COLUMN: You, too, can learn to argue

Jen Steer

With all the problems going on in today’s world, I would like to believe that people know how to argue. However, in my recent experience, I have found that this is not the case.

The ability to argue is an artform that can be learned, although some are lucky enough to be born with the skill. But more and more, comebacks like “your mom” and the more profane version of “screw you” have taken hold. It appears to me that my peers have lost sight of what a little bit of wit and timing can do.

Outside my dorm room is a little sign that simply reads “Loose lips, pink slips. Fire Karl Rove.” For those out there who don’t know who Karl Rove is, he is President Bush’s chief political advisor and has been accused of leaking the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame to the press.

So much to my surprise, while coming back from the shower the other day, I noticed someone had written on my dry erase board outside my room. This message said, “Bush already won so it’s to late to fire him.” Please note the fact that the graffiti artist did not use the proper form of “to.” I read the message over about three times, but it didn’t matter how I looked at it – it didn’t make any sense.

First of all, I am well aware that Bush “already won.” It has been almost a year since that happened and I don’t like being reminded of it. Secondly, it is never too late to fire a political advisor. Bush could fire Rove at any point, if he desired to do so.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I have no problem with people voicing their opinion even when it opposes my own views, but the least you can do is make sure you know what you’re talking about.

Just a day earlier, I had another encounter of a similar nature. While walking down Main Street with a group of my friends (Yes, I, Jen Steer, can be found wandering around the streets of Kent on the weekends), a random guy stopped to talk to us. Then, he made a fatal move: he tried to insult one of my friends. His insult: You have blue hair. The funny part about what he said is she really does have blue hair. But it was the way he said it. He acted like she was completely unaware that an entire section of her hair was, in fact, bright blue.

I think my response was even better. I yelled back with the same attitude he had given my companion, “Oh, so insulting people means pointing out the obvious? Well, you’re wearing pants.” Shazam! I win. I know it was a very immature way to handle it, but people shouldn’t walk around picking fights when they can’t even talk the talk.

So kids, what have we learned today? Don’t mess with Jen Steer, and if you think that you’re about to enter an argument, make sure you have the skills to back it up. And remember, I’m always up for an educated debate if you have the time.

Jen Steer is a sophomore broadcast news major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].