In an interview with the Associated Press on March 17th 2017, Sebastian Kurz, the Chancellor of Austria, argued that the European Union needs to change course. According to Kurz “the most important is the focus on the big questions and a European Union that steps back on the small questions.”
When we here at Victory Briefs first read this interview, we were shaken to our core. Like most of you, we had ignored many of the little questions because we trusted that the European Union would ask and answer them. This freed up the debate community to focus on the big questions instead. We did not need to ask if hopscotch counted as a sport, because we knew the EU could be relied on to tackle that question in their own time. But, it seems as though the EU will soon abandon its sacred charge, and that leaves the high school debate community to step in and fill the lacuna.
It is because of this gap in EU leadership that Victory Briefs is proud to cosponsor the inaugural Victory Briefs Little Questions Debate Invitational.
We will be asking and answering questions such as: “why did it take so long for Leonardo DiCaprio to win an Oscar”, “which professional basketball player is truly the greatest of all time”, and “where is Waldo?” With a mixture of prepared and extemporaneous topics, these one-on-one debates will answer some of the real questions that we all want to see answered. In the little questions debate event, one third of the questions will be written by the tournament and released ahead of time; one third will be written by the tournament but not announced until the start of the round; and one third will be solicited during the tournament by volunteers who will be walking around local neighborhoods asking random people ‘what question have you been thinking about recently?’
Some may wonder if it is really worth debating these little questions. After all, does it really matter “how many baby carrots can fit into the Pope’s miter”, “what the best knitting pattern is” or “which U.S. President would have made the best WWE wrestler?”
Well, at Victory Briefs we believe it does matter. Humans are creatures of reason and thought. And as such, we have a sacred duty to answer those nagging little questions once they have been asked. It is beneath our dignity to never figure out how many licks it takes to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop. Aristotle declared that “all men, by nature, desire to know” and it is out of respect for that ancient insight that we are committed to knowing why we only lose socks half a pair at a time.
Victory Briefs is not alone in this concern with the little questions. For years, BBC Earth has been asking their own list of little questions. Questions like ‘Why can’t you herd cats?’, ‘which baby animal is the cutest?’, and ‘why don’t you ever see baby pigeons?’ Similarly, the author Bill Bryson has long insisted on the sagacity of asking little questions. Questions like “what did insects do at night before there were electric lights”, “how do aquarium fish get so much energy out of a few little flakes of food,” “is it actually possible that there are people who can eat I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and not believe it’s not butter,” “why are planes, trains, and buses on time when you are late and late when you are on time,” and most especially “why would anyone in a free society choose to become a dentist?”
Victory Briefs applauds the commitments of both Bill Bryson and the BBC and we are pleased to announce that Bryson and the BBC are both cosponsors of our inaugural Little Questions debate. Stay tuned for future updates about our tournament and for more information about how you can become a part of the Little Questions Movement.