Last week they guys debated the manliness of Superman and Wonder Woman and now they bring that debate to it’s ultimate conclusion in this installment of No Right Explanation.

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Chris: This last week marks the first time we’ve actively decided to troll someone. Sure, Dan’s selected some odd titles for otherwise regular debates (going with “Best Anime Ever” for the Pokemon vs Digimon debate comes to mind), but we haven’t really sat down as a group and decided it was time to point our crapulence at anyone or any specific topic until now.

So then, the gauntlet was thrown with Manliest Superhero Ever between Superman and Wonder Woman, words carefully chosen by a viewer when saying that Kyle seemed to pick choices that made no sense (specifically that he said GoldenEye was overrated a few episodes back). Note that we weren’t really debating the true manliest superhero; we were going off of the choices given. Dan had to edit this episode down just a hair, but one of the hairs cut was me explicitly pointing out that the challenge was made with Superman and Wonder Woman, hence why Batman wasn’t in the running.

So for once, we weren’t just oblivious to the choices you probably wanted us to pick.

That said, we had a god laugh at the notion that one of us would have to argue that Wonder Woman was somehow manlier than Superman, and Kyle gladly took Supes’ side. And then immediately learned that it was a mistake. I gave a hearty chuckle, realizing victory was all but mine for all the reasons I pointed out in the episode proper, but this is classic debate misdirection. I was able to define some of the terms of the debate to best suit my case.

In classic debate style, and yes I do know it, one of the strongest actions you can take is to define the debate further, in this case deciding that manliness was going to be defined by aggression, callousness, and overall war-like qualities as it better suited my arguments in favor of Wonder Woman. Had Kyle stepped in and decided to challenge this definition, as so many comments rightfully did, I might have suddenly found my solid ground turning to sand.

Again, debating isn’t about finding the right answer; it’s about showing that you’re at least more right than the guy next to you. It’s just like the classic bear analogy. You don’t have to be able to run faster than the bear, just the guy running next to you. The same principle works for debating, and at times more so (bears are generally more civil when discussing pop culture than fans of said culture). We may have taken a viewer’s unintentional challenge, but I made sure to sway the wording in my favor.

Just let this be a lesson to you: Please do give us an excuse to take your comments out of context and make episodes on them. We love doing it, and yes we do read both the Facebook and Escapist comments. Have at you!

Kyle: Contrary to some accusations, I was trying my best to defend the masculinity of the Big Blue Boyscout. Fact of the matter is, there isn’t much to say regarding masculinity with him.

I should be glad that Chris didn’t start quibbling over terminology as well. For starters, can Kal-EL be considered manly when he’s not even human? Not even a little bit. Full-blooded Kryptonian.

If we’re being technical, he’s as manly as the alien queen from Aliens. Which is to say, not at all. At least Wonder Woman is a product of Earth in one way or another.

Also, Chris could have gone after me regarding what constitutes “manliness.” I guess I could have brought it up too … but that’s not the point!

If manliness constitutes being more outwardly masculine than Wonder Woman equals zero, and Superman equals … N/A?

However if manliness constitutes being violent, reckless and kinda douchy (and that’s really hard to dispute), Wonder Woman has it.

So with the power of language, Chris could have beaten me even more soundly. So those folks who call BS on our outcome …

I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.

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Dan: It’s quite shocking to me that, while the debate topic and choices were clearly made to troll and poke fun, the debate itself as well as the outcome was unilaterally applauded by our audience. Some said it was the best debate yet, that never gets old. I am glad that when we try new things, they generally land solidly on their feet, and you have now not only encouraged us to continue pushing the envelope, but also to read your comments and publicly react to them. Bravo to you all.

First point went to Chris even though he used the improper term for defining Wonder Woman’s manliness. He stated that despite her female gender, she is manly in personality. Many of you might remember from that one English class you didn’t hate, that sex is the person’s physical attributes and gender is the societal class you fit in. One can be female in sex but male in gender; however, I knew what he meant and it was true. Wonder Woman may show off the goods, but she’s got balls the size of Matzah balls when it comes to her gender.

Second point went to Kyle who reminds us that Superman, however “Infinite Crisis-ey” he has gotten lately, was originally the perfect man. He was honest, invulnerable, handsome … basically everything a man wanted to be. His roots are deep, and those roots have chest hair.

Chris took the third point with his wonderful example of Wonder Woman taking charge and acting like a man. Now when I say that, I mean the societal stereotypical acting like a man, not the real world. She learned what had to be done, and did it. Was there thought of consequences? No time, problem was met with her solution and it was over. Done. I am sure men reading this are applauding her straightforward action, while women are chiming in about how she didn’t think ahead about what she was doing. Maybe there are exceptions to that statement, but come on ladies … are you going to tell me your man hasn’t tried to solve a problem before thinking about how bad of an idea their solution really was?

Kyle got the horny point, a point that he would have had stripped if Chris had just countered with a similar story on his side. I am sure Wonder Woman has been seduced against her will, but as the argument wasn’t made, it sounded to me like Supes was the only one of the two who thought with his wang. And when you have an unstoppable super-creature trying to have a pissing contest with you over a girl, well that’s just super-manly.

Bullets and bracelets. Such … a stupid … idea. If any redneck southern US male wrapped his wrists in Kevlar and tried to do this game, he would be laughed right out of the emergency room. Wonder Woman may make it look good, but the shear stupidity of the game matched with the fact that it’s something they do not only for military training but for fun? That’s just mantastic.

Chris rubs the win in Kyle’s face with the next point, and boy was it a good one. Fans have agreed that Superman probably would have been a scientist had his laboratory not exploded along with the planet it was built on. Wonder Woman was never destined for anything other that kicking butts and wearing bullet-proof jewelry. I had never thought of this, and the debate really opened my eyes to the fact that Superman wouldn’t be a superhero had he landed on many different planets. Or other parts of Earth, see Red Son.

Kyle tried to make a comeback, but he ended up just playing a little rock paper scissors, and that was that. We hope that everyone floods our comment boards with other debate ideas in the future, and it looks like many already have. Keep ’em coming, and we look forward to smiling that special troll smile at you soon.

Daniel Epstein
Father, filmmaker, and writer. Once he won an Emmy, but it wasn't for being a father or writing.

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