Visual Rhetoric Rewrite – fromcasablanca

0:04 – You witness a bunch of Caucasian kids on a school bus. The sun is out so the children could be on their way to school or on their way home from school. All of the children are wearing casual clothing instead of uniforms so they must attend a public school. From the looks of it the children attend a middle school, 6th to 8th grade (look too developed for elementary school but too young for high school) in a suburban area. In the left hand corner, a young girl wearing a fuchsia hoodie is standing up out of her seat and the bus driver (a Caucasian female)  is looking up in the mirror as if the children are being a distraction. From the looks of it, the children seem rowdy and disruptive so I assume that the school day is over because their energy level is high. Also, a young Caucasian blonde-haired boy in a long-sleeved, black shirt with a white stripe is in the middle of the aisle because he has been pushed out of his seat by the boy on the right of him with the orange t-shirt. Perhaps they are friends who enjoy play-fighting? I highly doubt it.

0:05 – The young Caucasian blonde-hair boy with the long-sleeved, black shirt, is now standing in the middle of the aisle because he has been pushed out of his seat. Right in front of him you see a young girl (who is slightly darker than the rest of the children on the bus, perhaps she’s Spanish or mixed with African-American and Caucasian) turn around. Her mouth wide opened and her face twisted up to express her aggravation, looks like she is about to lecture the young boy. While moving he could have touched her in a way she didn’t like. After all, while standing up on a moving bus it is sometimes hard to keep your balance so him tapping her could have all been done by accident but she doesn’t know that.

0:07 – As the young girl turns around more to continue lecturing the blonde-haired boy who is standing up in the middle of the aisle, he is now moving over to the right to sit in the seat behind her. While doing so a young boy with a grey shirt who is behind him, raises his left hand up with his fist balled. Is he about to hit him? After all when people ball their fist it is a gesture for wanting to fight or do harm towards someone. Or is he trying to defend the aggravated young lady who is probably still yelling at the blonde-haired boy?

0:08 – The boy with the grey shirt who left fist was balled in an upwards position is now aimed out to the blonde-haired boy who is in front of him. Knowing that his hand was once positioned upwards and is now near the boy, I assume he struck the boy with his fist. Whether he punched him in his shoulder or “tapped” him, he ended up getting his attention as the blonde-haired boy looks over his left shoulder where the boy in the grey shirt fist landed. All of the children on the bus now have their heads turned to the back of where both of the boys are. Did the blonde-haired boy yell when he was punched by the boy? Did he yell on purpose to get the attention of the bus driver since there is no student aide on the bus? I assume so because all of the students attention is now on them. This altercation could involve bullying since one person was hit in front of a large group of people and so far nothing was done back by the person attacked or anyone around him.

0:09 – His reaction is remarkable. Although he might be full of anger he surely doesn’t show it with his facial expression. He stares at the boy with the grey shirt who hit with a devious smile. Revenge could possibly be on his mind but not completely. After all this could be a case of bullying and so far he is out numbered since no one has done anything about it. Even after probably yelling.

0:10-0:13 – The boy with the grey shirt who hit him has now taken the same hand he struck the blonde-haired boy with and has pointed it to a seat. Is he threatening him to get in his seat? After all he isn’t asking. It’s clear he’s making a demand for him to get in it and get in it QUICKLY! Another young boy who is wearing an orange t-shirt makes immediate contact with the camera and turns around rapidly after doing so. I’m positive that these kids don’t know they are being recorded and also if someone took the initiative to record this it must happen quite often.

0:14 – He removes himself from the seat he was sitting in that was also occupied by two other male students. There wasn’t enough room for another person but he made it possible by sitting on the edge of the seat. Forcing himself in a seat that was already filled by two others shows that he’s trying to make friends or at least looks like he has some. However, he follows the order that was given to him as he positions himself in the seat he was directed to sit in. By giving in so quickly to follow the orders of another student this demonstrates that he isn’t new to this situation.

