[eDebate] Scott's Solution

Jason Russell jasonlrussell1
Wed Oct 1 23:00:39 CDT 2008


This is an uncivil post. I refuse to reply to it as Im busy tying my tie.

I dont mind ties. I rather like to wear them myself on ocassion. I wont,
however, tell my students how to dress. They dont have to dress any certain
way in class. They dont have to dress any certain way at debate meetings.
And, it doesnt do them any service to dress any special way in debates. It's
just another economic entry barrier for participation that I refuse to abide
by. Fortunately, my boss and administrators recognize that this is
non-sequiter to content. Any debater worth their salt should be able to
explain that looking civil doesnt make someone civil or smart or really
anything beyond well-dressed. Frankly, many people who wear ties are
assholes. I'd expect somewhere around 50%. I bet they curse and express
incivility at times as well. Lipstick on a pig sounds applicable.

Respect and civility are codewords. I think, frankly, there may be a racial
undertone here that Im not comfortable with. But, if there isnt, it's
interesting how no one considered this to be that serious back in "the good
ole days" when we were just cursing about disads and calling out our
policy-making opponents based on their sexual orientation, weight, aesthetic
appearance, or anything else. Now, callin someone a racist asshole, thats
mean. This sounds awfully self-serving. Back in the day it was "boys being
boys", but now it's not ok...why, exactly?

Profanity and jerkishness are fundamentally contestable in debate, by
debaters, and they ought to be, from both sides. Does profanity help your
cause of fighting racism? Maybe. It is emotional. It does get people's
attention. But maybe it alienates and isolates. THIS IS DEBATABLE. For
fuck's sake, we live in the 21st century and we really think that getting
rid of naughty words is going to make debate better? Seriously? No. I dont.
Personally I like dirty words. And, I will defend them. And that's that.

No one is telling you how to run your team. Don't tell us how to run ours or
pretend as if you've come up with a cookie-cutter solution to the ills of
debate. You haven't. It's dumb. That's all. Here's my alt: tell your
administrators that debate is great because it teaches people to defend
themselves in all walks of life and it shows us that how you look or your
eloquence in packaging your argument is exceeded by your content. Down with
Sophistry, down with demogoguery, up with argument. It really is that
simple.

J
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