Kevin Bell Paradigm

Last changed Wed, Mar 11, 2015 at 8:36 AM UTC

Hello CEDA!  The first five paragraphs are important, you can probably skim the rest.

You're all beautiful people, but you're also faster than me, so do me a favor and slow down through taglines and author cites.  I wouldn't have abused formatting like that if I didn't mean it, because seriously though, I have no idea what half of you are saying in about one in five debates I watch until I call 'clear.'  Also I'll do that, so don't be all upset when it happens.  I competed in NPDA, but after a year in the CEDA pool I'm pretty much on-board with y'all's(?) game.

I am in my final year of law school, and I focus in environmental law and administrative procedure, I wear sport coats while judging, I was raised in west Texas, and have a love affair with fiat. This combination makes me essentially the dreaded White Male Heterosexual Cisgendered (etc.) Gaze.  Sadly this can't be helped.  This isn't to say I won't vote for your performance argument, and I've begun at least one RFD this year with "I desperately wanted to vote on T/FWK, but," so I try to be onboard with pretty much whatever.  I will say that I try as hard as I can to write a neutral ballot, but I definitely have an academic bias against Affs that necessarily require the Neg to defend the indefensible.  That is to say: arguments which are so fundamentally tied to the identities of the debaters that the only response is to either come up with a more radically individual argument which is personal to the Negation debaters or attack the identity politics of the Aff, the latter of which is essentially prettied up ad hominem attacks.

If that's what you do, on both sides, there's one other thing that I think is probably important.  While I try as hard as I can to fairly evaluate rounds, I'm probably farther behind on the radical multicultural literature than most debaters are.  I'm not trying to discount evidence, but I think its super important that everybody explain and re-explain exactly how it is that your evidence functions, and how your affirmative fulfills the promise of your evidence if its performative.  I caught some deserved criticism earlier this year after watching a round between two of the better performance teams in the country on less than a full night's sleep, and trying to put across the impression that I was super hot-shit and knew what everyone was talking about and didn't need more explanation than anyone else.  Realistically, my background just isn't sufficiently aligned with most of the performative literature to make that representation in good faith, so I'm asking you here to grant me a small amount of leeway and clean up the debate as much as possible.  

If this makes me sound like a complete idiot, I'm sorry you cannot adapt your argumentative style for those who do not think like you, and I wish you the best in building your social movement.  I'm probably not the right judge to have in the back of your round.

Also if you're just mean to your opponent it's likely that I'll end up being subconsciously biased against you, which is a real thing, because (most) judges aren't robots.  Don't do that.  And definitely don't make your CX a petty re-hash of some previous round you were in against the same opponent, or I'll just completely check out.

Arguments: I'm perplexed that framework isn't run more often. Do so, please, but do it correctly.  That means answering the pre-empts which are built into the 1AC, having a stable interpretation and violation, and giving me impacts to fairness, education, or whatever.

My favorite thing in the world is a Plan/CP debate with competing disads and advocacies, and after a couple dozen rounds this has only happened once. D: At least the theory debates have been fun so far.

I'm not going to intervene unless you leave me no other options because there's absolutely no clash and nobody has a clearly articulated message about the role of the ballot. Else, I default to net benefits. If you want me to vote on theory, I had better hear a more convincing explanation than "voter for fairness and education onto the disad"




You're going to be doing a lot better on my flow if in the rebuttals you can count on me knowing exactly which Yancy card to extend out of the 6 in your 1AC, and I'll tend to prefer arguments which I have flowed clearly. This means a couple of things:


First: slow down through taglines, and precede them with a LOUD, CLEAR, and OVERENUNCIATED verbal cue at the end of the previous card like "next" or "and" or "new card" or in an ideal world, numbers(!) for cards 1, 2, 3, etc. as you read them in your shells. After the shell it matters less because things tend to get messy anyway. Anyone who claims to flow perfectly from the back of the room at the same pace as debaters with the text in front of them is probably overselling their ability to take dictation.


Second: Repeat, at least once, anything that requires a stable text. This includes plan text, alt text, CP text, and T interpretations. Even though you schmucks all have copies of everythnig on your fancy laptops, I'm flowing by hand and want to be able to refer to my flow intelligibly later. If you have another means of ensuring that I get a copy, like handwriting it for me in prep and handing it to me or something, that's cool too.


Third: If your author has a name that's hard to pronounce or long or otherwise going to be a hassle for me to refer to in round when you ask me to "extend the [name] in [year] card" later on, please clarify which card that is and from which speech I should be extending it.


If I miss something else below, ask me in-round or before-round if you care.


Things I like:


Foucault and his progeny, Irony (the argument and the concept), Humor, specific plan texts, a friendly debate round, plan texts, or failing that, advocacy texts, Disads that are unique, specific link stories, advantages, clash, impact calculus, descriptions of how the worlds of plan/CP/Alt differ and in what ways, kritiks I've either heard of or which the team running them is willing to explain for me, overviews, surprise 2AC wipeout arguments, and really anything that makes my day more entertaining.


