[eDebate] To be blunt

Eric Wendell Marlow emarlow
Tue Jul 17 15:33:45 CDT 2007

I almost never chime in on these things, but I think that more voices 
need to be heard.  Maybe if those of us who are generally silent speak 
up, our opinions will be taken more seriously.

Jackie is right...the resolutions do kill novice participation.  Trying 
to balance a topic competitively for the top 16 teams in the country on 
the last day of the NDT is a useless model if it costs our community 50 
novice teams a year.  Compare these resolutions to something simple 
like Resolved that advertising degrades the quality of life in the US.  
I remember Jarman having cards that said almost those exact words in 
his billboards aff.  I dare anyone to find anything remotely close to 
the wording of any of these resolutions in the actual literature.  

Josh's proposals fail.  He remembers these things being tried in the 
past.  There is a reason they are only memories...because each and 
every one of them failed; in some cases they didn't even last out the 
year that they were created.  Creating more elitism in the community 
isn't going to solve the fact that we are tacitly or openly supporting 
a system of privilege.

Matt's proposal fails.  I have nothing but the highest amount of 
respect for the cooperative and the endless amount of time and energy 
Matt puts into it, but the cooperative has not produced one program 
that has been successful in the elitist structure that would not have 
been successful anyway.  I feel Matt on the issue of debate and life 
privilege being distinct, but nothing in our activity can contribute to 
that debate privilege.  How many first rounders in the last five years 
actually were only privileged by debate and not life?  Our system, even 
with cooperatives, still favors those who are privileged in life 
outside of debate.

Tuna is right.  It is time for the merger to end.  In our need to prove 
that CEDA was as good as NDT, we committed to this course of action.  
It has proved foolhardy.  We have crushed our regional strengths, 
reduced our regional tournaments to mere sidenotes on the NDT schedule, 
watched our membership steadily decline each year, and watched 
divisions shrink until they no longer exist in many tournaments.  Some 
will say it is too late to go back, but those are the same voices that 
advocate this elitist domination of debate.  In order to be seen as 
equal to the NDT community, we tore down our big tent and made some of 
our oldest members relocate to other homes.  Time to put the tent back 
up and open the circus again.  Tuna issues a warning in hopes that 
people will listen, I guess I am a little more cynical because I know 
his plea will fall on deaf ears.  My opinion isn't just based on 
nostalgia...Neil's statistics support several of my conclusions.

How many more summers will we whine about this trainwreck of a topic 
process in a broken structure before we choose to act?  I think that 
the day of an NDT without enough participants is just around the 
corner.  CEDA is still seen as second rate in the most elitist parts of 
the community, so the approval we hoped for never emerged and never 
will.  Witness the fact that of all the major CEDA tournaments that 
consistently managed full double octs, many no longer exist and none 
make doubles.  We would have been alot better off if we had been 
satisfied with what we created and stopped measuring it against some 
false ideal from which we could never achieve acceptance and respect.

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