For my final rhetoric paper, I have chosen to observe a short film called “Validation” to serve as my artifact. Directed by Kurt Kuenne, the story revolves around a shopping center’s parking garage attendant who, in spite of the unfulfilling nature of his profession, somehow awakens to find the joy in the world. It is never revealed what it is which inspires him to greet and bid farewell to each day with such a high powered, happy-go-lucky demeanor. Quite frankly, we are introduced to him as if he were just recently dropped onto the planet by an alien life force and he has not yet been introduced to the mundanity of life which slowly eats away at the rest of us. But for whatever reason he maintains his upright optimism, he wishes to share his cheer with the rest of the world. One by one, unsuspecting mall patrons visit the desk he occupies, intending for him to merely “validate” their temporary parking passes. In spite of their slumped postures or visibly exhausted expressions, he greets them, immediately showering each visitor – total strangers to him – with an endless stream of complements, ranging from their potential talents to their striking physical features. And surprisingly, from the encounters alone, the visitors are rejuvenated, ready to face whatever challenges life may throw their way. Soon our hero begins to attract the attention of residents throughout the area, eventually leading to a line of people – the size of a superhero movie’s opening weekend turnout – all waiting to see him. When he is confronted by his dumbfounded work superiors, they too succumb to his charms. He is eventually introduced to his boss’s bosses and consequently, his boss’s boss’s bosses, working his way up through a hierarchy of important people to the point that he eventually meets the U.S. President (at the time). After that, he manages to negotiate a truce between Pakistan and Israel. People all over the world start taking note of how attractive their smiles must be now that they use them more, thus causing the dental industry to profit handsomely.
So why does this make for a compelling paper? Because it sets out to mend lifelong scuffles and resolve the inner troubles we have struggled to overcome over the course of a lifetime by deploying the most simplistic of tactics. From one side, the feature observes the world from a fantasy point of view in which every other person seems to be unaccustomed to giving/being shown compassion. Much like a film such as Invention of Lying, you have a fictional scenario in which the same world as our own still exists with only one component being different. It’s almost more implausible to accept than the full blown mythical universes of J.K. Rowling and J.R. Tolkien.
On the other hand, in a world of crime and reasons to blame crime (upbringing, background, etc.), Kuenne chooses to link the root of all our problems so far back that, despite rarely being concentrated on as the reason for dismay, could actually help us find the solution to everything. Now maybe not every man, woman and child can have their worries fade away merely because their got their daily dosage of “attaboy”. Nonetheless, in a time where we continue to fight about the upcoming presidential election and how its turnout could forever change the fabric of our country’s stability, it’s important to observe the possibilities in how we’ve gotten to be how we are and what we can do to change it. Validation’s ideas are an odd approach to fixing everything we’ve come to despise…and that’s why I have to do it.


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