Monday, July 13, 2009

Question: Your Ultimate Debate

Ever wonder what it would be like to go back in time and meet someone out of history? Well, that’s not today’s question. No. . . no. . . no. We at Commentarama do not believe in giving up modern conveniences. So let’s instead bring them to the present. In fact, let’s bring TWO of them to the present. . . and make them argue. Which two historical figures would you bring to the present and what would you ask them to debate?

26 comments:

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: My obvious first choice would be Jesus and Mohammed. But beside the fact that it's probably sacrilegious to put words in the mouth of the Savior of Mankind, let alone the Prophet of the "Religion of Peace," I'll defer.

I think I would choose to bring Julius Caesar and Huey P. (Kingfish) Long together to discuss the relative merits of democratic tyranny by one man versus democratic tyranny by a group of men (emperor as purveyor of all that man could want, or Congress as purveyor of all that man could want). I would impose the following debate rule: Each of you must discuss whether providing bread and circuses for the masses while exercising power without their informed consent is liberating or enslaving.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk,

This may just be that it’s late and I’m sleep deprived, but I would like to see Groucho Marx argue with Queen Victoria about appropriate public behavior. Yes, I think that would be worth seeing. Perhaps a little sleep will change my mind.

CrisD said...

Some fun:
Margaret Meade and William Wallace-
topic: nature vs. nurture -
Let the feathers fly-- I think he wore the feathers.

Writer X said...

Okay, mine's going to be a little odd...I'd bring back Margaret Mitchell and Scarlett O'Hara and ask them why they had to scare away poor Rhett Butler. (I'll never forgive Margaret Mitchell for the ending to GONE WITH THE WIND.) Never. ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

CrisD and Writer X, I see that you are both big fans of a little blood sport. Should be interesting debates though!

CrispyRice said...

See, now, WriterX, I think Scarlett got just what she deserved by the end of GWTW. I'm amazed Rhett stuck with her as long as he did. She learned her lesson... just a bit too late.

As to the debate, hmmm... I guess I'd like to see Julia Child hash it out with Richard Simmons or Jack LaLane or some other health nut. I'll watch it with a big old glass of wine in hand.

AndrewPrice said...

CrispyRice, Ah, the joy of debating. If Child doesn't beat them to death with a frozen stick of butter, you might get some interesting recipes.

Writer X said...

CrispyRice, great idea. My money is on Julia Child, especially with all those kitchen tools.

freedom21 said...

Easy. Dick York v Dick Saergent duel over their respective roles.

Economy: Karl Marx v. Thomas Hobbes

AndrewPrice said...

Freedom21, good call. . . a Bewitch-off!

On economists, I'd like to see Uncle Milty put the slap down on Uncle Karl.

BevfromNYC said...

1. I would love to see John Adams or James Madison debate Barack Obama on the Constitution.

2. I would love to see what Benjamin Franklin, the inventor, and Leonardo Da Vinci would think of our modern world. What would Da Vinci think of airplanes and space flight? What would Franklin think of what we have done with electricity?

3. As for GWTW (my favorite book/movie of all time) it would be Scarlett v. Melanie, both strong women, opposite sides of the same coin, in a debate. Maybe with Margaret Mitchell there to monderate.

CrispyRice said...

LOL Freedom! And "Uncle Milty" is totally what my undergrad econ professor called him, too, hee hee.

Bev, Melanie will be too kind to show much vigor, I think. She may get in some deep, polite digs, but I think Scarlett will run roughshod over her. Or maybe not. Maybe she'd go ballistic and everyone would give all the points to Melanie. Hmmm...

And your thought of Franklin and Da Vinci makes me think of "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure." They had that homework assignment - what would the historical figures make of San Dimas, California? Joan of Arc took to aerobics, Genghis Khan liked the sporting goods store, etc. Funny stuff.

I think it would be neat to see average citizens from different time periods and what they make of our modern world. Or to see what someone like Da Vinci could do given what we know now.

AndrewPrice said...

I loved Bill & Ted! That was one of the most original comedies in years when it came out. Excellent waterslides dude!

Tennessee Jed said...

I want a tag team match: Ronald Reagan and Rush Limbaugh vs. Barrack Obama and liberal talk show host Al Franken. (Hey this is a fantasy isn't it?) Topic: conservatism vs. "progressivism/liberalism" which better permits a society to reach it's potential." This will be a steel cage match (four men go in; two come out!)

freedom21 said...

I LOVED BILL & TED!! I will always like Keneau (sp?)just because of that totally awesome movie. No amount mess-ups on his part will ever ruin that.

Also, I am ashamed to say that I live around the block from Margaret Mitchell's house, and not too far from where the movie premiered...yet havent read or seen GWTW.

Also, I would like to say that I would hold the debate sometime early in the 1800 when ideas were free flowing, there was no politcal correctness and people were honest with their beliefs. A debate now is just a waste of tv time

Individualist said...

Great Questions as always.....

I'd like to see Thomas Paine of Common Sense and Plato of Plato's Republic brought to the next 2012 presidential debate replacing the candidates to disucss the best form of government for running a state. The moderator would Nicolo Macheivelli. That's three people I know but technically the third isn't debating.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Individualist, we do try to make the questions interesting.

Paine v. Plato would be pretty interesting. As would Rush/Reagan v. Obama/Clownboy.

I would add that it would be great to see Churchhill sweep the floor with Obama.

patti said...

moe and larry (curly was a wannabe). debate: swinging head bonk or poke in the eyes: which is most effective at stopping your opponent, and why?

dcalleykat said...

Just off the top of my head I'll go for the apostle Paul v. 'reverand' Wright...subject "Truth In Religion".

GWTW's ending bothered me for years and then I realized it was the perfect ending. Scarlett is a survivor, plain and simple. So whether she get's Rhett back or no, she's going to be fine in the end, oh wait that was the end!LOL...

CrispyRice said...

LOL, dcalleykat! I thought GWTW had a perfect ending, too.

Freedom21 - Keanu will always be "Ted" to me. Oh, look, it's a movie with Ted as a cop. Now one with Ted as vampire. And one with Ted as a computer hacker who gets sucked into an alternate reality. Dude.

I'm afraid I'd be outta my league with Paine vs. Plato...

AndrewPrice said...

patti, I think I'd watch that.


dcalleykat, I can't imagine how Peter would turn a cheek in that one.

I also think the ending of GWTW is pretty positive.


CrispyRice, I think that too. It's hard not to see him as Ted.

Individualist said...

OK this thread is old enough I guess. Here are some quotes. From Plato's Republic:

"... the intention of the legislator who did not aim at making any one class in the State happy above the rest; the happiness was to be in the whole State, and therefore benefactors of one abother; to this end he created them, not to please themselves, but ti be instruments in binding up the State."

Individualist said...

From Common Sense:

"Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different buthave diffrent origins. Society is prodeced by our wants and government by our wickedness;"

"Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in the best state is a necessary evil; in the worst state an intolerable one"

The two men could not be farther apart in many respects.

AndrewPrice said...

Good contrasting quotes Individualist. I read The Republic years ago and I remember thinking, these guys created democracy? It's not the democracy I know.

Krig the Viking said...

I know this is an old thread and all, but... Nietzsche vs. Aristotle on Ethics and Morality. If that actually happened and I was there to witness it, I think I might die of happiness. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Krig, I just happened to notice your post. Sounds like a great debate!

P.S. Love the avatar!

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