The Art of Geek Smacktalk
I took a debate class in high school. At the time I was completely stressed out about this because I didn’t like getting up in front of people and the whole reason I took it was to try to overcome that fear. If you’ve met me and know how much I like to talk, well, keep your comments to yourself. This was a long time ago and I was a nervous high school girl. The goal of this class was to teach us how to form an argument better than “I’m right. You’re wrong.” because, although that may be what’s in your head, you have to come up with some solid points to try and persuade others to agree with you or your cause is lost.
Each week we had a different topic and had to construct our argument on little index cards. We didn’t get to pick the topics and we didn’t get to pick which side we were on, so it was pretty likely we’d find ourselves arguing in favor of lengthening the school day by 3 hours and ending summer vacation. This was a true test of skill for the high school me. I ended up acing the class and even though every time I got behind the podium I thought I was going to be sick, I gained a valuable life skill. Or so I thought. As an adult, I now see that there was a horrible lapse in the curriculum. I may have learned how to construct a debate on 3×5 note cards, but I learned nothing about the Art of Smacktalk.
In real life, especially for us Geeks, most arguments aren’t conducted from behind a podium. They happen at game nights, over the internet, or in front of a game console. In order to win these arguments you don’t need index cards, you need Geek Smacktalk. Malcolm Reynolds is better than Han Solo, okay. Malcolm Reynolds could beat Han Solo with one hand tied behind his back and a pack of Reavers on his tail, much better! Taunt your victim. The more crazy-cool Geek references you can make the better. Not only will your opponent be intimidated, but you will quickly garner the support of surrounding Geeks impressed with your knowledge of the Geekverse. And your goal is always to persuade every other Geek in the room that you are right.
Throw caution to the wind, dig out your best and most obscure Geek references the next time someone throws down the gauntlet. Your attention to detail will win the debate and impress fellow Geeks. By the way, I do think Mal could beat Han…feel free to try and prove me wrong!