What a disappointing and anti-climactic end
to a debate tournament. An end
which unfortunately mirrors too many of the debates of said tournament which was characterized from the start with way too many withdrawals and
Having thought about it since my championship opponent conceded late last night my perspective has somewhat changed from my original reaction which
was mostly one of hollowness and even a little frustration with the anti-climactic denouement. For most of you know how much I care both for the ATS
community and especially the debate forum and thought that both deserved a better championship final, especially in light of such an important
Mostly, and I don't mind admitting this about myself, ever since MemoryShock invited me to my first debate over a year and a half ago, winning a
debate tournament has been an ambition of mine. Perhaps it is shallow, perhaps it is pedantic, but I value the intellectual process and yes, the
So when the final ended with such a whimper, it felt in many ways like for reasons outside my control and through no fault of my own, the significance
of becoming a debate "champion" had been significantly diminished. After all, it is the cornerstone of the debate forum to be able to not only
manage, but to thrive when defending topics and positions one disagrees with ... this was the case on every topic I had leading up to the final and it
never occurred to me to relent as a result.
That is how it felt last night, and perhaps rightly so ... but being an ATS member is in many ways, and if one's ego is open to the possibility, an
exercise in stripping oneself of self importance and personal 'issues.'
So, now having expressed them, I'm going to drop all the above thoughts. Fact is for the last four months or so I did everything I could to fight
the good fight with earnestness, commitment, and honesty. If the "win" is to be interpreted as devalued because of the way the tournament unfolded,
so be it, but I hope you won't begrudge me not seeing it that way for I chose to be happy with it and won't beat myself up for achieving it in what
could be considered less than ideal circumstances which were outside my control.
Hopefully now that the debate forum has seen a resurrection through this tournament, a way forward can be found to build on this fragile momentum and
promote further member debates, for it surely is imho a valuable addition to our community.
In the meantime, and since I did not have the opportunity to express this in a final closing statement, I really want to thank chissler for dedicating
his time and energies to the tournament, all the other fighters for engaging in what is a difficult and time consuming undertaking for no reward other
than the love of the process for its own sake, the judges for volunteering to read and evaluate our debates, and most of all, all our fellow members
who read and followed the debates with interest.
So thank you to all!
[edit on 28 Mar 2010 by schrodingers dog]