Matt Weiner wrote:The problem is not questions on old stuff per se, it's questions on specific old stuff that people in college today have no hope of knowing firsthand. Sure, ask as many questions about Stevie Wonder, Soylent Green, and the Immaculate Reception as you want--just about anyone who will be showing up at a trash tournament will get that stuff by the end. But asking about TV shows like Airwolf that went off the air in 1980something and don't regularly re-run today on cable? How are you supposed to know that without either being old, or studying some book of TV shows?
The current obsession with 80s pop culture being what it is, I don't think that those shows are nearly as obscure as they might have already been in the mid-90s. I'm not old and don't study, but I've certainly heard of Airwolf and various others like it.
Is trash really going to live up to the ACF straw man of "if you don't know it, study an almanac or write a question on it and stop complaining"? Just because it's trash doesn't mean you can ignore a fundamental principle of good question writing, which is that primary knowledge is to be rewarded over studying for quizbowl.
I don't consider question writing to be "studying for quiz bowl"; I merely noted that it tends to be beneficial. Most players considered the best across all three formats (not including CBI, for obvious reasons) have extensive writing experience. Do you suppose this is a complete coincidence? It doesn't mean that everyone's required to do so, but if one expects to be a top player one might want to consider what many of the top players do.
If it wasn't clear before I'll say it now: this point applies much more strongly to the TV category than anything else. Movies, sports, and music persist forever; TV doesn't.
Most askable TV persists just as much as movies do, and frankly even more so in some cases.
The equally subjective sense I got from TRASH regionals was that there was a category called 1975-1990, and a category called 2003-2006, and that's what got asked. The 90s and the really old stuff (which, by the way, is equally accessible or equally inaccessible to all age groups--no reason not to ask about Yogi Berra or The 39 Steps, is there?) didn't appear very much at all.
I'd be surprised to find that this was the case, but without the stats I won't bother assuming.
That's a really stupid thing to say.
Well, if the Alpha and Omega of quiz bowl discourse says so, it must
be true. At any rate, I disagree. I wasn't specifically accusing anyone in the thread of doing it, but how often do we hear stuff like "too many NASCAR/hockey/country music/rap questions" after a tournament, said mostly because the people saying them didn't know about those subjects and not because there was actually objectively
too much of those subjects.