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Arizona Debate Institute 2009 1

Holbrook/Nielson Dr. Strangelove Neg


Dr. Strangelove Neg
Dr. Strangelove Neg.....................................................................................................................1
Dr. Strangelove Neg.......................................................................................................................1
No Impact to Biopower ...............................................................................................................3
No Impact to Biopower .................................................................................................................3
Biopower Good (Violence and Oppression)................................................................................4
Biopower Good (Violence and Oppression)................................................................................4
Biopower Good (Prevents Rape)..................................................................................................5
Biopower Good (Prevents Rape)..................................................................................................5
Biopower (Freedom and Liberty).................................................................................................6
Biopower (Freedom and Liberty).................................................................................................6
Biopower k2 Democracy and Freedom........................................................................................7
Biopower k2 Democracy and Freedom........................................................................................7
Irony Fails (Empirically Proven)..................................................................................................8
Irony Fails (Empirically Proven)..................................................................................................8
Irony Fails.....................................................................................................................................9
Irony Fails.......................................................................................................................................9
Solvency – Must Problematize the Bomb..................................................................................10
Solvency – Must Problematize the Bomb..................................................................................10
AT: Movements (Freeze)............................................................................................................11
AT: Movements (Freeze).............................................................................................................11
NEG – Strangelove Satire Fails..................................................................................................12
NEG – Strangelove Satire Fails..................................................................................................12
Strangelove Satire Fails..............................................................................................................13
Strangelove Satire Fails...............................................................................................................13
Strangelove Satire Fails..............................................................................................................14
Strangelove Satire Fails...............................................................................................................14
Satire of Strangelove is Reality..................................................................................................15
Satire of Strangelove is Reality...................................................................................................15
Dr. Strangelove Not a Satire.......................................................................................................16
Dr. Strangelove Not a Satire.......................................................................................................16
2NC A2 Perm: Irony can’t solve................................................................................................17
2NC A2 Perm: Irony can’t solve.................................................................................................17
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 2
Holbrook/Nielson Dr. Strangelove Neg
2NC A2 Perm: Irony can’t solve................................................................................................18
2NC A2 Perm: Irony can’t solve.................................................................................................18
Irony Turns Aff 1/3.....................................................................................................................19
Irony Turns Aff 1/3......................................................................................................................19
Irony Turns Aff 2/3.....................................................................................................................20
Irony Turns Aff 2/3......................................................................................................................20
Irony Turns Aff 3/3.....................................................................................................................21
Irony Turns Aff 3/3......................................................................................................................21
Parody Bad.................................................................................................................................22
Parody Bad...................................................................................................................................22
Parody Bad.................................................................................................................................24
Parody Bad...................................................................................................................................24
Parody Fails................................................................................................................................26
Parody Fails..................................................................................................................................26
CP – Real Politics.......................................................................................................................28
CP – Real Politics.........................................................................................................................28
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 3
Holbrook/Nielson Dr. Strangelove Neg
No Impact to Biopower
THE FORM OF GOVERNMENT IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE EXERCISE OF
BIOPOWER—DEMOCRACIES AND LIBERAL RIGHTS PREVENT THE
GENOCIDAL EXCESS THAT THEIR EVIDENCE DESCRIBES
DICKINSON 2004 (Edward Ross, Univ of Cincinnati, Central European History Vol 37 No 1)
In an important programmatic statement of 1996 Geoff Eley
celebrated the fact that Foucault’s ideas have
“fundamentally directed attention away from institutionally centered conceptions of
government and the state . . . and toward a dispersed and decentered notion of power and
its ‘microphysics.’”48 The “broader, deeper, and less visible ideological consensus” on “technocratic reason and the ethical
unboundedness of science” was the focus of his interest.49 But the “power-producing effects in Foucault’s ‘microphysical’ sense” (Eley)
of the construction of social bureaucracies and social
knowledge, of “an entire institutional apparatus and system of practice” ( Jean Quataert), simply do not explain Nazi policy.50 The
destructive dynamic of Nazism was a product not so much of a particular modern set of
ideas as of a particular modern political structure, one that could realize the disastrous
potential of those ideas. What was critical was not the expansion of the instruments and disciplines of biopolitics, which
occurred everywhere in Europe. Instead, it was the principles that guided how those instruments and disciplines were organized and
used, and the external constraints on
them. In National Socialism, biopolitics
was shaped by a totalitarian conception of social
management focused on the power and ubiquity of the völkisch state. In democratic
societies, biopolitics has historically been constrained by a rights-based strategy of social
management. This is a point to which I will return shortly. For now, the point is that what
was decisive was actually politics at the level of the state. A comparative framework can
help us to clarify this point.Other states passed compulsory sterilization laws in the 1930s — indeed, individual states in
the United States had already begun doing so in 1907. Yet they did not proceed to the next steps adopted by National
Socialism — mass sterilization, mass “eugenic” abortion and murder of the “defective.” Individual figures in, for example, the U.S. did
make such suggestions. But
neither the political structures of democratic states nor their legal and
political principles permitted such policies actually being enacted. Nor did the scale of
forcible sterilization in other countries match that of the Nazi program. I do not mean to
suggest that such programs were not horrible; but in a democratic political context they did
not develop the dynamic of constant radicalization and escalation that characterized Nazi
policies.
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 4
Holbrook/Nielson Dr. Strangelove Neg
Biopower Good (Violence and Oppression)

BIOPOWER IS NOT ALWAYS OPPRESSIVE AND VIOLENT—MODERN WELFARE


STATES AND MEDICAL ADVANCES ARE ALSO BIOPOLITICAL—THE SYSTEM
SAVES LIVES
DICKINSON 2004 (Edward Ross, Univ of Cincinnati, Central European History Vol 37 No 1)

It is striking, then, that the new model of German modernity is even more relentlessly
negative than the old Sonderweg model. In that older model, premodern elites were
constantly triumphing over the democratic opposition. But at least there was an opposition;
and in the long run, time was on the side of that opposition, which in fact embodied the
historical movement of modern- ization. In the new model, there is virtually a biopolitical
consensus.92 And that consensus is almost always fundamentally a nasty, oppressive
thing, one that partakes in crucial ways of the essential quality of National Socialism.
Everywhere biopolitics is intrusive, technocratic, top-down, constraining, limiting.
Biopolitics is almost never conceived of— or at least discussed in any detail— as creating
possibilities for people, as expanding the range of their choices, as empowering them, or
indeed as doing anything positive for them at all. Of course, at the most simple-minded
level, it seems to me that an assessment of the potentials of modernity that ignores the
ways in which biopolitics has made life tangibly better is somehow deeply flawed. To give
just one example, infant mortality in Germany in 1900 was just over 20 percent; or, in
other words, one in five children died before reaching the age of one year. By 1913, it was
15 percent; and by 1929 (when average real purchasing power was not significantly higher
than in 1913) it was only 9.7 percent.93 The expansion of infant health programs— an
enormously ambitious, bureaucratic,medicalizing, and sometimes intrusive, social
engineering project— had a great deal to do with that change. It would be bizarre to write a
history of biopolitical modernity that ruled out an appreciation for how absolutely
wonderful and astonishing this achievement— and any number of others like it — really
was. There was a reason for the “Machbarkeitswahn” of the early twentieth century: many
marvelous things were in fact becoming machbar. In that sense, it is not really accurate to
call it a “Wahn” (delusion, craziness) at all; nor is it accurate to focus only on the
“inevitable” frustration of “delusions” of power. Even in the late 1920s, many social
engineers could and did look with great satisfaction on the changes they genuinely had the
power to accomplish.
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 5
Holbrook/Nielson Dr. Strangelove Neg
Biopower Good (Prevents Rape)

