Sylvia Safran Resnick
In a darkened movie theater, a woman leans back in the seat, eyes fastened on the image projected upon a large white screen. The only sound to be heard is that of a piano keeping time with the scene she is watching. As the hero gallops across the desert, there is a burst of loud music. When the hero’s lips meet the lips of the lovely heroine in his arms, a sweet melody engulfs the theater. As passions are stirred, a crescendo of sound emerges from the piano and the screen grows dark exciting the imagination .The woman sighs. The other women in the audience sigh too, deep soulful sounds that signify romantic hearts beating in unison. Even before the advent of sound, the motion picture stirred emotions. Eyes fastened with longing on the man on the screen whose brilliant smile embraced them they sat in the dark fantasizing. They could focus their desires on this handsome lover as they wordlessly spun their dreams.
It was exciting, but safe. Thus the object of love and desire on the screen became personified with real romantic longings. A dream for which the female heart throbbed with yearnings and the secret hope that one day she would experience this encompassing love in her real life. The man of her dreams was up there on the big screen; why couldn’t he be out there in the world to be hers one day? She fastened her hopes and romantic desires upon a black and white image, waiting patiently for his flesh and blood counterpart to appear in her life. Sometimes she even imagined that the man up on the screen was really hers as she spun the fantasy cloth into her own garment of reality. From this flowed the longings in her heart as she put pen to paper.
Fan mail then became the path to love. When movies began to speak to audiences, senses quivered and dreams spun blissfully. In the darkened theater women fantasized that the hero’s smile was for her alone; his kiss meant just for her, a promise of fulfillment that over shadowed reality. Each woman convinced the handsome hero belonged only to her. Even before talkies brought heartthrobs to life, female fans expressed their adoration for the compelling image up on the movie screen.
When Rudolph Valentino died suddenly a wave of deep mourning engulfed thousands of his fans who lined up to view his open casket in New York before his official funeral. In Hollywood where a second funeral was held after Valentino’s body had traveled there by train, 100,000 mourners mostly women, gathered on the streets around the church to pay tribute to the man who had captured their hearts. Heartthrobs in the 30’s were more than just handsome with perfect profiles and classic, flawless features. It was an era of elegance in both looks and manners. A little over a century ago acting was considered a lowly profession.
Today, actors are revered, copied, sought after for everything from product endorsement to appearing at a charity event to insur that as much money as possible is raised. Today actors are often paid as high as 20 million dollars for a single movie. Add that together with the substantial sums earned from DVD’s and television and an actor can realize millions from just one film. Much has changed since the beginning. The romantic screen heartthrob of today is as appealing to women as he was in the ’30’s when sound brought him to life. Although the romantic hero may have gone through some major changes in the last eighty years, he is still a force in films and in the lives of adoring women who love their movies and their heartthrobs.
William Kelley Eidem
Little Issy’s doctors at Children’s Hospital warned her parents that Issy would most likely die in the next two or three weeks.
Five hundred thousand dollars of prior medical treatments had not cured her because a grapefruit-sized tumor pressed against the four-year-old’s large intestine and liver. Meanwhile, the malignant growth had sprouted a six-foot predatory spider leg that wrapped itself around her spine. In addition, one of her chemotherapy sessions at CHOP (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia) had injured her kidneys and bladder, according to her father, Vernon Morin.
The Morins were cautioned by Issy’s doctors that their daughter would probably die a painful death, although they would prescribe some narcotics to try to reduce her pain. Vernon said the only “good” news they had to offer was that the end would come quickly.
Her parents would not give up, however. Two days after starting Dr. Revici’s treatment, Issy’s pain disappeared, so she no longer needed any pain killers. The first office visit cost less than $200. The medicine was free.
Issy spent that summer playing and swimming in the river behind her parent’s home. As her treatment continued, she gained weight, began to grow, returned to preschool, and started ballet classes. Her sweet and playful disposition returned as well.
After nine months of Revici’s care, Issy’s grapefruit-sized tumor was smaller than a golf ball. The dangerous spider leg was dead. Where tests had previously shown 98% cancer cells in her peripheral blood, now there were none.
Meanwhile — when no one else could help Issy Morin — the state of New York yanked Dr. Revici’s medical license.
Nor was Issy’s battle over. The long-term effects of her kidney damage caused her to go into shock. But the people who said Issy would only last a few weeks had not referred her to a kidney specialist. Issy could overcome the cancer, but like Revici, she was no match for the medical establishment. Five months after her first coma, Issy surrendered for the last time.
Was it just luck that caused Issy’s tumor to shrink so much? Why did the invasive spider leg shrivel up and go away? Well, consider that the 100-year-old Dr. Revici has had six decades of success with cancer patients who have benefited from his discoveries. Those patients were just as lucky and just as spontaneously healed as little Issy, for Dr. Revici is the doctor who cures cancer.
More than thirty years ago, Dr. John Heller, who was then the medical director of Sloan-Kettering Memorial Cancer Center, privately said of Dr. Revici, “I’ve known him for ten years. I don’t know how he does it, but patients walk in dead and walk out alive.” This is the story of that man and his many lucky patients, and of a medical establishment that has fought him every step of the way.
