James C Thomas
Thu Jan 11 00:30:53 CST 2007
I?m only making one more post on this subject. That?s one more than I
would be making if I (1) didn?t have a couple beers in me (2) anything
good was on TV and (3) Joe hadn?t send me a text message that said ?DReg
totally pwned you on edebate.? I really don?t care. I know I made the most
right decision I possibly could?ve made in that debate given my
intellectual abilities and what I could?ve possibly gleamed from that 1.5
hour buzzword fest that called itself a debate. Edebate isn?t the forum
for this kind of stuff, I only brought up the specific round because the
specific round was brought up on a publicly accessible listserve that
accused me of ?screw[ing]? Vermont in the doubles of UTD. Call me a bad
judge in private, I really don?t care. Call me a bad judge on some forum
that is easily googlable, I bite back. But I seriously don?t care. I?m
gonna be in Fiji miles away from anyone that has ever seen a policy debate
before next year, and y?all can trade memories about how bad of a judge I
am. I?ll be fine. SO fine. And I seriously will always have mad love for
everyone at the LDU, and if we can still throw a few back or stumble
around Burlington in a few weeks that would be awesome. If not, I?ll get
Btw, it sucks that Kansas isn?t pissed at me too (well, maybe they are,
beats me) because they were just as vacuous as y?all were in that debate.
But at least they said the word ?permutation? and I kind of know what that
Bottom line, my position will always be: I listened to an hour and a half
of NOTHING that night. I can?t make a coherent decision or even begin to
do an hour?s worth of card reading out of nothing. Sorry. Good people can
disagree over whether or not that debate or any debate is nothing. That?s
why there are panels. But my judging philosophy now says that stupid ivory
tower buzzword bullshit without punctuation as to how I?m supposed to use
it in a debate or what it means in the real world is nothing. Others
disagree. There are pref sheets. Whatevs. If you?re going to run Nothing
in front of me without making the argument that nothing is good, strike
<<in the doubles of ut-d, our team made a strategic
decision based on what we do best against the type of aff run by ku.>>
Vacuous affs need to be called vacuous, not be bombarded with more
vacuousness. In my humblest of opinions. Good people can disagree on that,
<<nick is one of the most technically proficient debaters i've seen in this
---insert sound of me whistling here---
(that?s insensitive. I love Nick, and he is a good debater. But
<<although sometimes he forgets to take it down a knotch to explain
things in the 2nr. although joel and the chief split, both of their
decisions reflected an effort to explain themselves on all the relevant
issues. james, you pride yourself on not reading evidence and making quick
I'm not sure if I'm ?proud? of it, but it?s what I do. This is a
communication activity, it?s the job of the debaters to always make sure
their arguments don?t need an hours worth of deciphering and card reading
in order to be coherent. Actually, it?s not the job of debaters to do that
anymore because no judges have the guts to do anything but a lot of work
for debaters after the round and kritik debaters can bank on just spewing
down big words and as long as their cards are good they have a shot.
Judges can parrot back the same bullshit that they heard in the debate and
a bunch of stuff they understood for the first time 30 minutes after the
2AR from the evidence they read if they want. (btw, not accusing Joel and
Chief of that. I mean, hell, maybe, I don?t really know them very well,
but they?re probably just smarter than me. Don?t know/care.) I am not that
judge. If you want that judge, strike me. If you like to make down to
earth arguments, pref me. Pref judges that have judged for more than two
years first, because first and second year judges just aren?t good judges,
<< in this debate you didn't explain yourself on anything.>>
It was only appropriate given that no one literally explained anything for
an hour and a half.
didn't call for any cards and you were done in less than 10 minutes.>>
I?m pretty sure I waited fifteen. Not waited, I poured over all the stupid
nonsense I wrote down on my flow begging myself to understand any of it.
What was I supposed to do? I didn?t understand it. Maybe that?s my
inadequacy. I?m not so arrogant as to say I don?t understand a lot of
things. I don?t. But nothing in that debate helped me understand anything.
I read/looked at/poured over my flows for fifteen minutes and still made
the decision I did because it was the truth. I LOVE Nick and Jason and
want them to win every round I judge (everyone, admit it, judges have
favorites, duh.) but if it doesn?t happen then I?m not gonna just give it
to them. I wouldn't make that decision and see them lose if I didn't
believe what I said. And I tried. I really really tried.
decision consisted of "the aff had some business, the neg had some business,
and the aff said we could do both businesses, and i vote aff." >>
For those watching from the sidelines, yes, that was pretty much my RFD
verbatim. Not at all ashamed.
Would you have preferred that I parroted back a bunch of agambenese that I
didn?t understand? What was I SUPPOSED to do in that situation? I DIDN?T
GET IT. Should I have not gotten it for 20 minutes instead of 15? 30? 60?
Should I have read every card until I got something and figured something
out until I felt I could vote on it? I DIDN?T GET IT. Maybe that?s because
I?m a dumbass. Maybe that?s because it was a bad debate. Maybe a little of
column A, a little of column B. In either case, would you have preferred I
just put on my best kritik debater voice and said some nonsense about
agamben to justify my decision either way? I can?t do that because I?m an
honest person. Maybe I?m a bad judge but I?m an honest person. (But,
really, I?m not a bad judge. I?m just an honest person. I?m a fucking
launched a criticism of both teams about their lack of explanation, followed
recently by your new judging philosophy. what i want to know is what can my
debaters take away from your decision? >>
It?s not really a new judge philosophy. I?ve always hated this crap. I
spent an entire year giving a 1AC making fun of this crap.
To answer your question, they should punctuate their buzzwords with how
their buzzwords function in the debate. First step is to use ?impact? and
?link? and ?alternative? more and ?ontology? and ?question? less.
<<what do they learn? should they
learn that they suck because they didn't explain things well enough for
They don?t suck, I?ve judged them in many debates (some kritik debates,
some debates about the 9-0 counterplan, some debates on their aff) where
they?ve rocked but I am extra bitter because I?ve been in a bad mood for
several months and it was disappointing. They should absolutely learn that
that particular debate sucked.
<<should they now stand up and say the k doesn't make sense? >>
YES! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD YES! SOMEONE FUCKING SAY THIS!
I am being 100000 percent serious.
<< if they didn't explain things effectively, what can they
explain better next time? what would've been a better strat?>>
The best strat against that aff is in my judge philosophy. Next time they
should read less cards and spend more time explaining what the cards they
did read meant. They can go slower. They can paint a picture of what their
business actually is, paint a picture of what the aff business is (paint a
picture means give me a visualization ? or give me some idea of what
anyone is talking about on a level that isn?t abstract academic shit) and
say why one is better than the other. They could look up at my facial
expression and see that I looked like a complete idiot for an hour and a
half, eyebrows totally crooked, eyes all rolling, completely confused.
Bottom line ? maybe I?m wrong. Maybe they did an AMAZING job of explaining
their argument. But I?m the judge and I didn?t get it. Knowing me as well
as they do, they should figure that out. They don?t even have to know me,
they just have to look at the expression on my face during cross-x. Maybe
I?m a complete idiot. But I will continue to judge and your job is either
to strike me or make sense next time. This is a communication activity. If
I don?t get it I don?t get it. Some may say that?s my fault
pretty sure a majority of honest people would agree with me had they have
watched that debate. I really wanted to just run away.
That?s real talk.
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