BIOPOWER CAN BE GOOD—THEIR IMPACT IGNORES THE WAYS THAT STATE


POWER CAN PREVENT VIOLENCE LIKE RAPE AND ABUSE
DICKINSON 2004 (Edward Ross, Univ of Cincinnati, Central European History Vol 37 No 1)
In fact, even where social workers really were attempting to limit or subvert the autonomy
and power of parents, I am not sure that their actions can be characterized only and
exclusively as part of a microphysics of oppression. Progressive child welfare advocates in
Germany, particularly in the National Center for Child Welfare, waged a campaign in the
1920s to persuade German parents and educators to stop beating children with such
ferocity, regularity, and nonchalance. They did so because they feared the unintended
physical and psychological effects of beatings, and implicitly because they believed
physical violence could compromise the development of the kind of autonomous,
selfreliant subjectivity on which a modern state had to rely in its citizenry.96 Or, to give
another common example from the period, children removed from their families after
being subjected by parents or other relatives to repeated episodes of violence or rape were
being manipulated by biopolitical technocrats, and were often abused in new ways in
institutions or foster families; but they were also being liberated. Sometimes some forms of
the exercise of power in society are in some ways emancipatory; and that is historically
significant.
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 6
Holbrook/Nielson Dr. Strangelove Neg
Biopower (Freedom and Liberty)

BIOPOWER EXPANDS FREEDOM AND LIBERTY


DICKINSON 2004 (Edward Ross, Univ of Cincinnati, Central European History Vol 37 No 1)

Uncoupling “technocracy” from “discourse” is not yet enough, however.We should also be
alive to the ways in which new social practices, institutions, and knowledge generated new
choices — a limited range of them, constrained by all kinds of discursive and social
frameworks, but nonetheless historically new and significant. Modern biopolitics did
create, in a real sense, not only new constraints but also new degrees of freedom— new
levers that increased people’s power to move their own worlds, to shape their own lives.
Our understanding of modern biopolitics will be more realistic and more fruitful if we
reconceptualize its development as a complex process in which the implications of those
new choices were negotiated out in the social and discursive context. Again, in the early
twentieth century many more conservative biopolitical
“experts” devoted much of their energy precisely to trying— without any discernable
success— to control those new degrees of freedom. For most social liberals and Social
Democrats, however, those new choices were a potential source of greater social efficiency
and social dynamism. State policy reflected the constant negotiation and tension between
these perspectives.
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 7
Holbrook/Nielson Dr. Strangelove Neg
Biopower k2 Democracy and Freedom
BIOPOLITICS ARE GOOD—BIOPOWER IS THE FOUNDATION OF DEMOCRACY,
ORDER, AND FREEDOM
DICKINSON 2004 (Edward Ross, Univ of Cincinnati, Central European History Vol 37 No 1)
At its simplest, this view of the politics of expertise and professionalization is certainly plausible. Historically
speaking, however, the further conjecture that this “micropolitical” dynamic creates authoritarian, totalitarian, or
homicidal potentials at the level of the state does not seem very tenable. Historically, it appears that the greatest
advocates of political democracy —in Germany leftliberals and Social Democrats —have been also the greatest
advocates of every kind of biopolitical social engineering, from public health and welfare programs through social
insurance to city planning and, yes, even eugenics.102 The state they built has intervened in social relations to an
(until recently) ever-growing degree; professionalization has run ever more rampant in Western societies; the
production of scientistic and technocratic expert knowledge has proceeded at an ever more frenetic pace. And yet,
from the perspective of the first years of the millennium, the second half of the twentieth century appears to be the
great age of democracy in precisely those societies where these processes have been most in evidence. What is
more, the interventionist state has steadily expanded both the rights and the resources of virtually every citizen —
including those who were stigmatized and persecuted as biologically defective under National Socialism. Perhaps
these processes have created an ever more restrictive “iron cage” of rationality in European societies. But if so, it
seems clear that there is no necessary correlation between rationalization and authoritarian politics; the opposite
seems in fact to be at least equally true.
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 8
Holbrook/Nielson Dr. Strangelove Neg
Irony Fails (Empirically Proven)
The use of irony occurred and failed

Chaloupka 92 (William. “Knowing Nukes : The Politics and Culture of the Atom,”Minneapolis,
MN, USA: University of Minnesota Press, 1992. p. 98 http://site.ebrary.com/lib/asulib/Doc?
id=10194321&ppg=18)

Acknowledging the ironical contradictions at the heart of any objective world,


antinuclearists went giddy with code and symbol, purposely arraying each code against
itself. They took a position that only seemed to be a coherent, oppositional unit. The irony
of a "clean reaction" to the nuke —a gentle and attractive lifestyle — recalled Lockean
citizenship, but did so in a context of absurd, worldwide aggression and deterrence that
mocked the village model of a classical liberal politics. A context was appropriated that
would render every attempt at sincerity absurd, a resonating ensemble of contradictions so
thoroughly designed that it could not have been naive or mistaken. The modesty could only
be ironic. The self-conscious joy at taking this perverse position has no doubt dimmed in
antinuclear communities. The "failure" of the approach could be variously described. One
explanation is that "politics moved away" from the antinuke position, rendering moot the
sort of interpretation I am offering. Ferguson's description of the whole system moving
rightward, which I discussed earlier, invokes this type of explanatory device, one firmly
lodged in a larger discursive construction that allows (then requires) the ranking of
positions within a fairly stable left-right continuum, granting an aura of reality to those
positions that is undeserved, even from within conventional "policy approaches." 36
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 9
Holbrook/Nielson Dr. Strangelove Neg
Irony Fails

Irony can and does fail

Chaloupka 92 (William. “Knowing Nukes : The Politics and Culture of the Atom,”Minneapolis,
MN, USA: University of Minnesota Press, 1992. p. 99 http://site.ebrary.com/lib/asulib/Doc?
id=10194321&ppg=18)

It could be that the ironic simply went underground — unrecognized but still present. John
Seery's reading of an antinuclear demonstration leaves open just such a possibility. Closely
reading the actions of demonstrators, he finds striking examples; a handicapped woman puts
herself (in her wheelchair) in the way of the nuclear enterprise, and is arrested. As Seery
explains, that action has to be ironic, and is coherent, as well as potentially effective. 37 Seery is
unable, however, to interview the protester; it is his reading that preserves the ironic in this case.
He does not consider the other possibilities —that antinuclear politics could be naive, or that it
could (egotistically) take its own warnings as instrumental, rather than symbolic. Surely, this is
because his reading of the demonstrator's actions grants them the dignity of an ironic
interpretation. But, at the same time, Seery knows that the ironic possibility is a fragile one;
"irony is difficult to interpret or to sustain. As a strategy of nonviolent political resistance, irony
carries with it no guarantees; it can fail. The Athenian court misread Socrates' irony. The English
largely misunderstood Jonathan Swift." 38 Seery hopes that the protesters he calls "the modern-
day gadflies of the nuclear age" will be better received, but the fragility of a politics of irony is
visible, even within his analysis.
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 10
Holbrook/Nielson Dr. Strangelove Neg
Solvency – Must Problematize the Bomb

The chaotic paradoxes of nukes must be problematized, instead of being caught up in the
antinuclearist claims we must move beyond in order to break away from the systems of
power

Chaloupka 92 (William. “Knowing Nukes : The Politics and Culture of the Atom,”Minneapolis,
MN, USA: University of Minnesota Press, 1992. p. 68 http://site.ebrary.com/lib/asulib/Doc?
id=10194321&ppg=18)