0:15 – Once again all the students direct their attention to the back of the bus where the blonde-haired boy is now sitting again. I assume the children are waiting for another altercation to take place. The real question is: will it?

0:16 – Didn’t take long for another student to antagonize him again. A young, dark-haired boy who is wearing a short-sleeved black t-shirt with a white logo on it, reaches from behind the blonde-haired boy and grabs him by the neck in a choking manner. This is now the second altercation that took place in a matter of seconds that involves this young boy being hit on by other students. It is now safe to say the blonde-haired boy is being bullied by his peers. After all, choking someone isn’t funny and should never be considered “play fighting.”

0:17-0:18 – The young, dark-haired boy continues to choke the boy by his neck. He must be doing harm to him, as the blonde-haired boy uses BOTH of his hands to try and stop him. The boy has a tight grip on his neck that could be cutting off his circulation since he resorts to using both of his hands to get him off of him.

0:19 – Another dark-haired boy, who is scrunched down in his seat so that his face isn’t all the way visible to the people behind him is trying to see what is going on. This young boy is what we would call a bystander in this situation. He isn’t doing anything to help save the blonde-haired boy who is being choked. His facial expressions shows fear. Is he afraid of being next? Has he already been bullied by these two young boys?

0:20-0:23 – For the next few seconds the focus of the camera is all around the school bus. Whoever is recording is trying to show the facial expressions of every student on the bus as the choking of the young boy is still going on. They look very frightened but no one decides to step in. The recorder focuses the camera on two males, both who were bystanders during this situation like rest of the students. But why focus the camera on mainly them two? How ironic that both of them are wearing glasses? A lot of times we hear about students getting picked on in school because they wear glasses. Does the term “four-eyes” ring a bell? It is a possibility they could be the next victims. After all the blonde-haired boy in this video, who was being bullied by multiple students wears glasses as well. None of the people who bullied him had on glasses.

0:24-0:31 – The last few seconds of the video shows a big black screen with the words “Teach your kids how to be more than a bystander” and provides the website It is written in big, white bold letters which expresses how urgent and important this message really is! These 30 seconds are more effective at convincing both parents and kids there’s a problem. No parent would enjoy watching their child being picked on especially because they wear glasses or for any other reason. No child wants to be the one being bullied, therefore they shouldn’t do it to someone else. It’s even more discouraging to know that this is a real video! None of this is a joke so it’s just proof that situations like this are happening. I highly doubt if this wasn’t recorded and reported the boy who was being bullied wouldn’t have went home and told his parents. Mainly because of fear. So he’d rather tolerate it. Bullying should NEVER be tolerated.

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4 Responses to Visual Rhetoric Rewrite – fromcasablanca

  1. fromcasablanca says:

    Feedback was requested.

    Feedback provided.


    • davidbdale says:

      I love that you keep asking. I never want to do anything to discourage you. The interaction of working together to improve your drafts is what the course is all about for me. So, thank you.


  2. fromcasablanca says:

    Feedback was requested.

    Feedback provided.


  3. davidbdale says:

    Thanks for asking, fromcasablanca. Let’s go.

    04. Little grammar note first: We do not use the 2nd person in this class, ever. Search and destroy all instances of “you,” and “your,” and “yours.”
    Your detailed observations show that you’re very attentive, fromcasablanca. The conclusions you draw are intriguing. What would you conclude if the sun were not out? Why would so many school kids be on a bus at night? I like your inference that they attend a public school. That’s clever. I may not agree that this is the ride home from your evidence, but I very much respect that you came to your conclusion based on the visual clues. Agreed, the boy in black and white was pushed from his seat. But why (based on evidence) do you doubt the pushing was play?

