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Roast #1 - Ben Driks

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"Affirming the no-one...Benjamin F. Prescott Driks III"

 

by Susan Ryan and Brian Rubaie

 

GETTING IT ALL STARTED

 

To understand Benjamin Driks, you must view his life as he viewed debate: confusing, chaotic, and crazy...but it all made sense to him.

 

Perhaps we should start it all in Ben's freshman year. These were the days when Ben began to part ways with orthodox Judaism. In a speech that befuddled his parents as much as his Baudrillard arguments befuddled opponents, Ben announced that he was "not a religious Jew, only a cultural one." He refused to give up his bagel and lox, however. They made him smarter, more culturally aware.

 

Refusal to give up. That's a pretty good transition.

 

BEN JOINS DEBATE

 

Imagine Ben Driks with hair gel and Abercrombie. That's how little baby novice Driks got started in the world of high school debate. Driks spent his novice year most devoted kids do; idolizing upper-level debate and buying the seniors cookies and coffee. Oh what a long way he's come.

 

When second year rolled around, Ben hit a bit of a slide. It appeared his arrogance was hampering his ability to find a willing partner.

 

So, Driks' kindness worked like Santa Clause--coming once a year, never to return again. Eventually, he rounded up a cute little elf named Susan Ryan. The elf, as is the case with the Keebler elves, did all the work...but how can you ignore the guy with the big beard and the fat belly? Okay, so maybe Driks did some work.

 

The difference between Santa Clause and Driks, though, is how they displayed their large wealth, be it of knowledge or gifts. Driks would carry around books like 'The History of Sexuality' or 'Simulacra, Simulacrum'...only to read them when he got home. So there you have it. Santa had lights and a carriage to accessorize...Driks had Foucalt and Baudrillard.

 

Junior year began the way any debate year should begin...Driks had made to finals at WaRu. Apparently, his opponents misunderstood their ontology or something. Something about beings. Or beans. No one quite knew which.

 

His opponents got the last laugh, though, when it was annouced that the Negative, 26A, had won finals on a 2-1 decision. An ecstatic Ben Driks prominaded up to pick up his first place bowl...but all the jubilation was broken off by a judge's "Oh shit! THEY'RE 26A?!"

 

Congratulations and thank you, Manhattan, for providing us one of the funniest moments in SME debate history.

 

Senior year ended with what was perhaps the greatest shock in the history of time (which is infinitely phantasmic): Driks and Sue had won a round at a national qualifier. They won a few more to complete the impossible dream. Not only did they make it to a 2nd day at a national qualifier for the first time of their lives, they also...qualified.

 

Of course, this time, it was consulting China that needed to be considered...not the spectral no-thing. Of course, Spanos was there in spirit.

 

The Ben Driks experience...the social life

 

Ben was always an odd social creature. And I don't mean odd as in akward. I mean odd as in...baffling.

 

There was the time Ben fell asleep in his car in the school parking lot and half of the squad's phones lit up with calls from Mrs. Driks asking if we knew his whereabouts.

 

Or, there were the times when Ben fell asleep on the debate couch and stayed at school all night. Or our debate room floor. Or hallway floor. Or other schools' hallway floors.

 

There were also those times Stenger, Rubaie, Mike, and Matt decided it'd be in everyone's best interest to mess with Driks.

 

Take, for example, this one time in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, at the Iowa Caucus debate tournament. Let's just say Driks had a...rude awakening...An angry Driks fired at 5 AM "SUMMERS!! Do you think this is FUNNY?! You're not FUNNY, Matt!! You are not cute, you are not unique, you are not funny--get the [hell] out Matt, GET THE HELL OUT!!"

 

Well, poor Michael Owens. He was awaked by all the commotion. Innocently wondering where the toothpast went, Mike meekly asked "..does anyone know where the toothpaste went?"

 

That was about the end of that. Driks rose again (like Jesus), exclaiming "MIKE?! Why are you still TALKING Mike?! BOTH OF YOU, GET THE [HELL] OUT!!"

 

But it wasn't all animosity. There were the many thumb-in-the-bum battles, cap gun wars, squirt gun contests, and other acts of non-threatening violence that became norms between Driks and Sue, Rubanger, and Team Wildstyle.

 

A tribute to a fine career

 

Maybe it was because he was reading Heidegger, Baudrillard, and Spanos while most in the state were running Khalilzhad, Nye, and Mead, but it never seemed like Driks quite got recognition for being as fine a debater as he was.

