Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ask Mike, debate geek edition

In this edition of Ask Mike we answer an email from one of the debate students I judge. (For my non-debate geek readers I will give editorial translation in parenthesis. That and insert pithy remarks here and there.)

1) What are your author quals? (Translated: If I use you in round as a source, what can I say when someone tries to verify your qualifications.)
2) Why is seniorcorps such a horrible program?
3) Does in-round discourse - especially kritiks of the debate system - actually mean anything? (Translation: I spell critique weird because I was taught by a snooty intellectual elitist? Oh yeah, do you judge on them?)

Dave, your spelling of critique made my brain hurt trying to figure out the question on three. I am guessing you learned that spelling from a scholarly nerd type. That kind of crap gets you a wedgie in no time. Onward and upward:

1) My author quals, personally, are that I am God, know everything worth knowing, and know that nine out of ten judges don't check quals. Oh, yeah, I am also a published political pundit, expert at trivial pursuit, and have an I.Q. of 165. (Editors note: All true. I am my own personal God...) I wouldn't use a card from me to build your entire case but to instead flesh it out and strengthen your evidence.

2) Poor organization. Giving old people a reason not to die is on paper a good cause. Using fiat a properly run affirmative can totally win with it but in reality Senior Corps is under funded and thus overworks the volunteers it has. As long as an affirmative has cards to defend against the obvious euthanasia attack it can be a strong case.

(Translation: The current CX debate resolution states that the US Government should substantially increase the number of persons serving in various service organizations and Senior Corps is one many debate teams have chosen. In my explanation I discuss a bunch of debate )

3) Critique is like topicality for me, it has to be flawless, elegant, and clear to score any points. Often it is silly and as long as Affirmative at least touches on it, it falls. One team ran a topicality against re-instating the draft that said that military service did not qualify as service under the resolution. This directly contradicts the resolution as it specifically mentions armed services and thus falls the moment it is uttered. In place of a weak critique or T I would suggest a DA, inherency, or even a nice solvency attack. Sometimes a well worded counter-plan is nice.

Speaking of which, I have been thinking about the Chuck Norris CP and if the fake silliness is pulled out it could work. Replace the "Chuck Norris supports the FDIC" junk with actual facts about his own volunteer work and assistance with Federal volunteer programs and you have a CP that kicks as much ass as he does.

(Translation: Blah blah blah, bunch of debate specific crap that doesn't translate.)

Well, that's all for this time kids. Remember, send me your questions on any topic and I will make fun of... I mean answer them.


Ali said...

Hey, nice to see that you mentioned and updated your blog. Thanks again for those tips and suggestions. Also, we'll *think* about the Chuck Norris CP dealy and make sure that something like what happened that third round won't ever happen again ;). But really, thanks and I'll work on my "stuff" and make sure I don't ever say "slippery slope" again.

Michael J. Clarkson, Jr. said...

Excellent. I expect to see a tightly woven Chuck Norris CP next time I judge you.