Cheap Samurai Tactics #1- P’shaw!

Your Rent a Friend is Listening to: Church Music by the David Crowder Band

His mood is: Spent like a dollar in a candy store.

In a recent blog I discussed how Christians get called all kinds of nasty names, like “Arrogant” or “Close Minded,” on account of the fact that we label the things we believe as “True.” I know- the nerve of us. Aside from the self-defeating and rather silly nature of this complaint, you’ll notice that it is also an attempt to side against the idea without actually taking any pains to prove the idea wrong. Even if we agree that we are close minded and arrogant, that does nothing to prove that what we believe isn’t still True. This diversionary tactic is one of the many devices I like to call “Cheap Samurai Tactics.”

Cheap Samurai Tactics are, in short, bad arguments. It’s the muscle you get when you don’t splurge on the really good Samurai, and you wind up with the second rate, slightly used, discount warehouse Samurai. My friend, Captain Dan, would use this phrase to describe any kind of short cuts and cheating, but here I’m using it in reference to cheating in an argument or debate. The CST’s are best used when you either know you are wrong but don’t want to admit it, or you don’t care if you’re right or wrong, you just want to fight about something and don’t feel like being bogged down by facts and reason. Perhaps it’s because you’re a lawyer and your client won’t pay you if they get the chair, or maybe you’re an advertiser who is being paid to sell something that serves only to irritate the people who buy it. Maybe you’re just a jerk. Whatever the reason, there are CST’s for you.

I have divided these devices into four helpful categories:

1. P’Shaw…

2. Look Over There!

3. Semantics

4. Slight of Hand

I present them to you so that you can be aware of them. If you have teen age children, you’re probably already familiar with most of these. Just apply them to your various house rules, like doing dishes or curfew, and it’ll jog your memory. If you find yourself on the receiving end of any of these CST’s, just call a foul and move on. As you’ll see, these are not arguments which warrant spending a lot of time refuting. Also, if you ever go into politics, law, journalism, marketing, and most kinds of sales, these might come in handy. Just check your scruples at the door. Let’s look at the categories one at a time, starting with:

1. P’Shaw

In short: Mockery and Copping a “tude.” If you like sarcasm and name calling, or you get most of your facts from watching television, this category is for you.

A. Dismissing: This is as simple as name calling. “That idea is stupid.” The trick is, you aren’t disproving the concept so much as calling into question the intellect or character of the persons who accept it. Aside from “stupid” you can use any of the following: Ignorant, puritanical, out-dated, close-minded, bigoted, judgmental, or heartless. Most any negative adjective will do. The more emotional baggage the word has, the better.
A popular variation on this is attacking the person directly. This has to be more subtle, because if you just launch into “You’re a stupid doodie head!” you’re not likely to impress anyone with your debate skills. The trick is to call into question the validity of a position by stating that the other person only thinks the way they do because of some obviously character flaw: “You only think that because you’re (and the descriptor should be said with a tone of disgust) a republican, or, because you’re a middle class suburbanite, or, because you were home-schooled, or  because you’re a bourgeoisie capitalist pig!” If you do this right, it won’t matter what the facts are or why they really think what they think. No one will listen to them. This will remove from you the burden of being right, having real facts, or making any sense.

B. Use Ignorance as Evidence: If you ask a question and the opposing side cannot answer it, act as though this proves that there is no answer. The hidden assumptions are 1. Your opponent is all-knowing, and thus a fact they don’t know CANNOT exist, and 2. No matter how absurd the question is or how trivial the answer would have been, this was (you assert) vital to the defense of their position. For example, in a debate about whether or not Abraham Lincoln was a robot, you can attack with a question like, “IF Abraham Lincoln had a human mother, what was her maiden name?” and when they answer, “I don’t know,” you can jump in with, “Exactly! You don’t know because she didn’t have a maiden name, because she didn’t exist! Lincoln was a robot!” and victory is yours.

C. Use Popular Opinion: The facts don’t matter when you can appeal to common knowledge. Sigh, roll your eyes, and say something like, “Everyone Knows that humans only use ten percent of their brains.” Of course, why you would choose to believe the collective knowledge of people who don’t use 90% of their brains is beyond me. The point is, you can assume the average beliefs of those around you to determine transcendent, universal truth, even if they failed the 8th grade. The best part is, you don’t even have to ask anyone. You can just assume that, if YOU know something, pretty much everyone else knows it too.

Next time I’ll delve into the second category. In the mean time, study this list of useful CST’s and see if you can spot them being used. Just tune into one of those political talk shows and I’m willing to bet you won’t hear anything else, save a few slogans and falsified statistics. Thank goodness for commercial breaks. Not that they’re much better, but at least they’re only 30 seconds each.

Signing off from the narrow-minded and corrupt state of Illinois, which everyone knows is the former home of America’s first robot president, I have been your Rent a Friend. And that’s the truth.

rentafriend2000@hotmail.com

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About rentafriend2000
Rocking my 40's with a heart full of love and muffins, science and technology. Jesus loves me and wants me to totally rock! And I am here to help.

2 Responses to Cheap Samurai Tactics #1- P’shaw!

  1. Jennifer M says:

    LOVE the graphic…did you make it yourself?

    • rentafriend2000 says:

      I did. Like a mad-scientist of yore, I create all of my own graphics with the help of my completely legal, purchased with real money version of photo shop. Word. Or, WordPress.

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