The micro controls of the nuclear era are not the only form of power emerging at the end of
modernism. Therapeutic and disciplinary discourses play a social role; they are, in effect,
new agents that both constrain and produce contemporary political possibilities. These new
practices of power interact with thoroughly constituted, nuclear-age selves. In the mix,
there is a solution.
The instability and perversity of the nuclear age no longer imply the fraudulence of
humanity. The nuke is not a code of our failure; in a stunning reversal, it stands for
progress. The chaotic paradoxes of our time carry the mark of a specific, contemporary
control.
The instability of nuclear discourse thus works in two directions. As long as nukes remain
unproblematic, both the repression of the deterrence paradox and the maintenance of micro
controls continue to function. From a post-1989 perspective, we can begin to understand
that we have been at an intermediate position, standing momentarily (if for a half century)
between the pre-Hiroshima realm of military realism and modernism, on the one hand, and
on the other an emerging postmodern realm where reversibilities, literary production, and
the preeminence of pace (speed, communication, and image) fully and openly enter the
political realm. Thus, while the nuclear age sorted out its politics, systems of power
aggressively reinforced each other; antinuclearist claims validated nuclearism and vice
versa. More important than the ebb and flow of what only seemed to be an antagonism, a
new status and revised techniques of power just began operating and establishing
themselves. This new power oppresses, to be sure, but it also acts positively and quietly,
diminishing the possibility that politics would survive at all. As the age of deterrence gives
way to the end of modernity, then, a struggle emerges, with the advanced methods of
power encountering the new openings for politics. There are, no doubt, many points of
emergence at which this new struggle could be glimpsed. The example I address in this
chapter is perhaps too obvious and overt, but we could still understand the politics of the
freeze and Star Wars —widely regarded as excessively simplistic and obvious —in quite a
different context, one in which they emerge as problematizing discourses, as characteristic
of their age as is Reagan.
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 11
Holbrook/Nielson Dr. Strangelove Neg
AT: Movements (Freeze)

Discourse of Freeze causes relations of domination

Chaloupka 92 (William. “Knowing Nukes : The Politics and Culture of the Atom,”Minneapolis,
MN, USA: University of Minnesota Press, 1992. p. 69 http://site.ebrary.com/lib/asulib/Doc?
id=10194321&ppg=18)

We begin to engage the gap of meaning deconstructionists call the aporia when we
recognize that "freeze" is not just a description —however multileveled —but is also a
command. In a crime movie, the player with the gun (a criminal or a cop) hollers. In the
case of the nuclear freezers, a reversal is at hand; the gunless victim is hollering, hinting
that legions of reinforcements will be mobilized by the call, or perhaps reminding the bully
of the consequences his actions carry. In this sense, the command — "freeze!" —takes
charge in even the least likely circumstances. It is an attempt at reversal that focuses
attention, and, one hopes, action, on the reversed term: namely, the relations of domination
embedded in nuclearism. More and more reverberations of the word "freeze" spin out, in
the kind of list deconstructionists assemble to undermine the clarity of words we assume
"mean something":

The Freeze movement got frozen

Chaloupka 92 (William. “Knowing Nukes : The Politics and Culture of the Atom,”Minneapolis,
MN, USA: University of Minnesota Press, 1992. p. 72 http://site.ebrary.com/lib/asulib/Doc?
id=10194321&ppg=18)

Ironically, the freeze also confirmed nuclear criticism when it was stymied by another
literary device— a strange end for a component of a supposedly "unspeakable" topic. As is
his now-familiar pattern, Ronald Reagan switched fables or, more precisely, added another
layer of fabulousness. The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), which had almost universally
seemed a crackpot scheme in its earlier, "High Frontier" stage, responded so well to the
claims of freezers that it quickly subdued their movement. The "domination reversal"
offered when the freeze demonstrated that simple, rhetorical adjustments might derail the
arms race was, in turn, itself reversed. In a pinch, Reagan doubled back, as would the
cinematic cowboy-heroes Reagan both worshipped and portrayed. 11 The most prominent
gun advocate ever to be president, a man who rose from being felled by a handgun-toting
would-be assassin only to wave off gun control as a fallen cowboy waves off the helpers
who rush to him, Reagan invoked a bigger gun control. 12 The "umbrella" or "Astrodome"
metaphors SDI supporters evoked were easily "disproved," but have been much more
difficult to dislodge, perhaps because they mask a type of weaponry that is inevitable, even
if it is not now possible. In short, the freeze was itself frozen, finally, by a move more
mythic and literary than technological.
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 12
Holbrook/Nielson Dr. Strangelove Neg
NEG – Strangelove Satire Fails

Dr. Strangelove didn’t go far enough into satire, it didn’t separate reality far enough from
the fiction and therefore made it hard for the satire to take the necessary effect

Linden 77 (George W. “"Dr. Strangelove" and Erotic Displacement,” Journal of Aesthetic Education,
Vol. 11, No. 1 (Jan., 1977), pp. 63-83 Published by: University of Illinois Press Stable URL:
http://www.jstor.org/stable/331863 Accessed: 28/07/2009 20:19)

One reason for the ambivalent reaction of Americans to Dr. Strange- love was our
inability to unravel the relations between the reel world and the real one. It is
precisely this inability that provides much of the tension and force of the film. By the use
of constant cross-cutting to his basic three locations and by shifting to three styles, Kubrick
in- tensifies this tension. The plot of the film is the accelerating technological inevitability
of modem society, an acceleration which has as its products social stupidity and ultimate
political impotence. Man, the real enemy, becomes subject to his infernal machines. The
crazy logic of the cold war is carried to its inevitable conclusion: not merely the triggering
of the atom bomb, but the further "superdeterrent" of the diabolic doomsday machine.
Since the logic of the film was the logic of our lives, it is no wonder we had difficulty
separating one from the other. It is no wonder we had difficulty seeing the film as
funny.
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 13
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Strangelove Satire Fails

The type of shots that the film uses neutralizes the effect because it brings the absurdity to
another level and therefore neutralizes the potential for fear to be used and only satire
exists

Linden 77 (George W. “"Dr. Strangelove" and Erotic Displacement,” Journal of Aesthetic Education,
Vol. 11, No. 1 (Jan., 1977), pp. 63-83 Published by: University of Illinois Press Stable URL:
http://www.jstor.org/stable/331863 Accessed: 28/07/2009 20:19)

The increasing intensity of the mosaic of locations is accomplished by three different shifts
of film styles. One style is antiseptic, ironic counterpoint. This style dominates the
beginning of the film, most of the scenes in the War Room, and many of the exterior shots
of the bomber as it waltzes and eventually waddles to its target. The second style is brute
realism. It is this style that forces the audience to call on the real world in relation to the
reel one. The hectic excitement inside the wounded airplane is conveyed by the effect of a
jerky, accelerating, hand-held camera. Similarly, the invasion of Burpelson Air Force Base
is shot in grainy newsreel texture. The camera movements are abrupt and shaky, as if they
were cuts from The Battle of San Pietro or some other dangerous documentary. The third
style consists of cool close-ups and minimum camera movement. Here the camera is used
as a window on "reality" and the actors are allowed to carry the scenes into exag-
gerated absurdity. The purpose of this exaggeration was to raise the film from
comedy to satire, thus neutralizing its potent appeals to fear. Unfortunately for the
audience, the reality they were living was as absurd as the characters in the film.
Thus, the "neutralization" failed to take full effect. When reality itself is absurd, it is
doubtful that satire is possible.
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 14
Holbrook/Nielson Dr. Strangelove Neg
Strangelove Satire Fails

