Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The art of harnessing stupidity to end an argument.


Whilst I steadfastly believe that everyone on this green and blue ball of rock is welcome to hold their own opinions it is the negative expression of finding distaste in the pastimes of others that has always ‘gripped my shit’. While Mr.J.Bloggs of nowhere street, obscures-town may be entitled to his opinion that flying in aeroplanes is a foolish and dangerous act he somewhat diminishes my respect for his opinion by making statements like,
“If God had meant us to fly we would have wings!”
By the same token - Mr.J.Bloggs - if God had intended you to wipe your arse after pushing out waste digested food one would have bog roll instead of hands. Had god intended us to eat Soufflés evolution would have granted us dishwasher proof cutlery instead of these clumsy blunt fingers of ours. Reducing an argument to its base components in order to arm yourself with equivalent of a lyrical tantrum will immediately lessen the opinion of your debating skills that others may hold of you. But it is a lot of fun.

Not a lot of people know this; but I am pretty much fluent in sign language. To end an argument with a deaf person using sign language one simply turns ones back, you have placed a physical barrier on a disagreement that sound and reason can not penetrate. By representing your case in a debate using a ludicrous proposition (or example) throws up a defensive brick wall of illogic, in much the same way as turning your back on a an argument with a deaf friend puts up an impenetrable defence against further confrontation. If someone claims to me that horse racing should be respected and revered as it is the sport of kings, I can kill the debate stone dead by enquiring as to which monarchs history has recorded as being the most fleet of foot in a steeple chase. I will appear no more intelligent to my verbal sparring partner (quite the opposite), but I have made it perfectly clear this is a discussion in which I no longer wish to invest my physical presence nor my mental energy.

When faced with an opponent of obviously high standing on the IQ scale offering up a ludicrous retort can also be used to put out the smouldering of inevitable defeat before it develops into a fireball of humiliation that will be much harder to extinguish. However, there must always be a relevant thread to your reply. When asked your thoughts on the latest brain numbing supermarket marketed mega-best-seller the reply, “your mum smells of horse urine” will never gain the begrudging respect something like paraphrasing Groucho Marx will install in your unwelcome opponent:
“From the moment I picked up the book until I laid it down I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.”