Shane: Dead or Alive?

closePlease note: This post was published over a year ago, so please be aware that its content may not be quite so accurate anymore. Also, the format of the site has changed since it was published, so please excuse any formatting issues.

Nicole recently visited the still-standing log cabin used in the 1952 movie Shane. I’ve always enjoyed the film, not only because it’s a good movie, but because it spurs heated debate about the end of the film. The argument that always arises is: Does Shane die at the end?

I’m of the belief that he does die at the end. Not only is it much more, as Nicole puts it, film awesome, but I think there’s actually evidence to support the idea. Before we go on, take a moment to watch the last ten minutes of the film so you can follow along (or go rent and watch the entire movie. If you like westerns, it’s worth it).

After the final gun battle, Joey says, “Shane, it’s bloody. You’re hurt.” Thanks to this line, we know without a doubt that Shane has been shot. Although Shane’s next line is, “I’m alright, Joey,” I don’t think you can really say for sure that he is. After all, he’s talking to a child who idolizes him. Shane knows this, which is why he tells Joey to “grow up to be strong and straight” (a line that, in light of the rampant homo-eroticism in the film, I always find to be hilarious).

While re-watching the end of the film today, I noticed something that I never had before: Joey’s face. After he shouts, “I know she does,” the camera cuts back to Joey and his expression changes from one of hope, to one of confusion. Cut back to the long shot and Shane has slumped over a bit. “Shane!” Joey calls again. Cut back to Joey’s face. From confusion to reluctant acceptance. He knows Shane isn’t ignoring him. He knows Shane is dead.

As Shane rides away, we see him slumped over on his horse, which takes him out of town. But wait! Earlier in the film we learned something important about the ride out of town: It passes through the graveyard. The very last shot of the film is Shane, slumped over on his horse, riding through the graveyard. To me, that’s clear evidence of his death. On top of that, Shane rides right through the graveyard on his way to the fight, foreshadowing his death.

I think it’s important for Shane to die. We need to see his mortality. We need reassurance that’s he’s human. If he’s supernatural, then what he’s just done isn’t very impressive (especially since he got shot doing it). If he’s human, he’s a hero, and someone we can look up to.

But, as with all art, it’s a matter of interpretation. I’ve interpreted the clues we’re given in a way that I feel enhances the film. What do you think?

Update: The definitive answer here is that Shane is not alive, nor is he dead. The film doesn’t give us enough evidence to know either way, so you can’t prove that Shane is alive any more than I can prove that he’s dead. Saying that Shane is dead is my opinion, and opinions can’t be wrong. Unsound logic can be wrong, however, so think before you comment. If you are going to leave a comment, please read through all of the other comments first; I’m getting sick of repeating myself. From now on, I will only respond to comments that provide a satisfactorily new argument.

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40 Comments

  1. Taken from Wikipedia article on the book, Shane.

    Shane – the traveller and ex gunfighter.- a mysterious gunman who enters into the life of Joe Starrett and his family and carves a place for himself in their hearts. Although he tries to leave his gunslinging past behind, refusing to even carry a gun, he decides to fight Fletcher, the town nemesis, in order to save Joe Starrett’s farm. After he kills Fletcher and Wilson, he feels he must leave the town forever. (There is an unstated implication that he may be dying, as he departs.)

    So even in the book, it doesn’t answer whether or not he dies, but it does illude to the idea that he might of. You can take two interpretations from that last scene.

    1. He dies because saving those people was a sacrifice to make him the hero in mind that Joey believed him to be. Almost more than human. Leaving the way he did gives the “riding off into the sunset” (in the middle of the night) but he leaves his image with Joey as an immortal “super hero” of the west.

    2. Or he lives and thats just as cool!

  2. Gawd. Ever heard of “SPOILER ALERT!” Geeze. 🙂

  3. What are you talking about, Kris, I know you’ve seen Shane!

    It’s interesting to see that the book leaves it kind of ambiguous as well, but the first thing we learned in our adaptation class is that you owe nothing to your source. Look at Apocalypse Now. That had very little to do with Heart of Darkness.

  4. I think the biggest clue – or argument or whatever – that Shane dies (in that 10 minute clip, anyway) is his speech to the kid when he says (something like), “There’s no living with a killing; there’s no going back from one,” and then repeats, “There’s no going back.” I mean, c’mon. There’s no living, and there’s no going back. He’s dead.

