Saturday, March 31, 2012

Trying The Other Kind of Debate

There is certainly no official rivalry between those who debate in Team Policy and those who debate in Lincoln-Douglas. There is, however, a mentality that has developed in which both kinds of debaters generally think their type is superior. The LDers think, "We're LDers. We have a secret society, in which we debate about principles that actually matter. We look at the real world, not hypothetical plans. And that's both in and outside of rounds. We like to discuss philosophical ideas when we're not even debating. And what do the Policy debaters do during IEs? They argue to the death as fast as they can about everything. Not cool." The TPers think, "We're TPers. We're actually proposing solutions to real world problems. We do a ton of research to learn and evaluate. LDers research ideas, but we research actual facts. Real things. And we love debate so much that we debate outside of rounds about everything. It's good for you. And we know what we're talking about. You can tell because we talk really fast. The LDers are really cliquish. They just talk to each other, about values and the Founding Fathers and Hitler and stuff. It's weird."

Even though we debaters tend to be pretty passionate about whatever style we prefer, there is the occasional crossover. And sometimes, those brave souls do really well in competition. Like a bunch of people just did last week. But before we go there, I would like to interrupt for the parent judges and present the following DEFINITIONS AND CRITERIA, which will come up later in the round post. Ahem.


LD- refers to a type of debate formally known as Lincoln-Douglas in which one competitor debates another competitor regarding issues of values. Note: Despite rumors spread by the TPers, LD does not stand for "Lonely Debaters," "Lame Division," or even "Loser Debaters."

TP- refers to a type of debate formally known as Team Policy in which two competitors debate two other competitors regarding policies that may be reformed by the US federal government. Note: despite the opinions of the majority of Americans, TP does not stand for "Toilet Paper."

Hipster- a person who is desirous of evading what is "mainstream" and doing things before they are cool that you've probably never heard of.

Mainstream- something that most people enjoy, do, partake in, ect.

Suicide T- eight minutes of solid Topicality arguments in one round. In the first speech. Then another 8, and then 5 and 5. It's called Suicide T because judges tend to cringe at it, as you are probably cringing now, Judge. But some TPers find it attractive.

All definitions come from the Dictionary of Chandler, volume IV.

The criteria for this round will be "Affirmative victory." Essentially, whichever ballot you believe will further my chance of breaking is the ballot you should go with.

Oh, and my value is "Winning."

Ahem. Moving on. There is no observation two. Sorry.
But, it is my firm belief that the LDers are the hipsters of homeschool forensics. I mean, first off, there are often about as many TP teams as there are LDers at any given tournament. This means that twice as many people are doing TP! It's so mainstream. Secondly, LDers are generally more independent, or "indie," if you will. You can tell because they debate alone. Occasionally, you get a TPer who thinks, "Hey. I should try LD. It might be fun." In fact, at very recent California tournament, students were given the option of debating in both LD and TP. (and Parli) Man, those TPers swarmed over to the other side, even if they still kept one foot on the Policy side of the line. But everyone knows that the LDers were doing it before it was cool. Especially the LDers. (They're nice people in real life though, so they were probably happy that so many TPers finally saw the light.) Still, what was kind of underground suddenly became mainstream! It probably caused quite a predicament. Parli must be the new hipster type of debate, then. I mean, it has its own national tournament. It's called PITOC. What's that? Yea, PITOC. You've probably never heard of it.

However, that doesn't mean that switching debate styles only happens one way, though. Sometimes LDers try out TP. Whether it's to partner with a sibling, try something new for their senior year, protest a resolution, or have an excuse to run Suicide T, it happens. Maybe LD became too mainstream for them, possibly. I've noticed that sometimes the best debaters are really good at both, no matter where they're coming from. That's always cool. I think it is, at least.

So hey. Why not try something out the other kind of debate? It could be awesome.

I know! Let's invent a new kind of debate, one-on-one, in which the debaters have to argue in funny accents about whatever resolution is announced fifteen minutes beforehand. We'll call it Interparliamentary. It'll be great. My club volunteers to host iPitoc.

You're homeschooled. Try something new.