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Ranking the arguments with my friends

| Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Many intellectual friend groups argue about pressing issues surrounding our current culture. Race, gender, income inequality, etc. are discussed in order to educate and hopefully change our society. I am not in one of those friend groups. I should revise that: We talk about those things, but sparingly, and we all usually end up agreeing anyway. What I have instead are the inconsequential arguments that are equally rage-inducing but much less practical. I’ve decided to lay them out here so that you, the reader, can clue into what I have to deal with. They are ranked by how controversial they are to everyone involved. Hopefully, you can give your own take to help settle some of these ongoing points of contention.

11. Is “Despicable Me” the greatest animated movie of all time?

There are hot takes and there are inferno takes. When my friend Sarah says that “Despicable Me” is the greatest animated film, you have to believe it is simply too hot to handle. This argument came about when discussing whether the Minions were cute or not. I believe they are Satan’s spawn, so Sarah decided to back her position by doubling down and hitting me with this fireball. She ranks it above the likes of “Toy Story,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “Shrek” — “Shrek!” I rank it last because it divides no one. Only she thinks this way and I don’t know how anyone else could.

10. Is “Avengers” better than “Deadpool?”

9. How communist should America be?

8. Should I know what a plantain is?

7. Does America mean all of the Western Hemisphere?

These next four all come from my Honduran roommate Alfredo, who is a walking “caliente” take. This man spews out his half-baked opinions claiming “Deadpool” was a garbage movie and “Avengers” is much better, even though every other critic and friend of mine disagrees. His come in a block because they all start the same way. My roommates and I make a funny yet poignant statement like, “Gee, I love Amazon Prime’s two-day delivery, it shows the benefits of capitalism,” and this somehow triggers Mr. Duarte into critiquing our entire economic system. I understand he is studying in a foreign country, but there are certain customs he needs to get used to — like how Americans are woefully unaware of the plantain as compared to the banana and that America means only the stars and stripes within its borders, not two whole continents.

6. Is Howard a top-20 dorm?

5. Am I allowed to rank a friend group in my Observer columns?

When I wrote my dorm ranking column, I received much flak from a variety of friends. Almost none was equal to the spite I encountered from the girls of Howard, who were ranked a modest No. 27 out of 30. This has led to ongoing tension with a particular friend group, and I tried to rank them in my “I’m Ranking Everything” column last semester. All my editors at The Observer answered this second question with a resounding “No,” but I have fought the head of Viewpoint regardless. Mostly because I want to end up winning this fight.

4. How many holes does a straw have, and likewise, how many holes are in a T-shirt?

There is the philosophy we learn at Notre Dame and there is the philosophy that is actually important to our life. This serves the latter and has caused quite a division. I was almost settled that a straw has one hole when a friend gave the argument, “It’s only a hole if a theoretical hole punch could make it.” Then the T-shirt example threw a wrench in my entire psyche and I’m back to questioning everything. Most friends have decided on one hole, but I think there is a deeper meaning out there. It remains to be seen.

3. Would you still marry the love of your life if that person had to sleep in a coffin every night?

This comes from my friend MC, who loves to play the game “would/would not.” Essentially, you start with the pretense that you are about to meet the love of your life, and it’s your choice to marry them, but it comes with one large caveat. Do you still marry them? Some examples include: would/would not, has lizard skin or would/would not, has cheetos for fingers. This coffin one has been the peak, though. Yes, they have to bring the coffin with them on vacations or can buy one there. You can choose whether to sleep in the coffin with them or not, you are not forced to. I go back and forth depending on how morbid I’m feeling.

2. Is it okay not to know what a curved TV is?

Some of you right now are saying, “who the [expletive] doesn’t know what a curved TV is?” Others are asking if a curved TV is a real thing. Personally, I didn’t know what a curved TV was, and an outside observer might have thought I claimed some neo-Nazi values because of the subsequent reaction. A curved TV is not popular. I don’t care if you succumbed to whatever marketing scheme they used so you still know about their inferior product. I’ll take my ignorance as a point of pride.

1. If you saw Hitler at a party would you take a picture with him?

Oh, the best one yet. Let’s lay down some ground rules. It is not your party, everyone at the party knows it’s Hitler and he’s not older or used a time machine, it’s just assumed it’s him. There is no uniform, you just see him come in the party and know that it is Hitler. The arguments for taking the picture have said, “I want a picture with him for my own personal memories. I don’t support him, but I want to document history.” The arguments against have said (more reasonably, in my opinion) that you don’t want to take a picture with a man who is responsible for 11 million murders. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. To me, it’s a pretty cut-and-dry argument, but it has not stopped most of my friend group from debating the usefulness of a photo with a sociopath. The battle rages on.

Please, if you have your own thoughts on any of these issues, send me your responses. This data from a random sample of people will settle many of these, and I’m tired of thinking about coffins and plantains. For now, you should not rest easy knowing there are people on campus who want to take photos with literally Hitler. There are other, less tactful arguments I am not allowed to write in a newspaper, so if you want to hear those also, bang my line.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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