I spent nearly all weekend trying to find the purrfect audio text to analyze. I had to overcome several different problematic situations. Firstly, there were not many available options about my focal topic. There were maybe four podcasts that I could choose from. Additional radio advertisements were basically nonexistent about feline declawing. My choices were tragically slim. Do you want to know the worst part about finding an audio text? The majority of the potential podcasts were brutally boring. It was an intense struggle to pay attention to a few of the hour long ones (it would not allow me skip over specific parts…savages, they knew what they were doing). At times, I found myself staring blankly at my laptop and wondering why people with such monotone voices were talking in my ear. I would be ashamed of myself if I chose to write a rhetorical analysis on an audio text that could potentially make someone fall asleep. Hence, the search continued.
Around midnight, I came across a nine minute podcast called “Ban Cat Declawing” by Veterinary Secrets on iTunes. Imagine my enthusiasm when I saw the length of the audio text. It was the shortest one that I had found, so I had unnaturally high hopes for its success. Fortunately, it was a hit—specifically, from 1:00 to 3:35. This section is excellent for my upcoming analysis. I can properly consider what this piece is trying to get the audience to do through the rhetorical aspects that the speaker, Dr. Andrew Jones, incorporates into his podcast. I plan to take into consideration the different elements—vocal delivery, music, sound effects, and silence—and how they affect the argument of the piece, as well as the relationships and context between those elements. This will be my first time critically thinking about sound, rather than visual stimulants. It might be a bit difficult at first, considering I am more of a visual person; however, I can just replay the 2 minute and 35 second clip repeatedly until I can successfully overcome my obstacles.
Ironically enough, Dr. Jones has quite a controversy surrounding him. He claims to have secret knowledge of the medical profession involving veterinarians—but only reveals it at a price. In his personal forum, he reports that there are safer, alternative, or “holistic” methods that could be used by veterinarians, but would result in a loss of money. This does not specifically correlate with the declawing issue; however, his medical license was revoked, which does discredit Dr. Jones’ medical advice. But do not fear, this just makes rhetorically analyzing his podcast so much more interesting! Perhaps instead of caring for the well being of claw-less kitties around the world, his purpose in discussing the topic is to merely gain a little extra fame for himself? It’s a question that merits more attention.
(Tip: This is a prime example for why it is a great idea to research credentials of an individual. If I had not have done this, my analysis may not have captured the full purpose that influenced this audio text.)