Riverbend, in her blog has hit upon some interesting points. One question we have to ask ourselves as readers is how honest is Riverbend, since she cannot even give us her name? This answer, at least, is an easy one. It is for her safety. Yet, as readers then, we have to ask ourselves if Riverbend is honestly portraying herself as a person who is just surviving, and subsequently ranting on Blogspot? Is Riverbend being a political writer, and in the end, being a politician?
When one thinks of politicians, immediately connotations start to warp what a politician really is. Politicians are a dirty lot, or so we are led to think. Even Riverbend buys into this view…or is she saying this because we buy into this view so easily?
Politicians themselves buy into this connotation that politicians pretty much have an endless get-out-of-jail-free pass. This very connotative structure is what engenders this crazy power to be accepted at all. Unfortunately, the denotative term of politician is not as denotative as I thought, “: a person experienced in the art or science of government; especially: one actively engaged in conducting the business of a government.” (Merriam-webster) or “a. A schemer or plotter; a shrewd, sagacious, or crafty person. In later use also (esp. U.S. derogatory, influenced by sense A. 2b): a self-interested manipulator, whose behaviour is likened to that of a professional politician.” (Oxford). What is funny is that each definition is the first entry in each of the respective dictionaries, indicating that is what the most accepted denotation of the word is used. This right here, shows how powerful politics is in the minds of people.
With the opening of her blog, “In the Beginning” she says, “So this is the beginning for me, I guess. I never thought I’d start my own weblog… All I could think, every time I wanted to start one was “but who will read it?” I guess I’ve got nothing to lose… but I’m warning you- expect a lot of complaining and ranting. I looked for a ‘rantlog’ but this is the best Google came up with. A little bit about myself: I’m female, Iraqi and 24. I survived the war. That’s all you need to know. It’s all that matters these days anyway. Riverbend” (Riverbend).
This right here, gives us, the reader, the notion that she is a survivor, a victim, is this the move of a mastermind writing dangerously, or the writing of someone who just wants to express herself in a language that is not easily understood by her family? Is Riverbend a politician? Probably not according to the definitions stated above, but we can make her a politician in our minds if we read into her blog a certain way. Why does she write in English instead of her native language? Why does she seem to always be neutral with tendencies of being the strong victim? Why does she have Susan Sarandon on her cover?
What I am trying to say is that regardless of Riverbend’s intentions, we the readers, are the ones who ultimately decide just how political her blog is. This is how Riverbend becomes subject to connotation. Here is a link to a nice video that gives some images to Baghdad Burning, it is in parts, but it is worth looking at.
(YouTube Video will have to be copy-and pasted or perhaps just clicked, spent an hour trying to get it to work but WordPress is being exceptionally stupid about it) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC648JfkVZk
Baghdad Burning. Dir. Manuel Steinboeck. Perf. Screenkids. 2010. Youtube.com. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BC648JfkVZk.
Merriam-Webster. “Politician.” 2012. Merriam Webster Dictionary. Web-Page. 4 March 2012. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Politician.
Oxford English Dictionary. “Politician.” Vers. Second Edition, New English Dictionary of 1989, print. September 2012. Oxford English Dictionary. Web. 4 March 2012. http://www.oed.com.dbsearch.fredonia.edu:2048/view/Entry/178402?redirectedFrom=Politician%20Value#eid22952955.
Riverbend. Baghdad Burning. 17 August 2003. Blog. 4 March 2012. http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/2003_08_01_archive.html.
Sarandon, Susan. Evil Susan Serandon. WordPress. Susan Sarandon. Google images, 2010. Web. 4 March 2012. http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&biw=1024&bih=632&tbm=isch&tbnid=skY9thffvO0lwM:&imgrefurl=http://edwardwarrenok.wordpress.com/2010/&docid=ZGkj2AQ9MjhwtM&imgurl=http://www.daleisphere.com/wp-content/uploads/susan-sarandon-as-queen-narissa-in-enchanted-2.