Occasionally, while innocently perusing the interwebs, I come across sides being debated: Apple v Samsung, Gates v Jobs, &c. While I’m not opposed to taking sides, it does trouble me that our culture seems to be moving from considered discourse and rational debate to emotional mudslinging and confrontational grandstanding. Is it just me or can we no longer agree to disagree and still be friends?
Today, I am putting that question to the test, and offering a hot list of pop culture cage matches. So… loosen up your logic muscles and refresh your rhetoric skills. I’ll provide the opening gambits; you follow on in the comments with your quips and ad hominem attacks. Here they come — and in no particular order, lest you decide to make that a debate, too:
1. Star Trek v Star Wars: Really, enough has been written on this one already. My two cents? Star Wars. (Although I could have asked…
1.5 Picard v Kirk: I fear for my safety with this one but… Kirk. Picard isn’t here without Kirk. And that. Is how. I. Feel. Engage.
2. Office UK v Office US: Gervais is/was hilarious (see ‘Extras’ for further confirmation). However… It probably all comes down to two things – a. whether your sense of humor tends to the British or American, and 2. the show’s length of run. A longer run (and the lighter humor) made for better character development in the US version. USA! USA! USA! USA!
3. GenX v GenY v Millenials: I really don’t even have time for this one, but I’ll keep it in anyway. Whatevs. At least I can acknowledge my FOMO.
4. Harrison Ford v Alec Baldwin: Will the real ‘Jack Ryan’ please stand up? Baldwin was the first, but Ford has the ‘intrepid hero’ cache. And what does ‘intrepid hero’ have to do with the CIA and international intrigue? Han Solo and Indiana Jones are about adventures, bad-boy images, and working outside the law. Desk-jockeys they are not. Not like the ‘well, I’ll get involved if I have to’ desk-jockey/do-gooder Jack Ryan. However, at some point in the future, I will still pay good money to see ‘Pasadena Jones and the Monolithic Penumbra’, with Harrison Ford reprising his role as Indy, Pasadena’s great-grandfather. And I’ll be in the front row of that theatre with ‘Love You’ penciled on my eyelids.
5. Austen v Bronte: ‘I’m not really sure that I want to open this debate. It’s such a heated one at book club,’ said the long-standing member of JASNA. I’ll take critical but sure-footed, optimistic, and humor-based over critical but brooding, pessimistic, and forlorn any day. Brooding really only works on guys — and characters in Austen novels.
6. Superman v Tony Stark: Superman. Next.
7. Tony Stark v Ned Stark: Tougher, but I still have to go with Superman. A madman sees what he sees. And winter is coming.
8. Kick Buttowski v Johnny Test: In the annals of recent cartoondom, no other character has captured my affection like Kick. Johnny is brainy and clever and conniving and shouty and insolent and really, really unnerving. Kick is brainy and clever and conniving and shouty and insolent and really, really adorable. Plus he has Gunther. And no visible nose. And his theme song is one of my ring tones. So… I guess it’s safe to say that I’d go with Kick.
9. Star Wars v the Clone Wars cartoon: Another one I should probably side-step, but here it is anyway. You get a lot of story in that CN show. It explains some things about what happens to push Vader over the edge. It’s a slower decline into crazy — compared to the giant leap from Episode Two to Episode Three when he seems to just lose it. Though not known for its plotline, the story’s jump had always seemed too abrupt to me; the CN series evens it out, takes the sting out of Episode Three. Bonus: More Fett intrigue, more Hutt involvement, and Yoda’s large speaking (and fighting) role in the cartoon. OOYL.
10. Cary Grant v George Clooney: I love Clooney, and I’m really pleased for him and his career. However… no one goes up against Cary Grant and survives: too much class, too much accent, too much je ne sais quoi. And Clooney doesn’t have friends like Hepburn and Stewart. But while we’re going there, how about…
11. Brad Pitt v Robert Redford: Brad Pitt, you ask? You mean Robert Redford lite, I say? Yeah, I said it. My money is on Robert ‘Sundance Red Sails in the Sunset Sneakers’ Redford. Gorgeous then; gorgeous now. Stay strong and silent, Mr Redford.
12. Federer v Nadal: Ugh, I personally hate this one. Because I can’t choose. Ugh. Ok… Federer. Wait, no – Nadal. No! Federer! Wait…no! The Husband suggested I go with ‘Fedal’ or Naderer’. I guess I’ll choose Fedal.
13. Nadal v Borg: Seriously? I’ll ask again in five years.
14. LeBron v Michael: Michael.
And a late addition, as requested by The Husband:
15. The Wiggles v the SuperDuper Party Troopers: Ultimately, the question really is ‘Fruit Salad, Yummy, Yummy’ v ‘Ants in My Pants’. Despite the Disney partnership, we’re going with the SDPTs. ‘Isn’t it funny?’
Anything I missed?
Debate amongst yourselves, nerds. And leave the comments below.