I also love this translation of Beaudrillard's 'Precession of Simulacra' from English into American:


You should read it, it's great.


Things I don't like:


Arguments run purely for the sake of sounding smarter than the other team; arguments designed to exclude debaters from competing due to some feature of their identity; bad -isms; anything generally in-line with the things I've just outlined; absolute nonsense asserted as true simply because an auhor of dubious repute published it in something you're willing to powertag.




This is my first year judging CEDA, I've been out of the debate community for the last two years because I've been in law school, which if you were wondering is quite the time-suck. The third year (3L), however, is kind of a waste of time, so I thought I would get back into debate. From 2008-2012 I debated in NPDA for Willamette, which is close enough to CEDA for me to know what I'm doing. If you know anybody from NPDA that you want to ask about my debating style back in the day, my partner was Kristen Stevens, who I think is still coaching at Western Washington. 


I'm currently a third-year student at NYU Law, specializing in Environmental Litigation, but also versed in campaign finance, administrative law, national security, and regulation of for-profit colleges, if for some god unbeknownst reason you want to cut a DA regarding them specifically to run in front of me.

Full Judging Record

Tournament Date Event Rd Aff Neg Decision
69th National Debate Tournament in Iowa 4/3/2015 Open 6 Nevada Las Vegas BS Wichita State MO NEG Wichita State MO
CEDA Nationals Wichita State 3/20/2015 Open Rd 1 Western Connecticut State BF Oklahoma SP NEG Oklahoma SP
CEDA Nationals Wichita State 3/20/2015 Open Rd 2 North Texas CS Weber State HV AFF North Texas CS
CEDA Nationals Wichita State 3/20/2015 Open Rd 3 Sacramento State HG North Texas AM NEG North Texas AM
CEDA Nationals Wichita State 3/20/2015 Open Rd 6 Binghamton BS Weber State SS NEG Weber State SS
CEDA Nationals Wichita State 3/20/2015 Open Rd 7 UT Dallas JE Florida MC AFF UT Dallas JE
CEDA East Regionals at WCSU 2/21/2015 Nov 1 Binghamton AM Rochester RT NEG Rochester RT
CEDA East Regionals at WCSU 2/21/2015 Nov 2 Binghamton TG Cornell BK NEG Cornell BK
D8 NDT Qualifier at WCSU 2/21/2015 D8 3 RochesterWCSU AF Western Connecticut State MM NEG Western Connecticut State MM
D8 NDT Qualifier at WCSU 2/21/2015 D8 4 Dartmouth College AY Boston College CK NEG Boston College CK
D8 NDT Qualifier at WCSU 2/21/2015 D8 5 Western Connecticut State AE Cornell KG AFF Western Connecticut State AE
D8 NDT Qualifier at WCSU 2/21/2015 D8 6 Vermont BL Dartmouth College AY AFF Vermont BL
CEDA East Regionals at WCSU 2/21/2015 Nov Quarters Liberty SY United States Military GM AFF Liberty SY
United States Military GM on a 2-1
William DeMougeot Debates 1/8/2015 Open 2 UT Dallas PB North Texas AK AFF UT Dallas PB
2014 Franklin R Shirley Classic 11/15/2014 OPN 5 Indiana HF Cornell KR AFF Indiana HF
2014 Franklin R Shirley Classic 11/15/2014 OPN 6 Emporia State PF Kansas HR AFF Emporia State PF
2014 Franklin R Shirley Classic 11/15/2014 OPN 7 Cornell KG Navy CP NEG Navy CP
West Point Tournament 10/17/2014 Open Round 3 Rutger JC Bingha FS NEG Bingha FS
West Point Tournament 10/17/2014 Novice Round 4 Bingha BL Monmou DS NEG Monmou DS
West Point Tournament 10/17/2014 JV Round 5 Bingha GG BosCol PS NEG BosCol PS
West Point Tournament 10/17/2014 Novice Round 6 UniSta HG Bingha WM AFF UniSta HG
Rutgers NE Regional Opener 9/26/2014 nov N 1 Binghamton LM Rochester GA AFF Binghamton LM
2014 UMKC Baby Jo Memorial Tournament 9/13/2014 NOV Round 1 Johnson County Community College BM Southern Methodist HL AFF Johnson County Community College BM
2014 UMKC Baby Jo Memorial Tournament 9/13/2014 NOV Round 4 Northern Iowa KR Oklahoma BS AFF Northern Iowa KR
2014 UMKC Baby Jo Memorial Tournament 9/13/2014 OPEN 6 Emporia State HP Central Oklahoma HF AFF Emporia State HP
2014 UMKC Baby Jo Memorial Tournament 9/13/2014 OPEN 7 Missouri State HW Iowa PO AFF Missouri State HW
2014 UMKC Baby Jo Memorial Tournament 9/13/2014 OPEN 8 Concordia College SS California, Berkeley WS NEG California, Berkeley WS