According to Lloyd Bitzer, a rhetorical situation is, “ a complex of persons, events, objects, and relations presenting an actual or potential exigence which can be completely or partially removed if discourse can constrain human decision or actions as to bring about the significant modification of the exigence.” I’ve interpreted this as an aggregate of persons, events, objects, and relations gathered under one goal which can be significantly affected if discourse can cause action towards the goal. Within a rhetorical situation, there are 3 aspects, namely the exigence, the audience, and the constraints. The exigence is something that requires changing, and what makes a rhetorical exigence different from other types is that it can be affected by discourse. The audience in a rhetorical situation differs from any group of hearers or readers because a rhetorical audience is also capable of being influenced by the discourse and can affect change that would positively impact the exigence. Constraints are persons, events, objects, and relations that are part of the situation because they have the power to affect the decisions and actions needed to modify the exigence. I think one of the issues today that warrants rhetorical discourse is whether or not we should already ease more quarantine restrictions to open up the economy. Another issue that I can think of is whether face-to-face classes can already happen by next school year.
After watching the two videos (one about the storm surge in Tacloban and the other about a film director speaking in a rally against the resurfacing of the Marcoses in the political landscape), I noticed many similarities and difference between the two videos, with regards to rhetorical situations. The discourse in both videos were both brought about by a situation, they also both invite fitting responses from the audience, they are both real events, and they both mature and decay. However, what differentiates them is that the video of the director speaking in a rally prescribe the fitting response, while the video of the storm surge is just informing the audience of what is happening. Another difference I have also found is that the exigence in the situation of the director speaking in a rally is a rhetorical exigence because it can be modified, while the exigence in the video of the storm surge is a natural disaster and cannot be modified.
After reading “The Twilight Zone: Covid, The World Economic Forum (WEF) and Eugenics” by Peter Koenig, I think the rhetorical exigence that spurred this commentary is the people’s quiet acceptance of the circumstances that has led them to follow all of the government’s order regarding COVID-19 health and safety protocols, quarantines, vaccines, and even the origin of the virus itself, without even questioning the validity of these things. I think Koenig wants people to question all the governments’ motives for this virus and not just to accept it lying head down.
This rhetoric commentary was made for the lay man, who does not have a background in geopolitics, medical science, or finance, in order for them to have a perspective other than what the government is feeding them. These people are not the wealthiest nor the most powerful, but in numbers they do have the ability to affect the decision making of the country, especially if they let their voices be heard.
I think a few of the rhetorical constraints in this article are the people’s widespread belief that the coronavirus was just a coincidental accident that started in China, that the “vaccine” was the solution to it, or that the government is thinking of the people first. These widespread beliefs propagated by the government and mainstream media trick people into a cycle of hope and despair which keeps them sedated and unable to speak out against the government.
I don’t think the number of likes, shares, or retweets the post has affects its credibility. I don’t think so because I believe that credible articles must come from credible people and cite credible sources. Even then, this article only shares one perspective of the story, so to gain more information I think it is better to read more perspectives of the same situation, and decide from the choices whose information are more consistent.
If this was published in offline media, for example a newspaper, I think its persuasive quality would change because readers would rely on the trustworthiness of the editor in verifying the article and allowing it to be released in print. Unlike online articles where we don’t know who’s writing what, and if they really are the author and not some pseudonym or if the sources are credible. There are a lot of factors that make online articles less credible than offline ones. Add to that the ability of network effect to spread and obscure an article to the point where it becomes different from the original work.