lebron James - Bobby Krivitsky Ellen Fallon Writing 205 A...

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Bobby Krivitsky Ellen Fallon Writing 205 A Sign of Things to Come? They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, a powerful image, priceless. In the post literate world words are not necessary, an effective image, icon, or symbol delivers the message loud and clear. Images first came to power through the fact that we as individuals would much rather interpret things in our own way. Words force us to focus on what is being said or written and really think about the issue at hand. However, images are open to interpretation and allow us to use our creativity and our imagination to view the subject however we want. Images are powerful and are incredibly effective at getting people to discuss an issue. One of the most prevalent examples of powerful imagery from the past decade occurred on May 13, 2010. That was the date that the Boston Celtics eliminated the Cleveland Cavaliers from the NBA playoffs. More importantly, that was the date that the best player in the NBA LeBron James officially became a free agent. How did James kick off his free agency? By sending a message. With cameras focusing directly on James, LeBron threw his jersey off as if it was on fire. James used the power of imagery, utilizing pathos and playing on people’s emotions. On that day, James began to take the NBA fan base, the city of Cleveland, and the entire country on a rollercoaster ride that culminated on July 7, 2010 with the Decision. It was here that LeBron James would announce that he was leaving Cleveland for the Miami Heat and in the process devastating a city. While the most important image leading up to the Decision was the one of James throwing his Cleveland Cavaliers jersey to the ground minutes after being
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eliminated from the playoffs, James also sent numerous messages through the power of imagery, foreshadowing his departure from Cleveland. While LeBron James was certainly entitled to leave Cleveland, the biggest question is why did James choose to handle the decision the way he did? In Mercer Schuchardt’s “The Perfect Icon for an Imperfect Postliterate World,” Schuchardt discusses the power of the symbol and its ability to change the face of society. Schuchardt writes, “today, in an electronically accelerated culture, a symbol can change the face of society in about one-sixteenth that time.” (76). Schuchardt argues that the most successful of these icons is the Nike swoosh, a symbol that is world renowned and universally understood. What the Nike swoosh symbolizes is success, to be Nike is to be a champion. Schuchardt also writes of the corporations such as Nike who work to ensure that symbols and icons such as the swoosh stay on top replacing written language. “The names and words we use to describe the world are being replaced by a set of universal hieroglyphs. Leading the charge, as one would expect, are the organizations that stand to make the most money in a less text-dependent world: multinational corporations.” (77). Interestingly enough, LeBron James is sponsored by Nike. Yes, LeBron James largest
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This note was uploaded on 01/30/2012 for the course HISTORY 112 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '10 term at Syracuse.

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lebron James - Bobby Krivitsky Ellen Fallon Writing 205 A...

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