Episode 117: Debating Debators of Debate

debate team

Forget chess clubs, forget spelling bees, forget matheletes and band camp, if you want to discuss nerdy school activities, citing the debate team itself is a strong argument.

Not only is it an intellectual pursuit but there’s a huge element of dorky role-playing involved. It’s sort of like the law court or government version of LARPing. Even spelling bee kids admit it’s just a spelling bee. The sophists on the debate team always seemed to really believe they were preparing for future careers as UN diplomats or that their dialectic tournaments really mattered in some way.

Or this negative attitude of mine towards these deliberating debutantes could have simply been a slacker’s knee-jerk aversion to people who seem to care about things. Fashion sense, physical attributes and social graces aside, one of the things that separates the nerd from the chaff is earnest sincerity and enthusiasm. You’ll never find a cooly-wooly getting hot and bothered about contentious issues such as euthanasia, abortion and capital punishment. Feigned indifference about such things, if not outright obtuseness, is what makes them cool. Conversely, it also makes them douchebags.

Well, that and not caring if the Enterprise or a Star Destroyer would win in a fire fight.

That makes them cool. Anyone who care about that is a douchebag of a nerdier colour.

Links + Videos:

Dr. Charles Smith

The Age of Persuasion (CBC advertizing podcast)

Tibetan sky burial

FutureStates: Plastic Bag

2 Responses to Episode 117: Debating Debators of Debate

  1. Tony Pucci says:

    As with all of your episodes [even the shit ones, like The X-Files.... ;) ], I really enjoyed this show. I’d like to add one layer to your discussion about suicide, as all of your points were centered around depression. Consider the people who have diseases without cure. Of course to me this means my sister, Jenny, and witnessing her waste away to nothing from ALS. Ultimately, and this is what broke her heart in the end, she lost the ability to communicate, even while paralyzed and on a respirator just to breathe. At this point, even if it was sub-conscious, her quality of life has wasted away to 0.00%. My experiences with her illness lead me to say this–Frankly, if I am ever diagnosed with ALS, I’ll be buying a shotgun or investigating Kevorkian-esque solutions the next day.

  2. Tony Pucci says:

    I don’t mean to be dark.
    And I am feeling great these days.
    But realistically there has to be a point-of-no-return if your quality of life is spiraling downward and you just say “fuck it”. I am enjoying things much more lately, it’s been an eventful year. You know I’ve been a whiney douchebag at times in the past. My point is I am not being dark, this isn’t written out of depression. I want to enjoy every ounce of bittersweet beauty life can pour into my senses. But if I’m a vegetable? I don’t think so.

    I recall vividly my grandmother in her 90s. She had lead a long, intelligent and strong life, she was so remarkable. But as her health deteriorated in her 90s, she’d often simply say, “that’s enough, I’m ready to die”. She was fortunate that her mind remained fiercely strong until she passed away at age 97. But amongst the fond memories of her, I also recall her extreme frustration when it was obvious her body had give up the race against her brilliant mind.

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