A local debate team is considering an overhaul of its traditional strategy after coming back magically for an unlikely win that critics say was only made possible through “audacious” tactics deemed “damaging to the sport of Debate.” Losing badly during the last throes of their final match against the Highlands Saints, the Resinville Snots finally prevailed in the grueling 27-hour ordeal by utilizing dark, secret deliberation methods, long-considered taboo in "civil chambers": yelling uncontrollably, often in gibberish, pointing fingers, making inappropriate personal accusations, calling their opponents and anyone of dissenting opinion “human scum” and above all, standing atop completely unfactual data.
Surprisingly, they won by a landslide.
“Our team realized that in this age of modern propaganda and side-taking, that all we had to do was exhaust the analytical thinking of our judges much in the way that huge and balanced 'news corporations' do with their viewers, until people’s brains automatically award the smuggest, angriest, loudest demagogues with victory,” says Snots captain Jordan Jimbo. True to form, his team demonstrated this as they “debated” into the night, each speaker demanding floor time to add piddly, unrelated arguments--such as what cheese pairs best with other cheese--to an otherwise close-and-shut case, until spectators observing the conversation literally collapsed.
Jimbo became a little nervous when a raucous teammate made the astoundingly untrue observation that “drinking milk comes from Newts,” despite the “prevailing common sense of the audience.” But he says he was relieved to find that incessant hammering of the false point eventually made it a widely-accepted non sequitur. The maneuver was so stealthy that the belief held strongly even after judges were presented evidence proving otherwise, such as milk cartons, and photos from their own childhoods wherein they visited the family farm.
“When finally we’d convinced them that cows don’t exist, we knew we had a winning strategy,” said Jimbo. “And drinking milk didn’t even have anything to do with the debate topic at hand.”
Given the startling results, the Snots have already committed to a complete revamp of their conventional playbook for the remainder of the season. The question, critics ask, is whether the debate league will last that long, as many teams have similarly announced plans to switch to the “low brow” tactics. For the rest, the decision is whether to fight for decorum and decency only to inevitably lose outright--or whether to stoop to the new low, if only to claim a place atop the rubble that remains when all is said and done.
"Intelligent discussion in a civilized society depends solely on the premise that two sides of differing opinions may present actual facts to support their cases--without having to make death threats," says National Debate Federation director Casey Harrington, who believes the league will be lost. "Next thing you know they'll be showing up ready to duel with pistols."
Harrington says the only way to stop these brash debaters is to put their antics on live television so they can be embarrassed, but warns it will likely be ineffective because "they have less shame than naked mole rats."
For now, the Snots run unabated, gleefully mindful that their persistence and commitment to chaos will soon topple an institution to the ground. “We set out to win, and that's what we’re going to do,” says Jimbo, “the whole sport be damned."
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