Bad Cake Records: 2/17/18

First, I will analyze a small portion my own efforts.

Primarily, my rhetorical approach to representing Bad Cake Records (as an online entity) is based around Instagram. Image and text work together in this platform to achieve a multi-level effect on addressees (who greatly vary in the Bad Cake Records Instagram--being that my 421 followers [as of 2/17/18] are not all necessarily interested in the label [as you know, 'following back' to a lot of folks is no different than tapping your foot or itching your nose or blinking).

So, as I will demonstrate with the following photos, I have tried to utilize various rhetorical devices in order to captivate addressees who may not have an interest in experimental DIY music released via cassette:

A homemade President Trump meme:


This post does somewhat fall under the "Bandwagon" rhetorical approach (considering that it's particularly aimed at the large portion of people in America [and the world at large, really] who are dissatisfied with our current political reality). This is surface-level obvious, and doesn't necessarily need to be discussed any further.

What's more interesting about this post is that it's simultaneously self-mocking (being that memes are about the most least serious form of communication ever to have existed) and self-congratulating (being that the actual message of the meme is that Bad Cake Records is by all means a very real effort [on my part] to disseminate music that I feel is worthy of an audience). The method of rhetorical delivery and the overall rhetorical goal conflict with each other--but hopefully balance each other out in the end.

The issue presented in the post revolves around the growing reality of unrealities in media (especially Internet media). How do you know what you're reading is true? Who wrote it? Is it yet another Russian bot? What kind of veiled partisan attack is this?

The word "FAKE" is capitalized--both to emphasize this issue of unreality and also to reinforce the idea that the word "fake" has become a meme in and of itself this past year. The word has been used to describe very real things that are happening in our country and our world (election interference, global warming, etc.)--which has transcended irony and entered the realm of divine jokes. No mere human could make this stuff up.

The text and hashtags that describe the post (mostly--besides "Don't listen to this dude") do not work to enhance these undertones however. More-so, they speak for Bad Cake Records and the validity of its musical content (its underlying message being: the music is good, and you should listen to it and/or buy a physical copy).

A "work" post:


The image by itself has absolutely nothing to do with Bad Cake Records or music in general. Instead, it's a (pretty boring) photo of a lone computer screen (security camera footage being the only image visible on the screen itself), a few typical office items (scratch paper, sticky notes, paper clip tub, coffee thermos sitting alongside a bottle of water, etc.) and a few tree tops visible in the obscured distance beyond the glass. Ultimately, what the photo depicts is a normal 9-5 American work day--stagnant, empty (notice there are no humans in the photograph--and nothing of interest visible in the security camera footage either), and soundless (I know it's a picture--but still, it doesn't look like an environment where experimental music would be playing in the background [in fact, the classic rock station is the ONLY station that is ever allowed to drone on at a very low level on a daily basis]).

This is, however, still a rhetorical situation (as almost anything is in this context): the rhetorical issue at hand being the ever-lasting march of the soul-sucking American workday and the stifling of personal enjoyment (especially when it comes to enjoying music and/or other artistic artifacts).

The other half of this rhetorical situation lies in the text that describes the photograph. The rhetor is obviously someone who works hard enough to both maintain a "day" job AND maintain a self-ran DIY record label in the evenings and on the weekends (which anyone else who runs a small label knows is more time-consuming/difficult than one might assume). So, obviously this post is meant to (in part) speak to those in that particular sub-category (DIY label owners), of which there are quite a few of (the list is endless--if you happen to search databases that procure and catalogue this type of information). However, it also speaks to a great number of addressees who find themselves in similar "normal" adult circumstances (the drudgery of work, the inability to do what you really want to do during the most productive hours of your day, the desire for personal fulfillment in the face of inescapable duty and financial necessity). The most powerful rhetorical words in the text are: "But I'd rather"--which speak for the rhetor and every possible addressee (no matter what situation they happen to find themselves in when reading the post). This speaks to the human condition, the American Dream, and most importantly the very ethos behind Bad Cake Records or ANY DIY label (major record companies release [blank] but I'd rather release [blank]).

Ultimately, The image and the text work together to unify the ethos of hard work/responsibility with the ethos of the DIY record label--which hopefully captivates the attention of anyone (be they a music enthusiast or not) who works hard and would rather be doing something else with their time.
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