    05. Could you find a shorter way to describe him than “the young Caucasian blond-haired boy with the long-sleeved, black shirt,” please? Call him Black Shirt, or the Blonde. This is good about the mixed-race girl. That she is about to lecture him seems just right. Is there a frame that seems to indicate he touched her, or is this pure conjecture? Either way, the fact that she reacts to something slight by turning to lecture Black Shirt is a significant fact about how quickly these kids either take offense or like to mouth off about what’s on their minds.

    07. Do you mean simply that Blonde was trying to return to his seat? That’s easily said. As for Gray T-Shirt, his fist isn’t an either/or question. Whatever reason he has raised it, he’s likely going to strike the Blonde, whether to defend Open Mouth or not.

    08. From your description, I conclude that you aren’t actually watching the video as moving images. You shouldn’t have to guess whether T-Shirt struck Blonde or not. If you’re watching the video, you see it happen. On the other hand, if you’re clicking from second to second, you could miss the motion and have to draw conclusions. I don’t want to say you chose a bad technique (you were probably trying to model your work on the Thai Life Insurance model), but you did choose a technique that makes the interpretation job harder.

    What you say about the scene is really very nice, fromcasablanca. Particularly your suspicion that Blonde might have cried out when struck demonstrate you’re really paying attention to the logic of the silent video, enough to wonder if what you SEE could possibly explain the narrative without what would also have been HEARD. Impressive.

    09. I don’t at all disagree with your analysis, but I wonder if it’s reasonable to expect any reaction from others in less than a second. You draw conclusions from the non-intervention of the driver, an aide, or students, but how much could happen from 07 to 09 that we would observe?

    10-13. This is very carefully observed but puzzling. Completely agree that T-Shirt is ordering Blonde to take the empty seat. Regarding Orange though, you say he turned away from eye contact with the camera, which would indicate he clearly recognized he was being recorded. But then you claim, “these kids don’t know they are being recorded,” by which you must mean kids OTHER THAN Orange? Your last sentence is confusingly phrased. Do you mean that, while Blonde was being shoved, back at 04, someone decided to capture whatever happened next, anticipating that there would be bullying involved? Or do you mean that while someone was randomly taping kids on a bus bullying occurred, from which we can conclude it must happen pretty often?

    14. I love your conclusions, but I also want to challenge them. Forcing himself into a seat already occupied is a pretty dicky move if he’s not wanted, and may explain why he gets picked on. The fact that he follows orders so quickly could indicate he has to do so often, but might just mean that he feels overmatched and outnumbered.

    15. THIS might be a time to wonder why nobody intervened. Enough time has transpired from 04-14 to allow the driver to react or for someone else to rise to Blonde’s defense.

    16. Very nice.

    17-18. So smart. “Both hands” is a highly worthy observation.

    19. Has the camera angle changed here? Are we still looking at the scene from the back of the bus? If not, what do you conclude from the presence of multiple cameras aimed at the same event? Could this possibly be coincidence? Or do you start to distrust the editor’s claim that this is a real event? Double-check and see if the video from the front of the bus is taken at the same time as the video from the back of the bus.
    —1. If it IS contemporaneous, how do we explain that two people, or three, decided to tape this same scene?
    —2. if it ISN’T contemporaneous, that means we’re being manipulated by the filmmakers, who are splicing together tapes from different events to make things “look real.”
    Are you with me here?

    20-23. This is fantastic work, fromcasablanca. Put these observations together with your reactions to my question above in 19 and decide how to react to the near certainty that, whether this event is “real” or not, it’s captured and edited in a way to force certain interpretations on its viewers.

    24-31. What are you saying exactly, fromcasablanca? That parents watching this will decide: I can’t pretend my kid could never be bullied? Or: my kid seems more like the bullying type than one that gets picked on. Will students watching this think: I’m going to try to never be like that kid who gets bullied? Or: I’m so ashamed that I fail to react just like those weaker kids in glasses. They should all get together and overpower the bullies?

    More important than any of that, what is the call to action here? The filmmakers are arguing for a purpose. What do they want to happen?


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