  5. Ron E

    well, the final answer, unequivocably, is that he is alive. The last few seconds of the film, as we see him ride out *somewhat slumped over* is that he is holding the reins UP in his right hand. Now, maybe the director didn’t want us to see this so that the possibility would be that he is dead (or alive) for dramatic storytelling, and an ensuing philisophical debate, but there is no doubt that he IS alive… kind of ruins it, doesn’t it?

  6. I’ll give you that his right arm is not dangling by his side, but I don’t think you can definitively say he’s still alive.

    I wonder if anyone ever bothered to ask George Stevens, the director, or Alan Ladd.

  7. Lord_Kitchener

    Homo-eroticism??…uhhh..maybe I am clueless..but where??..How?? When??…wait a minute..never mind…I don’t wanna know

  8. deckard

    “Rampant homo-eroticism”?

    Please.

    The very definition of perverted logic.

  9. Unfortunately, double entendre isn’t a valid argument. Have you ever watched Shane? The stump-pulling scene is particularly suggestive.

  10. Jason

    What’s homo-erotic about the stump scene? The scene shows them working together doing routine yard chores. I’ve had to remove many stumps from my property and there was nothing symbolic nor homo-erotic about it. It just has to get done. The scene in Shane was simply depicting teamwork, bonding, and strength.

    I guess some people are inclined to see homo-eroticism in anything they can.

  11. Maybe everyone who doesn’t see the homo-eroticism just isn’t watching the same movie that I am, because in Shane it’s glaringly obvious.

    As for the stump scene, what isn’t homo-erotic about it? You have two sweaty, shirtless guys (one of whom is a “gun slinger”) swinging their axes around, and beating a piece of wood. They grunt and groan as they push the stump, all the while shooting each other knowing glances.

  12. The movies let us have the better interpretation for us. It is a good movie. My interpretation is the he dies at the end of the movie. He was shot and riding through th field. He did not answer the child’s claims and indeed he is not riding in usually way. But it was the purpose of the autor to gives us the reasonable doubt. It is a wonderful movie and the end cound’nt be better. Shane dies? Shane lives? chose one, and you be right. It is marvelous.

  13. You know, Sergio, some of the best endings are open ones because they satisfy everyone. The first time I saw this type of ending and realized how it made me feel, was while watching the VW commercial Big Day. The commercial leaves the ending wide open, allowing the viewer to choose the ending they want.

    The same can be said of the movie Shane. Do you think Shane should die? Then he dies a true hero, having martyred himself for the sake of the valley. Do you think Shane should live? Then he rides out of the valley and takes his brand of justice to another fight. Either way, you get to believe the ending you want and are happy with how the story ends.

  14. fred

    after the shootout a townsman comes to starretts place and he says..”yeah, wilson got to him but no bullet can kill that man.” starrett asks, “he’s alive?” and the townsman tells him that yes shane is alive and left town. this is right from the book.

    fred

  15. fred

    oh yeah..all you homoerotics out there..go sit on a nice sharp stump…

  16. And if we were talking about the book, your case might hold water. We are, however, talking about the movie, so your point is invalid.

    And watch the movie again; there’s a ton of homoeroticism.

  17. The Mongoose

    Shane lived. Why ? I’ve seen a lot men die in the movies and none had final words as coherent as Shane during the final dialogue with the kid.

  18. jook bang

    I think that’s pushin’ the symbolism a bit much, but what do I know? I think if shane was dyin’ they would have made it more obvious and had the wife snifflin’ up or somethin’. that kid just wanted his hero to come back, and besides, wouldn’t you feel like slumpin’ a bit if you had just been through an ass whippin’ fight and got shoosted in the side, and then rode off to the great wide open without your supper?

  19. @The Mongoose: Ah yes, because every performance by every actor in every movie is exactly the same. /sarcasm

    @jook bang: The very last image in the film is Shane – who has just been shot – riding into the town’s graveyard. I don’t see how that’s pushing the symbolism at all.

  20. AC

    Did you guys miss the last shots of the movie? He is holding the reins up off the horse. You can see it in the silouette. How many dead men can hold the reins in the air? Geez!