The Satire of Dr. Strangelove doesn’t work when reality is absurd

Linden 77 (George W. “"Dr. Strangelove" and Erotic Displacement,” Journal of Aesthetic Education,
Vol. 11, No. 1 (Jan., 1977), pp. 63-83 Published by: University of Illinois Press Stable URL:
http://www.jstor.org/stable/331863 Accessed: 28/07/2009 20:19)

It is comforting to believe that our political leaders are honest, effec- tive, and fully in
charge of any situation. The impotent general staff, the weak president, and the unrealistic
options in the War Room were no doubt intended as exaggerations. But how could one
regard them as satire when, in spite of constant protest from both the public and
Congress, the atrocity of Vietnam continued to accelerate? How could one regard
reality as different from the film when we had seen one secretary of defense after
another come on television with the news that the war would soon be over? How could
one regard reality as sane when one general after another had claimed we were "turning the
corner" and advised succeeding presidents to follow the same course, to apply more and
more bombing? If this was the quality of leadership and advice in reality, how could
the audience regard the same antics as absurd in the fi lm? The hardbitten combat
leader, Bat Guano, ig- norant and determined, was no doubt intended as an exaggeration.
Yet he was no more absurd than the major in Vietnam who said that "We had to destroy
the village to save it." When General Ripper gives his order for his men to shoot anything
that moves, this seems to be exaggeration. But then one remembered the meaning of our
euphemism "free-fire zone": shoot anything that moves.
General Turgidson's disbelief that the "stupid ruskies" could shoot down his planes is
absurd until we remember our own anxiety about sputnik. The intense concern over a
doomsday gap appears as a form of ultimate inanity, if not insanity, until we recall
that the United States is pockmarked by strategic missile silos inhabited by multiple-
headed hydras. Turgidson's advice to strike first-we will "get our hair mussed a bit" but
will only lose a few million people-seems incredible until we recall a retired Air Force
general who ran for the second highest office in the land.7 The constant slippage of the
urgency of the conversation between President Muffley and Premier Kissoff seems funny.
After all, the great powers are run by reasonable, imper- sonal men. Then we remember
Premier Khrushchev pounding his shoe on a desk like a petulant child or President
Kennedy becoming carried away by the enthusiasm of his own verbiage and declaiming,
"Ich bin ein Berliner."
The paranoid delusions and fantastic dialogue of General Jack Ripper were undoubtedly
meant to be the most gross exaggerations in the film. Yet anyone who followed the antics
of the Minute Men or other fanatics of the right wing could scarcely see much difference.
General Ripper appears as a gigantic put-on until one recalls the ram- bling incoherence of
General "Teddy" Walker.8 In any case, my point is made. Many of the exaggerations in
Dr. Strangelove failed to estab- lish psychic distance, for they were not seen as
absurd. Our lived reality had become absurd. When reality becomes absurd,
absurdity loses reality.
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 15
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Satire of Strangelove is Reality

What was satirical in Strangelove is now standard in the Status Quo

Linden 77 (George W. “"Dr. Strangelove" and Erotic Displacement,” Journal of Aesthetic Education,
Vol. 11, No. 1 (Jan., 1977), pp. 63-83 Published by: University of Illinois Press Stable URL:
http://www.jstor.org/stable/331863 Accessed: 28/07/2009 20:19)

Perhaps another reason for the intensity of our basal anxiety and the consequent ambiguity
of our response as an audience was the un- canny prescience displayed by the film. The
prophetic view of the future displayed by Strangelove has, in many unhappy respects,
come true. If, as has been said, the true artists are historians of the future, then one of their
tasks is to develop current possibilities so that their future actualities become apparent.
This was precisely what Kubrick and his fellow workers did. But because much of this
material came out of our unrealized unconscious, the viewers reacted to this content with
disease. The prophetic views of the future embodied in Dr. Strange- love have become
uncomfortably close to total lived reality. Much of what was meant as satire has
become standard.
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 16
Holbrook/Nielson Dr. Strangelove Neg
Dr. Strangelove Not a Satire

The music in Dr. Strangelove remove it from Satire

Linden 77 (George W. “"Dr. Strangelove" and Erotic Displacement,” Journal of Aesthetic Education,
Vol. 11, No. 1 (Jan., 1977), pp. 63-83 Published by: University of Illinois Press Stable URL:
http://www.jstor.org/stable/331863 Accessed: 28/07/2009 20:19)

As for weaving music as a plot device or as shifting tonality, perhaps a couple of examples
will suffice. When music is used as a plot device, the aurals come to the foreground and
the visuals become subordinate. This occurs in Strangelove when Captain Mandrake
discovers the un- confiscated transistor radio. He innocently walks into General Ripper's
office and points out that if nuclear war had truly been declared, the radio would not be
blaring its normal puerile music. Ripper immedi- ately orders him to turn the radio off.
This brings Mandrake to the horrid realization of the actual situation, but before he can
take any effective action, Ripper confines him, thus revealing his hand (and his insanity).
As for the shifting of tonality, Kubrick uses the theme song, "When Johnny Comes
Marching Home," as an accompaniment to the one uncontrolled bomber. At first, the tune
is played heavily, enhancing the menace of the accelerating situation and visuals. Then the
same tune is carried forward by harmonica. During this sequence, the visuals 73 are
lightened and the wounded plane almost seems to dance in tune as it relentlessly swerves
forward.13 As the crippled bomber comes closer and closer to its final target of
opportunity, the same song reverses back to orchestral performance with muffled,
accelerating drums. These subtle shifts in the aurals also determine subtle shifts in the
visuals, thus giving the union of the two more depth and texture. This master- ful
experimentation with the visual/aural relationships becomes the basis of 2001 and the
ultimate thematic substance of A Clockwork Orange.14
These remarks on the uses of music in Strangelove, will, I hope, free the reader's memory
and imagination. He can now see that the Zara- thustra theme (reduced on television to
advertising analgesics and other trivia) or the Strauss works are not accidental to the
structure of 2001. Certainly, he should see that the uses of "Singing in the Rain" as ironic
counterpoint or the music of divine Ludwig as a plot device in A Clockwork Orange are
not mere whim. They are simply further in- stances of the continued exploration of the
relations of aurals and visuals that begins in full force in Dr. Strangelove. What these
reflec- tions suggest, however, is that there is a category to which Dr. Strange- love
conveniently and meaningfully belongs. At the risk of being ac- cused of falling into
auteurism I suggest that Dr. Strangelove can be best understood not as a comedy/satire, nor
as a war film, nor as an atom-bomb excursion, but as a difficult, subtle, and original
Stanley Kubrick film.
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 17
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2NC A2 Perm: Irony can’t solve
Irony can’t work with those who take the issue seriously or who are too close to the issue
(i.e. people who focus on the seriousness of the pain of the event)

Chaloupka 92 (William. “Knowing Nukes : The Politics and Culture of the Atom,”Minneapolis, MN, USA: University of Minnesota
Press, 1992. p. 99 http://site.ebrary.com/lib/asulib/Doc?id=10194321&ppg=18)

