Gary Tannen's Opposing Views On Global Listening

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It was the perfect summer barbeque. The hot sun beating down on our shoulders was made tolerable by the copious amounts of ice cold beer. Steaks and shrimp sizzled on the grill, reggae music played and all was right in my universe. The party was in full swing when it happened. The topical conversation we were having was cut off by Steve screaming, “I have a doctorate in nuclear engineering. I don’t have to listen to your shit opinions about global warming!” Steve stormed out of the back gate and we all knew who caused his abrupt departure. It was Gary. He argues about everything. He doesn’t argue because of a deep seated belief. He doesn’t argue to defend his stance on a topic. Gary argues because he believes by making everything a public…show more content…
Television is no longer a forum where ideas are exchanged and enhanced through collaboration. It has become a platform for sensationalism where the opposing views are exaggerated and do not accurately represent actual points of view. Compromise and concession are signs of weakness and there are only winners and losers in a war of words. Broadcast news forums are prime examples of people with polar opinions screaming over one another while no one, including the moderator is listening. This aggressive behavior is seen in classrooms as well as in the media. It is widely accepted that intense debate in an academic environment means intellectual exchanges are occurring. The act of arguing or debate has become the indicator of intelligence, not the subject matter. This behavior is rewarded and encouraged. An example could be recognition or a good grade for participation. The quiet students who choose not to engage in argumentative opposition may find themselves having to remove themselves from the conversation or even penalized for not joining

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