  21. broseph

    i think the graveyard aspect of your argument is a little thin. I think it’s highly unlikely that George Stevens could expect anyone to remember that the ride into town entailed going through a graveyard. That would take great insight to notice during one viewing of the movie, and I don’t get the feel from the rest of the film that the key symbol to Shane’s fate would be hidden in such a cryptic manner. I think it is very glaringly open ended, and with situations like this, your imagination can convince you either way. Pulp Fiction and Lock Stock used this tactic beautifully as well

  22. broseph

    i think the graveyard aspect of your argument is a little thin. I think it could just as easily portend the fate of Curly (i mean Wilson) and crew. I think it is very glaringly open ended, and with situations like this, your imagination can convince you either way. Pulp Fiction and Lock Stock used this tactic beautifully as well. As for the expression on the child’s face, well… I think you’re giving that 8 year old boy a little too much credit as an actor, just notice his deliberate sprint across the deck as shane rides around the corner and the awkward stiff arm dangle (or lack thereof). Again, I’m not saying he definitely lives, I’m just saying Samuel L. Jackson thinks he lives… and i don’t wanna argue with him.

  23. Alright, broseph, I’ll let you have two comments because each brings up points I want to address that the other doesn’t.

    The graveyard: Being a filmmaker and having taken film theory classes, I absolutely think that George Stevens could have expected people to remember that the graveyard is at the entrance to/exit from town. There are thousands of movies that employ significantly more subtle clues (have you ever watched The Graduate?) It doesn’t take great insight to notice where the graveyard is; the movie comes right out and tells you where it is! And if a movie makes a point of showing or telling you something, it’s usually important.

    Joey’s expression: Watch the clip again. His face clearly changes. That’s not arbitrary – he was almost certainly directed to do that. I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make about his sprint.

    Wilson’s fate: The graveyard has nothing to do with Wilson and his men. They’re all dead long before Shane leaves the town. He says it himself, “there aren’t any more guns in the valley.”

    Samuel L. Jackson thinks he lives: Ah yes, The Negotiator. I enjoyed that scene. But remember, it’s not actually Samuel L. Jackson talking there, it’s his character in the film, Danny Roman, who thinks Shane lived. It may be that Samuel L. Jackson really does hold this opinion, but such can’t be inferred from his role in a movie.

    An open ending: I’ll grant you that the ending is ambiguous, and perhaps this is on purpose, but based on what I see in the film, it is my interpretation that Shane dies. It’s not my imagination but my intellect that tells me of Shane’s demise.

  24. Shawn Saylor

    There are three points to make here. First, at the end before he rides off, Shane is talking to the boy in a manner that is extremely calm and without effort. Not as if he was even in a fight, shot or going to die any time soon.

    Second, I have the DVD with the diectors talking throughout the movie and at the end they never mention anything about him being seriously hurt or dying.

    Third, anyone who has seen the movie Pale Rider with Clint Eastwood knows that it is a remake of the movie Shane. If you watch Pale Rider there is NO indication that Clint/Shane dies at the end of that movie either. Case closed, next!

  25. I always have to laugh a little when someone posts a comment and thinks they can prove that Shane is alive. No one has managed yet, and I’m sorry, Shawn, but neither have you.

    1) Alan Ladd’s calmness in the final scene is not evidence of anything other than the style of acting for the period, but for the sake of argument let’s assume that it is evidence. What would his calm demeanor suggest? You imply that, because he has just been in a fight, he should be winded. Well, the fight wasn’t all that physically demanding, so I disagree. You say that his calmness doesn’t suggest that he’s been shot, but we know that Shane has been shot – Joey tells us he’s bleeding. If he’s losing blood, he’s probably also losing his strength, which could account for his calmness.

    2) You’ve made my point for me on this one: “they never mention anything about him being seriously hurt or dying.” Exactly. To the best of my knowledge, no one who worked on the film has ever made a definitive statement as to whether Shane was dead or alive. All we have to go on is the film itself and our ability to interpret what we see. Based on my years of film education, I have interpreted the ending to show that Shane is dead.

    3) Nowhere does it say that a remake of a movie has to be true to the original (or anything like it, for that matter). The history of cinema is littered with examples of remakes changing the story, for example: The Day of the Jackal (1973) and The Jackal (1997), as well as The Italian Job (1969) and The Italian Job (2003).

    Pale Rider was a poor choice for you to pick as evidence, however. Not only are aspects of the story rather significantly different from Shane, but in an audio interview, Clint Eastwood revealed that his character, Preacher, “is an out-and-out ghost.” [source] In other words, the main character is dead the whole time. Even the film’s title supports this, as Pale Rider is a clear reference to Death (not the event, but the anthropomorphic personification). That being the case, Pale Rider only supports my position that Shane is dead at the end of the film.

