titled Renew America, these are things her readers should expect to see; flowing right into the next point, are the readers only “acquainted?”  This a dramatically Conservative site, and should should, again, be anticipated.

Now we hit the ringer; “Pro-life” credentials.  Readers are not only expected to be familiar with the idea that Ms. Engel is extremely Right-Wing on her issues, but should already know her personal and professional journalist information; this, of course, does not help the lack of expectation from her readers, either.  But no need to fear, she’s going to spend several paragraphs patting herself on the back anyway.

“Given this background, one would think I should have known the truth about unpaired vital organ transplantation as a form of euthanasia, a form of killing, but the sad truth is that while I should have known, I did not know.”

Pride is such a damaging trait to have as a writer; allowing it to creep into an article is even worse (I know this, of course, as a constant culprit of such).  “Given this background,” is only the first of many little nuances that give insight into Ms. Engel’s character; she sets herself up as an apparent expert of the medical field, which she somehow concluded from being a journalist with a pro-life stance.

Her main point is driven home in her wonderfully sarcastic notion that “one would think I should have known the truth about unpaired vital organ transplantation as a form of euthanasia, a form of killing.”  It gives the feeling that we may have missed a paragraph or two, but no, this “thesis” appears entirely randomly.  Euthanasia was not mentioned once prior, nor was Ms. Engel’s realization of “the truth;” at least, to anyone except herself.  Euthanasia is also incredibly taken out of context; Mirriam-Webster defines euthanasia as “the act or practice of killing or permitting the death of hopelessly sick or injured individuals (as persons or domestic animals) in a relatively painless way for reasons of mercy.”  By that, it appears we need to infer that death row inmates are injured, sick, and need not be killed at all.  This, of course, is entirely opposite of Ms. Engel’s feelings.  In fact, she only remotely references allowed killing, and foolishly applies it directly to transplanting organs, an entirely unrelated concept.

“But the sad truth is that while I should have known, I did not know.”  If only this was Ms. Engel’s stance on her entire analysis.  Instead, she decides to state that she should have been aware of facts that deus-ex-machina’ed from absolutely nowhere.  Her making the point makes sense for being along with her “Admission of Ignorance,” but her witty attempt at what she’s ignorant to actually proved that Ms. Engel is ignorant to everything she decided to boast.

Alternatively, maybe it’s because, being an infrequent reader of Renew America, we do not understand her stellar logic.

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1 Response to Critical Reading ~ Tony Shilling

  1. davidbdale says:

    Wonderfully dismissive.
    Grade Recorded.

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