shabby blog

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Stereotypes and the Stereotyper

I finally have seen stereotyping gone wrong with my own eyes. I mean i know everyone is a hypocrite in that sense because every one says as if by rote" Stereotyping is wrong" and then in the next sentence goes on to say something that complete deflates the effect of that sentence like " All debaters are pompous asses".

People have told me repeatedly that debaters are arrogant assholes with a little bit more knowledge in their over inflated heads than others and think that that gives them a right to think they're better than everyone else. I beg to differ. I went to this debate league because i was invited by a dear friend of mine( who does not in my opinion fall within the crude definition provided by the ignorant masses)to attend.

I got the shock of my life in a pleasant,boisterous, lively way. Everyone there was so warm, friendly and encouraging. And what some people get intimidated by, i do get intimidated too but i can draw the line between the alter debate personalities and their real life personalities. These people are just like us...who like to debate. Not debaters who might or might not be like us.

I found that they were more human and supportive than the ones that condemned them, more humble even. I made so many new friends. The seniors were so supportive and encouraging of me when i was all nerves and jitters. And i would soon become used to jovial cheers and claps whenever i got a point across. The sense of camaraderie is so fulfilling. I felt like i might actually belong here because the people here were like me.Im not trying to spread pro debater propaganda. What im trying to say pervades the larger picture. That we really shouldn't stereotype people unless we've had a first hand experience with them ourselves and even then if it's just one individual that acts like the whole world is a cushion for his ass, then we shouldn't(tempting as it may be) automatically assume that the whole crop is bad. Unless the majority of that group prove themselves to be assholes and are driven by the wrong ideals of course.

But debaters they're just trained to think on their feet and to argue, logically, not maliciously. I really think the essence of debate itself should be clearly seen as separate from debaters no matter what kind of people might become debaters. I like the essence of debate which is that it allows for a healthy exchange of information in a controlled setting. It helps us develop our analytical, cognitive faculties. It helps you organize, absorb and process information in a way that is structured and rational. So that people get what you're saying in a clear way. And when you get your points across well you are rewarded for it. I find nothing wrong in this. In fact its what most people need but fail to see.


EzzE (fb) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EzzE (fb) said...

Oh hey. Been a while since i read ur blog. But this is something i gotta clarify.

Yes i do admit i belong to one of those people who claim that debaters are pompous asses. But this is subject to my own personal experiences and has nothing to do with blind stereotyping. Furthermore my past experiences and also my proximity to the majority of people whom i have known to venture into debate have become direct references to my judgment being as such. (loads of my friends, and even my ex was in debate!)

See i tried entering debate in matrix. But the people i met there were so full of themselves and their past experiences, and they were so busy hawking their past glories to me, it left me totally disgusted and i dropped out coz i wondered 'is this how they actually try their best to make it into the selected team for debates, by hawking past glories and being total bitches to each other instead of pure, raw, unabated intellect?' it seemed that way. And the debating trainers seemed to favour those who actually had prior experiences, sidetracking those of us with no experience in debating whatsoever; just the desire to have some fun in an intellectual clash of the minds.

But i do have to say this: that debaters, especially the more experienced ones, have managed to demean debate from what was once a proper and friendly verbal justification and expression of one's points to an absolute all out ego bashing. This might not be obvious in the novice debating tourneys coz everyone is fresh and enthusiastic with not much reputation to uphold to begin with, but as one progresses in the echelons of debating, you do see debaters trying to maintain their own reputation whilst trying to bring down others - losing focus of their main objective of having a friendly verbal joust to become total biatches whose opening statements have to always be something that points out the opponents various flaws, such as calling their opponents 'hippos', 'zebras', or 'loud giraffes' to something grossly untacit like 'ugly girl'. I do not stand for cheap under the belt tactics like that and what they have resorted to employ in their bid to play 'mind games'.

Even Ah Chong seconds my notions. Poor him being stuck in the niche debating Cocu, which he is still wishing he could get out of.

But as they say 'to each his/her own'. Perhaps you were lucky enough to have not met horrible debaters before meeting the nicer ones, and i do have to agree that the basis of debating is actually fun. Its still just sad seeing how it has become today, especially in more higher ranking tourneys.