Reading response


It seems as though we as society can never truly learn to view things in a practical manner. Society judges an object by the culture it is exposed to, and in popular American culture a practical view is a dull view. There is no interest when something is merely practical, so society transforms devices and tools into a medium for controversial topics and subject that will interest them. It is not to say that the practical values are erased but they are overshadowed by controversial topics that are related to the tool or device in question.

For example, the internet was created for sharing information, staying connected with peers, and facilitate efficient research that everyone could access. However, it has become the middle man for cyber bullying, underground black markets, and a media for hostile groups to threaten the general public.

(photo of notorious internet group Anonymous from, April 5, 2017)

Furthermore, most if not all these qualities are shown on main media news and are often top stories, a lot more often than the intended and more practical side of it. American culture being what it is, does not interest itself in dull matters; it has to pop and be interesting in all matters of the topic.

American media culture is unique in that sense, in international media a lot more horrific and gory news does come on but they present it in a way to bring about awareness and understanding to the topic. For example, an article from website, a media news website from Great Britain, presents an piece about the struggle of refugees trying to escape into Europe for sanctuary. The articles show rather disturbing images that make the reader truly realize the situation that these people are in.

   (Syrian refugee image from, Jan 8, 2018)

While a popular American journal, Time magazine, shows a piece on a similar topic but tries to appeal to the audience’s pathos by showing a picture of a Syrian refugee with their child embracing intently. One is a sad piece to try to appeal to the American audience since it does not really affect them directly, while the other is true representation of the problem that is meant to bring awareness to the situation. The same topic presented in totally opposite fashions.


All these are factors to what I like to call “the machete effect”, from John Cline’s “What is a machete anyway?” it talks about how the machete used to be seen as a tool for farming and landscaping but over time as culture developed it became a symbol of terror and fear.

(The Atlantic, Oct 21, 2013)

Historically it was shaped into the weapon as revolts and revolution from pheasants and slaves became more prominent. They were the most readily used tools so it was the most accessible and familiar one to slaves and pheasants. They would use them as weapons to kill their land lord or the owner of the land who was causing them so much distress. And so, the machete was evolved from a simple farming tool to the spear head of revolts, violence, and assault.

(image of slave revolt, from

Nowadays through entertainment media such as action and horror movies to portray as weapon. But why does a machete have such an imposing image of weapons and fear for a simple farm tool? How is it any different to a crowbar or screw driver that can equally be used as weapons? It’s not but through popular culture and media it became easily subject-able to any form that society would give it. For example, the movie “Machete” shows Mexican civilian wielding machete they used for farming as the primary “tool” for their revolt. Also, in the film “Friday the 13th” is infamous for having its main antagonist carrying around a machete as a murder tool. It is all too obvious that popular media depicts a machete as weapon and passes on that idea to their audience. And by the notoriety of these films it is a large number of people.

(20th Century Fox) (Paramount Pictures)

As for my writing is concerned this analysis of the machete effect will give me proper insight to my quilt analysis and essay.  For one polarities are extremely important when it comes to any analysis of an object. Even though certain object can seem to have one concrete concept in reality it has a significant weighing concept with several insignificant ideas along with them. This Prown ideal will allow me to grab a more broadened horizon when it comes to analyzing data, relics, and primary sources. Through this it will make my write a more representative piece instead of just having such a narrow view on my topics and subjects.

Then using a more personalized emotional connection to allow the reader to better comprehend the ideas I had in mind.  By using either my own personal emotional ethics or popular cultural ethics and moral my audience can sympathize with me and my message. For example, how movies use the concept of losing friends, family, and loved ones in a war movie to send a message that war is brutal. Since most people can relate to losing loved ones, the audience will connect better with the message the movie is trying to present.

By creating a personalized message to the audience it will act as a median from my work to reader and my ideas will come off clearer and concrete. Cline this is fantastically bringing in both a dark sided ton of slavery and pheasant revolt as well as bringing his own personal background into it. He wrote an intellectual piece but manages to bring out a pathos style of writing to persuade us of topic and ideas.  I could adapt my own background into the writing itself, heavy topics of immigration, racism, stereotypes, and social class division run deep in my roots and these are popular subjects that many can relate to.

The hardest part of this analysis was trying to connect Haltman’s and Prown’s text to the notes in a way that it will make sense to me so I can pass the same ideas to my readers through conceptual ideas and examples.  Seeing the connection were easy enough but to put those into concrete and crisp ideas and then to imply Haltman’s post with it was quite the challenge. Also, there was a certain way that Cline wanted the reader to think so there was a certain point of view required in order to correctly understand his message that everything is subjectable to society’s influence. None the less the reading did provide me with better insight to make my writing more effective with the reader.