 

His 4-year span included countless breaks at national circuit tournaments, a 4-2 record twice at 6A state, a finals appearance at WaRu, and top speaker at this year's Omaha Westside...and this is all just off the top of my head.

 

Ben has always been a great thinker, and most don't really realize that because his thought has always been so difficult to comprehend in debate rounds. Seriously, though, listen to this guy talk T or counterplans and you'll thank goodness he was running critiques...

 

Ben, its been a great time knowing you and working with you. Your absence next year will be felt on every trip and in every minute spent in the squad room (when were you EVER absence from the squadroom, you work fiend?) You were a great friend and mentor, and I'm both sad to see you go and happy to see you get another 4 years to strut your stuff.

 

Best of luck and much love,

 

Susan, Brian, and all of the SME squad

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My debate career has been thankfully graced by many a year hitting good ole' Ben Driks in debate rounds.

It began 1st year at UMKC.

We were both a high seed going into one of our rounds on the second day. Mason Gray (the one who got kicked out of KU for smoking pot) and I were debating as novices and we thought we were hott shitt because we had a squirrel aff and could win some rounds on T. We had just learned through one of the "dood u r like sooo kewl" college debaters what tag team cross-x was. Entering into our round with driks we had planned on utilizing this newly accquired tool. But Ben opposed it. So we agreed that there would be no tag-team cross-x. Towards the end of one of my cross-x's I asked mason if he had any questions he wanted me to ask.

Ben then proceeds to spend 2 of his 8 minutes of his constructive running a "kritik" on us. His knowledge of critical theory obviously wasn't as complete as it now is. "Judge, this is a kritik of l ying. Lying is bad and they lied to us because they said they wouldn't do tag team cross-x and they did tag team cross-x." I imagine it's KINDA like affirming the nothingness of the resolution in some way.

Despite the criticism attempt, Ben still beat us, and went on to do it again in that tournament.

2nd Year, I rejoiced as I beat Ben on T!

3rd Year, I honestly don't remember

4th Year, Ben and Sue squared off against Mason and I once again. This time they ALSO ran a criticism. They Spanos'd us so hard we were walking funny for days. Needless to say, we lost that round

But, we got our revenge at state where we won a close round on the UN Reform CP.

Ben, it feels like I've grown up with you as a close competitor and friend throughout high school debate. Hopefully we'll get to compete again in college.

Keep in touch, dude.

peace

alex

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While I never had the great misfortune of hitting Ben Driks in a debate round (at least, not that I can remember...I try not to remember most of my old policy rounds), I have spent a fair amount of time competing against him in Student Congress, and cannot resist but tell this one particular story from the NFL qualifier of 2004...

 

Certain Senators, who shall remain anonymous (although anyone who was there already knows who they were) insisted on intro-ing every one of their speeches with some reference to Prom. It was as though while they were buying their Prom shoes, they were somehow deeply considering the global diplomatic effects of the US withdrawing from the UN. Finally, and to much laughter, Ben decided to intro his next speech by saying, "When Mark Skoglund and I were off buying our Prom dresses..." Ben's placing at that Congress was well-deserved--not only for his sense of humor, but for the substance and thought he put into each of his speeches as well, often forcing us to examine legislation in a completely different light--a gift that is one of the greatest contributions he has made to the KS debate world.

 

It has been a pleasure, Mr. Driks. Best of luck to you.

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I knew Ben from Camp.

 

It seemed that everytime I saw Ben he was either napping or talking about Spanos.

 

He also had a fridge full of Mt. Dew which he was kind enough to let me steal.

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UMKC my senior year was my first champ tournament ever and when I wasn't puking all over the sidewalk, I was hitting SME. So, it was only natural that we went into 5th round to go against "those Heidegger people". We spent a good twenty minutes before the round pulling all the best "Heidegger is a nazi, OMG!" cards and all the best "Ecofem is amazing" cards and yet we still won(without too much ontological damnation). You can blame Malcolm Gordon for that. The Heidegger kids got another swing at us at state that year, but they weren't quite the same, something was wrong. They were running bizcon... and case... and they won. I still think maybe they were robot clones.

