Top Ten Reasons why I hate Whiners
Fri Aug 21 00:38:50 CDT 1998
It's pretty late, I'm sufferng from serious a debate jones and I get on
the list to find a self-serving post of things wrong with activity...I
don't care who you are but I've grown completely weary of these arguments
which attack everyone and yet nobody at all. Here's my list of answers
to Sgw8's, if that is your real assumed name, compelling and
earth-shattering list of revelations about
this activity that we all so clearly don't undestand.
10. Whiners presume that their small sampling of
expeience is generalizable to an activity composed of many different types
of peoples in many different areas...to make an observation about
"debater" or"debate" is about as useful as making comments about how all
actors are over-sensitive or how all lawyers are untrustwothy
schiesters...if you, and others who seem bent on judging the worth of the
activity as some lump sum can't move beyond these generalizations then
perhaps your bitterness is inevitable in any field you wander into.If you
don't like debate than quit...it doesn't seem to be making you happy. If
you have quit and simply have ideas for improvemnt offer them, a list of
generalized beefs doesn't really accomplish anything.
9.Whiners comp[lain about the quality of judging with either no experience
or hindsight which allows them to know what REALLY bad judging is...come
to Nevada high school debate and I'll show you.
8.Whiners conflate their own failed arguments into proof of rigid norms
which exclude their ideas...just like flat-earthers and the French.
7.Whiners spend their nights typing complaints to a community they claim
to understand already and know to be exclusive and evil. If you think
we're unredeemable than go do somethin positive, if you think we're
redeemable it proves that argument creates a inhrent self-correction
mechanism in the activity disproving most of your arguments.
6.Whiners attack the "community" and its norms while at the same time
complaining that no community exists.
5.Whiners indict the diversity of our activity, a problem denied by
nobody I know in the activity, with little to no knowledge of, and even
less participation in, any of the efforts being undertaken to rectify
these problems. The fact that you have never met a hispanic debater simply
speaks to your own poor expeience base...you ought to visit Texas
sometime. Pineda and Salinas weren't wasps that's for sure. There is much
work to be done, but I doubt you're volunteering to do any of it. And if
you are then I have phone numbers of
people you can contact.
4."Professional" debaters.....I freaking wish it were true....I might be
employed. The small number of debaters who transfer and don't take school
seriously is more of a problem to the debaters themselves than to the
community as a whole. Get over it.
3. Whiners construct crappy arguments...so you don't like it when
paradigms are mixed or in question, but you do want argument
creativity...you're screwed with both of these as priorities...better pick
one view and run with it. As for the lack of disads other than
Clinton...this reveals your remarkably thin knowledge of arguments.
Bipart., Inter-Branch Conflict, Congressional Backlash, Mid-Term
elections, Prez Powers Etc. Write a good disad and it wins...write a bad
one and it won't.
2.Ethnocentrism...Sgw8's hidden identity combined with the whining remind
me of the yellow-bellied, LeCar driving French. At least have some guts
and do more than throw up a poorly constructed Maginot line of reasons and
be willing to identify with your arguments.
1.Jealousy...It sounds like either you are or can still be debating..to be
spending your time on e-whines when there are so many people who would
like to have the opportunity to still be debating seems selfish, petty,
Some of the complaints have validity, but the arrogant and self-seriving
way they are presented insults me and anybody else who knows what a
positive effect this activity can have upon one's life. Speak for and
about yourself...It's the only person who you know well enough to question
their motives or competence.
Pissy and unemployed,
>From Fri Aug 21 01:40:22 1998
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Date: Fri, 21 Aug 1998 01:40:22 EDT
Reply-To: Ara98 at AOL.COM
To: Team Topic Debating in America <EDEBATE at LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Samara Mohamed <Ara98 at AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: Top Ten Reasons why I hate Debate
I'm going to summarize each of these arguments.... (please excuse any spelling
10. There are some REALLY good debaters that scare the less good debaters
Personally, I have always been the person-just-below-the-finals-breaking-
point. After getting only one trophy in debate, I still love the activity and
so do many in the debate community. Winning that really skinny lady on top of
the trophies is not the only goal people have.