Joseph Gusfield offers another explanation for the demise of irony, reading its workings at a more personal level. At the end of his book
The Culture of Public Problems, in which he had dramatically reread the policy discourse surrounding drinking and driving, Gusfield
recounts an incident where his analysis met a strong response from a practicing physician. The doctor argued that Gusfield's analysis
ignored the pain generated by alcohol-related accidents; Gusfield "justified his earmuffs" by describing his position as a "sociological
irony." 39 In one sense, a certain distance from events is necessary for the analysis of social events, he argues. This may well create a
tension with other impulses —nobody wants to ignore the suffering of a victim injured for the least rational of reasons. But the ironist
requires a certain distance in order to make the familiar seem suddenly strange; the ironist doesn't (and couldn't) work in the clinic,
alongside the physician.
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 18
Holbrook/Nielson Dr. Strangelove Neg
2NC A2 Perm: Irony can’t solve
Irony cannot work with those who act in a modest caring mood with the imaginary or real
victims of the bomb
Chaloupka 92 (William. “Knowing Nukes : The Politics and Culture of the Atom,”Minneapolis, MN, USA: University of Minnesota
Press, 1992. p. 99 http://site.ebrary.com/lib/asulib/Doc?id=10194321&ppg=18)

Transposed to nuclearism, Gusfield's argument takes on some odd twists. On one hand, we begin to glimpse one reason for the
prominence of the "lifestyle" approach; faced with a crisis that is associated with mass (if future, imagined) suffering, people would
prefer to respond in a modest, caring mood, perhaps reacting as if we were already at the bedside of the victims. That impulse drives
much of the antinuclear position; in books, speeches, and films, we are asked to imagine (unimaginable) carnage, and to gauge our
reactions accordingly. The ironist cannot participate in such exercises, as Gusfield explains; "One cannot engage in irony without
assuming a distance and detachment from those being described." 40
Still, Gusfield is careful to explain the political dynamic underlying sociological irony. The inquiry he undertakes necessarily opens political
ground, when it examines the symbolic nature of authority and offers other interpretations. "To find alternative ways of seeing phenomena is
to imagine that things can be otherwise. . . . This cannot but be a diminution of the legitimacy which authority gains from a belief in its
facticity." 41 This is in particular contrast with the view of irony expressed by Richard Rorty, for whom a "liberal irony" leads to
justifications of a political quietism. 42 This is a dramatic difference of opinion; two respected scholars, one a social scientist and the other a
philosopher closely attuned to the social sciences, examine and adopt irony as characteristic of their position, then come to very different
conclusions about its implications.
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 19
Holbrook/Nielson Dr. Strangelove Neg
Irony Turns Aff 1/3
The Affirmative must provide an understanding of the human being that validates the
claims they’ve made in this debate. The 1AC assumes that the actors involved in the drama
that is their advantage claims, the potential listeners to the normative statement of the plan,
and those who listen to their case respond as autonomus, rational liberal subjects. The
rational subject is a myth, a master signifier used to avoid admitting a simple truth. In fact,
this way of speaking about the world actively demands that we become rational subjects –
which is to say, the perfect cogs for bureaucratic management of life.

Schlag, Professor of Law – University of Colorado, 1991 [Texas LR 69 1627]


Now, I think it is precisely because the reigning configuration of legal thought is embedded in regions and processes that are
obscured from the critical reaches of that same legal thought that this rhetoric has been so resilient. The rhetoric has been
structured as a kind of forgetting of the forgetting, a repression of the repression. The rhetoric has been inscribed in the legal
subject--and that is what has been put off-scene, out of reach, beyond inquiry. In the same way, the problem of the subject has
been obscured in virtue of the legal thinkers' construction as a conscious sovereign individual subject, who does not even
recognize that the subject is a problem.
C. The Subject as Problem
But the subject is a problem. We have already seen how the subject becomes a problem for various kinds of contemporary
legal thought and their projects. The problem arises as each school recognizes that its own intellectual architecture, its own
normative ambitions rest upon the presupposition of a subject -- a subject whose epistemic, ontological, and normative status is
now very much in question.
Now this is not simply an intellectual problem; it has political implications. The political implications are easy to describe.
The constitution of legal thinkers and others as conscious sovereign individual subjects produces a politics that works perfectly
-- assuming that we do indeed [*1739] have conscious sovereign individual subjects situated to control the levers of the social
machinery. n425
Once articulated, however, that vision fast becomes implausible. In the legal academy, this vision of social life is maintained
by an elite of legal thinkers who systematically confirm themselves in this vision by relentlessly rehearsing its aesthetic. They
seem to be either incapable or unwilling to recognize that this conventional aesthetic of social life is fast becoming unbelievable.
Now, the resistance of legal academics to a reconsideration of the conventional aesthetic of the liberal subject is easy to
understand. If the liberal subject disappears from the scene, a number of very troublesome questions immediately surface: who
(or what) is controlling the levers running the social machinery? n426 And if there's no one operating the levers, then what has
been the effect of all that good, admirable, serious, normative legal thought? n427
As legal thinkers, we like to think we are doing good, normative legal work--advancing noble causes and the like -- but if the
liberal subject is no longer operating the levers, our work product can take on a different character. We may simply be rehearsing
and reproducing the instrumentalist logic of bureaucratic practices. n428 Indeed, the main significance of noble normative work
is in the rehearsal of a false aesthetic of social life--one which falsely represents instrumentalist strategies as within the control of
individual subjects the unfolding of bureaucratic logic as the choices of individuals the discursive mechanisms of coercion as
normative dialogue.
Now, there is nothing wrong with instrumental control in and of [*1740] itself. Indeed, instrumental control is often valued--it
bears names like efficiency, effectiveness, and wisdom. But the supposition that instrumental control is desirable presupposes
that there is an epistemically and normatively competent subject at the levers. And that is precisely what is being thrown in
question: if the subject is constituted by its discourses and its context, who or what is in charge? n42
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 20
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Irony Turns Aff 2/3
This isn’t merely a link of omission – the Aff’s claims rely on a vision of the person
rendered false by a Lacanian understanding of human behavior.

Caudill, Professor of Law – Washington and Lee School of Law, 2003 [Cardozo Law Review
24 2331]
Lacan credits Descartes for the emergence of the subject of science, "the Cartesian subject," n37 which desires certainty n38
"through the [*2338] exercise of his own reason." n39 Even in his famous method of doubt, Descartes confirmed his thinking
existence, and Lacan analogizes this "annihilation of knowledge" to the fading subject of psychoanalysis n40 - fading in the
sense that the fleeting certainty of cogito ergo sum requires constant repetition of that "mantra." n41 Moreover, Descartes'
supposed suspension of confidence in all of his knowledge is too quickly "cured" by his confidence in a non-deceiving God, the
guarantor not only of his initial knowledge of his existence, but of his knowledge of Nature as well. n42
Lacan sees two more analogies in Descartes' expansive method: (1) like the subject in psychoanalysis, Descartes' exercise of
reason to acquire knowledge is sustained by his faith in a subject-supposed-to-know (e.g., God for Descartes, or an analyst); and
(2) like the modern subject of science, Descartes believed the truth of his knowledge "is guaranteed by something/someone
outside" the subject, like "science itself." n43 The split between knowledge and truth (represented by Descartes' doubt that what
he knew was true) is "sutured" in modern science to reduce truth to knowledge. God is allegedly replaced by "a real guarantee -
one that is rooted in either empirical facts, or a rationalist logic or mathematics." n44
Whereas the Cartesian subject is fundamentally divided between a certainty of thinking (knowledge) and an uncertainty of truth
which can only be lifted through the introduction of a non-deceitful God, modern science has endeavored to solve the issue of
truth by advancing it as the inherent quality of proper scientific knowledge. n45
While modern scientific practices proceed "from the conviction that the [*2339]rational processes which organize all things
worldly will ultimately reveal themselves to the conscious human mind," n46 Lacan (following Freud) emphasizes the subject
of the unconscious - the subject who does not know, who is not in control. The notion that the determinative unconscious is
structured like a language has implications both for the question of the scientificity of psychoanalysis - since the object of inquiry
is structured - and for the critique of science as a discourse that is forgetful, that misrecognizes its status as a discourse. Lacan's
call for a return to subjectivity in modern science likewise has two meanings: first, a scientific psychoanalysis will be a science of
subjectivity - a science that accounts for the operations of the unconscious in the subject; second, Lacan's critique of science is
that it "forecloses that which makes itself possible, for its own condition is the subject that writes and speaks, that enunciates and
forgets ... ." n47
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Irony Turns Aff 3/3
The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The aff’s recuperation of a sovereign,
knowing subject merely resuscitates an ancient epistemology of conquest. The consequence
of this ordered subjectivity is the perpetual construction and reconstruction of global
ordering and the genocidal violence contained therein