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One of my favorite memories of Mr. Benjamin Driks came my novice year at novice NFL, held at SME that year. Kyle Dodson and I were negative, and were talking to David Holzman before the round about... something. He walked into the round with us and immediately was like 'WHAT THE HECK!' We were confused. David was suprised, mostly excited actually, that Kyle and I had the privelege of having Ben Driks as our judge. He quickly took us out into the hall and began to spout different stratagies that he knew Ben would like and neither Kyle or I really understood. When we went back into the round, Ben said "Hey, you two. I don't care what Holzman told you, do whatever you're comfortable with. Just debate the way you know how." It was definately reassuring and indeed helped us to pick up that round. This year, when I was judging at novice NFL, once again held at SME, some team walked into the round with an advanced debater (I don't remember who, my memory fails me) and promptly walked out of the room to discuss strategy. When they came back in, I attempted to repeat with the same ease those words that Ben had said to me a few words before. Ben, thanks for the fun, thanks for the memories, and thanks for the impact you have made on me.

Cooper

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I met Ben Driks one time. I heard all the hype, and there was lots of it. From my boys on the SME squad Rubainger. Lots and Lots and lots of hype. I didnt think that ANYONE could know the K like I knew the K. I mean shit the kids had only ran Heidegger and Baudrillard for a YEAR, I mean seriously who runs that for a year and tries to match up with the ultimate me. No but seriously, he lived up to the hype. This is my first impression of Driks...he'll be a crazy hippy liberal college debater. Sounds alot like someone that I know :wavey: I dont know if any of that is true about Driks. The most vivid memory that I have of Driks in my one encounter with him, albeit a long one. Is Clair Ryan, his partners lil sis, talking to Driks and referring to him as "Ben". All of the hype was Driks this, and driks that. How was I to know that his name was Ben? So I proceed to ask Claire Ryan, "Who in the hell are you talking to?" In a rather mean and overpowering voice. If you know me and you know Claire Ryan, you will get the humor in that.

 

In all seriousness. Ben Driks I <3 you. have my babeez, lol, J/k. All that teenage girl shit.

 

love

jamie

nhs 06

 

 

 

good luck on the college debate scene. Much love bro

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Ben and Susan beat Aaron and I once.

 

Once. ;)

 

Everything humorous that I would've pointed out was already covered by Brian. I always enjoyed our debate rounds, thanks for the bizarre and intriguing times.

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Aw, Driks.

 

I'll never forget the time you helped edit the dues aff that Steve and I recut. I remember you reading the first tag, flipping through a few pages, and then ripping the whole thing in half and throwing it in the trashcan. Three days before NFL. I learned a lot from that, though, both about self-control AND about not cutting bad cards.

 

Other assorted things I've learned from Driks:

1. The difference between ontic and ontological. Only... not...

2. How to properly study for a math test

3. How to still win with only fifteen pages of aff extensions

4. How to make boys cry.

5. That school dances don't always suck. Just usually.

6. The importance of impact analysis

7. That the best work is done at three in the morning

 

We'll miss you, Ben.

Peace, love, all that jazz, and a little bit of classical.

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ah, ben. just what am i going to do next year the night before mock trial? it won't be the same without staying up all night to write all of the directs/crosses/openings/closings that we should have written months before. You will be missed, so come back and visit us, ok?

:-)

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i thought we were roasting this guy? when did his ass become so kissable?

 

I've said 2 full sentences to Ben Driks outside of debate rounds, but i think i've been around him enough to know that Bandana's automaticaly make one smell like patchuli and three week old, unwashed arm pit. That bandana surely has a noble job; If Rubaie's correct in his Judaism section, and Ben Driks's hair really is as long as it seem(ed)s, then the Jewfro that kid produces would rival napoleon dynamite's in circumfrence, shaft's (afro) in density (but not badassness), and carrot top's in annoyance to all those that gaze upon it.

 

I've judged this fellow once, and found the experience constructive, in a "brake my balls with a sledge hammer" kind of way. Yeah, i've read zizek, i've stumbled acrossed some lacan in my time...but your speeches made anti-eodipus look like Green Eggs and Ham. Compound that with the fact that i was implored not to flow (and obliged, mind you) and you've made yourself one shit tastic time for a first year judge. And if ben complains, he can go fuck himself, because i picked his lame ass up. Don't ever accuse me of being anti-semetic...i mean, just because you're inferior does not mean you are bad debaters, right?

 

well, this is more than i cared to actually say, but it was either this or cash my two week's pay-check at a bank that Ben Driks probably has some connections to anyway. I figured I killed two birds with one stone in this post, started the innevitable white revolution, and also share my knowledge with the rest of the community.

 

you all love me.

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Driks, I remember once at DDI u said to me " Half of the stuff you say, is completely useless." So many night of u passed out in random hallways, and couches... with no shoes.. and your bandana... who could image u once wore shoes and abercrombie...

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It's been an honor sharing all these experiances with you. Thanks so much for your kind words. It's sure beeng great, hasn't it.

