The commune masses gathered for the thirteenth time this semester to mandate the supreme executive power – Ni, the Society gathered for the Annual Dean Gordon Debate in a spirit of wit to consider: Resolved: Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is, indeed, a basis for a system of government. Mr. William Hallisey (COL ’16) of Connecticut keynoted on the affirmation with, making his induction, Mr. Jawas Pullin (COL ’18) of Pennsylvania. Ms. Laura Kurek (SFS ’16) of Illinois keynoted on the negation with, making his induction, Mr. Kyle Rinaudo (SFS ’18) of Georgia.
Having declared himself King, Mr. Pullin embarked on his quest of induction. He argued that our era of enlightenment provides the perfect historical backdrop for him to rule in literally-interpreted Fascism. He then hailed white privilege and elitism in the spirit of our founding fathers and history textbooks. A political system from the oppressed, he asserted, can only be communism. According to him, strange women are euphemism for men, lying is not telling the truth, distributing is the California water solution and swords are national defense – all of these constitute a “stable and orderly society.”
In contrast, Mr. Rinaudo modestly declared his preferred gender pronoun as he or him. He characterized the affirmation as in support of women’s right to choice but put forward his Ted Cruz platform for negation – Nothing. At the insistence of the Society though, he reluctantly reclaimed the podium and quoted the slave-holder Thomas Jefferson to argue against monarchy. He also pretended to understand philosophy by quoting John Locke, simply to forestall Mr. Edgar’s and Mr. Wilson’s speeches on metaphysics. Disappointed at all governments’ lack of public support, he negated the resolution with a resounding “Ni.”
Mr. Hallisey responded that in terms of government legitimacy, he is “thinking about absolutely nothing.” But his lively imagination soon flew to the “undeniable symbolism” of the sword held by the Lady of the Lake. Rejecting democracy and sexism, he defended women’s right to sword with the statement “I stand erect on the affirmation tonight.” He also called us not to question the Lady’s authority because “ignorance is blissed.” (Thus I choose to record his complicated logic no more.) Mr. Hallisey closed his keynote with an appeal to the historical perspective.
Ms. Kurek actually rebuked in Russian, quoting the President Putin who extended his brotherly love to the Crimean people. While Putin sacrificed democracy for prosperity, King Arthur produced nothing but famine under his reign. She then seriously questioned the resolution: Were the women lost? Were the swords licensed? Had the women been trained and authorized? – In short, the political system presented here has holes and “doesn’t hold water.” Thus, she advised future dictators to learn from Putin and “do it right” when making ridiculous claims.
Mr. Weiner immediately started an argument with Ms. Burke on the function of government, drowning the floor with “No it isn’t,” “Yes, it is,” “No, I didn’t” and “Yes, you did.” Just as they reached the consensus that we would not learn anything in the Society, Sgt. Willis from the firing squad cut short this confused “humorous vignette.” Mr. Musgrave, the Midwest patriot, declared that the only way to constitute a government should be how our government is constituted. He then retold the creation story of the United States in the Bible.
After sharing an anecdote about nudity, Mr. Spagnuolo claimed to be afraid of matriarchy and decided to bribe the armed women for a place in the new society — “Matriarchy exists. Obey them. Please abstain.” Mr. Mazzara danced with music accompaniment and considered King Arthur too trusting of women in a real-life Game of Thrones. According to him, getting stuff thrown at oneself does not make one a lizard King. After chanting a somber requiem mass, Mr. Greco considered the Lady, who does not float in water, a personification of the Church. Since Britons are god-fearing people, faith is as firm a basis for government as the Castle in the Swamp.
Mr. Connor White (COL ’16) found his childhood ruined by democracy without a Hillary Presidency. Mr. William Blanchette (COL ’18), coming from Quebec, was partial to constitutional monarchy and doubtful of capitalism. Mr. Musa Bassey (COL ’18) warned us of the danger of climate change in a capitalist America – Then, strange women would really be distributing swords from the American soil under water. But negating all these arguments, Mr. Konrad Rauschur (COL ’17) in seriousness raised the legal issue that Arthur had no witnesses to justify his claims.
Mr. Fletcher reminded us that strange old men in wigs are currently giving out constitutions to unwilling states. When government by the masses is no better than authoritarianism, he prefers the “crushing simplicity of all freedom removed.” Mr. Young, donning his hat (not in the audience) and kicking his legs, questioned the reality of King Arthur and this Dennis fellow. “Shame on Society that we study from the awful past,” he asserted in the middle of his interpretive dancing. Mr. Shuman shocked the Society with his declaration: “I’m an anarchist!” He found no such thing as a legitimate system of government and loved destruction (including breaking the hearts of women). According to him, “It is the time to revolt!” Mr. Kendrick responded that an absurd system is better than the current system with an absurd outcome, such as a Congressional reelection rate higher than that of the Soviet Politburo.
Mr. Edgar questioned the word “lying” because liberty presupposes truth and no government derives legitimacy from falsehood. Ms. Burke then vented all her hatred for the difficult major of economics and sought the “sweet release of death” in an ancient feudalist society “for the love of all Holy and Satan.” The ultimate matriarch and “the crusher of hopes and dreams,” Ms. Coccia found the negation more feminist. She asked women not to give their swords (if they could have any) away to a King. Sgt. Willis declared in a coup that “I, Admiral General Willis, is to control the Philodemic Society” because Chancellor DiMisa, who lives on the opposite side of the river, gave him the mace. He accused our cultural context as Hipster-dominated and argued for the arbitrary disposal of scimitars.
Mr. Naft argued that “It is ordinary to think we are extraordinary” and retold Mr. Marrow’s legendary story of campus visit (duly recorded, again). According to him, the affirmation led us to the false belief that we all can be the chosen one. Mr. Ahmed told a long story about a lady, a guy called Arthur and a sword with mistaken ownership, earning huge rounds of Huzzah and a $10 fine for the liberal use of English language. Mr. Wilson simply observed one thing messed up – Meta-ethics. Mr. Schafer saw no basis for a system of government in the sword of pitch fork and the pond of comrades’ blood. He asked us to rise up for equality and abstain.
Ms. Kurek praised the Society for a job well done in taking themselves less seriously and in questioning preconceived notions. She also invoked the divine right of Kanye West to question the legitimacy of divine mandate. Mr. Hallisey asked “who are we to say” about the goal of a government. When we are too busy writing history to read it in our modern mentality, the legitimacy given by strange women might work.
Mr. Rinaudo saw the difficulty in implementing this political system with too many women who are distributing swords. He then told a beautiful story of Fantine’s life in Les Miserables, which simply had nothing to do with his keynote. Despite Sgt. Willis’ coup for presidency, Mr. Pullin reiterated that “I’m the King!” and that “the King decides what is legitimate.” He then provided individual comments to several floor speeches and Society members.
At the deliberation of the four keynoters, the Dean Gordon Cup was awarded to Sgt. Willis, or should I say, Sir. Willis the witty. With a vote of 17-4-38, the Society did not fail to see the violence inherent in the system and resoundingly negated the resolution. Last but not least, a hearty congratulations to our two new inductees who have spoken with the eloquence of many and proved themselves worthy!