[eDebate] DCA Debater #7--BLAKE JOHNSON

cleary at ou.edu cleary
Thu May 10 18:26:41 CDT 2007

Blake received 75 total points

Dr. Blakelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bong

The Early Years

Joseph Blake Johnson was born in Eufaula (pronounced ?hick-ville?) Oklahoma, a small town of 5,000 people in eastern Oklahoma, of which his dad was the mayor. When he was young, Blake helped his dad campaign.  While Blake was an invaluable campaign tool, he did almost cost his dad an election once when he ran across a stage naked that his dad was speaking on (this would be the beginning of a long pattern of streaking and just generally being naked all of the time).  Little else is known about the years Blake spent in Eufaula. All I can gather is that being a politician?s son taught him how to tell dirty jokes and do a wicked rendition of ?Baby Got Back.?

While he was still young, Blake moved to Edmond (pronounced ?white-as-fuck-ville?) Oklahoma, a town that has more churches than people and still segregates its schools.  

Blake didn?t really have any policy debate experience in high school.  In fact, he was an LDer.  He was an up and coming star on his (first) high school debate team, but an imitation of Johnny Depp in Blow put an end to that.  He did win the LD state title and declined his trip to NFL nationals to ?fight the system,? but most of his high school days were spent as the lead singer of his (3) Christian ?punk? band(s), (aptly) named ?No Talent.?  Back in those days, Blake passed the time rocking out against the lack of prayer in public schools (A disclaimer: while most of the jokes in this bio are completely true, some are hyperbolic.  But, I?m being dead serious here. Blake was a BIG Christian. Go-on-mission-trips-to-convert-the-savage kind of Christian.  He?s imitated to me how he prayed at the church he attended, and let me put it this way, I was terrified.  With all the arm raising and weird chants, I wasn?t sure if we were praying to God or having a s?ance.)

But he soon wandered from his Christian roots and by the time I met him his first year of college, he was a long-haired, vegetarian hippie with this lame peace sign tattoo on his leg. He even boasted an impressive rap sheet, having been arrested for disorderly conduct after picking a fight with a group of 80-year old veterans at a war protest (the veterans won).


College life for Blake is awesome.  His days usually consist of waking at the early hour of 3 PM, just to make it to Happy Hour at 4. Seriously, trying to wake this guy before noon is harder than not killing yourself when you listen to Brett Wallace go for T.  He?s failed afternoon classes solely because he had too many absences from sleeping in.  He?s not really anti-class, he just doesn?t believe in going to class on days that end in?..?day.? He gets by, although I think he is still the only OU student to fail ?Intro to College: A gnat could get an A in this class??.twice.

Not doing policy debate in high school, Blake?s transition to the college debate world was rough.  For one, he didn?t know any of the lingo or staple debate arguments.  Until the NDT this year, he thought a double turn was good because why turn once, when you can turn twice?

Blake also could not exactly ?go fast? in debates.  It may have been because of the 2 packs of cigarettes he smoked per??hour, but seriously, the first time I heard him attempt to spread, I thought he was speaking in tongues.  He also couldn?t finish a 2AR without his inhaler or CPR, which I?m still convinced was just an excuse to make out with me. But he soon caught on, and before long he was moving at the speed of a Special Olympics hurdler, rivaling the likes of speed-demons Tripp Rebrovick and Dan Luxemburg. That Blake didn?t win speediest debater is a travesty of epic proportions.

Not doing policy debate in high school also meant that Blake never really learned how to debate the little, inconsequential things??you know, like T.  Seriously, why people didn?t go for T against us every round boggles my mind. I think Bard could have beaten us on T. The following exchange pretty much sums up the OU CJ approach to Topicality:

Blake: Shit duuuuuuude *cough cough* How am I going to answer this T argument?
Conor: Make a we meet
Blake: Did you say weed?!?
Conor: Focus man! Look, all they said was we have to use the Supreme Court. For once, we actually do!
Blake: Duuuuude, this is hard stuff. Can?t I just say T=genocide?

