Spoil The Well

Back in college, a requisite class was debate. I forgot everything from the class except for one concept, “Spoiling the Well.”

I just googled the term, “Spoil the Well”, and nothing popped up. Perhaps my professor lied to us (DAMN YOU BRIAN FULLER!). Back in the day, “Brian” defined it as a debate tactic in which you preemptively raise a topic that opposes your stance to foil your opponents and to encourage your audience to be swayed by your knowledge of the topic.

Say you’re arguing religion with someone, and you’re on the side that argues, “Religion is good for the world.” You might spoil the well by saying, “Religion is good for the world, because it makes it a better place. Look at how great religious people are. Now my opponent is going to stand up and tell you things like, ‘Religion is bad for the world, because of the witch trials or the crusades.’ This is just a trick, because HITLER was an atheist. I win.”

I know, the cat’s out of the bag. I do this all the time.

Our culture is rife with well spoiling … as was Nazi Germany, so we must be Nazis!

Marketing R&D pays good money to figure out how to get in your babies’ brains. The earlier “the they” gets to them, the better.

If a child can become a fan of, say, Nazi-brand Potato Chips, perhaps he or she will likely become a Nazi-Brand Potato Chip lover. Every time that child has lunch or attends a party, the natural choice will be to go straight for the bowl with the Nazi-Brand Potato Chips. Perhaps he’ll start a Nazi-Brand Potato Chip club that meets every Sunday morning from 10 to 12. He’d hire a Nazi-Brand Potato Chip speaker who leads the fans with songs and a “sermon” praising these Nazi Chips.

Who can fault a child for becoming a Nazi-Brand Potato Chip eating monster who murders a whole bag of chips every time he gets a chance if the well was spoiled before there was any other cognition of say, Conservative-Brand Dorito Chips or Liberal-Brand Potato Chips that are proven to be better for you and the environment.

My point is that if you spoil a child’s well with Nazi chips or Conservative chips, likely he’ll become a fan of them for life.

I’m just sayin.

Bon appétit.

P.S. I didn’t forget everything from debate class. I was honking your tonk. Pulling your leg. Toasting your tooters.