Reflection from Arcadia…Gentlemen, The Rant (Part II)

Gentlemen

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I trust you have read and grasped the principals of preparation of The Rant, and so at this juncture should be in the correct frame of mind to procedure with producing a justifiable and irrefutable rant .

Now when starting out you should bear in mind your intention; which is to convince the reader you are alerting them to a flaw, problem or foolishness which they would do well to avoid or even better, inspired by your words, take up against. This requires a steady and determined hand. At all times focus on the subject and do not waver or deviate, you should hold the reader at all times, you do not want them scratching their heads, grinning or muttering ‘What the- ‘? (and so forth).

It is essential therefore to portray yourself with all the stern and rock-like edifice of a thinker, prophet, or essayist of an earlier age.

The Bible

Two things you must never do:

Do not portray yourself as an ordinary plain speaking, straight forward sort who only asks simple questions. It’s a guise used by successful columnists of the opinionated school, they are now wealthy & well-known BUT if not recognised and out of their bubbles come across as loud-mouthed drunks, club-house bores or ‘why did they sit by me’s on public transport. No dear sir, you do not have the chimera of fame on your side! Thus you are out to prove to the reader that you have peered deep into the complexities of society and perceived the implications and ramifications of various failings.

Secondly refrain for falling back on the style of a college lecturer in chosen subject. Whereas you may have a wealth of knowledge on the subject at hand, your readership will drift away after the first few lines if you are using phrases and statements unique to the subject. As an example, in matters political I have very left wing tendencies, but I could no more wade through a blog on Marxist Economic theory than I could six inches of mud in a howling gale

In starting out think of this being a long distance run, don’t use up all your justifiable outrage in the first thirty words. Start out at a slow pace. Begin in a moderate way, such phrases as ‘There is a matter which has been troubling me…’ or ‘Much has been written on the complexities of society and the following could be another worthy example’ even rhetorical opening along the lines of ‘Responsibility comes in many guises’. This suggests to the reader there may be something here they may have been thinking about too. At this stage you can introduce the subject matter, but make sure this links into with your introduction. It is no use starting off with all the gravitas of a philosopher and then come up with ‘So what is it with these stupid —- (whatever). We are not here for irony or sarcasm; we are here to make a serious impression!

orator

Having set up base camp in the first paragraph you are now relatively free to start really pouring scorn upon your target. At this stage you are a free agent, do as you will. I would no more think about influencing the subject matter of a good rant than I would someone accidentally adding more sugar into my tea/coffee than is good for me. Even so a certain amount of judgement is still required.

You should refrain from profanities; these are all well and good in areas of repair or domestic maintenance, but since there is an excess of them in public discourse, your rant will stand out far better when the reader notices none.

Always maintain a theme of censure in your work, at no time pause on lighter matters. Make sure each phrase is structured in condemnation. Do not bring in relief to the reader by illustrating the better option. You should not let them relax. Be constant in your criticism of your target, trilby thus will you impress upon your reader the need to take vigorous action. Leave more gentle and nuanced souls to the business of construction.

At all times use a certain level of language which is above the common discourse, while sustaining clarity. Although there is a common parlance which we all use; it enriches a reader to understand both meaning of word and purpose when these are formed in terms of an earlier but still accessible era. And the reader will feel they are of this band who appreciate such style and so be even more sympathetic to your rant.

Of course there is likely to be an element of politics, cultural conflict and so forth; do not however be one-sided, a good rant should appeal to all, do not be afraid to denigrate those of your own side whose excessive antics or failure to grasp the true principals are undermining your position; while the extremists of the opposition are a lost cause there is little sport to be had there. But by taking issue with your own side shows you to have the veneer of being open-minded and fair.

Now; let us be honest- it is tiring in being right and saying why, so a pause is wise. Step from the machine and, find something that annoys you to replenish the emotional reserves, though be careful not to carry the detail of the cause into your rant. A complaint about the failure of the size labels on clothes to reflect the true status of the garment will look odd if you try and fit that into a tirade against professional film critics

At this stage you should also check for spelling mistakes which the Spellcheck has mischievously pretended it did not see and the other malicious tricks that computers programmes play. When finding these; nurture that feeling of outrage which has been played against your personally, this will stand you in good stead when you return to your task.

The length of your rant should be judged by the stage when you start to repeat yourself. Do not be afraid to admit this to yourself, for this is the strength and the luxury of the written rant, you can check yourself. If repetition has set in it is time to stop and check your work for content in style and venom.

Which is why I am stopping now….

In a few days’ time there be an example of a rant with commentaries. Have pen and paper ready to take notes, or a blank Word Doc to Copy & Paste onto.

In the meantime, gentlemen brood and reflect upon the echoes of the manifold follies of not just the Present, The Future and of course The Past.

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6 thoughts on “Reflection from Arcadia…Gentlemen, The Rant (Part II)

  1. It occurs to me that you are describing a Thoughtful Rant, which is what a True Rant (the hot, frothy kind) must evolve into before it can be aired in public. Putting an undigested fresh rant into the public sphere is often a mistake.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Very true. Some folk just don’t get that point and end up being funny…which is obviously not their intention. There should be college course on The Art of The Rant (folk could do worse than study the old Rhetoric courses of the 19th Century) AS you can tell I do a great deal of ranting (my poor, dear wife)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A suggestion for those developing these “thoughtful” rants (thank you, Audrey for the phrasing!):

    Make sure you throw a few absolutely absurd assumptions in beside the only slightly presumptuous claims, thus making the latter seem almost reasonable by comparison… 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      • You work on that, sir… Providing a prime example to illustrate your teachings is essential to clarify the material for your students, as well as motivate them to try these new techniques…

        And, as a woman, I stand behind this series of articles, looking forward to the day when disagreements between the genders can be handled in such a civilized manner. I, personally, can’t stand it when an otherwise intelligent male resorts to grunting, flailing and scratching himself to make a point!

        Keep up the excellent work, Roger! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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