  26. appleknocker

    to Thomas J Brown, respectfully

    Did you learn anything at film school? Maybe you should give us a reason rather than your resume.

    Shane strokes Joey’s head with his left hand and shows no pain whatsoever. So we can conclude his wound is in his side, not his arm or shoulder. But raising your arm with a wound in your side would still be difficult.

    As he rides over the last hill, his left arm is stiff and at his side.

    Fully functional left arm or wounded and painful left side? George Stevens has left us an inconsistent picture.

    Which fits best? An unanswerable and mindless question or, a simple case of Hollywood bullshit?

  27. You know, appleknocker, I’m not a fool. When you start off your comment with “respectfully,” I know you don’t mean it. That’s like saying, “I don’t mean to be a jerk, but…” Anyone who says that knows they’re about to be a jerk. If they truly didn’t mean to be a jerk, they wouldn’t have said anything in the first place.

    I had a hard time deciding whether or not to respond to your comment. After all, you attack me personally, and you describe one of the most pervasive debates in cinematic history as a, “mindless question.” Even though your only real argument is one that has been made (more than once) before, I’ll respond. Let’s break down what you’re saying to make it easier for everyone.

    1) I haven’t given any reasons for why Shane is dead.

    I’m going to have to assume that you didn’t read my post or any of the comments, because I’ve given a ton of reasons why I think that Shane is dead. Let’s hold up the mirror for a moment and see how many reasons you gave for him being alive. Hmm, none. I’ll grant you that you haven’t explicitly stated that you believe he is alive, but I think most people would agree that you have implied it.

    Calling my expertise into question isn’t a valid method for making an argument, it’s just an attempt to deflect attention away from the fact that you have no idea what you’re talking about.

    At any rate, the reason I even bother to point out that I went to film school is not to brag, as you seem to think, but to demonstrate that my interpretation of the film is grounded in film theory as opposed to just guessing, which is what most of the people who leave comments here seem to be doing.

    2) Shane is hurt in his side, but doesn’t show pain, so it can’t be fatal.

    Really? You think he doesn’t show any pain at all? Watch that scene again; I would argue that he’s in pain (and somewhat incoherent), but hiding it for Joey’s sake.

    3) The film doesn’t give us an answer, so it must be full of shit.

    If this film were released today, I would be inclined to agree with you. Modern films rarely have the same subtleties and subtext that films from this era had. But this film wasn’t released today; I think the inconsistency is intentional, and I also think it adds to the overall experience.

  28. Larry Dague

    I have seen this movie dozens of time. The man is not “slumped over” but sitting upright…his head is down and his riding style is very stiff in the saddle…..but he is holding the reigns with his right hand and his injury has his left arm hanging limp.

    Imagine a dead man remaining upright in his saddle and having his right arm bent while holding reigns…..if the man died he would be bouncing around while slumped over and his right arm would also fall down to his side (even if he somehow maintained a hold on the reigns).

    I think those that have him die have trouble with a ‘gunfighter’ moving on after a killing as well.

  29. Robert Peters

    Wow, it never ceases to amaze me how people can get so animated over a movie. Although I have no film degree, I have read enough to know that Mr Brown is quite correct in saying that if something is shown in a movie it usually means something. Directors love to use symbology in movies. Watch any episode of LOST and you’ll see tons of it. The only point I disagree with is the homo-eroticism. If it is there then it is unintentional. I just watched Shane last night for the first time and I must have missed that scene so its hard for me to comment on it. (oh oh.. I said ‘hard’… am I being homo-erotic now? See my point?) I watched it because it is a classic and I am trying to catch up on all the classics. I went into the movie knowing about the ‘controversy’ over the ending. It is my opinion that Shane died since we have the inclusion of the graveyard. His hand being up on the reins may have just been a mistake that was left in. Although I don’t remember seeing the graveyard because it was so dark and I only watched it once. The reactions on the child’s face are very relevant because everything you see on the film is a representation of what the director is trying to get across to you.

    Most importantly, as Mr. Brown has emphasized, there are no REAL answer to this. Just speculation on the matter. I think the idea that the director left it ambiguous is a great idea. What a way to make everyone happy! Me? I love a mystery and everytime I watch it I will wonder if he’s alive or not. In this type of film it doesn’t bother me too badly not knowing. Now if LOST will only explain what those stupid ‘whispers’ are???

