Anonymous asked: Who is Bill Shanahan and why should I care about him?
Bill Shanahan is either the greatest or worst man alive, depending on the time of the day and who you ask.
The common misconception is that he invented the kritik. The story is a bit fuzzy, but he either helped craft the K as we know it, or added substantially to how we understand the K. Or coached some teams that did. Regardless, at some point he stopped flowing, rambled about Nietzsche all day, and coached a nationally competitive team at Fort Hayes.
And then he mooned some people at CEDA and it got posted to YouTube and shut down a lot of debate programs. After being exiled from debate for years, he’s recently returned to D8, where debaters can find him wandering the halls barefoot with a large bag of SunChips in tow, often yelling at someone for something completely inconsequential. Very loudly.
BILL MOYERS: I heard you respond to someone who asked you at a public session the other evening—“What would you do about what you’ve just described?” And your first response was start debating societies in high schools all across the country.
HENRY GIROUX: That’s right. One of the things that I learned quickly as a result of the internet is I started getting a ton of letters from students who basically were involved in these debate societies. And they’re saying like things, “We use your work. We love this work.”
And I actually got involved with one that was working with— out of Brown University’s working with a high school in the inner cities right, and I got involved with some of the students. But then I began to learn as a result of that involvement that these were the most radical kids in the country.
I mean, these were kids who embodied what a critical public sphere meant. They were going all over the country, different high schools, working class kids no less, debating major issues and getting so excited about in many ways winning these debates but doing it on the side of— something they could believe in.
And I thought to myself, “Wow, here’s a space.” Here’s a space where you’re going to have a whole generation of kids who could be actually engaging in debate and dialogue. Every working class urban school in this country should put its resources as much as possible into a debate team."
— Henry Giroux loves K Debate. Source.