Sunday, November 05, 2006

One-two punch

Mark McGuire of the Times Union has an interesting column with the headline: The art of debate reduced to one-two punch.
In today's society, we have lost our ability to respectfully disagree. And if you don't believe me, you're a freakin' idiot.

That's how the game works. Actually, it's worse than that: If you're not on my side, you're not just wrong. You're evil.

"Debate" has lost its meaning. We're more apt to pick a winner based on style points awarded for belligerence. Instead of discourse, we get decibels. And if you think any of this will change after Tuesday, you haven't been paying attention for, oh, a generation.

The column features a show on Nickelodeon that just ended, about the same time we sat down to read McGuire’s column, so it’s too late to see it. [Note to self: Try to read the Sunday paper in the morning, when it might be more useful.] Still, the column itself is worth a read, even if the show is over. You can read the column here.

Regular readers of this blog know where we stand on the issue of civility in discourse. New readers can rest assured that we promote it, even if we occasionally fail to live up to our own expectations.