  30. jon

    Cheers, Mr. Brown for keeping this string going for 3 years! I appreciate your insight and your willingness to respond to even the lowest attempts at human interaction (appleknocker). It’s also refreshing to see that you clearly acknowledge the film as beautiful regardless of Shane’s survival or death, as you refuse to stake the value of the picture on one ending or another.

  31. @Robert – I think it’s worth pointing out that when I say homo-erotic, I don’t mean that the characters are gay or that the situations are sexual in any way. What I mean is that there is a homo-erotic undercurrent in the treatment of the picture. The stump-pulling scene isn’t sexual, but it’s treated sexually.

    Does that make sense? It’s kind of tricky to explain. It’s not the story that’s gay, but the way the story is told.

    That said, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m viewing the film with modern eyes, not contemporary ones. It may well be that no homo-eroticism was intended, but it’s something that I see very clearly and was discussed in more than one of my film theory class.

    @jon – I cannot take all the credit for keeping the discussion going for so long; those leaving comments, such as yourself, have been the most influential.

  32. Reality Check

    I will admit that I haven’t seen the film “Shane” in many years, so I don’t recall every nuance, but … uhh, Shane the film is “homo erotic”?? The stump scene interpreted thus: “As for the stump scene, what isn’t homo-erotic about it? You have two sweaty, shirtless guys (one of whom is a ‘gun slinger’) swinging their axes around, and beating a piece of wood. They grunt and groan as they push the stump, all the while shooting each other knowing glances.”

    ???

    That stump scene is right from the book. If you want symbolism, the stump illustrates that no man is an island: it is an obstacle Starrett could not remove alone; and it cements Shane as a capable loyal self-volunteering “servant” in his gratitude for being accepted into the warmth of Starrett’s family, and trusted by them.

    And, even Freud said that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Substitute “stump” for “cigar” and you may have the clue.

    “Homo erotic”? Preposterous.

    This kind of “reasoning” goes beyond bizarre and approaches deranged fixation. Your film-theory class seems a rather insipid “study.”

    Maybe you never put in a day’s work in the blue-collar world; I have. I was a cement worker for years. There’s nothing “homo erotic” about laboring with edged tools while shirtless. It’s, like, a normal thing. Don’t you know that? “Homo erotic”? Whence does backward crud like this surface?

    This is like that “King of the Hill” episode where the annoying new guy with the double-entendres transforms the social dynamic in the Strickland Propane sales office, and they couldn’t even refer to grilling a weiner without ridiculous puerile innuendo.

    You want “homo erotic” go watch the movie “300.”

  33. Just to add my two cents worth; I don’t believe Shane was dead. To see how difficult it is to keep a dead body on a horse, watch El Cid. I grew up watching westerns and a dead guy (or gal) always fell off their horse, unless practically wrapped around it. Cowboys often fell asleep in the saddle but asleep is not dead. As pointed out previously, he clearly has control of the reigns.

    Having said that I don’t mean to imply that Shane would not soon die. As the Civil War should have taught us, any bullet wound is serious. Unless Shane was riding to seek medical help (seems unlikely) or to seek a quiet place to doctor and heal himself (also seems unlikely) he probably was riding off to die alone. When we last glimpse him he is clearly not dead, yet.

    As to why he didn’t turn around and answer the kid. Do you realize how hard it would be to hear and understand what someone was shouting at you while on horseback with your back to them and at that distance? Besides how do you respond to a kid yelling my mommy wants you?

  34. james

    me thinks mr. brown is homosomething and would see homo-erotism in a sheep walking across the screen as he seems to get excited about seeing a man’s bare chest

  35. tom

    I just watched Shane and very closely at the end… he is wounded, does not slump down as he sits straight up and I think he survives.. or at least that is the impression that is left when you watch.

  36. I just want to address two good points that viking brought up:

    1) A dead body couldn’t stay in the saddle on its own.

    I always hear people talk about how things in movies “would never happen in real life.” They say things like, “that’s not really how it is,” and it’s true that movies often drift away from reality (and in some cases, they veer away from it), but the key with filmmaking – and this was stressed over and over again in film school – is verisimilitude. Things don’t have to be real, they just have to look real enough (unless you’re Werner Herzog, in which case the boat is actually going over the mountain for real).

