Topic selection a plea

Joshua Hoe ifjxh
Fri Apr 28 14:40:40 CDT 2000


I love how Bear can turn anything and everything he discusses recently into
a dark, threatening, and foreboding statement.....Well, I will be there
too....I will not bring a tape recorder but I will certainly voice my
opinions....Feel free to quote me liberally on the "L" if you wish.  I think
you will find, if you go back in the archives, that I have attempted to
respond to pretty much every question people have written about the process
(as to why I voted one way or the other etc.).

Josh


>From: Michael Bear Bryant <MWBRYANT at AOL.COM>
>Reply-To: MWBRYANT at AOL.COM
>To: EDEBATE at LIST.UVM.EDU
>Subject: Re: Topic selection a plea
>Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2000 14:14:10 EDT
>
>Martin is on-point. Everyone should try to attend the topic committee
>meeting
>in June. WARNING: I'm going to be there, with a tape recorder, providing my
>assessment to the list of what I feel is taking place.
>
>Bear

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>From  Fri Apr 28 15:41:24 2000
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Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2000 15:41:24 EDT
Reply-To: MWBRYANT at AOL.COM
To: Team Topic Debating in America <EDEBATE at LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Michael Bear Bryant <MWBRYANT at AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: Shunning
Comments: To: eb4pres at hotmail.com

In a message dated 4/28/00 12:43:22 PM Mountain Daylight Time,
eb4pres at HOTMAIL.COM writes:

> E-Debate Community,
>     In the last few days, I have seen Bear unjustifiable attack numerous
>  people, including my very good friend Glen Prince. I know that in the name
>  of free speech, Tuna will not kick Bear off the list serve. So, here is my
>  proposal. Shun him. No matter how nasty, offensive or outright wrong Bear
>  is, just don't respond. If we all do this, perhaps it will be effective.
>  Also, if you have hotmail, block him. That way, you don't have to get any
of
>  his nasty emails that clog up your inbox. Just a suggestion.
>    Erin Bailey

Thank you for showing me how open this community is to someone who has an
alternative perspective. Thank you for showing me that protection of your
friend (the one that called me a motherfucking asshole) outweighs my right to
be a member of this community.

Yes, Bailey, censor me. Protect your sensitive little ears from someone fed
up with non-stop attacks on my very right to speak.

You are what I feel is most wrong with debate,

Bear,
what willl you do to prove your moral superiority without me? Yes, shun
someone arguing for a comprehensive approach to sexism in this activity. The
insulting of your friend more than deserves it.

>From  Fri Apr 28 15:44:52 2000
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To: Team Topic Debating in America <EDEBATE at LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Jim Haefele <jimhaefele at ANGELFIRE.COM>
Organization: Angelfire  (http://email.angelfire.mailcity.lycos.com:80)
Subject: Hypersensitivity--is it good?

I usually post on here to make fun of something somebody writes, because I amuse myself, and because I know I can make Steve Donald and Austin Carson laugh.  In this case, though, I have some earnest questions regarding the threads that are being discussed here, and I understand that there are some real feelings that have been hurt by these DCA posts.  I will do my best not to mock anyone, but I'd like to state my concerns--I thought Matt Stannard's post was sensitively written and thoughtful, even if I may disagree with him in part or in toto.  I'll try to follow the same mold.  Here are my thoughts:

1.  Why is this fictional Booty Contest "sexist"?  Consider
--there's no suggestion that only men are involved
--there's no suggestion that sex-based criteria are used
--anyone could be involved--everybody got a booty, ya smell me?

That's not an excuse if it offends you--it doesn't offend me, and I don't think that Lupo or Steven have had the patriarchal wool pulled over their eyes in this case, but if it offends you, you're certainly entitled to that feeling.  My query is more about the nature of that offense--is it "sexist", or just "bad taste"?  There is, after all, a qualitative difference.  Maybe you don't think the joke is funny, or maybe you think there should never be comments or judgement based on anything physical at any time, but even that isn't really a question of sexism, in my opinion.

Also it seems to me that this is somewhat of a trivialization of real sexism--I don't really consider Lupo waving his butt around to have the same connotations as someone, male or female, forced into life as a stripper/prostitute.  But I don't want to take that too far, it's a visceral reaction that I haven't thought out enough yet.

If I'm wrong--explain, please, and BE SPECIFIC.  There's been a lot of talk about the systemic nature of patriarchy, etc., which is true but hardly informative as it relates to this particular event, or non-event, more accurately.

Admittedly, my feelings on this issues are impacted by the fact that Biz wrote this--Biz is a really great friend of mine, and I'm pretty much willing to wage it all on the claim that she's not too much of a sexist.

2.  The accusations of racism seem unhelpful.  Again, I am not denying Michelin's concerns or feelings, but it seems to me that the fear of stereotypes is not always helpful or accurate or applicable.

Yes, it's definitely true that there is an assignation of athletic prowess on behalf of race.  Does that mean that if a black man has success in basketball that we should never mention it?  That is not helpful, in my view, because it forces race issues into an area where they don't have to exist.

Here's what I mean:  Steven Bailey is evidently a good basketball player.  Should I never acknowledge that for fear of making him think I believe his only worth is as a good basketball player?  Why is that desirable?  It's not like anyone's saying  "Steven, you're a great basketball player, but then again, I knew you would be."   But I'm not going to maintain silence instead of saying "Hey, nice shot."

I'm not callous--I believe there needs to be some sensitivity to these issues, and I'm not telling you how to feel, Michelin.  But I think it's pretty clear from the original posting that no one made any statements suggesting that Steven's basketball prowess is more important or even really relevant to his debate skills, which are formidable and undeniable.  It seemed like what was being said was rather that he's a badass debater, AND, by the way, a cool guy who's good at other stuff, too.

(As an aside, and I'm not sure I should mention this because it could really stir things up but I will anyway because it's an interesting question, I just finished reading a book called "Taboo" by John Entine about African superiority in sports--agree or disagree, it's recommended reading and makes incredibly compelling arguments).


Here's my main point:  sensitivity is good, but it can go to far, in my opinion.  Some jokes are just jokes.  I'll get attacked for that; someone will say "that's what the sexual harasser says".  True enough, but it's a rather pathetic equivocation to conclude that because some jerk grabs a woman's ass and calls it a joke that ANY comment excused as a joke is the moral equivalent.  Just because you don't think it's funny doesn't mean the attempted jokester is a bigot.

Hoping this was well-mannered enough,

Jim







Angelfire for your free web-based e-mail. http://www.angelfire.com

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Date: Fri, 28 Apr 2000 15:47:10 EDT
Reply-To: MWBRYANT at AOL.COM
To: Team Topic Debating in America <EDEBATE at LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: Michael Bear Bryant <MWBRYANT at AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: avoiding conflicts--IDAHO RESPONDS
Comments: To: msermon at acofi.edu

In a message dated 4/28/00 12:51:59 PM Mountain Daylight Time,
msermon at acofi.edu writes:

> Bryant, you keep saying I'm a liar. Are you all talk or what? This is no
>  joke.

You said that I called everyone in Idaho racists.

You said that I said that there was no one in Idaho fighting racism.

Those were you direct words. I asked to you to re-quote them to me. You
can't, because I didn't say them. That, sir, makes you a LIAR. My revulsion
at your tactics is not all talk.

Want to do something about it? Or are you all LIAR?

Bear




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