Who is Dr. Revici, what has he discovered, and why do his patients consider him to be a miracle worker? Furthermore, how did the forces of conventional medicine stop him from helping the vulnerable Issies of the world?
Perhaps more importantly, what do Revici’s discoveries mean for the future of cancer treatment and other conditions, such as AIDS and drug addiction, and how can we personally benefit from his work? The answers to those questions — and more — start with an exploding ambulance.
The purpose of this book is to offer a historical perspective on how the middle class climbed from the depths of the Great Depression to a level of relative comfort in the 1970s and then watched as Republican policies have slowly eroded the foundations that supported their version of the American dream. From the breaking of labor unions to the repeal of Glass-Steagall, to suppression of the minimum wage, conservative initiatives have focused on elevating those who benefit t most from the free enterprise system at the expense of people who suffer the most from these efforts. To this end, the embracing of Christian ideals and wrapping them around conservative Republican initiatives have ultimately held down the very people whom Jesus admonished us to lift up.
Those initiatives, which I call “moral dichotomies,” are the relevant social issues facing middle-class Americans that conservative lawmakers have been hacking away at and re-defining, while claiming, at the same time, to empathetically understand the pain being endured by the victims of their efforts. Later in this book, we’ll see how this double-minded morality will eventually have dire consequences for the conservatives in future elections, when various demographic elements of the electorate are forced back to the election booths during both off-year and general election years to voice their displeasure. These groups, consisting of women, minorities, the elderly, and disenfranchised lower-middle-class whites, make up a large portion of the real silent majority and are each, as well as collectively, growing. Their voices were heard above the crowd during the last two presidential elections and are becoming louder, even as conservative ideologies have sought to quiet them with redistricting and voter identifi cation laws. Historically, it is these voters who decide who our eventual commander in chief will be.
This is a wonderfully evocative memoir of Pauline Cole, who joined the Army at the age of eighteen and enjoyed many years of successful service with them in the field of communications. She remains the only blind ex-servicewoman in the country, a veteran of one of the nastiest fields of action since the second world war. Although trained in communications, Pauline found herself in the front line during the Aden Emergency, 1967. She saw active service, used weapons in dangerous situations and coped at first hand with Arab and Egyptian terrorists.
After Aden, her army career took her to Germany where she manned the telephone exchange during a crucial period of the Cold War. Her experiences in Aden remain the highlight of her life and she has begun research into the political background of a campaign that she saw on the ground, never feeling entirely confident that the Government took proper steps to safeguard their moral responsibility towards a former Crown Colon. She is a vocal spokesman for the virtues of Army training. The disciplines she served her well throughout her life. She loved the camaraderie, the physical demands and even the dangers involved. It might not suit every young woman- but Pauline was a very round peg in a very round hole.
Of all the relationships women engage in on a daily basis – friend, lover, wife, mother, co-worker, boss – the one we seem to have the most trouble with is actually the most important relationship of all: the one we have with ourselves. In a world still dominated by men, being a woman is never easy – and it’s even harder when we can’t even be our own best friends. The things we say to ourselves, about our appearance, our skill levels, our accomplishments and our future, we would never say to another living person. Why is that? Why are we so eager to run ourselves down when there is no shortage of people out there willing to join the chorus?
Could it be that we spend so much time working on the other relationships in our lives, making sure everyone else is happy first, that we never take the time to work on the relationship we have with ourselves?
I Am Not A Barbie aims to end our non-existent and, in some cases, self-destructive relationship with ourselves and the others in our lives. How? By learning to understand what goes into a relationship, steps for making it work and how to fix it when it’s broken. Whether you’re sheets-deep in a brand new romantic relationship, struggling as a new wife – or new mother – or simply at odds with your friends, lover, co-workers or family members, this book will teach you that all relationships improve once you learn to handle your own first.
What makes a great Story? A great Story is when an ordinary character overcomes seemingly impossible circumstances to achieve a goal. That’s it. If you can understand this sentence and digest each and every word and reflect it in your story creation process, you are already halfway into creating exciting content.
Now, what is Humor? In simple terms, Humor brings amusement and laughter to a speech so that the audience is entertained.
Then what is Persuasion? In the context of a speech, Persuasion is the speaker’s skill at influencing how the audience thinks, feels or acts as a result of hearing the speech.
Persuasion from Aristotle
Aristotle in his masterpiece Rhetoric wrote that Persuasion is the result of Ethos, Logos, and Pathos. To be concise, Ethos is credibility, Pathos is the emotional connect and Logos is the logic in your speech. The best way to use these three elements when speaking is through the use of a personal story. Why a personal story, and not just any story? When you speak, you need credibility (Ethos) and that’s what comes through in a personal story. If it is the story of your own life, you have the right to speak about it with authority. Logic (Logos) can be taken care by carefully crafting your speech content with the proper flow of ideas in a good order. The emotional connect (Pathos) is the main reason for using a story. Story is a powerhouse for Pathos because stories have the unique ability to transmit emotion. Emotion creates a great connection with the audience. And on top of it, if you add Humor, you will hit a home run.