A lot of people think we were a K team because we?re dirty hippies.  This is partially true. Blake is a dirty hippie.  But the real reason we?re a K team is because Blake can?t pronounce ?hegemony.?  He still asks which city and state the political capital DA is referring to.  It?s the damnedest thing, but to Blake, simple (read: policy) arguments might as well be jibberish, while the musings of a professor from the department of Lacantology are a light read. 

Some Other Things You Should Know About Blake

He?s a MySpace whore.  I would say 90% of the play Blake gets is from random MySpace girls who go by their MySpace name, rather than their real one. In fact, Blake?s rate of landing non-MySpace girls is about as good as his AFF win percentage against UMKC.  His MySpace connections do produce a busy social life. Bored on a Friday night?  Blake solves this problem instantly, scans his bulletins (or ?bullets? as he likes to call them) and finds a party to attend. These parties are?..interesting.  Don?t get me wrong, they?re fun. But they?re the kind of parties where all the boys and girls look the same.  No one looks a day over 13, everyone wears the same jeans and has that weird, short emo hair-cut where the bangs swoop in front of only one eye. 
He has an unhealthy obsession with Elliott Smith. Blake has every record he has ever done and every show he has ever played. Each slot in Blake?s car?s 6-disc CD player holds one of his albums.  When Smith died, Blake didn?t speak for three days.

He has an even unhealthier obsession with fried Okra.  If you don?t believe me, check out his judging philosophy. He likes it so much he proposed renaming the state ?Okrahoma.?  When I informed him that might be perceived as insensitive to Asians, Blake retorted, ?These carriers of the most humiliating and vengeance-seeking instincts, the descendants of all European and non-European slavery, especially of the pre-Aryan people?they represent mankind's regression.? Shows what reading a little Nietzsche will get you.

In my underground poll for ?skinniest debater of the year,? Blake won in both the boys and girls category, narrowly edging out Kathryn Clark for the girl?s crown, of which he is particularly proud.  He also won in some surprising categories (?would be hotter as a woman?) and some not so surprising ones (?most likely to give you an STD?).  Blake?s so skinny he still shops in the juniors department at the mall and I think his waist is smaller than his age, although he does turn 22 in a few weeks.

He has a BIG crush on Lee Edelman.  From all accounts, Blake is heterosexual but if there is one man he would give it up for, it would be ?Lee-Pea,? as Blake affectionately calls him.  At the NDT, Georgetown informed Blake that Edelman had thought the use of his work for our AFF was creative and had asked for Blake?s email address. Blake?s ego got so big that I seriously contemplated sending someone to follow closely behind him with a ?WIDE LOAD? banner, which definitely would have been the only time the word ?wide? could be applied to Blake. Edelman hasn?t emailed him yet, but the first thing Blake does when he gets up every morn?evening, is boot up his laptop repeatedly chanting ?I wonder if he emailed me! I wonder if he emailed me!? until his words are giddy screams.  I console him everyday as he continually finds his email box empty. Hey, Lee, if you?re reading this, quit being a dick and send the little guy an email. Blakejohnson at ou.edu or 405-LEES-4-ME. 

Blake seriously misses this activity.  The first few days after the NDT were rough.  After Blake lay in the fetal position with Elliott Smith?s ?Miss Misery? on repeat for at least 24 hours straight, I started to get worried.  He misses debate so much that he tries to make every conversation an argument. It?s a day-by-day process and although he is getting better, he has relapses.  The other day he posted 28 combative messages in debate card format within 15 minutes of one another on someone?s Facebook wall who had suggested that there was no JFK assassination conspiracy.  

The Serious Part

My love for blake is a little like JW Patterson?s reign at Kentucky---ugly, but permanent.  

>From Unabomber hoodies to pearl-snap shirts that hurt like hangovers, I?m used to it all. But one thing you can?t deny about blake is that he has style.  Blake wasn?t the fastest or most technical debater, but he was one of, if not the, most persuasive and compelling debaters in the country this year.  I think we won nearly 1/4 of our negative debates this year on his CX of the 2AC alone. Jonah Feldman told me that the 5 times in a row he voted for us in elims at Northwestern were due to Blake?s ?luscious? 2ARs. Other people agreeing with the ?luscious? description include Ken Strange, David and Jenny Heidt, and Dallas Perkins (actually he said they were ?hotter than a honeymoon hotel?).

