The Essentials of the Sport of Argument

What follows is a short 11 point handbook to the popular sport of argument. Always remember that the point of any argument is that you win (conditions may vary), not some highfalutin nonsense about learning or sharing of information or whatever silliness some philosophy quack has proposed. Seriously if your argument does not last for days and engender about two hundred text messages it’s been a waste! This is emotional mining right here, you can get a soap opera’s worth of feels out of this! So Enjoy!

1. Holy shit always have a come back! You must never let a statement stand. Response is the essence of argument. You will respond, respond fast, and respond with confidence.

2. Goddamned do your best to reduce your opponent’s argument to something pithy that can easily be trounced. If an opponent has written a lengthy breakdown with bullet points of any argument be sure to focus all your attention on the element easiest to argue with. Reductio ad absurdum is the fancy-ass academic term for this method– if it has Latin you know it’s good. For example if your opponent has listed many reasons he’s upset with Trump and one of the items is that the president tweets too much, ignore all the points but the tweets and reply: “So you don’t like Twitter, is that the president’s fault?”

3. If your opponent ropes in citations and authorities you are not familiar with, do not panic,

Google that shit immediately!

Wikipedia is your friend. When you’re on Wikipedia you’ll find that those authorities have critics you can immediately set up as your counter authorities! Don’t waste too much time actually understanding who those people are, speed is of the essence (see number 1)!

4. One of the first things you have to do is define terms. This very amusing aspect of any argument can become the whole argument itself if you work at it. Language after all is very tricky, and there are multiple meanings to most of our words. Further, there are many variable dictionaries. So why agree? Enjoy!

5. You must never allow someone to convince you of anything. Even if their argument actually did fucking convince you, what are you some kind of weak-spined, simpering little Morrissey? Are you gonna cry now? Later, if you still like their argument (don’t worry we won’t tell) you can just pretend you discovered the points on your own. It’s much more macho and real to find your own intellectual positions.

6. College educated fops like that Neil deGrasse Tyson guy or that Richard Dawkins guy are not to be trusted. Those institutions that they kow-towed to are mind-warping, soul-stealing, money-grubbing cults for elitists to worship at. What the hell is a PhD anyway? Seriously we are all just as good as that! Marginalize all learning. There are actually no authorities.

7. When all else fails, Ad Hominem attack is key. Go straight for the personal. Does your opponent mow his grass in a regular fashion that suits you? If not, there’s a great place to go! I’d expect that coming form a guy who can’t even keep his lawn cut properly! Give him the eye.

8. While we’re at it remember that anything goes in a proper sport argument. There’s no such thing as a non sequitur.

The phrase “and another thing . . .” should be used liberally, and totally unconnected thoughts that annoy you should be roped in.

When your opponent accuses you of straying from the topic you can then say he just did as well! Boom! (By the way “Boom” is a very useful punctuation of confidence, my gift to you).

9. If you’re not spitting angry your argument is weaker. You have to be enraged that anyone would question your authority on the position as if you are everyone’s daddy. After all, don’t you feel like the world is full of children and you are the only responsible adult? Be sure to become red-faced and perhaps threaten beatings where appropriate (hint: always appropriate). Nothing convinces an opponent of the seriousness of your argument like violence. That’s why so many dissidents are shot after all. A bullet is a hell of an argument (Note: Not recommending you shoot anyone.).

10. You can’t use enough dripping sarcasm or mockery. When building your strawmen (much easier to attack than the real thing) be sure to equip them with silly hats and useless weapons (strawmen represent your actual opponents so be sure to give them very silly accouterments indeed). Rephrase everything your opponent says in a kind of obvious hilarity, dressing up the phrases in clown shoes and circus music. This is the equivalent of saying something in a silly voice. If this wasn’t effective would every child on the planet use it?

11. A great redirect and means of undermining your opponent’s position is spelling errors or mistakes in pronunciation. No serious sport arguer can allow a poor spelling to slide, nor a mispronounced ancient writer. Point these out with great aplomb and mirth.

Remember English is the only language in the world and whatever it is you grew up hearing is absolutely correct.

Correctness is mainly a matter of familiarity after all.

There are, of course, more great tactics of sport argument but these essentials will take you far and wide into the rewarding pleasures of pointless and endless exchanges. Some may argue that I really don’t need to tell people how to do this as it’s what they do naturally, to this I say Shut Up.

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