The Harlot's Redemption
Jonathan Alexander points out the launch of a new online journal Harlot, which also uses blogs and wikis to further the rhetorical analysis of pop culture, grassroots politics, and the "endless streams of subtly persuasive communication that surround us every day." Alexander contributes "phonesex: a digital collage" and "dis|orientation : a straight closet" as indicators of the roles that ubiquitous communication devices and Craigslist ads play in contemporary sexuality and its self-representations and adscapes. If I have a criticism of Harlot, it is of its seeming failure to engage with the truly mundane, at least in its first issue. Unsexy objects of rhetorical study deserve attention as well, such as e-mail or the architecture of post offices, because it is often most important to understand the rhetorics that have been made most invisible in order to grapple with fundamental questions about ideology and the cultural imaginaries that we accept uncritically.