[eDebate] todays offering

Brian DeLong bdelo77
Tue Jul 15 02:23:21 CDT 2008

I think this discussion is most likely too late since the topic has 
already been written.  Without a workable resolution that includes 
"local activism" as a mechanism for change it's difficult to debate this 
out clearly.  Local activism for agricultural support?  Not all of us 
live in green zones. 

1.  Global-local issue.  You are asking a national organization with its 
members to determine what is effective for local strategies?  How would 
D Heidt have any clue as to what I need to do to rally public support 
for local Wyoming policy change?  Your gatekeeper arguments about the 
hegemonic nature of this organization seems to double turn with your 
suggestion that we should have judges and debaters from vastly different 
world situations determine what strategies are best for their local 
communities.  There is an inherent problem with a lack of shared 
knowledge of the social situation of the Wyoming's, Fullerton's, 
Berkeley's, ASU's , NYU's etc. 

Your program analogy also assumes that students are taught local 
problems from agent's that are dissolved within their local situations.  
The best teachers of your film class will know how to meet the needs of 
their local students by having direct experience.  This includes the use 
of local research methods.  You want me judging a round where I decide 
the best strategies for constructing a local activism project that 
includes spray painting as means for reaching a mass audience?  I know 
jack about the issue.

I can only assume that your response will be that debate provides an 
avenue where debaters can contribute experiences and information about 
their localities so that the curriculum can have adequate ground to 
evaluate a proposed action.  Ha, this is where evidence and research is 
introduced.  I may not be an expert on the practices of political 
activism in Cheyenne, Wyoming but I can confidently say that I am much 
more of an expert on the issue than you are.  21 years of lived 
experience and engagement with the "old-west" community provides me with 
a lot more data on the subject than you're carrying in your (mental) box 
.  I can only assume that your analogy is supposed to be implemented in 
debate, somehow, someway.  The world that I envision will have every 
debate team use their local resources, including experiences, to produce 
and advocate some type of local activism .  Research limits seems to 
devastate your analogy.  My teams will have to research activism 
strategies for every policy debate location in the country?  Really?  
Each squad will be able to take advantage of interviews, film, and 
evidence derived from local "organic intellectuals" that other squads 
don't have access to.  I shouldn't have to explain the limits of the 
internet and other media.  My team would be able to amass a massive 
amount of material from those non-tek savy ranchers that your team would 
have limited ability to respond to.  Strategic teams would learn how to 
manipulate this system to their advantage.  If old Seth "Pinto" 
Ellsworth stood up and offered a method for establishing a sweet organic 
farming program for the 8,500 residents of Rawlins, Wyoming this guy is 
going to wax the floor with you.  CX would have to be extended well 
beyond 3 minutes for you to even grasp the Rawlinian situation.  I mean 
Big Nose George is just the icing on the cake of this town. 
George Parrot, also known as George Francis Warden, George Manuse, 
George Curry, and Big Nose George, is infamous not only for being hanged 
as an outlaw 
<http://www.legendsofamerica.com/LA-OutlawsandLegends.html>, but also 
for being the only man in American history who became a pair of shoes 
after his death.

Global-local is also devastating to your do it on the "cheap" argument.  
Cheap as compared to what?  Without shared knowledge of what resources 
localities have to mobilize for local change, the judge or "teacher" 
will most likely steer the students in the wrong direction. 

2.  Debate as it is currently practiced does not equate with your 
"professional quality tek" vs. "non-professional tek" distinction.  What 
"professional" tek in debate are you referring to? Research? While a 
great many debaters have gone on to engage with politics and the law, a 
great many others have excelled in other areas.  I have yet to realize 
the futility of debate's ability to provide a lot of skill that 
translate into pedagogical power.  Pedagogical benefits of today's 
debate have been flushed out by people far more articulate on the issue 
than I.  However, you're certainly not winning a 100% takeout between 
national level policy and the ability for a debater to take the lessons 
learned in their experiences in debate and apply them to local 
activism.  With that said, I find it highly unlikely that if a student 
is trained in professional quality studio technology that they would not 
be able to get media jobs at local venues. 

Andy Ellis wrote:
> Some very cool organizations train high school students to use 
> professional quality studio technology and techniques to produce 
> broadcast quality media.Often times in areas where students wouldnt 
> otherwise have these resources, programs discuss the necessity of 
> bringing unheard youth voices into the mainstream. While very cool and 
> definitly helpful for the students involved, because of the exclusive 
> nature of being a mainstream media maker it is perhaps likely that 1 
> out of 25 students will be able to translate that skill into a career 
> as a mainstream media maker. Perhaps 3 more of that 25 will get jobs 
> in the industry but ultimatly not ones that allow them to exert 
> control over the media as it effects the world. The other 22 will have 
> a valuble experience but for the most part will not actualize the 
> media making goal of the activity.
> Consider in the alternative a world where less money is spent on 
> equipment and  more students participate. Instead of aiming to make 
> media that effects the mainstream, the focus  is on using tools 
> commonly avaialble  to everybody, handicams and computers,  and  the 
> colective power of the students to produce  media  for  internet and 
> local dvd distribution.While sharing a goal of bringing unheard youth 
> voices into the world, the mainstream is less significant of a focus, 
> not that its not a coordinate in the questions youth attempt to answer 
> through media, but a more tangible goal of teaching folks the skills 
> they need to use video to build support for an achievable local goal 
> is thought to be a better training tool, for continued use of the 
> skills to connect to real world change.  If 25 students participated 
> its likely that maybe 10 of them would have a job that utilized 
> media,perhaps working with a community organization or a school,  but 
> probably likey that 20 of them would use the skills they had learned 
> in work that they did toward some productive end tied to the mission 
> of the training they had.
> Program A probably is less likely to engage in real world politics 
> than program b.
> Program B is probably more likely to effect the mainstream media as a 
> result of local success than program A is by a direct approach to the 
> mainstream.
> Program B is more likely to teach skills that apply to day to day life 
> Whereas Program A teaches skills that are useful in process(often when 
> people from program a realize the futility of its mission and the 
> anachronistic nature of its focus and go to program b) but  very 
> infrequently toward the  stated goal of program a pedagogical design.

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