Klemz's New Judging "Philosophy"
Thu Oct 12 21:51:59 CDT 2000
In the interest of providing advance warning to those who may see my name on
a preference sheet at Emporia this weekend and on subsequent weekend, I wish
to publically state the following:
I celebrate all forms of evidence and argumentation. The form of debate as
practiced today is suffering from a rigid and calcifying "theory." This
"theory" worships the twin gods of "education" and "competitive equity," and
debaters facilely invoke these "god concepts" to justify a form of
competition that silences the voices of the "object others" of our inquiry
and silences the voices of the "subject others" that practice that inquiry.
I can no longer remain silent. I wish to state for all who wish to hear that
I will no longer privilege one form, one theory, one type of evidence, one
method of delivery, one. Unity is an illusion and I am no longer beguiled by
So, what does this mean? I do not wish to impose my interpretation of these
words on you - I do not wish to do violence to your words, your
interpretation. But, perhaps I should clarify a bit.
Reading cards quickly, the elections disad, the "critique," i.e. the way
many practice debate today, all have values. However, as a critical
participant in this activity, I will no longer automatically accord primacy
to this mode of debate, nor any other. I believe that aesthetic language,
poetry, performance, art, among a host of other alternative "evidences" are
argumentative as well. These forms of evidence, forms of "proof" may be
spoken in rounds where I am a critical participant.
As I said, though, I do not accord these forms of evidence primacy either -
they are what they are, and other participants in our inquiry are welcome to
struggle with these "evidences" on their own terms, or on the terms of
I see my role as a participant in the promulgation and discussion of
projects advanced by both teams, and it now falls into the hands of the
other participants to shape their projects and be prepared to discuss all
aspects of them, including the form that their evidence takes. In this
respect, I am no different than I was as a critic earlier, only now I find
it important to publically emphasize this dimension to my "philosophy" so
that it does not surprise others.
If you want to debate like you always have, you can. If both teams agree in
their approach, I will follow their leads. I will choose to take
notes/"flow" based on the approach that the participants choose - i.e.
whether I believe that taking notes will facilitate my ability to
I welcome questions and concerns.
Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at http://www.hotmail.com.
Share information about yourself, create your own public profile at
More information about the Mailman