Basil Abushama ParadigmLast changed 11/18 9:35P PDT
Background & Experience:
4 years of hs parli (circuit and lay, 2x toc champ), some HS policy (circuit), some college NPDA
I am okay with listening to any argument any you should choose to run, provided that you lay out the argument clearly and tells me why it wins you the ballot.
I view high school debate as both a competitive activity for the sake of competition and an arena for students to enrich their education by becoming better thinkers and learning more about the world. As such, I will remove myself from the round as much as humanly possible, and base my decision on my best objective evaluation of the arguments made. I flow very carefully. I will not get in your way, so do what you want argumentatively and you can expect me to evaluate it.
My debate style is pretty diverse — I have a good footing in running and hitting normative topical positions, kritiks, theory, and anything in between. My default layering of the round is that theory comes before the kritik and the kritik comes before case, but, in round, tell me what arguments you want to come first (regardless of if it is the same as my default) as I will not do that work for you.
Weighing is very important to me, so do a good amount of work analyzing the impacts throughout the round, and especially at the end, in the rebuttals. Tell me what impacts matter the most, why they matter the most, and why they win you the round, regardless of the position you’re banking your strategy on.
I'm chill with spreading. I will get down your arguments on my flow and will reward higher speaker points to spreading that is exceptionally clear, easy to follow, and/or engaging to listen to. Pointers:
(1) Slow down for taglines, texts, when you switch to a different sheet of paper or argument, and other important parts of your position as you deem fit.
(2) Try not to slur or be repetitive. Spreading is only strategic if you can do it efficiently and clearly.
(3) Be considerate to your opponents. If they are not familiar with spreading, then try to be inclusive of them. Give them texts, answer their POIs, and try to be accommodating of their requests if they have any. It really sucks to get spread out of a round -- doesn't mean you should not spread, just means you should try to be a good sport about it.
Go for it. I dig it. I ran kritiks quite a bit, and enjoy watching a good kritikal round. I am familiar with most of the authors that debaters commonly cite, like Marx, Nietzsche, Agamben, Foucault, Baudrillard, Wilderson, and the rest of the gang. I’m also chill with performances. If you can surprise me with a kritik that isn’t so common, I’ll be happy and give you props, but explain it well. Regardless of whether or not I know the literature, I will not do work for you filling in arguments, explanations or warrants. Pointers:
(1) Links. Please, run links that interact very specifically with the affirmative position. A few safe generic links are okay, but don’t bank entirely on them. If you can’t come up with any specific links, that means one of two things: one, you aren’t familiar enough with your kritik, or, two, the kritik doesn’t apply well. Both are not good positions to be in.
(2) Alt & Alt-Solvency. Explain what your alternative does and how it solves for the impacts you outlined in the rest of your K.
(3) I think framing on the K is pretty important, so don’t skate over that part and assume I’ll just give you reasons why the K comes first. Tell me through what lens I should evaluate the round and why. Again, I will not do work for you on the K.
I ran K-Affs a few times and have hit them plenty of times. I’m okay with them. Just make sure justify them well, as you should with any kritikal position.
I also dig theory. I ran theory quite a bit, from your standard shells to some more out-there shells. Although I view theory as a way to check against real abuse, I’ll listen to and vote for any shell if you win the flow. Pointers:
(1) I default to competing interpretations.
(2) Be very clear and specific with your interpretations. I will take interpretations literally, meaning, if the other team manages to find a lawyer-esque way to meet your interpretation and its logically valid, I will not give much credence to a backtrack along the lines of “well, you know what we meant.”
(3) Ground is the most important standard to me, as it is kind of an umbrella for all fairness-related standards. However, you should still weigh your standards if you want to win the theory debate.
(4) I will not do work for you on the evaluation of the theory. If you want theory to come first, tell me that and tell me why.
(5) I have a lower threshold to voting on RVI's than most judges, but still have a pretty high threshold. You'd have to do a lot of pretty compelling work on the RVI to use it to get the ballot.
Straight Up Case Debate:
I very much enjoy a well-informed and thought out, normative, topical debate. Well constructed, intrinsic advantages and disadvantages, impact framing from the get-go, and smart strategies increase your chances of getting my ballot. Brink scenarios are almost always more compelling than linear advantages/disadvantages, and try to get your arguments to go in the right direction from uniqueness to links to impacts.
I’m okay with CPs that change implementation methods, conditionality, dispositionality, and PICs.
Even flow debate, at its core, is a persuasive activity. Treat it as such. Don’t completely brush off presentation — a confident portrayal of an argument makes it much more appealing to a judge.
I am okay with tag-teaming, just don’t go overboard about it.
Other Key Points:
(1) I like gutsy strategic moves. However, don’t just make a gutsy move for the sake of making a gutsy move, because while I will be amused and pleased, I will not vote for you if it doesn’t win you the round.
(2) Add some personality, and be yourself. You’re real people speaking to real people — rounds that feel like that are more engaging to watch and partake in, in my opinion.
(3) If you kick something, kick it properly by extending defense. I won’t shadow kick for you if the other team calls you out on the shadow kick.
(4) Be good people. It'd be nice to see the debate community try to spread some love.