The most amazing thing about Blake?s career is that he did it all without debating policy in high school.  I may be mistaken, but I know of no top 10 DCA debaters in the last few years that graduated high school without debate experience.  His success with this in mind makes it all the more incredible.

It?s been fantastic debating with Blake who in addition to being a great debater is also my best friend.  He?s the funniest and smartest person I know.

Congrats, buddy on receiving a top 10 DCA and on an incredible season.


I feel compelled to start this whole thing off with a disclaimer.  Any of you who know me understand that this is wholly necessary.  I will offend someone.  I am a very polarizing guy, it?s in my nature.  If I don?t offend someone, then this bio probably isn?t funny.  Please feel free to post whatever you like on edebate about how rude, insensitive, uncultured, or offensive I am.  When you do so, be sure to point out a) the terrible thing I said b) the group or groups it would/should offend/objectify/marginalize and c) why it should/will offend said group.  I encourage criticism and may even feel inclined to respond to your comments.  Why would I prefer you talk about it?  Because this is America, we live in a democracy. And only a strong democracy can avert extinction.  As a dirty K debater I hate pretty much everything, but I love the shit out of the first amendment.  

Any future employers who are reading this post right now and not hiring me for a job because of it:  why are you googling my name you creepy bastard?  Seriously, if YOUR boss knew you were on google all day looking up random names you would be fired.  

I?d like to say this right now:  I love Blake Johnson.  He is one of my best, closest friends on the circuit.  I would eat the corn out of this guy?s ass if I thought it was necessary for his well-being.  I would not take a bullet for him, but I would be willing to throw Cleary in the path of the bullet, which is a pretty fair compromise.  Anything sounding mean-spirited in this is done out of love.  Now, there is a possibility this won?t be funny. This is because I?m reading it out loud to myself, and delivery is always an important component of comedy, which is hard to translate into words.  If you think this bio sucks, you?re dead to me.  Just ask me sometime and I?ll read it to you, and I promise that you will have the same reaction Joe Patrice once did:  you will laugh so hard you will throw up in your mouth.  

The Name
Blake Johnson.  It?s not a totally badass name.  Skimmyhorn, that?s a kickass name.  Night Rider, that is a badass name.  Shatner is the name of a god.  Blake Johnson, now that?s an American name.    Funny thing is Blake Johnson isn?t his colonial name, it?s his Indian name.  His family is notoriously chauvinistic, and obsessed with the phallus.  Blake swore me to secrecy over this in case he ever had to run a K that was ?sensitive with the ladies,? as he put it.  Blake complains about his name a lot because it?s ?too mainstream.?  

The Style
Blake is not a hipster.  Perhaps I should say this one more time: BLAKE IS NOT A HIPSTER.  His mother just dressed him up like that as a kid, and he stuck with it.  Blake really does think that the pinnacle of all fashion is the button up shirt that looks like it came out of a 1960s Western.  And you know what, he wears that shirt with the class and dignity it deserves.  When this man walks into a bar, people take notice.  It?s kind of like when Marty McFly walks into the bar in Back to the Future, only completely lame because it doesn?t involve time travel.  Now, if ever there was a reason why the forced assimilation of Native americans into western culture is ethically wrong, it is NOT the genocide of millions (I mean, you call it genocide, some call it progress).  No, the one reservation (pun intended) Native americans would have to assimilation in hind sight would be watching their descendents walking around looking like?..Blake.  If Blake?s great great grandfather could
 see him now he?d be the first in line to take a blanket.  Blake doesn?t care what you think of how he looks.  Why?  Because he is obviously more hip than you.  You judge him based on his material possessions, but that is so capitalist and Blake is so not a capitalist. I should point out that I lied about something earlier-Blake is, in fact, a hipster.  