Nayar, Professor of Law – University of Warwick, 1999 [Transnational Law and Contemporary
Problems 9 599]
[*606] Distinguishing these two meanings of "order" provides us with radically opposed directions of analysis and orientations
for future imagings of social relations. Although the rhetoric of world-order would focus on visions of some projected "world"
that provides the aspiration for collective endeavors, "order" does not come to be without necessary "ordering;" the "world" of
"world-order" has not come to be without the necessary ordering of many worlds. The ordering and the ordered, the world of
order and the ordered world, all are inextricable parts of the past and the present of "civil-ization."
Despite the vision of world-order founded on a notion of a universal society of humankind aspiring toward a universal common
good, (first given meaning within a conceptual political-legal framework through the birth of the so-called "Westphalian" state
system n14 ), the materialities of "ordering" were of a different complexion altogether. Contrary to the disembodied rhetoric of
world-order as bloodless evolution, the new images of the world and languages of "globality" did not evolve out of a sense of
"hospitality" n15 to the "other," the "stranger." Rather, the history of the creation of the post-Westphalian "world" as one world,
can be seen to be most intimately connected with the rise of an expansionist and colonizing world-view and practice. Voyages of
"discovery" provided the necessary reconnaissance to image this "new world." Bit by bit, piece by piece, the jigsaw of the globe
was completed. With the advance of the "discoverer," the "colonizer," the "invader," the "new" territories were given meaning
within the hermeneutic construct that was the new "world."
[*607] The significance of this evolution of the world does not, however, lie merely in its
acquiring meaning. It is not simply the "idea" of the world that was brought to prominence through acts of colonization.
The construction of the "stage" of the world has also occurred, albeit amid the performance of a violent drama upon it. The idea
of a single world in need of order was followed by a succession of chained and brutalized bodies of the "other." The embodied
world that has been in creation from the "colonial" times to the present could not, and does not, accommodate plurality. The very
idea of "one world" contains the necessary impetus for the absorption, assimilation, if not destruction, of existing worlds and the
genocide of existing socialities. This violence of "order-ing" within the historical epoch of colonialism is now plainly visible.
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 22
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Parody Bad
the affirmatives’ use of parody reveals a deeply cynical orientation toward politics. Their
parodic performance is solely reactive – it inscribes an ethic of cynicism that makes the
pursuit of effective alternatives impossible.
Harold 04 (Christine, Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech Communication at the
University of Georgia, [“Pranking Rhetoric: “Culture Jamming” as Media Activism,” Critical
Studies in Media Communication, Volume 21, Number 3, September, Available Online to
Subscribing Institutions via Communication & Mass Media Complete, p. 192-193 // BATMAN]
As I have mentioned, a major limitation of the adbuster’s reliance on parody as a revelatory
device is that this device has been enthusiastically embraced by marketers as well. This insistence on
revealing a hidden truth also becomes a problem for other reasons. Such an insistence disallows a
forceful response to what it faces because it can only react. It is a rhetoric that resentfully tells its audience
“Things are not as they should be” without affirming possible alternatives. Saying no is itself an [end page
192] often satisfying alternative, but it is hardly one on which to build a lasting political movement.
The no-sayer is, in essence, yoked in a dialectic tug of war with the rhetoric it negates.
Adbusters’ Blackspot
sneaker campaign, for example, may be more proactive than its subvertisements
(Adbusters is, for example, proposing to build a “clean” factory in China should the
campaign succeed), but the rhetorical message is similar. It is mobilized, first and
foremost, by a desire to “kick Phil’s ass.” Second, then, because the no-sayer has not challenged the
essential form of the binary, one can never negate adequately by its own, dialectical standards. A rhetoric that is
defined by negation must always encounter more boundaries that must be overcome. More transgression is always
required, which inevitably produces more cynicism and resentment. Certainly, saying no is sometimes a
crucial political strategy. However, I suggest that asceticism may not be an effective
intervention into the scintillating world of consumer culture; and ironically, by ardently
pursuing the authentic realm “out there,” one plays one’s role as consumer in the fullest
possible sense, endlessly chasing after something just beyond reach.

The desirability of their parodic performance must be evaluated based on its contributions
to stated political goals – the absence of a “real world” benchmark dooms their
performance.
Molley Anne Rothenberg, Associate Professor of English at Tulane University, and Joseph Valente,
Assistant Professor of English at the University of Illinois, 1997
[“Performative chic: The fantasy of a performative politics,” College Literature, Volume 24,
Issue 1, February, Available Online to Subscribing Institutions via Academic Search Premier
// BATMAN]

The recent vogue for performativity, particularly in gender and postcolonial studies, suggests that the desire for political potency has
displaced the demand for critical rigor.[1] Because Judith Butler bears the primary responsibility for investing performativity with its
present critical cachet, her work furnishes a convenient site for exposing the flawed theoretical formulations and the hollow political
claims advanced under the banner of performativity. We have undertaken this critique not solely in the interests of clarifying
performativity's theoretical stakes: in our view, the appropriation of performativity for purposes to which it is
completely unsuited has misdirected crucial activist energies, not only squandering resources but even
endangering those naive enough to act on performativity's (false) political promise.

It is reasonable to expect any practical political discourse to essay an analysis which links its proposed
actions with their supposed effects, appraising the fruits of specific political labors before their seeds are
sown. Only by means of such an assessment can any political program persuade us to undertake some
tasks and forgo others. Butler proceeds accordingly: "The task is not whether to repeat, but how to repeat or, indeed to repeat,
and through a radical proliferation of gender, to displace the very gender norms that enable repetition itself" (Gender Trouble 148).
Here, at the conclusion to Gender Trouble, she makes good her promise that subjects can intervene meaningfully, politically, in the
signification system which iteratively constitutes them. The political "task" we face requires that we choose "how to repeat" gender
norms in such a way as to displace them. According to her final chapter, "The Politics of Parody," the way to displace gender norms
is through the deliberate performance of drag as gender parody.
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 23
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Arizona Debate Institute 2009 24
Holbrook/Nielson Dr. Strangelove Neg
Parody Bad
this “personal purification” anesthetizes collective political mobilizations – their parodic
approach deflates social hope and pragmatic reforms necessary to fight injustice.
Nissim Calderon, Political Analyst and Literary Critic at Tel-Aviv University, 1999
[“Books: Left Without A Society,” Ha'aretz, September 10th, Available Online via Lexis-Nexis
// BATMAN]

Primarily, says Rorty, political life is a life of trial and error that exists for the involved individual - the agent - and
does not exist for the individual who retreats from involvement - the observer. In many of the theories of
"cultural studies," Rorty finds a systematic dogmatism, a lack of respect for reality and a move from a state
of involvement to a state of disgust and distancing. Therefore, in the book it is easy for him to repel attacks on himself, if
ideas about which he himself had written earlier contributed to the relativism of parts of "cultural studies."