9.The debate community is very fractured.
I don't know any other activity where people on teams will compete with so
much effort, and then go out for pizza afterwards. And I don't know about
fractured at all, my many pleas for help on this very listserv have resulted
in many backchannels from people all over the country offering to post things
on the web, or e-mailing me personally, or leaving their mailbox open to
whatever question I may have. Try to have some rival college football coach
help out another team!!
8.Too much hypercompetitiveness against hypocompetitiveness.
I haven't noticed this to be much of a problem. People debate because they
like the activity. Sure, there may be some superteam. But one out of forty
is not all that bad. Debaters generally know what they are getting themselves
into. And if they are in it for the educational value this activity is
supposed to have, then losing is not such a big deal.
7.We ignore stock issues.
I have never seen an aff team win with a case that wasn't
topical/inherent/advantagous/solving-the-problem/etc. True, the debate may
focus more or mostly off-case on DA's, critiques, and the like but those are
indirect attacks on the stock issues.
6.Debaters have a problem with cigarettes and alcohol.
As stated by other people before me, most schools have a strict no smoking/no
Besides, how well can you speak if your lungs are shot from cigarettes and how
well can you debate if you are drunk or stoned? Obviously, debaters are not
going to go overboard using these two substances, and you can find use of them
in every other activity, not that I'm condoning the use of either cigarettes
5. Debaters trash their judges.
Every self-respecting debater has believed they have been cheated out of a win
at one point or another, and it is some crazy judge that decided against them.
Now ranting about a judge for a 15 minutes after a tournament is over is
entirely okay. You are deceiving yourself if you think all decisions were
truly justified during the round. Everyone gets a bad judge every once in a
4. The judges are arbitrary.
Now where do you think we get bad judges? But this is probably not as bad of
a problem as you are making it out to be. In all seriousness, most judges
stick to a basic judging philosophy, though the details may vary from round to
round. But the details MUST vary because every debate round is not identical.
So that is where the judge must decide the important points that are relevant
to thier judging philosophy.
But to prevent too much arbitration, ask the judge what thier paradigm is, and
then USE IT DURING THE ROUND. Bring it up! Tell them "Because you are a
[stock issues, value, tree-hugger, whatever] judge, you must vote for me
because of these reasons. blah blahblah.."
3. We rely on evidence too much.
With a topic like this, I'm sure people realize that everyone and their
uncle's dog could write something that applies to this topic. So our analysis
of what is happening is as pertinent as some LA TIMES staffwriter and even
Uncle Willie's dog. This topic is just full of analysis, so we'll be ready
2. Judges will vote on thier own biases, and there are other imbalances in
One bad judge will not ruin your debating career. Get over the one loss, and
move on with your debate experience. As for imbalances in evidence, that will
always be impossible to overcome, but I've seen teams with significantly fewer
tubs do very well against teams with alot of cannon fodder filling big
tupperware bins. If it's intimidation factor, the bins have it, but when it
comes down to debating ability, KNOWING your (lesser amount of) evidence
inside and out is always better than having alot of cannon fodder.
1. There is very little diversity along phyiscal lines of the debaters, nor
mental lines of all involved.
Sure this is a white-male dominated sport, but more people are coming into the
glorious world of debate every year. And I wouldn't like to see the activity
changed and watered down for black women and other minorities. I'm not male,
I'm not white, and I've been in debate since I was a freshman in HS. I've
seen more females enter and WIN every year. And minorities are beginning to
pick up as well.
And as for mental lines, it is up to everyone to challenge the limits! You
have probably run the Clinton DA yourself, contributing to the problem you are
complaining of. Why don't you, yourself, run the Congressional DA? Why don't
you stress the point that the Congress does have more power than the
president, and pound it into your judge's head? YOU don't think it will win,
so YOU DON'T RUN THE DA. I, myself, will only put out the arguments I think
I can win. When you have a killer DA/critique/plain-old-argument, why not run
with it??? Make a killer Gingrich DA, and the judges will be refreshed to
hear something new.
Just my thoughts.
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