This three-part post will cover six rules of argument that should be important to any knowledge worker, executive, leader, manager, or critical thinker.
What follows is a continuation of part 1 and part 2.
Rule #5: You are not your argument.
Remember that while you may be passionate about your argument, you are not your argument. This might best be supported by Jim Rohn, a motivational speaker, when he discusses how difficult this is, yet how essential it is to continued growth. The example he cites is biblical. Rohn cites this about Jesus: “Jesus could say, ‘I love you but I hate your sinful ways.'”
Now, how it is possible to love and hate in the same sentence? If you hate a person’s actions, do you have to hate the person? Or is it possible to love a person (for instance, your mother, father, brother, sister, grandfather, grandmother, significant other) but hate what he does to himself? An example suggesting the viability of the love/hate relationship can be found in the granddaughter’s love for her alcoholic grandfather. She loves her grandfather. But she cannot stand what he’s doing to himself. In fact, she hates it! Still, she has learned to distinguish the two. She loves him, but she hates his sinful ways. Such separation is a sign of emotional and intellectual maturity. Some critical thinkers would argue that the ability to separate or delineate the two is essential.
Consider examining another scenario. The trial attorney may argue many cases over the course of a year. In each case, he may present his opening argument. If he were his argument, then we should diagnose him with schizophrenia or multiple-personality disorder because he has become the following: “George Pearson should not have to pay this increase in child support,” “Martha Bivins was not legally sane when she killed her husband,” “Ms. Jodstone did, in fact, violate the contract,” “Robert Ash is entitled to this insurance settlement,” etc. See, in certain arenas, this ability to delineate or separate a person and his argument is developed and honed. For this writer, the arena consisted of three classes: Philosophy of Law, Business Law, and Constitutional Law II. In Constitutional Law II, I was asked to argue for “Brown v. Board of Education.” After doing so for approximately five minutes, I was given ten seconds to collect my thoughts, and then I was asked to argue against “Brown v. Board of Education.”
There are many things to learn from such an exercise. First, when studying both sides of a case, we are often able to see the motivations for people’s arguments. We also become familiar with the facts, and we become familiar with the opposition’s claims. Second (and something “critical thinkers” may wish to examine), being expected to argue both sides of an argument convincingly and passionately helps absolve a person of the emotional connection he may have at one time thought necessary when constructing an argument. Notice, the passion can still be present, for passion can be created simply from a desire to win or to emerge victorious. And hence, hopefully you can still find the passion to argue, even if you do not agree with the claim you’re attempting to advance. But know this: you are not your argument. Just as a person can delineate love and hate, just as an attorney can delineate his many arguments, and just as a student of law can delineate both sides of an argument, you must separate yourself from your argument.
Rule #6: Listen with the intention of listening, not with the intention of offering your retort.
One way people telegraph their intention to offer a retort as opposed to genuinely listen is when they interrupt. Such people are so excited about what they have to say that what you are saying is no longer important and, frankly, it’s probably not being heard. Of course, some would argue that they do listen, but they simply have a terrible habit of interrupting. In that case, note this: those who interrupt are often perceived as pushy, rude, disrespectful, overbearing, and egotistical; they are also often perceived as bad listeners. Thus, if you are guilty of interrupting, even if you do not think you are guilty of the aforementioned “charges,” realize that this is often the perception of such people. If you want to dodge this perception and escape this stigma, exhibit the patience required to listen. And if you’re on the receiving end of a “pauser,” a person who pauses often while speaking, then simply ask the question: “Are you finished?” If the person is not, he’ll tell you. Of course, if he is, then the soapbox is yours.
See part 1 and part 2 for the other Rules of Argument.
|Created by||Pete Holmes|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||16 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Pete Holmes|
|Running time||27–33 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Joy Quota|
|Picture format||1080i (16:9HDTV)|
|Original release||February 19, 2017 (2017-02-19) – present|
Not to be confused with Crashing (UK TV series).
Crashing is an American comedy television series created by Pete Holmes and executive produced by Holmes and occasional series director Judd Apatow. The first season aired on the HBO network in the United States from February 19 to April 9, 2017. The semi-autobiographical show revolves around a fictional version of Holmes, a young comedian who pursues a career in stand-up comedy after his wife cheats on him, leaving him homeless. Several comedians play themselves in recurring roles including Artie Lange and T. J. Miller, while others have guest appearances.
After Holmes successfully pitched the idea of the show to Apatow, he completed a script of its pilot episode which HBO picked up for filming in September 2015, with Apatow as director. The success of the pilot led HBO to give the green-light to the first season in January 2016. After four episodes had aired, HBO renewed the series for a second season which premiered on January 14, 2018.
On February 21, 2018, HBO renewed the series for a third season.
- Pete Holmes as himself, a young comedian. Pete is a Christian who aspired to be a youth pastor before his goal of being a comedian.
