[eDebate] Pintos, pirates and puppets
Ross K. Smith
Tue Feb 6 17:57:24 CST 2007
So, what got into Ross? What's up with "callin' people out?"
It was serendipitous.
In the midst of a work session for the Coon, someone said, "What's up
with Cal's judging?" I asked what they meant. I was told Ace is in for
zero, etc., and Stephen Davis is doing 8. I asked, "Who is Stephen
Davis?" and was told Bard, the block 30's and pirates. I remembered Bard
once my memory was jarred, but had not associated him with the pirates
and 30's. They repeated, "Why does Cal do that?" I said, "Don't ask me.
Hell, I'll ask."
I simply decided that rather than asking crap behind people's backs
(stuff we have no answer to without asking them), the question *might*
productively be asked in public.
Just a bit later Ellsworth got tossed in via discussion of linked judge
Luckily, the responses have been productive and illuminating.
As I said, lucky. Luckily, Pinto and Stephen are generous, honest, and
The entire incident really raises a lot of big questions that risked
being really supressed had Stephen and Pinto responded differently (and
they would have been within their rights to have responded any one of a
number of ways or not at all).
1) How is it that we now have no forum in which debate theory, judging
philosophies, and community norms are discussed? We have almost no
publications and next to no discussion on e-debate. We barely use blogs.
There is no professional norm or expectation that coaches publish or
engage in public discssion of our academic activity.
2) Given the lack of robust public discussion, how much of this back
room back stabbing goes on instead? How porly do we understand what
others in the community think and feel?
3) Can these kinds of issues be productively discussed outside their
personalized contexts? Are discussions on speaker points that do not
discover the context of the debates in which block 30's are assigned,
but pretend we do not know the specifics even though debateresults.com
have them there for all to see, are those discussions really productive?
Can we not publicly discuss the question, "What the fu*& is up with the
pirates thing?" I mean, that is two known people. Are judging
philiosophies not public documents that can be discussed specifically?
These are not entirely rhetorical questions.
I think that we have a lot of work to do.
1) Bard is, indeed, cool. I have been impressed with the dedication the
students and coaches have had. They do not need to subject themselves to
the slings and arrows of NDT fortune and to people like me, but they
choose to do so when other programs are leaving.
2) Wyoming is, indeed, cool. Stannard is an exception to the rule of
reduced professional public discourse about and for the activity. I have
learned something every time I have spoken with him and whenever he writes.
3) Cal is cool. Achten's, "Eat me," reply in backchannel was as
appropriate and eloquent as were those of Davis and Ellsworth. Much
funnier. I laughed. Thanks.
Ross K. Smith
Wake Forest University
More information about the Mailman