The Aff
Blake had one helluva good aff win percentage this year.  I never got to debate it myself, as Blake always had a new, untopical aff to break against us.  But I have had talks and seen the data, and it was impressive.  So now it?s time for the truth.  In Oklahoma, death drive is just the term people used when they get really lit at the bar and then try to drive home.  He also knows nothing about psychoanalysis.  I know this because I?ve talked to him, and I don?t know a damn thing about it either.  So I just made a bunch of shit up and he just kept talking to me like what I was saying was relevant.  In all honesty, Blake has no idea what death drive means.  Neither did anyone else debating him. 
But I?ll say this:  the most frustrating thing about debating this guy is his 2AR.  Anyone who debated him knows what I?m saying.  Your first reaction is: what the fuck is this guy talking about?  Watching Cleary?s 1ar and Blake?s 2ar is like watching Highlander 1 and 2 back-to-back.  Yeah, it?s entertaining, but when you get to the sequel you have no idea what just happened.  First McCloud?s immortal, now he?s an alien?  
After debating against the CJ 1ar/2ar combo, you know what it?s like for Ken Strange every round when he wakes up after the block.
Not that judges should take notice of this discrepancy.  You can only handle so many fancy words in one speech, which brings me to:

The Postmodern Generator
Blake is the postmodern generator.  It?s one of his most cunning qualities.  If you are going for a perm against OU, good luck, because we all know you have no idea what he said in the 1nr but every sentence was followed by: ?this is another disad to the perm,? which is literally the only sentence you could understand. Now this is assuming he answers the perm. 

Any of you ladies and gents who have ever made out with Blake, here is some insight:
I actually found this out the first time I made out with Blake.  I am not attracted to men, I just needed the practice and Russell was teaching a class. 
Blake doesn?t know how to kiss.  When you are kissing him, and you think he?s doing such a fantastic job, he is actually still just talking.  You are feeling his mouth and tongue as it continues to spout out random, multisyllabic words that may or may not have meaning.  But don?t worry, Blake loves that shit, so it was probably better for him than it was for you.  
So after we?re done making out, he looks at me:  

BJ: What do you think?  
MG: it was OK, but you spit a lot.  Plus you know I?m into the rough stuff.  
BJ: What are you talking about?
MG:  What are you talking about?
BJ:  I was asking what your response to what I just said was.
MG:  What did you say?  I thought we were sharing a special moment.
BJ:  I said, ??Culture is part of the collapse of reality,? says Derrida; however, according to Buxton[1] , it is not so much culture that is part of the collapse of reality, but rather the futility of culture. If precultural libertarianism holds, we have to choose between postcultural libertarianism and patriarchial narrative. 
?Class is fundamentally meaningless,? says Foucault. In a sense, in Amarcord, Fellini reiterates subcultural dialectic theory; in La Dolce Vita, however, he deconstructs precultural libertarianism. Lyotard promotes the use of surrealism to modify society. 
However, Brophy[2] states that we have to choose between postdialectic theory and the cultural paradigm of consensus. A number of materialisms concerning the role of the writer as poet exist. 
Therefore, Bataille suggests the use of precultural libertarianism to challenge archaic perceptions of sexuality. An abundance of narratives concerning surrealism may be discovered. 
Thus, precultural libertarianism implies that narrative is created by the masses. If precapitalist Marxism holds, we have to choose between precultural libertarianism and the cultural paradigm of consensus. 
MG:  God I love it when you talk dirty, can I have one more practice round?

Let?s be serious for a moment.  That essay Blake spouted off while I was tonguing him sounds like one of his speeches.  You can imagine why it?s so easy for them to pick up Harris?s ballot.  Reading all of OU?s evidence after a round is like play-dough.  It can say whatever you want, it?s completely subjective and the judge can make the card answer anything.  It?s really a damn magic show that is allowed to go on because everyone has too much pride.  You don?t know what they?re saying, the judge doesn?t know what they?re saying, but who?s going to admit it.  You know that if you argue you are going to hear more shit you don?t understand, which will only make you feel more stupider.  

Give Back the Land
How could we talk about anyone from OU without mentioning give back the land?  That OU has popped so many great teams on give back the land is a testament to their skill.  Everyone seems to think that OU has an emotional attachment to the argument, like it?s their ?project? to talk about Native Americans.  I don?t mean to sell him out here, but Blake doesn?t give a shit.  He has told me several times that he thought most of the US?s land acquisition was ?savvy real estate maneuvering? and that Indian nations were ?lucky to get anything at all.?  That may be his personal stance, but you?ll be surprised to hear how he feels about the argument in terms of debate.  Blake thinks it?s a terrible argument.  He even knows that it isn?t competitive and always solved by the do both permutation.  He doesn?t give a shit either way.  It?s funny that he beat you on such a bad argument.  Let me give you some advice right now:  If you have ever lost to give back the land-kill yourself.  Now
, he defeated me on this argument in the Sems of UTD a few years back, and part of me is now dead.  If you are a young debater, and you watched them run this argument, and now it interests you-please just let it go.  Let?s have a huddle right now and lay a 3 year ban on give back the land.  

