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Tyanna Smith

Professor Morrow

EH 101/107

23 October 2017
The Grass Isn't Greener

Rhetoric is a concept term in EH 101-107 where a situation is constantly changing from

the message, text, audience, context, writer, and in this paper I will be explaining how I turned a

Michael Jackson video into a rhetorical mapping ecology paper. Also, rhetoric can help us view

people differently by opening our communication skills. During class, we had to watch a Taylor

Swift video called Look What You Made Me Do, and after watching the video, I had to do a

rhetorical analysis and map the connections in her music video together. By mapping, I was able

to trace relationships in her past that were the reason she believed that turned her into the new

person she is today. The professor made a statement on how I can turn something like a music

video of Taylor Swift into textual analysis essay. So for my essay, my professor wanted me to

choose anything I felt I could map and write a rhetoric ecology about it. I decided to choose a

Michael Jackson music video called Earth Song. Therefore, I mapped my music video, and I

will also analyze the rhetoric of the video in this paper to see if Michael Jackson really had an

impact on his song. This video was intended to get people's attention on what's going on in our

earth, and to give us a visual on how we need to change our perspective, before we know it itll

be gone. In the video, Michael Jackson showed kids in need, animals and plants dying, and burnt

land that gives an emotional effect on people, that would make them want to make a change.

Stop Mostly all Stop

the the small destroying
violen children trees,
Wa ntal issues
The world
Making a will be
song that coming to
relevant in Jackson -
today's time Earth song
to warn

ng for We
help Help all
people Find a shoul
In mapping the video, I decided to put four main parts I thought was spoken throughout the

whole video which were seeking for help, environmental issues, peace, and war. I put details in

my mapping describing why I put those four main parts. The Michael Jackson video was made in

the year of 1998. I believe people have really changed since then, but we still have

environmental issues still, even though they are not as common like they were nineteen years

ago. Also I strongly believe that war would no longer go on if people thought about the way it

affects the children. I put these details into my mapping because they all had a connection on

what Michael Jackson was trying to communicate through his lyrics and music video.

In this song, Jackson addressed environmental issues such as overfishing around the

world, deforestation, and moral issues, for instance how children are dying because of a war. At

the beginning of the video, I can see he is focused on the appearances of nature. The video shows

a glimpse of the tropical forest, and animals. Which seems to be in a peaceful mood, but when

the music starts to play we start to see the reality of the forest where there are logging machines

cutting down tree trunks. This is where he gave me my first hint that human destructive was

going on. As the video continued to play, I could see the forest green grass was no longer green,

and that the sky began red which means that the earth is on fire because there is no rain to pour it

out. This sets a depressing scene throughout the whole video. Also as I was watching the video, I

could a killing field which can represent a place of a war, and a place where innocent animals or

destroyed nature in order for humans personal wealth, belongings, and space. As he talks about

the killing fields, images from Eastern Europe, who have to leave their cities behind because it's

destroyed by a war. The pictures of war support the idea that the question for peace is rhetorical

because its obvious that war is demenshing to all types of life.

During my time watching this video to get details, I found myself getting sad thinking of

all the children that died because of war that us humans created, and how people homes get

destroyed over money. Also throughout his song he addresses these issues with questions for

example What have we done to the world ?, What about sunrise? , and What about rain?.

Also Michael Jackson addresses God in his lyrics with all his questions he ask by using Thou.

Although, the video is very depressing, it reveals a solution that can possibly change the history

and reverse all the damage us humans did to our beautiful home we call earth. This video has

been seen over one hundred and fifty four million times and has over three hundred thousand

comments of people that agree with the way he feels on how us humans have been treating each

other, and our world we live in.

Rhetor is a need for an interaction according to Grant-Davie, its a situation where there

may be different roles trying to play just one role. In the video the rhetor is the Michael Jackson

lyrics throughout us entire video he uses questions to answer his own questions. As though it

may seems, Michael isnt the only rhetor. Everyone that contributed to the song and video are

rhetors also such as; the producers, actors, songwriter, camera crew, makeup artists, clothing

designer, music crew, and director they also put their voice into the music video. Therefore,

anyone that played a role in this music production had an rhetorical effect.

According to Grant-Davie, the audience is a rhetorical concept that has been transcended

the idea of a homogeneous body of people who have stable characteristics, and are assembled in

the rhetors presence. So this type of song was meant for everyone that lives on this earth to be

the audience, because everyone can gain more knowledge from looking at the video that they

may not think it's going on in our world but in reality it is really happening. Mostly half of the

people that watched the Earth Song wanted to start doing right by our earth and start helping out

the best way they could. These comments were given under the music video on youtube under

many different people that felt touched by this music video.

According to Doug Downs, constraints are factors in the situations context that may

affect the achievement of the rhetorical objectives. Some constraints could be that some

audiences feel that Michael Jackson should not sing a good song like this if he doesn't have a

history, or background of trying to help the earth. It's easy for someone to sing about how we

need to recycle, donate, and stop the violence, but it doesn't make it any better when they aren't

even putting in the time to recycle, donate, and stop being violent. During this period of time,

Michael Jackson was going through a very hard time from having being a brown mocha

complexion to now a vanilla complexion some fans were asking major questions on why they

should care about what he is saying when he doesn't even care about his own self. It was all over

the news years back on why people started to dislike Michael because of the way he bleached his

skin because he didn't like the way he looked with his mocha complexion.

Exigence is the matter and motivation of discourse says Doug Downs. Michaels

exigence was to seek his audience by his beautiful voice and persuade them to get along, and get

together and to start treating the earth we live in like a personal home, because we never know

when it's going to be gone. Also to stop all the violence between different countries, the only

thing its doing is shortening the living lifespan especially for all the young children that die

because of war. Even in today's world, it's still war going on between different countries but the

killing rate has decreased. Also there are thousands of programs that try to keep the earth

squeaky clean, and help with the environmental issues. Around 19 years ago we didn't have that

many people willing to help.

To conclude, Michael Jackson Earth Song has helped me understand that rhetoric

seems different to everybody but it helps you interact, and communicate with people better

because the way we view ourselves as writers changes everyday. His video gave an emotional

appeal to the audience so that we all can make the world a better place to live in. Also I argue

that his video has impacted people's point of view on human destructive power and how we need

to better it for the greater good of the earth, and humankind.

Work Cited

Keith Grant-Davie. Rhetorical Situations and Their Constituents. Writing about Writing.

Elizabeth Wardle and Doug Downs. Bedford/St. Martins, 2016, pg 484-511

Michael Jackson. Earth Song Youtube