 

peace, love, all that jazz, and a little bit of classical.

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I noticed Ben had made a few parting words, and I hope it isn't too late to get my two cents in....

 

My first few days of debate, I was a cheery yet tweaky novice with a banker's box (Rubaie said it looked like a treasure chest). I was just walking to a cramped car to go to my first tournament when out of no where this long-haired (no bandana...whoa), bare foot, kinda grubby kid walks outside (when he was supposed to be in class) carrying two cardboard things that he called expandos. I thought it was pretty cool carrying a fancy crate, but no no, expandos with DAs filed were way cooler! I was eager to run the Sudan case, but Driks made sure we ran Indo-Pak aka kill the brown people aff or rather "remove the terrorist infrastructure in Kashmir". He walked me to the car like one of my freshman buds, and held up the whole car telling myself and Becca about Overstretch DAs. I found out later that DAs weren't something Ben Driks ran too often...he was affirming the no thing yet still mentoring myself and 7 other novices. I spent the rest of novice year working under him or with him...I wasn't sure which ;) . Rightfully I was nicknamed Driks' disciple by my friends, and kids were betting I would end up like Ben by senior year (that was a scary thought to me). Anyway, his "drawings" of T, DAs, and later explanations of CPs were very useful as we had a successful and educational novice year. I remember learning about how to write tags from Ben. Although he is dishevelled, doesn't act like he cares about school, and is usually laid back, I knew Ben was a perfectionist when every card had to have it's appropriate tag with Driks' Lab written at the top. When I failed to write a propper tag or when I cut a bad card he just crumpled it up and threw it away. I later learned that Ben's acts of meanness were usually joking around me. When I dropped a round at novice NFL Driks knew I wasn't pleased, and he made life better by telling me that he would give me 5 bucks to "make the 1ar cry" by spreading them out of the next round. Later in "the offseason", as Ben called forensics, we went to PFD together won all four rounds and took first place. That was sweet! When I wrote down PFD on the NFL sign up with Driks, our teacher just shook her head and didn't know how to respond...Driks, debating for moms, with a novice, in the event that didnt matter...that seemed mixed up. Then one night, I asked Ben at 10:30 in the debate room (when I was cutting cards for him :D), "why are you, as a senior, enjoying spending time with lowly freshmen novices?" He responded, "Well, I guess it's kinda like a coach that lives through his players or a parent that relives their childhood through their son. I relive novice year through you and hope that you won't make the same mistakes I did!" Driks, you were a positive influence motivating me in debate, making SME Debate "chilled out", and being a good friend...hopefully I won't make the same "mistakes" you did... I considered you more of a god than a screw up :)! Have a wonderful time debating in college. Come back and see me at East!

Brad

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Ben Driks.... a pirate perhaps? If not... the sweet bandana and open-buttoned shirt threw me off.

 

Best of wishes and luck to you.

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hope yall dont mind a guest roaster from texas

 

i met driks pretty late into camp at the utnif plan 1 right before the oceans topic. and what fun that was. real friendly guy, i discovered quickly, and always interesting in his own, driksy way. following camp, we'd stay up till all hours of the night talking about heidegger and baudrillard, in what i can honestly say were some of the best conversations i'd ever had on either subject. seriously now, how many hs juniors do you know that seriously consider whether or not ontology preceeds ethics?

regrettably, such conversations have dwindled recently, mostly due all that senior year nonsense that sucks time like no one's business. but i'll never forget my kansas friend with the jewfro and spanos obsession.

driks, if you see this, drop me a line sometime. and see ya on the college circuit

PEACE

-nick

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Brad: When I dropped a round at novice NFL Driks knew I wasn't pleased...

 

 

Not pleased!?!?! He ran over to all of us cussing and yelling. I would like to contend he was a tad more than 'not pleased.'

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I noticed Ben had made a few parting words, and I hope it isn't too late to get my two cents in....

 

When I dropped a round at novice NFL Driks knew I wasn't pleased, and he made life better by telling me that he would give me 5 bucks to "make the 1ar cry" by spreading them out of the next round.

 

For the record, that didn't actually happen until the fourth round, even through we "dropped" the first one.

And kate is kinda right Brad, I thought you were going to attack me for awhile after that one.

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Brad: When I dropped a round at novice NFL Driks knew I wasn't pleased...

 

 

Not pleased!?!?! He ran over to all of us cussing and yelling. I would like to contend he was a tad more than 'not pleased.'

 

Another someone who feels like waving the necromancy wand, I see. :P

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