Blake on Conor
Conor, it?s time you knew:  Blake hates you.  He is jealous of your ability to be such a handsome, popular young man while at the same time wearing just enough ridiculous looking suit jackets to be semi-hipster.  He is afraid you will spawn a new race of well-rounded, universally accepted hipsters, which will clearly defeat the entire purpose of hipsterism.  He does sick shit to you while you sleep.  And Conor, this is Malgor talking, if I say something is sick?..it?s sick.  Remember what happened to us at the Tokyo spa?  Ten times worse than that.  Friendly advice:  brush your teeth?..constantly.

Blake on Blake
First, I?d like to point out how sweet the phrase ?blake on blake? sounds.  Blake is incredibly insightful.  He will really delve into the depths of his soul to find answers in life.  Of course, he always concludes that he is the shit.  Blake?s self-defined ?character flaws? consist of things like:  I?m just too pretty sometimes, or I really spend too much time volunteering at the soup kitchen.?  Here is a great story:

Blake thought about giving the CEDA trophy back, or just renouncing it completely.  He felt so guilty.  His ultra-intellectual, well-rounded hipsterness told him something was wrong.  Finally, during some pillow talk he and I had, he figured it out.  Blake really hates capitalism.  If you are a capitalist, you are so not his friend.  And if you believe in capitalist ideals, you are basically like so Eurocentric that you are causing intersubjective ontological violence on all of humanity.  Well Blake is a real horatio alger when it comes to debate.  Him winning CEDA nationals is a phenomenal achievement, lending legitimacy to the idea that if you just try hard and pick yourself up by your bootstraps you?ll achieve all your dreams.  To blake, that?s a load of capitalist crap meant to keep most of the population subservient to the ideals of the few rich fatcats that control global production.   And he read this article in International Perspectives that told him that when indiv
iduals reinforce that capitalist ideology they are basically supporting war, racism, sexism, genocide, and environmental destruction.  Well Blake wanted to have nothing to do with two of those things.  This guy is so not capitalist that he was gonna throw it all away just so no future debaters would buy into such ultra-individualistic, neoliberal propaganda.  Instead of giving the trophy back, he decided to just donate some money to the Monthly Review and call it a day.  

The Nice Stuff
It?s really hard for me to bash Blake.  I love him to death.  I?d like to use a lot of space here to say the honest stuff.  If the stupid argument that edebate will affect future employment decisions is true, then this section might get him the job.  

You deserve all the success you had this season.  Hell, you deserve more.  What you have done for OU debate is amazing.  I was very proud of you at every tournament, even when I was a little jealous of your success.  You?ve set a standard that will be nearly impossible for future debaters to surpass.  But honestly, Blake, I don?t need to talk about how great you are at debate.  Only a great debater could take down 4 national tournaments.  

You are a great friend.  In fact, I can?t remember a time since I?ve known you when I didn?t consider you a close friend.  For 3 seasons you have provided consistent support and guidance any time I needed it.  I have had and lost a lot of friends over the years, but I know that I will always be able to count on you.  You are one of the most sensitive, honest people I have ever met.  Every time we talk, you hit me with a level of sincerity that is always reassuring.  That you never betray yourself or others, and are always honest, is a sign of great character.  No matter how successful you were at a tournament it was always me that you were concerned with.  Even during the lowest lows, you consistently supported me, assuring me that better things would come.  That kind of unselfishness is hard to find in any setting, much less a competitive one.  

You have always carried yourself knowing that it is what you do now that is important; it is what we do with the relationships we have now that shape our impact on this world.  I am honored to say you are one of my best friends.  Okay, I have a lot more to say, but this is starting to sound like a love letter.  

May the four winds safely blow you home.



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