Tag Archives: social commentary

On Writing: Ambiguity and Precision in Social Commentary

Social commentary is, as the name implies, the practice of actively voicing one’s thoughts on elements of society. It is the act of demanding change, it is the act of preventing change, of demanding justice and of promoting injustice. In short, it is voicing one’s thoughts on the state of society and what should be done with it.

Over the course of human history, this has been done through speeches, songs, essays, poems, paintings, theater and film, among others. I will focus on essays* and poems in order to show the role of ambiguity and precision when expressing one’s views on society and will use the examples of a journalist and a poet to this effect.

Of the essayists, perhaps the best known and accessible ones are the journalists, they are in the newspapers and magazines, and to an extent in the news shows. Thus, they are almost literally all over the place. The poets, in my experience, are not so widely disseminated. They are hidden in the caf├ęs, the universities, the occasional blog, in the underground music scene. They are elsewhere (again, in my experience).

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Charity

Due to the recent tragedy in Haiti, I’ve been thinking again about charities, helping out others, social problems and so on. It’s been a while since I’ve thought about this but my opinion has not changed. I’m still not that crazy about charities. Don’t get me wrong, I understand that charities really do help, but if a charity has been actively working somewhere for a long time, what does that tell you? Doesn’t it say that there’s something missing? Doesn’t it say that more needs to be done?
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Filed under Society & Humanism, Thinking Aloud