Rorty knew that these attacks would come, and they did. Philosopher Hilary Putnam wrote (in the Times Literary Supplement on
May 12 of this year) that philosophy is not a high platform from which it is possible to see everything, derive everything, demonstrate
everything. Even the philosophy he himself has written is not the platform from which he descends to political life. At most, he takes
from his past an idea that he adapts so that it will be effective, and does not take another idea.

Rorty is at his best when he ridicules the bottomless political seriousness with which the American universities accepted the
abstract, or deathly systematical, meditations of a number of French philosophers. Foucault's brilliant writings, says Rorty,
are good for the private dimensions of our lives; they are good for the emotional and moral accounts we
keep with ourselves, but it is impossible to make politics out of them. (Foucault himself thought that there was no
distinction between the private and the political dimensions of life, while Rorty holds that there is such a distinction.) Many of
Foucault's students told themselves that everything is political: sex is politics, the clothes you wear are
politics, and coffee with a friend, male or female, is a political act that is fraught with significance and cries
out for interpretation. And the result, says Rorty, is that they neglected labor unions, despised parliament and
lost interest in elections.

The most obvious proof of the political absurdity of the use of Foucault is the mystical fog that surrounds
"cultural studies." Rorty, a zealous secularist, is especially sensitive to the substitutes for religion with which we provide
ourselves. When, together with Foucault, the cultural left stresses Western man's sense of sin, Rorty does not associate it with a
political situation. He associates it with original sin.

The code words of common radical theory do not offer a real plan of action. Rorty sees them more as a kind of
purifying incense. The politics of the body, of sex, of injury - all of these bring to mind Golgotha more than the
legislature. "The return of the repressed" is the snorting of ghosts whose faces have been covered with
psychiatric masks, and not a clear-sighted look at the past. Provocation, the joy of annoying, the fog of
words, the sentimentality of the kicking at all of Western culture are all, as Rorty sees it, rites of mystification,
largely self-mystification, for purposes of purification. This exorcism through words and theories affords the
intellectual pathos, mythology, the self-image of the martyr crucified for the sins of the world. But by
engaging in this, he distances himself greatly from political criticism that has any chance of changing reality.

And to this one must add the hatred of solidarity. There is no more evident manifestation of the loss of the
social nature of the academic left than its systematic attack on the mechanisms of solidarity, of the ties that
bind individuals. It is no accident, says Rorty, that the academic left despises tax reforms, health plans,
housing schemes. How much "transgression" is there in child support payments? Why should a Jesuit
radical pay any attention to trivia like old-age insurance?

But these are not trivia; these are great things. It is not that a single mechanism of solidarity is foreign to the
cultural left, but rather the idea of solidarity itself. It is suspicious of the glue that brings individuals together,
any glue; it is suspicious of society, any society. Seemingly, the cultural left offers the solidarity of the
separatist group within society - the Blacks, the homosexuals and today, even the Whites (in the United States,
"White studies" have already sprung up) instead of the overall solidarity of a society. But the logic of fragmentation
has done its part: There immediately arises a need for a separate solidarity for Black homosexuals that is
distinct from the solidarity of Black heterosexuals. And of course Black heterosexual women are also
entitled to split from the depressing narrative of the Black male.

As long as you are a "minority," your sense of solidarity is worthy of respect in the eyes of "critical theory."
It is not by chance that we have not seen or heard in all the theoretical expanses of "cultural studies"
anything about a single corner, a single distant land, where there is a solidarity of the majority, and there is a
real need for this. It is not the majority which is a threat to "critical theory."
<CONTINUED>
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 25
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<CONTINUED>

Society is the threat from which the intellectuals are fleeing. For society, any society, creates solidarity or
destroys solidarity. When the left runs away from this process, it breaks its tools, says Rorty. Precisely those
who identify "sadism and egotism" - Rorty repeats these two clear words many times - in society should be relying on
the need of human individuals to get close to one another, to make it clear to them that sadism is sadism. If
everything people can do together is disguised evil, what value is there to an attack on inequality? If all that
human beings are capable of dreaming about is more oppressive power (they call this "theory without a Utopian
pole"), why should they be offered a political dream, in which paradise does not descend to earth but a
policeman will go to jail if he hits a Black man?

Todd Gitlin has called this "the decline of the common dreams." Rorty calls this the left's relinquishment of America as
hope. Without the White immigrants' dream of building on the new continent a new and more just world, there will never be a
majority of Americans who will correct the injustices perpetrated in the United States. Lincoln, says Rorty, created for
Americans a tradition that many of them want to achieve, but the cultural left ridicules it. If Roosevelt's New
Deal is the "system" and Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" is also the system, and the demonstrations
that stopped the war in Vietnam are again "the system," then there is no historical basis for the left's political
struggle in the United States.

Rorty's book is a clear call to the left not to become the enemy of nationalism. For nationalism, in the American case as in many
other cases, is a mechanism of solidarity, a mechanism for building a society. And it is not all of a piece. It is a struggle, it is not a
completed project. In the United States, there is a strong tension between a sadistic tradition of slavery and a
liberating tradition of pluralism. When the left eradicates the difference between nationalism as a home for
people who identify with one another and nationalism as the destruction of the other, it turns its back on an
authentic need of the majority of Americans.

When the left suspects every tradition of the majority of being corrupt, the left is saying that the achievement
of a majority does not interest it. A majority is a mandate for building a society, but for the cultural left, a
majority is reason for disgust. Without a majority, no political act is possible, and without wanting a majority
no political thought is possible.

Therefore, says Rorty, this is a left that has lost its political character. Not because it minimizes the importance
of politics, but because it relinquished hope. In our political tradition, this has a familiar name: In Joseph Haim Brenner's
terms, it is the relinquishing of the "nevertheless."

Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America," by Richard Rorty, Harvard University Press, 1998.

The American left, writes philosopher Richard Rorty, must choose: It must be either an intellectual sect that
divorces itself from society, or a political movement within society. The lecture series that he collects in this book is a
criticism from the left of the trends that have become dominant in American universities, especially in the humanities, and which
from there have also reached the Israeli academic world. In the United States, they are usually called "cultural studies;" elsewhere,
these same trends have appeared under the heading of "critical theory," and they are linked to post-modernism (a motley cluster of
ideas, which also comprises completely different streams of thought). Behind "cultural studies" and its heady terminology
("transgression," "simulacrum," "phallocentrism," "logocentrism") Rorty finds an familiar old theme: the monk who is disgusted by
society and flees from it into a closed monastery.
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 26
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Parody Fails
Parody relies on the same binaries it seeks to invert – it only perpetuates the status quo.
Christine Harold, Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech Communication at the
University of Georgia, 2004
[“Pranking Rhetoric: “Culture Jamming” as Media Activism,” Critical Studies in Media
Communication, Volume 21, Number 3, September, Available Online to Subscribing
Institutions via Communication & Mass Media Complete, p. 191 // BATMAN]
Further, I want to suggest that despite its deconstructive sensibility, parody, an example of what Mikhail Bakhtin (1984)
would describe as turning the world upside down, perpetuates a commitment to rhetorical binaries—the hierarchical
form it supposedly wants to upset. The frustration expressed by Adbusters’ readers (if the magazine’s often scathing letters
section is any indication) implies that being told what is best for them is no more welcome coming from Adbusters than it is coming
from advertisers. This may be, in part, because the parodic form neglects what literary theorist Jeffrey Nealon (1993, p. 30)
calls the “crucial operation” of deconstruction, reinscribing oppositions—for example, health/sickness or
authenticity/conformity— back into a larger textual field. Hence parody, as negative critique, is not up to the
task of undermining the parodist’s own purchase on the Truth as it maintains both a hierarchy of language
and the protestor’s role as revealer. Parody derides the content of what it sees as oppressive rhetoric, but
fails to attend to its patterns.

