Wherein I Learn to Argue on the Internet

I have for the longest time, I’ve engaged in the time-honored sport of Arguing on the Internet, pitting my Left-Middle views against the Rightest views of longtime friends and curmudgeon strangers. I parried with well-reasoned retorts and riposted with cut-and-paste sections from Snopes. The engagements were no more glorious than shrieking slap-battles in the dressing room of a strip club, but I knew no better.

Recently, a friend posted on Facebook a remark about the recent normalization of relations with Cuba. I posted that I thought it was a good thing, because it was only through Coca Cola, blue jeans and MTV that we defeated the Soviet Union. I was expecting rabid anti-Castro replies. The argument came from an entirely different quarter.

A friend of my friend (which does not make him MY friend) stated that we did not beat the Soviet Union through relentless Pop Culture, but their attempts to keep up with our Space Program. He gave a dissertation which lasted five to eight paragraphs.

I could have given any number of replies, but I had an epiphany. Anything more than the absolute minimal was a total waste of time and typing.

“You’re wrong,” I posted.

The friend of the friend seemed irked and gifted me with multiple paragraphs which pretty much said the same thing as the first eight. I stuck true to my enlightened course.

“You took three more paragraphs to say the same thing,” I posted. “You are both inefficient and wrong.”

He didn’t immediately succumb to my brilliance but I still consider it a win.

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