I can tell that Humor and Story are the greatest tools for any speaker. Story has the power to transmit emotion and humor helps to deliver positive emotions. Hence, used together, humorous stories make for one of the best mediums to connect with an audience. A great story has a life of its own. With a great story, your words walk into the hearts of your listeners. When you add humor, your words will fly into the hearts of your listeners.
Perspectives of Humor
Dr. Charles Jarvis, a dentist, a humorist and Hall of Fame speaker defined Humor as “the mental faculty of discovering, expressing or appreciating the ludicrous or absurdly incongruous”. Dr. Jarvis shares two definitions of humor with us. The first is “a painful thing told playfully”. The second is “tragedy separated by time and space”. Note that both definitions treat humor as a serious thought viewed in a light manner.
Ever heard someone say, “I laughed so hard I nearly cried”? This shows how close Humor is to pathos: an emotion of sympathetic pity.
The other theory, which is really cool, is the Benign Violation theory coined by Dr. Peter McGraw and Joel Warner. I heard this theory from a TED talk ‘What makes things funny’ by Dr. Peter McGraw. Although he is not a standup comedian, he has done a lot of research on humor. According to the duo, Humor gets created when there is a benign (harmless or safe) violation from what is acceptable. They illustrate this theory by using the old gag of someone slipping on a banana peel. Such an accident usually elicits a laugh. However, if the person was hurt badly in the fall, it won’t elicit a laugh because it has become harmful and the playful element has been lost.
Sophie Scott in her TED talk ’Why we laugh’ said, “When you are alone, you do not laugh often. It means the humor creation is beyond just the quality of the joke. You laugh because you say that you understand the speaker and you agree with the speaker”.
Humor creates a strong bond and is a vital element for connection. When an audience laughs, it means more than just being entertained, their laughter says they understand you, they like you.
Persuasive Story with Humor
Now that we understand perspectives of humor, let’s understand perspectives about story. There are many types of stories and as I mentioned earlier, it would be cool idea to focus on using a personal story for persuasion. On the contrary, you can persuade even without humor if you tell a moving story of someone dying in your arms, or how you climbed Mt. Everest, or fought with a tiger, etc., but if you, like me, don’t have such an emotional story, humor is your mantra.
In order to inject humor into your speech in an organic way, you need to learn the skills needed to craft a persuasive story. Did you notice that I used the word skill? That is because knowing how to craft a persuasive story is a skill. That’s the reason I am about to carefully lead you through a tested persuasive and humorous speech. Along the way, we will uncover its secrets and strategies and you will learn the nuts and bolts of how it was created so that you can create your own humorous and persuasive stories. You will also learn the secrets to editing and delivering your speech in ways which will keep your audience engaged and entertained.
Some people are so talented that humor just pours out of them. And then there are those like me! Many people think creating humor is hard, but actually it is not. Learning to be humorous is a skill you can master if you are willing to work at it. To begin, here is something that you can use. There are many variations to the following humor equation and they can all work because people laugh at different things for different reasons. The following, however, is a good one to follow for crafting laugh lines within a speech.
Premise + Pause + Punch Line + Pause = Laughter
Let us understand the elements with a laugh line.
“People exaggerate that parents in India pressure their children to only become a doctor or an engineer. That’s not true. They don’t just pressure. They blackmail.”
I have re-written the above laugh line to indicate the different elements of humor.
“People exaggerate that parents in India pressure their children to only become a doctor or an engineer. That’s not true. They don’t just pressure. They blackmail .”
Premise: The premise is the information needed for an audience to understand or appreciate the punch line. In our example, words highlighted in italics form the premise.
The Premise must:
• Be believable, even if not completely true. In our example, the premise is believable because the audience also could agree it is a cultural thing that Indian parents are pretty hard on their child’s ambition
• Lead the audience in one direction (in order to surprise them later). Note that I said, “That’s not true. They don’t just pressure”. This leads the audience to think that I am going to say something positive about Indian parents
• Not be funny
• Be easily understood
• Create anticipation in the minds of the audience
• Be relevant for the audience
• Be about a situation with which the audience can identify and empathize
Pause 1: Is needed to build tension. Pause 1 must:
• Heighten the curiosity
• Not be so long that the audience lose interest
• Be long enough to create tension. This is what is known as timing
Punch Line: It is a word or phrase that follows the pause that triggers laughter. Punch Line should create surprise by saying something contrary to the audience’s expectation. Here, the punch line is, “They blackmail”. The laughter is the result of the release of the tension built up during the pause.
Pause 2: This pause gives the audience time to laugh. Again, it’s the timing that is important in comedy and many speakers make the mistake of not pausing after they trigger the laugh. If you do not pause, you will be cutting the laughter short—don’t do this—enjoy it and let the audience enjoy it, too.
Also, during this pause for laughter, you can get the most out of it by using gestures or even a deadpan expression to maximize the effect. Try different gestures to see which one works best.