    Movies are, however, often filled with a sincere lack of verisimilitude. For example, do you really think a single bullet to the stomach is enough to instantly kill a man? Neither do I. But movies will depart from reality where it’s convenient.

    You can’t, however, use an unrelated movie as evidence of your argument, however. Hell, sometimes you can’t even use one movie from a series as evidence against another from the same series (for example, the James Bond movies). Each movie takes place in its own story world, and what is and isn’t possible in that world are allowed to be different from any other movie ever made.

    So to address your point about a body not being able to sit up in the saddle… Well, I’ll grant you that it’s a very good point. My logical brain says, “he’s right, you know,” but my movie brain is willing to let it slide for the sake of the ambiguity that I’m sure George Stevens was trying to create.

    2) Assuming he’s not dead, he’ll likely die after the film ends.

    Six of one, half a dozen of the other. Whether he’s dead or dying, Shane’s fate was sealed long before he rode away from Joey.

  37. Tom

    Thomas J. Brown. I appreciate you’re trying to make this look like a debate, but clearly you’re convinced you are right and people that don’t agree don’t have your expertises in films and need to be educated by you. That’s the way it comes across.

    Shane is not dead at the end of the film. Speculate about whether or not he will die but seeing as we don’t know the extend of his injury it wouldn’t hold much water.

    There is no doubt that the last time we see Shane he is alive, I don’t see how that is even up for debate due to the fact he is holding the reigns. To say this could be a mistake during the filming is just discounting something important and relevant because it doesn’t fit in with your theory.

    A question though, if this film is a deliberate open ended cliffhanger as you claim (I don’t actually think it is, it’s just over analysed), why are you trying to find evidence that the director is showing that Shane is dead/dies?

  38. Alright, Tom, I’ll bite.

    I don’t think the film is a cliffhanger. I don’t even really think it has an open end. I think Shane is dead as a doornail in that last shot. I will concede that there is no hard visual evidence to tell us such, that to come to that conclusion requires a visual analysis of the film, and as a result his mortality is up for debate and I might be wrong. But – and this is important – my personal opinion is that Shane is dead.

    Despite what you say, it is a debate. But bear in mind that this is my forum and I’m arguing my position from my point of view. And my point of view is one backed by a 4 year film degree with more than one examination of Shane.

    So yes, Tom, I am convinced that I’m right. I do think many of the people here need to be educated by me (or at least someone who has studied film theory) since the majority of arguments presented here are absolute crap – yours included. No offense, that’s just the way it is.

    Let me be blunt: You are not watching this film correctly.

    Your first reaction to this notion might be that I am wrong, but I assure you that you I am not. You are not watching this film while in the correct frame of mind (one of an audience contemporary to 1953) or with the necessary skills to interpret what the director is trying to say (skills which I have learned during the course of my studies).

    Now, does any of that mean that I am right? Does that mean that Shane is dead and there is nothing to debate? No, of course not. I absolutely could be wrong, and through debate we all gain a greater understanding of the film. Some good points have been brought up in favor of Shane being alive, but none has been so good as to convince me that I am wrong.

    So, Tom, I hope you understand that Shane – whether or not he’s actually dead in the last frame of the film – is as good as dead. Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

    As for why I want to find evidence that George Stevens is portraying Shane as dead at the end of the film… Because it’s there.

  39. Robert

    Mr. Brown, you are an arrogant ass. You admit there is no hard visual evidence one way or the other, and really all one can have is an opinion. But you then present the reasons you have your opinion as if they are demonstrable “facts,” and then proceed denigrate and insult anyone why may not be completely persuaded by your interpretation of those rather meager and ambiguous facts. You consistently cite the authority you have gained by attending film school, and once chided someone who dared questioned that authority by writing “Calling my expertise into question isn’t a valid method for making an argument, it’s just an attempt to deflect attention away from the fact that you have no idea what you’re talking about.” Well sir, the inverse of that statement is no less true, declaring your expertise isn’t a valid method for making an argument, it’s just an attempt to deflect attention away from the fact that you (may) have no idea what you’re talking about, and that your argument has perhaps failed on its own merits to be completely persuasive.

  40. Yes, Robert, you really make a good point. Starting out with name-calling was an excellent way to help me see the error of my ways.

    All sarcasm aside, it’s clear that this conversation has gone further than it needs to. I have already stated and defended my opinion, and despite my attempts to not have to repeat myself, it’s all I ever do anymore. So I’m cutting it off here. Comments are closed.