[eDebate] rulebreaking doesn't win a lot of debates and therewill be no mass exodus

Jim Hanson hansonjb
Tue Jun 19 22:14:00 CDT 2007

my apologies for posting that email; mixed that up.

and I agree that a full blown schism isn't really likely (scott's point that we already have mini-tournaments is pretty much true though).

and andy, I disagree with you on this issue but still like you. 

jim :)
hansonjb at whitman.edu
----- Original Message ----- 
From: Andy Ellis 
To: matt stannard 
Cc: edebate at ndtceda.com 
Sent: Tuesday, June 19, 2007 3:47 PM
Subject: Re: [eDebate] rulebreaking doesn't win a lot of debates and therewill be no mass exodus

I dont really disagree with any thing stannard says in this post, though i think he is perhaps being slightly more elitist than i am comfortable with  in his assesment of how many of these deabtes occur, but the point is well taken. 

I dont think there is any chance of schism and my most recent conversation with hanson, should in fairness be appreciated in the context of a backchannel that inadvertantly became public. I think that in that context i approached that conversation slightly differently than i would have had i thought it public.... 

Finally i do echo the cry "down with hansen" mmm bop was hands down the worst good song ever, even worse than that hey baybay song i hear all the time these days, but jim hanson, even though i disagree with him sometimes is someone im excited to know is in my community... 

On 6/19/07, matt stannard <stannardmatt at hotmail.com> wrote: 
  At this point the threat of a schism is laughable.  "Schism" implies, in context if not in literal definition, a large-scale split.  We're talking about maybe three or four schools leaving and forming their own debate league with open resolutions -- a move which would be disasterous for their travel budgets.  The reason that more schools do not wilfilly embrace self-consciously nontopical affs now is that there are usually only one or two teams every year, out of like 200, who win a significant number of debates with those affs.  The rest of the teams that do it are poor imitators of "rebel" teams they idolize.  And usually their politics are completely absurd, confrontational towards the wrong targets (eg "Ross Smith is the MAN!!!" and "Down with Hansen" kind of stupidity) and they can't answer arguments or explain their research.  Once they learn to do those things, they realize the opportunity cost to debating the topic isn't as ideologically or competitively taxing as they thought. 
  There ain't no movement here, folks.  There are a few posts on edebate.  
  Moreover, I haven't seen a resolution yet that didn't allow teams to take a critical approach to their affs if they wanted to.  Sure, they might have to shift their brand of criticism to accomodate the literature, and may even have to run arguments they don't personally or unqualifiedly endorse.  I really like hearing critical affs, creative approaches to answering various brands of procedural and substantive debate, etc.  I don't see anything wrong with that.  But if the bottom line is "I should get to run whatever the fxxx I want," here's my sober assessment of that cry: No you shouldn't.  I don't care about your myopia.  Go cry to your mama.  Better yet, prove that you are capable of REAL creativity: the kind that comes from stretching boundaries instead of running away from them.  And prove that you are capable of genuine political engagement: the kind that comes from working within democratic parameters.  
  But back to my original point: In the status quo, maybe one or two teams every year can win with genuine, unadalterated rulebreaking, and it's just not going to get any larger than that.  And I can live with that, and I really don't care if that's not good enough for either side in this increasingly ridiculous discussion. 

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