- Season 1
- Episode 1: Jeff Ross, Rachel Feinstein, Gina Yashere, Keith Robinson, Dante Nero, Dan Naturman, and "Big Jay" Oakerson as Village Underground Host, Todd Montesi
- Episode 2: Gina Gershon,
- Episode 4: Hannibal Buress, Marina Franklin
- Episode 5: Audrie J. Neenan, Fred Applegate
- Episode 6: Ashlie Atkinson as Schmitty, Rachael Ray and husband John Cusimano, Ron Funches, Allan Havey, David Juskow, Steve Agee, Geno Bisconte
- Episode 7: Dave Attell, Vanessa Bayer
- Episode 8: Jim Norton
- Season 2
- Episode 1: Jamie Lee, Penn Jillette, Dave Attell, Greer Barnes, Doug Benson and Gilbert Gottfried
- Episode 2: Dr. Oz
- Episode 3: Bill Burr, Joy Behar and Henry Zebrowski
- Episode 4: Whitney Cummings, Emma Willmann, and Mo Amer
- Episode 5: John Mulaney, Joe Machi
- Episode 6: Robert Kelly, Wayne Federman
- Episode 7: Melissa Villaseñor
- Episode 8: Jeff Ross
Development and pilot
In 2015, Pete Holmes finished writing a pilot episode for a new comedy series partly based on his experiences as an up-and-coming stand-up comic. The episode was directed by Judd Apatow who also served as executive producer along with Holmes and Dave Rath, Holmes' manager. It marked Apatow's first venture as the director of a pilot. The two first met in 2012 when Apatow was a guest on Holmes' podcast, You Made It Weird. A former stand-up comic for seven years, Apatow was inspired to return to it after hearing Amy Schumer tell stories while touring and Holmes' enthusiasm towards the profession.
The idea for Crashing originated from a sketch that Holmes and Apatow filmed for the February 24, 2014 episode of Holmes' late night talk show The Pete Holmes Show on the TBS network. In the sketch, Holmes pitches increasingly terrible ideas for a film except one, based on Holmes' own life, involving a religious man whose wife cheats on him after six years of marriage. Apatow responds: "That doesn't seem like a comedy at all. That just seems tragic and sad". Holmes did not see the potential of his real life experiences as a premise for a show until his friend, actor Brian Sacca, saw the idea being adapted into a one-person show for Holmes to play out. After The Pete Holmes Show ended in July 2014, Holmes realised he "needed something new to do, so I took a quiet moment to think, what is it exactly I want to do? What's the story I want to tell?" He soon found himself in an "unproductive" meeting with executives at Comedy Central while pitching an idea for a new sketch comedy show. During his drive home, he began to develop the premise of Crashing in his head. Two days later, he flew to New York City for one day to pitch it to Apatow during a break in the filming on the set of Trainwreck (2015), which Apatow directed. Apatow, who had returned to stand-up at clubs in the city, expressed an interest in the idea, and set Holmes the initial task of writing ten pages of what he could remember about his life related events. Holmes went on to e-mail Apatow a document "filled with truly embarrassing admissions and sad things". The two worked on the pilot then on.
In September 2015, after the pilot was pitched to several television networks, HBO executive vice president of HBO programming, Amy Gravitt, gave the green-light to have it filmed. Gravitt commented: "I think for a comedy to define itself now it must have a clear point of view tonally as it relates to the story [its creator] want to tell. Having somebody like Pete helps the tone stay intact and not get diluted in the process". She also said that having Apatow "integrally involved" with the project is "incredibly important".
Filming for the pilot began in November 2015 and features comedian and actor Artie Lange playing a scripted version of himself. His name became the title of the episode. Lange's audition was initially for a fictitious and "totally different character" that "just had two lines" in the entire episode. He agreed to the audition nonetheless, the first of which took place with Holmes and himself, followed by the two with Apatow. "I had looked at the script, and Judd encourages improvising, so I just kind of got an outline in my head of what they wanted to do". Apatow then told Lange to "forget the script" and instead used stories from Lange's first book, Too Fat to Fish (2008), to direct the dialogue in the audition, resulting in Lange improvising about himself which "was just the easiest experience". After working on this for a week, "the character had become Artie Lange". In an interview conducted when he arrived home after the first day of filming, Lange said the shoot lasted for almost fourteen hours. The pilot was a success, and HBO ordered a pickup to the first season, initially for an undisclosed number of episodes and without a premiere airdate, in January 2016. The following month, Holmes revealed the first season includes eight episodes which were either written or co-written by him. Lange revealed his salary of $15,000 per episode he was featured in season one.
When Holmes began to prepare a script for Apatow, he saw it as a good opportunity to try and impress him with his work "instead of as an exercise", which he felt improved the script as a result. Holmes clarified that the show is "loosely based" on his life due to legal reasons, but is "inspired by my life", including the time when he contacted his friend and fellow comedian Nick Kroll after his ex-wife cheated on him as he had nowhere to stay. Holmes cites friend T. J. Miller as another source for support at the time. After Apatow went over a script, he would send it back with to Holmes with notes. Holmes said Apatow had a good sense of what "was the story and what wasn't", pointing out what scenes worked and others that were not necessary. In one instance, in a scene where Holmes had two characters conversing, Apatow suggested that something should also be happening.
