Michigan LZ vs UTSA SK

This past weekend at the Northwestern College Tournament I was fortunate to be able to judge a really great prelim matchup on day 2 featuring the University of Michigan’s top ranked team, Edmund Zagorin and Maria Liu, on the affirmative against a very good and innovative team from the University of Texas at San Antonio, Chris Spurlock and Scott Koslow. Enjoy! Decision is included.




3 Responses to “Michigan LZ vs UTSA SK”

  1. Great White Shark Says:

    No question about it, the astute judge Scott Odekirk got this right. I agreed with nearly all of his coaching and critique. Except why aren’t the Medici ever referenced as a obvious examples of over reaching “artistic intention junkies” corralling artists for their own purposes. For some fooling themselves believing that for the true artist; mere sustenance or worse money would keep them working and silent. When money, politics and class/race relations mix art might find a way but not without paying a price that we truly cannot calculate.
    Separately, in order to be intellectually honest, compared to your average high school kid, the judge’s use of curse words was minor league and yet still disingenuous, and ironic. His sensitivity, and tenor of the debate focused so much during and after on art, which conjures in the mind of the even the very young, creativity, inspiration, and imagination. Still I very much enjoy the video and will watch as many as I am able. Thank you very much for dedication to the vital contribution.

  2. usually i find myself only paying attention to these video debates so i can listen to the decision. it’s as if the debaters are merely providing footnote commentary on the two conflicting books (of cards) that the judge will have to shift through after the round. but, to the contrary, i found this debate to be quite watchable. i also really appreciated how nicely the debaters treated one another and think that that collegiate atmosphere should be rewarded somehow – possibly by higher speaker points for all involved(?). (though i did find the lightly combative tone of 2nd negative speaker towards the judge bordered on the out-of-line.)

    when asked in cross-examination what kinds of artists would be promoted via the affirmative advocacy, although it was wisely retorted ‘we’re not going to script the process’, a preference was stated for those who claim to be imperfect artists, for those who don’t necessarily fit the standard mold, who haven’t achieved reputations in the art world, etc…

    as is my style, i tend to look for those self-reflexive moments in a round: how are debaters also artists? how does the criteria the debaters are applying to one another comport with the criteria (or lack thereof) they are advocating be applied to artists? who can demonstrate an in-round discursive or performative angle?

    one squirrelly argument i thought of is a ‘hit the eject button’-tactic in case the negative or the affirmative side dug a hole for themselves: ‘yeah, we dropped a lot of the flow, but are you demanding that we be perfect debaters? isn’t our imperfection preferable to your objectively winning position?’. long story short, this would mean that whomever lost should win it! :)

    more seriously, this ironic dimension could be fertile ground. for instance, the negative team was asked in cross-examination why a bunch of literary quotations were read – shakespeare among them: wasn’t the implication that such ‘examples’ prove nothing and are pointless? well, by what ‘objective criteria’ can one say this? shouldn’t the obvious reply be, ‘well we’re sorry we don’t live up to your standards of perfection’? and doesn’t the imposition of such a standard on another team, first off, undercut the affirmative’s advocacy, and secondly, provide a real world voting impact which swings the other team’s way and outweighs any and all hypothetical harms (e.g., racism)? …something to think about.

    in any case, my favorite sentence was: “a rock is different from a tree is different from a snowflake…” – quite poetic.

  3. {umm, i think i meant ‘collegial’, not “collegiate”, by the way.}

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