Wednesday, March 19, 2003

THE LAIMBEER FLOP
I predict this will be the next great meme of the Blogosphere (itself meme coined by Bill Quick), and it comes from Mark at Minute Particulars.

It's a pattern of argument you see a lot. Rather than stand their gorund, the debater flops, and hopes for a "foul" to be called on his adversary. Depending on the argument, the "foul" can be questioning someone's loyalty, racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, insensitivity, or anything else that's not socially nice.

I invoked this in a discussion on the Fray, involving the flag and the anti-war movement. Rather than protect the flag, they flop and claim that the pro-war movement has "co-opted" the flag by assosciating it with the pro-war movement. We're supposed to think this is a terrible offense.

But if the anti-war people were willing to yield the flag in the hopes of having a foul called, then what does that say about how much they value it? And then why should I be all upset that the pro-war movement "co-opted" it, when they were willing to let it happen?

Sometimes the referee is looking the other way, and sometimes the referee is on to your tricks. Other times, there is no referee. And in those times, you need to stand and defend your ground, rather than hope that the other side will get called for a foul.

I suspect even Bill Laimbeer knew that.

Side Note: I probably find this even more interesting, since as a tall white kid who often played basketball in the playground in a racially mixed neighborhood, I was tagged with the nickname "Bill Laimbeer." Probably mostly because of physical resemblance, but I'd like to think also because of intensity of play.
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