RhetoricLee Speaking

RhetoricLee Speaking

If Ben Stein and the Kardashians had a baby that were raised by Janeane Garofalo in a recording studio, you’d have RhetoricLee Speaking, a podcast analyzing cliches in culture, politics, and whatever was on Netflix at 3am. Join hostess with the mostess and professor of Rhetorical Communication, Lee Pierce, to learn the ins and outs of this thing called rhetoric--why certain uses of language have different effects than others and how the cliches we use close our minds off from other ways of thinking.... Show More

Episodes

An anecdote is not a story. An anecdote is a quick, “this thing happened to me.” An anecdote is a one-dimensional series of facts that people call a story when they don’t know better. An anecdote may have had a point. It might even have some concrete detail. But the one thing it doesn’t have is the one thing that a good story can’t exist without:

Plot. Structure.

What’s missing from the anecdote is what we call in rhetoric “vicario...

Read more
Share
Mark as Played

Corny-ass comedy: I'm here for it!

Comedian Chris D’Elia’s new standup, “No Pain,” which premiered on Netflix a few weeks ago and was unanimously a let down to everyone who analyzed it. D’Elia has been a mid-level stand-up for a while now. He really took off last year as the host of the podcast, “Congratulations with Chris D’Elia.”

At its best, “No Pain” transgresses and pokes fun at the expectation that people have to suffer t...

Read more
Share
Mark as Played

What’s up Rhetoric Nerds! Welcome to RhetoricLee Speaking--a podcast about banishing banality, one speech at a time.

I am your hostess with the mostess, Lee Pierce, she/they pronouns, lover of rhetoric, professor of communication, and loather of cliches.

Join me most Tuesdays on YouTube, your favorite podcast app, or my blog at rhetoriclee.com for a whirlwind tour of the banality in culture, politics, and whatever was on Netflix at...

Read more
Share
Mark as Played

Get a great list of fast and dirty strategies for constructing a kick ass analogy and listen to me mini rant about how Democrats ought to be out visiting the victims of bleach poisoning, sympathizing with those poor people who are so terrified that grasp at a desperate solution, instead of shitting all over them for being idiot sailors led by Captain Idiot on the idiot cruise.

Kicking off with Britta’s hilarious explanation of anal...

Read more
Share
Mark as Played

Part 2 of a 2-part episode defending only the first ⅗ of the very first episode of “Tiger King.”: A piece of cultural criticism as epic as “Tiger King” is not.

Tiger King bashing--which is not the same as nuanced cultural criticism--is demophobia to the core. Demophobia means a fear of the demos.

Tiger King gives you pleasure, at least in the first ⅗ of the first episode, because it toes the line of kink--of queer transgression ar...

Read more
Share
Mark as Played

Part 1 of a 2-part episode defending only the first ⅗ of the very first episode of “Tiger King.”

Part 1 you will get today, which is an episode that achieves what we in the critical world call a “ground clearing.” See, when something is as popular as Tiger King, and as radically mis-read, you can’t just jump in with an alternate interpretation. You need to clear some ground first, move away some cliche cobwebs to make space for ano...

Read more
Share
Mark as Played

For all my baby ears out there who can’t use their imagination; this episode contains spoiler alerts for Season 6, Episode 18 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

When Sgt. Terry Jeffords announces to his beloved Brooklyn Nine-Nine that he’s “not in denial, he’s in deNIAL,” everyone looks at him as if he’s crazy. “Is Jeffords broken?” Captain Holt asks Detective Diaz.

Except Jeffords isn’t crazy. He’s using the rhetorical figure of antanaclasis-...

Read more
Share
Mark as Played

I’m going to pose the radical idea that people can be polite, maybe even civil, and still sprinkle in some profanity. That said, while too much cursing may not necessarily be uncivil, it does, at a certain point, become overkill.  A good example is the cookbook Thug Kitchen, subtitled: “eat like you give a fuck.” The presumed edginess of profanity in public takes over actually saying anything interesting.

You can be cliche by havin...