Holmes and Apatow discussed who should be cast; Holmes credited Apatow for his "brilliant stroke of casting" for the series, pointing out Lange, Gina Gershon and Lauren Lapkus "was all Judd". The two agreed Lange was an important cast member to kick off the series, as Lange had the ability to "grab" the audience while being a suitable contrast to Pete's naive and inexperienced character. Apatow went to note Pete "naturally falls into an emotional and funny comedic rhythm with whoever the person is whose couch he's sleeping on". In the series, the man Jess cheats on is depicted as a hippie yet Holmes explained in reality, "it was a small Italian man named Rocco". In episode two, titled "The Road", Lange revealed that Holmes' character is based on a personal assistant that Lange once hired to keep him off drugs in exchange for being the opening act. Gershon plays the girl who tried to offer Lange drugs that night. Holmes said Gershon did not have a formal audition for the role; "Judd was just like: It should be Gina".
Holmes' argument with a stripper was based on criticism he received regarding his dislike for strip clubs, which led to that idea being written into the script. Holmes pointed out the idea of Lange being the uncomfortable one at the baptism and Holmes more in his element, when in previous episodes the opposite was depicted.
Filming took place in various locations in mid-2016, including New York City, New Jersey, and Westchester, New York. To prepare himself, Holmes attended real open-mic nights at comedy venues to observe younger comedians at work. The scene with Holmes and Lange in the pizza shop was initially scripted, but Apatow abandoned it for an improvised scene with Lange giving Holmes advice for a new comedian starting in the stand-up business. Holmes picked the scene as the one that clinched the series to HBO and the overall success of the first season. For the scenes filmed at the various comedy venues, Apatow made Holmes perform material from his early stand-up career "four or five times" to the crowd of extras so they would get used to hearing it, thus giving off the impression that Pete is bombing on stage.
The first and second episodes feature scenes shot in Lange's real life apartment in Hoboken, New Jersey. The sixth episode involves Holmes as a guest on Lange's podcast titled The Artie Quitter Podcast, recorded in his kitchen. Holmes was a guest on Lange's podcast in November 2015. On June 13, Lange detailed in a tweet that the first week of shooting had taken place. On June 19, he issued another tweet revealing the second episode had been shot, and noted filming for the first season was due to finish a week later. "The Baptism", the finale of the first season, contains scenes filmed at the Sands Point Preserve in Sands Point, New York on Long Island, on June 27.
On March 15, 2017, after four episodes had aired, Gravitt gave the green-light to a second season, citing the show's positive critical response. The number of episodes ordered is unknown. As season one had an open-ended conclusion, Holmes said that Pete "learned to accept his divorce, but he's still broke". One aspect that Holmes wishes to bring into the second season is the idea of success, as to him people enjoyed the show when Pete is "floundering and when something goes right". Holmes said season two will concentrate on Pete accepting what has happened and shows the character embracing his new life.
Pete meets a new friend, Ali Reissen (portrayed by Jamie Lee), a romantic interest whose comedic advice to Holmes is based on a combination of people who gave Holmes advice in real life, including Gaffigan, Demetri Martin and Bill Burr, who introduces Pete to alternative comedy. Holmes credits Apatow in bringing back Lapkus, Basil, and Attell for season two due to their favourable reception from viewers. Writing began in April 2017 in Los Angeles, followed by filming which took place in August in New York City. Comedian and writer Greg Fitzsimmons was hired as a writer for season two, and spoke of working on the set by the director's chair for sessions that lasted for up to 14 hours in venues such as the Comedy Cellar and The Village Underground. Fitzsimmons recalled disruption in filming on the street at night from tourists and locals after they noticed a film shoot was taking place.
On March 17, 2017, news of Lange's arrest for cocaine and heroin possession was made public. Apatow maintained his support for Lange, tweeting "We would never give up on Artie or anyone struggling with addiction." On March 23, Lange claimed during an interview that he was fired from the show in the wake of the incident, but in a tweet Apatow maintained this was not the case. The following day, Lange said he is "still a Crashing employee". When asked if Lange would be on season two, Holmes said: "I would absolutely say so ... having it my way, and I know Judd loves Artie too, of course he would be in."
Lange revealed his salary of $17,500 per each season two episode featuring him.
Season 1 (2017)
Season 2 (2018)
Crashing has received mostly positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the first season holds an approval rating of 90%, based on 30 reviews, with an average rating of 7.18/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The refreshingly goofy Crashing embraces a measured positivity and an overall sweetness that sets it apart from its more sardonic contemporaries." On Metacritic, the first season holds an approval rating of 73 out of 100, based on 19 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews."
Caroline Framke gave the series four stars out of five in a review for Vox, writing: "If you're anything like me when I got the assignment to review Crashing, you might be thinking to yourself ... "do we really need another comedy about comedy?” ... But Crashing makes a solid case for itself anyway by leaning into two distinctive features that set it apart", namely Holmes' charm and that the show "is really good at telling really bad jokes," which stops the show from becoming "stale."
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