Old Yeller - and the state of rhetoric

Joe Biden yelled at me for a while today.  I think he was talking about the economy, but it was hard to listen what with him yelling all the time.

Joe has been a professional politician since Demosthenes was in a short toga, so it is a little surprising that he never learned how to give a speech, or at least modulate his voice a little.  A loud voice of constant intensity is almost as soporific as its quiet counterpart, and lots more annoying.  Obama might have allowed one to get cat naps in the long pauses between words, but at least he displayed some animation and variety.

No doubt Biden wants to counter Trump's claims that he is "sleepy" but, Joe, Joe, this is not the way to do it.

Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue. But if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town crier spoke my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand thus, but use all gently, for in the very torrent, tempest, and (as I may say) whirlwind of passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance that may give it smoothness. Oh, it offends me to the soul to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings, who for the most part are capable of nothing but inexplicable dumb-shows and noise. I would have such a fellow whipped for o'erdoing Termagant. It out-Herods Herod. Pray you, avoid it.............Hamlet, Act III, Scene 2


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