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 Greece (Boris) Vs Rome (Mary)

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nordmann
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PostSubject: Greece (Boris) Vs Rome (Mary)   Sun 23 Oct 2016, 12:48

A highly enjoyable debate from November 2015 at London's Central Hall, Westminster. The debate, organised by Intelligence Squared and sponsored by Vanity Fair, was part of a "Classics For All" initiative which was underway at the time, which is also probably why both speakers placed an emphasis on literature in different ways. But there are some laugh out loud moments, as well as some good-humoured and incisive rhetoric from both candidates.

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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Greece (Boris) Vs Rome (Mary)   Sun 23 Oct 2016, 15:54

Not too bad but had to skip through Boris, can't stand the racist idiot. Mary was as interesting and entertaining as she ever is though.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Greece (Boris) Vs Rome (Mary)   Mon 24 Oct 2016, 08:57

Boris was actually funnier than Mary, and presented in my view a reasonably cogent case. Sometimes the idiot savant is worth listening to, and this was such an instance, I feel.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Greece (Boris) Vs Rome (Mary)   Mon 24 Oct 2016, 10:48

Boris was born for adjectives but is  his being racist a top order one - I mean more so than the petty indulgences that we may all exhibit from time to time, ID?
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PostSubject: Re: Greece (Boris) Vs Rome (Mary)   Mon 24 Oct 2016, 11:04

Thanks for posting that nordmann - I thoroughly enjoyed it. I liked the bit half way thru when Andrew Marr suggested that the undecideds where perhaps in favour of Carthage or somesuch.
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Greece (Boris) Vs Rome (Mary)   Tue 25 Oct 2016, 02:58

I don't think racism is just a petty indulgence P. Especially when you're the foreigner and one of the ones considered inferior.

Sorry but I can't and won't stomach one of the main drivers of it and one who has normalised it in discourse.
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Greece (Boris) Vs Rome (Mary)   Tue 25 Oct 2016, 05:17

@Islanddawn wrote:
I don't think racism is just a petty indulgence P. Especially when you're the foreigner and one of the ones considered inferior.

Sorry but I can't and won't stomach one of the main drivers of it and one who has normalised it in discourse.

You're being very hard on poor Mary - she was only slightly anti-Greek, I thought. Smile
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Greece (Boris) Vs Rome (Mary)   Tue 25 Oct 2016, 05:37

Was Mary anti-Greek? I thought she was very fair.

Although it is quite obvious that Boris is trying to emulate ancient Athenians in his politics, the barbarian (in both the original and contemporary meaning) hoardes and all that. No excuse for it in this day and age though.
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Greece (Boris) Vs Rome (Mary)   Tue 25 Oct 2016, 11:11

Ah, ID, it all depends upon over sensitivity. Having lived as a foreigner for many many years - and considered by many there to be ever so inferior, you come to regard it as a petty indulgence and ignore it. Much as I have to put my own in perspective. I am English - with a goodly number among that lot whom I dislike - much as  I am doubtless likewise regarded but we all survive together without recourse to name-tagging. 
As for Boris, was it only Athens who had the 'not one of us' mentality? I thought all the poleis of that time honed their independence on it. Boris' own background is interestingly cosmopolitan  and I wonder what effect that makes. And before you have a fit of outrage with me, I ought say my husband of 50 years plus is most definitely 'not one of us' so I know first hand just about every take on racial issues - and can spot it a mile off - and in truth it makes me smile because it doesn't touch either of us. You are right, there is no excuse for it because people can't help it - it's a tribal thing- we all have reservations in some part with what could be likened to a marmite effect, or in your case vegemite. Boris is complex - as indeed are we all, but not surely in what the term racialist implies. 
Preservation is so very complex to handle when non judgmental tolerance is the better path.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Greece (Boris) Vs Rome (Mary)   Tue 25 Oct 2016, 14:48

ID, ... you are I think, perhaps deliberately, confusing the protagonists' real lives with their persona in debate. University debate is all about "winning the argument", through logic, reasoning, rhetoric and discussion … it's not about what is correct, real, right, or true. So it’s basically a game: indeed very often the sides are drawn by lots, although I doubt that happened here. But the whole point of university debate is that one argues the position that one is given.

I’ve attended a few such debates in my time. A memorable one held at Imperial College was, "And so God created the Universe" … it was debated, as I recall on the basis of a coin toss, between a professor of geology (on god's side - but only after the coin toss),  and a professor of astrophysics (arguing against an omni-creative god). The whole point being that they had to argue the proposition - not what they actually believed in - to the best of their ability. Like the above Boris v Mary debate it was at times profound, funny, questioning and revealing. It was held at Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, ... so you'd probably expect the audience to plump for atheistic rationalism. As indeed they did ... but only just.


Last edited by Meles meles on Tue 25 Oct 2016, 17:18; edited 3 times in total
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Greece (Boris) Vs Rome (Mary)   Tue 25 Oct 2016, 17:07

@Meles meles wrote:
ID, ... you are I think, perhaps deliberately, confusing the protagonists' real lives with their persona in debate. University debate is all about "winning the argument", through logic, reasoning, rhetoric and discussion … it's not about what is correct, real, right, or true. So it’s basically a game, and indeed very often the sides are drawn by lots, although I doubt that happened here. But the whole point of university debate is that one argues the position that one is given. So Boris could well have been argueing for Rome and Mary for Greece.
 
I’ve attended a few such debates in my time. A memorable one, held at Imperial College, was "And so God created the Universe" … debated, as I recall on the basis of a coin toss, between a professor of geology (on the side of god) and a professor of astrophysics (not god). The whole point being that they had to argue the proposition - not what they actually believed in - to the best of their ability. Like the above Boris v Mary debate it was at times profound, funny, questioning and revealing. It was held at Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, ... so you'd probably expect the audience to plump for atheistic rationalism. As indeed they did ... but only just


.

Agree absolutely with MM. In the past, when rhetoric was actually taught as a subject in its own right at Oxford and Cambridge, students would have to argue first for a proposition and then against the very same thing - both orations to be delivered in Latin, of course. That's what you call academic rigour.

I thought Boris was excellent - and Mary too, despite her dreadful hair (joke). What struck me was how lucky kids at English public schools are: Latin and Greek are still taught in these institutions and the mad teachers there like Boris a) know their stuff backwards and inside out and b) can put it all across with such verve and humour. They make it all come alive. Eccentric, but bloody brilliant. In a State school, alas, Ofsted would probably fail Boris for "not keeping to lesson plan".
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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Re: Greece (Boris) Vs Rome (Mary)   Wed 26 Oct 2016, 10:09

Ah - lesson plans. When I was training I resolved that issue by writing the plan after the lesson - just for the record. I also told my tutor who, with a roll of the eyes, a smile and nod eventually gave me a distinction. God bless educationalists who really understand.
What fun it would be to have debates here where one had to switch  sides. We had to do this in the 6th form and I really enjoyed the amusement - and mind searching  - that came with it.
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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Greece (Boris) Vs Rome (Mary)   Wed 26 Oct 2016, 18:51

Ah ba, I don't care what justifications you all come up with to excuse Blowjob. Can't stand him, in whatever guise he may be playing then or now. I think that has always been his problem, too many people make excuses for him because he seems like a harmless fool, but the man is only more dangerous for that.
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