Peter Kilander peterk at enteract.com
Sat Mar 6 19:00:59 PST 1999

>Help! I'm supposed to give a talk at a conference on polemic (Gegenstand!)
>sponsored by the Columbia German department, and I'm feeling uninspired.
>Any advice? Good stuff to read or talk about?

Howabout talking about the choice of taking either the high road or the low road (a la Cockburn) when debating someone? The technique favorved by conservatives of setting up a straw person. Like in Ruth Conniff's piece on Social Security. A Modest Proposal technique. Paroxysms of anger unleashed on e-mail lists over the Internet. The proliferation of TV gasbags on cable. Jane Curtin and Dan "Jane, you ignorant slut" Ackroyd on SNL. Psychotic people who call in on CSPAN's morning shows or on talk radio. The Wall Street Journal editoral pages.

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