Read more
Share
Mark as Played

Cliches are rhetorical weapons of mass destruction. 

In 1963, Hitler’s second-in-command, Adolph Eichmann, was tried for war crimes in Jerusalem. In attendance at the trial was Hannah Arendt, a philosopher and journalist and also a Jew who managed to escape Europe during Nazi occupation. 

Arendt, who is brilliant, unsurprisingly made a lot of brilliant observations. Foremost among them was the degree to which Eichmann’s ability to ...

Read more
Share
Mark as Played

This is RhetoricLee Speaking, Episode Five. Brittany Runs a Marathon... and I run into real trouble believing she only ran it because she hit her rock bottom.

Nothing demonstrates the seduction and disappointment of the rock bottom cliche better than the movie, Brittany Runs a Marathon, released last year on Amazon Prime. The movie tells the story of a hot mess millennial who, “hitting her rock bottom,” turns her life around and ru...

Read more
Share
Mark as Played

Girl, Stop Challenging People + Rachel Hollis

This is RhetoricLee Speaking, Episode Four: Unless you’re a CrossFit instructor, or an affronted 18th-century Duke, stop challenging people; I’m talking to you Rachel Hollis.

The phrase “I challenge you” seems like it’s almost become a prerequisite for getting into the motivational life coach entrepreneur market these days. With every sentence I’m being challenged to have gratitude,...

Read more
Share
Mark as Played

This is RhetoricLee Speaking, Episode Three: If you took the time to write it, don’t throw out the script; it’s not going to end well. You think it’s gonna be all Rick-at-Bird-Person’s-Wedding but it’s probably gonna be more Maya-at-Ainsley-and-Kash’s-Wedding.  

“Throwing out the script” is a familiar cliche in television and movies; that moment when, in a fervor of authenticity, a person ditches their preplanned remarks and, to br...

Read more
Share
Mark as Played

This is RhetoricLee Speaking, Episode Two: Being hated is not a virtue and Shakespeare never said it was, just ask Mitt Romney. 

In the immortal words of William Shakespeare: “Love me or hate me, both are in my favor…If you love me, I’ll always be in your heart…If you hate me, I’ll always be in your mind.” Except Shakespeare never wrote that. The quote lives on because it rehearses a worn-out sentiment masquerading as an interestin...

Read more
Share
Mark as Played

Believe in Anything but Yourself + Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

This is RhetoricLee Speaking, Episode One: Ferris Bueller wants you to believe in yourself and that’s a bad idea, even if James Clear says it’s not.

In the notorious opening monologue from the 80s classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Bueller charms the pants of his audience with a well-packaged cliche: “believe in yourself.” But it’s a trap. You are supposed to see Buelle...

Read more
Share
Mark as Played

Chat About RhetoricLee Speaking

Popular Podcasts

The Daily
The Daily
This is what the news should sound like. The biggest stories of our time, told by the best journalists in the world. Hosted by Michael Barbaro. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, ready by 6 a.m.
Commencement: Speeches For The Class of 2020
Commencement: Speeches For The Class of 2020
iHeartRadio knows how important the graduation ceremony is. After four long years of hard work, commencement offers one last moment to reflect before you toss your hat into the air and take on the world. We know that during these difficult times, most graduates won’t get to attend their ceremony in person. So, we've partnered with some of the biggest names across industries, to write a commencement speech just for you. From 4-star generals to all-star comedians, legendary coaches to John Legend himself, these are the words we hope will inspire you. Thank you to DORITOS® , State Farm® , T-Mobile and the 2020 Census.
Crime Junkie
Crime Junkie
Crime Junkie is a weekly podcast dedicated to giving you a true crime fix. Every Monday, Ashley Flowers will tell you about whatever crime she’s been obsessing over that week in a way that sounds like you're sitting around talking crime with your best friends. The storytelling is straightforward and free of rabbit holes so the cases stay suspenseful and are easy to follow. If you can never get enough true crime... Congratulations, you’re a Crime Junkie! You’ve found your people.