Parody fails as a political tool because it relies on the symbols and assumptions of the
dominant messages it seeks to combat.
Anne Elizabeth Moore, freelance writer, 2003
[“Live by Their Tools, Die by Their Tools: The Political Limitations of Culture Jamming,” Lip
Magazine, January 15th, Available Online at
http://www.lipmagazine.org/articles/featmoore_195_p.htm, Accessed 01-21-2007 // BATMAN]
So, let’s recap: Corporate and government follies are created; culture warriors mock them. Government and
corporate officials see the value in the placement of their work, however ironically, before a new, ironic
audience. The targets of this work allow such ironic mocking to continue unabated, even adopting similar
marketing methods themselves. Soon, ads come along pre-culture-jammed, already graffittied with a
“subversive” message in SpraypaintTM font. Culture jamming, or, more specifically, its definition as a
political tool, has created an immediately co-optable antimarketing strategy that activists can no longer make
effective use of. As a method of political action, culture jamming—because of its central reliance on parody
as politically effective—has already failed.

Parody fails as a political tool because, in agreeing to use it, activists agree to use a pre-established set of
symbols, each containing within it the very message activists work to combat. The processes of adbusting
and subvertising, for example, support public space—or “advertising space”—as a place to receive
information quickly and easily; adbusting and subvertising thus support that advertising works.

Lasn suggests fighting memes with more memes: “Whoever has the memes has the power,” Lasn asserts—with a meme of his own
—in Culture Jam. Culture jamming is dangerous because it doesn’t get at the heart of the meme problem, which
is that humans use memes as access to pure, unreproachable information.

Even if they win that parody is useful in some instances, it is not a productive strategy in
the context of discussions of policy.
Christine HAROLD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech Communication at the University of
Georgia, 2004
[“Pranking Rhetoric: “Culture Jamming” as Media Activism,” Critical Studies in Media
Communication, Volume 21, Number 3, September, Available Online to Subscribing
Institutions via Communication & Mass Media Complete, p. 209 // BATMAN]
It is important to note that the opportunities offered by culture jamming should not be seen as supplanting other,
more traditional modes of engagement that continue to produce powerful rhetorical and political effects.
Culture jamming— largely a response to consumerism and corporate power—may not be as productive in
rhetorical situations that call for legal or policy interventions, for example. Further, culture jamming may be an
effective strategy for engaging corporations who rely heavily on positive public relations, but may do little in
the face of those which benefit from working beneath the public’s radar. For these reasons, it may be most
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 27
Holbrook/Nielson Dr. Strangelove Neg
helpful to take seriously culture jamming, and pranking in particular, as important components of rhetorical
hybrids, collections of tools that activists and scholars can utilize when intervening in the complex world of
commercial discourse.
Arizona Debate Institute 2009 28
Holbrook/Nielson Dr. Strangelove Neg
CP – Real Politics
As an alternative to the affirmative’s parodic performance, we advocate material change.
What this means in the context of the affirmative is the creation of a political strategy that
aims to remedy the harms outlined in the 1ac.
James Bowman, movie critic with The American Spectator and The New York Sun, media critic
with The New Criterion, B.A. from Lebanon Valley College, and B.A./M.A. from Pembroke
College at the University of Cambridge, 2006
[“A Plague of Scandals,” The New Criterion, April 30th, Available Online at http://www.jamesbowman.net/articleDetail.asp?pubID=1713,
Accessed 01-21-2007 // BATMAN]
A poll result that I found even more fascinating turned up on a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll in answer to
the question: "Do you think that you, personally, would be doing a better or worse job as president than
George W. Bush is doing?" The President’s approval rating on the same poll, taken at the end of February and
beginning of March, was 39 per cent, while 37 per cent thought that, in his position, they would be doing a better
job. If you add in the respondents who said "the same" or "no difference" — always a popular choice among
the faint-hearted but when it comes to questions that hint of partisanship — the total of those who thought
they could do as well or better than their president at governing the country also stood at nearly half, or 47
per cent.
You might think that a question like that would bring a person up short. All of us who follow politics and who
have strong opinions about it spend most of the time we devote to thinking or writing about the subject
simply assuming that we could do a better job than the people we are thinking or writing about. Certainly, the
very act of writing implies a judgment — and therefore a right and a competence to judge. But at some level
we also know — or ought to know — that this is a dream world, existing only inside our heads. Not only have
those whom we judge been put into the dock by us, but their defense, such as it is, has also been conducted
by us. We are judge, jury and executioner, not to mention arresting officer, principal witness and the
attorneys for both the prosecution and the defense. If someone asks us, "So you think you could do better?"
the only decent response is "No, I wouldn’t presume."

This isn’t just politeness or false modesty. It means that we recognize the limitations of the process by which
our opinions have been arrived it, and their insulation from the real-world pressures that are constantly
bending and shaping the decision-making of those who exercise actual power and responsibility. It doesn’t
mean that we don’t still think we’re right and the guys — or, as it may be, gals — in power are wrong; it
means we respect the difficulties the guys in power labor under and we, to put it bluntly, don’t. The Fox poll
question could be re-phrased in this way: Do you think that the leaders of the country are decent people,
acting in good faith to do the best they can with a fiendishly difficult job? The Fox poll revealed that ever-
increasing numbers of us no longer believe that. Moreover, what we do believe is not just that the leaders are
not decent, not acting in good faith and woefully incompetent but that, so far from being fiendishly difficult,
the job is so ridiculously easy that you would have to be a moron to screw it up.

This is the subtext of the Comedy Central, Jon Stewart approach to politics. The laughter that Mr Stewart
elicits by raising an eyebrow or judiciously pausing before reeling off a one-liner amounts to an endorsement
of the view that governing the country is a piece of cake and that President Bush is the "moron" that it took
to screw it up — as even many mainstream journalists and respectable pundits are now willing to say. Richard Cohen of The
Washington Post is even more sweeping and includes the Democrats in the moronic category as well. "This country has a bunch of
fools for leaders," he writes. In other words, "Compared to me, everybody with any power in America is a fool."
How big a fool do you have to be to believe something like that? Not only thou and I but anybody — or
anybody who isn’t a halfwit himself — could do the job better. Reduce the proposition to that formulation
and it becomes self-discrediting, and yet fewer and fewer of us ever do so reduce it. We like too much the
effortless superiority of the sneering Mr Stewart, who doesn’t need to argue or even to know anything to
issue that seductive invitation to join him in the exclusive circle of those who are entitled to assume that they
know better.

The media are obviously well-practised at the same game, though they generally prefer to believe that the
country’s leaders are knaves rather than fools. There’s more entertainment value in the Stewartian pose of
effortless superiority, but more honor for the media if they are able to cast themselves in the role of
Inspector Javert, remorselessly exposing and hunting down anything that could conceivably be portrayed as
wrong-doing on the part of our elected officials — even if it’s only the failure to notify the media themselves in what the media
themselves take to be a timely fashion of the Vice President’s shooting accident in Texas. The fact that the White House press corps, in particular,
couldn’t see how utterly unlike a scandal that particular would-be scandal appeared to the rest of the world — and polling throughout the week that it
dominated the news showed that attitudes to Mr Cheney moved not a jot — was a good indication of how far gone they are in the kind of malevolent
self-righteousness and self-absorption that seems to make journalists so unpopular with their fellow citizens. This was nicely summed up by one
reporter who asked the White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, if it would have been worse of the Vice-President’s victim had died.

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