Tuesday Debate: Texting While Driving

By Jake and Glenn

If a professor or a priest were to ask you to make a list of the most hot button and controversial issues of our time is, you'd most likely include texting while driving near the top. Some people love it and others abhor it nearly to the point of justifiable homicide. Yet, the debate rages on. In some states merely talking on your cellular telephone while driving is against the law, although it doesn't stop anybody from doing it and I've never heard of anybody getting a ticket for it. Texting while driving is even more dangerous than talking on the telephone in your kitchen. Hopefully this debate will help you take a firmer stance on this issue.

Jake: People these days cannot get enough of texting, whether it's at Burger King, the grocery store or waiting in line for Batman: The Ride at a Six Flags theme park. They simply cannot take a step back and enjoy what is before them. People have to stay texting like a shark must keep swimming. If they stop they will die, or so it seems. People cannot even stop sending messages even when driving, which has been proven to be as dangerous, if not more dangerous than driving drunk. Drunk drivers should be shot and so should people who text while driving. Or, at the least, their licenses should be suspended.

Glenn: Although I agree with Jake about how Batman: The Ride has killed more people than ethnic cleansing, I disagree with his stance on texting while driving. Personally I send some of my best texts, emails and tweets while on the road. The real culprits behind most of the "text accidents" we always hear about are irresponsible teen drivers. Texting is a scapegoat because no one wants to say what has to be said: teens should not be allowed to drive. I had my driver's license suspended in high school - and cell phones hadn't even been invented yet!

Jake: When I see somebody texting while driving it fills me with a rage that could only be matched by hearing the news that my mother has been raped and murdered. Most of the people I see texting while driving are not teens, but rather giant assholes who do not care about anybody but themselves. They put themselves in a bubble, and I wish they would float up into the sun! People who feel the need to text while driving are insecure and tend to be the worst sexual partners. A study done by Harvard suggests that people who text while driving can't get aroused unless they picture scenes of murder, incest or decaying carcasses of large animals (elephants, rhinos and dinosaurs for example) in their heads while awkwardly making love.

Glenn: Conversely, anytime I see someone driving and not typing on a phone the car has a McCain/Palin bumper sticker and the person is probably a registered sex offender. And I mean the real kind where you've actually committed a serious sex crime. Texting while driving (TWD) is the mist selfless act in the world. You're putting your own life at rusk to continue communicating with your loved ones. Plus driving, and the solitarily thoughts that accompany it, sometimes jog your memory or give you good ideas. TWD might be the only way to share those thoughts before they disappear like our sense of national pride after Abu Ghraib. You might support the degrading acts of torture that went on there but I found it immoral.

Jake: Not only are you putting your own life on the line while texting and driving, you're putting the lives of all the other drivers and pedestrians at risk. If you have a great idea and need to share it, pull over to the shoulder of the road and then text it or jot it down onto a sheet of paper. If it's important enough to risk lives for, it should be important enough to stop your car. If I was a police officer, not only would I never pull anybody over because of the color of their skin, but I would ticket every person I saw on their cellular telephone whilst driving, texting or talking. Maybe Glenn would let everybody break the law, but he would also pull black people because, as he often says, "they have a suspicious color." Do you really want to be in agreement with this avid racist?

Glenn: I was waiting until just the right time to make this point and I think we're there: I am literally typing this debate on my phone while barreling north on Interstate 29 out of Missouri into Iowa. Is this wrong? It may be a crime according to Missouri law but if so it is as victimless as possession of narcotics or urban discharge of fireworks. We couldn't have this debate without my shameless ability to steer with my knee while typing with two hands. Sure I used to be a bad driver - getting multiple tickets and killing an innocent deer - but again that was before cell phones existed. Now I'm responsible (and tall) enough to know when steering with your knee is okay and when you need both hands on deck. Condemning people for TWD is like condemning people for having unprotected sex. It may be wrong sometimes but in some circumstances you just can't wait. Plus it just feels better.

Jake: Admitting that you're texting while driving during this debate about texting while driving shows your obvious bias. It's like a rapist arguing against harsher punishment for the crime of rape, like chemical castration or having to eat a gruel for every meal for a year. Of course you're going to be for texting while driving and of course you're going to be against harsh punishments for rape. I have never owned a cell phone, because I don't have a reason to. They cost too much money and I can spend that money on food or wax for my wakeboard. Even if I did own a cellular telephone, I would not talk on it while driving and I definitely wouldn't text in public because it's rude and exposes you as being a narcissist. Lex Luger (the ultimate narcissist) is notorious for texting while driving and he's a convicted murderer and woman beater. This is the company that you love to keep, but not me. I don't want to be categorized with rapists, murderers and child molesters.

Glenn: I find it odd - and disturbingly arousing - that you accuse me of bias and then proceeding to admit your own. Of course you're against TWD and even talking on a cell phone because you don't have one and wouldn't be affected by a ban. This hostility towards technology reminds me of the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski. I'm not accusing you of being in league with him (although you did read his manifesto in high school and said it raised some "very good points"). All I'm saying is that if he were still alive today he would certainly be sending mail bombs to driving texters like me. I wish you felt as much anger towards domestic mail-based terrorism as you did TWD but that might change when you get one. Until then I promise to always be respectful and never text while I'm driving you and Kaleena to Six Flags.


  1. wow, glenn is TWD w/ me RIGHT NOW. little did i know he was having a whole deb8! he sure is the king of TWD!! but i'm taking jake's side. sure, my opinion might be irrelevant because i can't drive, but when i'm in the car with someone and they're TWD, it gets on my last nerve. but, then again, if i COULD drive i would no doubt be a TWDer because i TWDoing everything else in my life.

    ps i giggled out loud (gol) at numerous diff things in this deb8 and now the other interns think i'm creepy

  2. texting while driving is one of the more idiotic things that glenn does, in my opinion.

    not to make a debate that it obviously supposed to be a joke real serious, but of the four young people i've known who have died in car wrecks, two of them were texting when it happened. it's just a bad fucking idea, and while i'm sure we all do it now and then, it's stupid and irresponsible.

  3. I love nothing more than TWD with a person who hates it. They get really nervous, tense up, and raise their voice. It's like they're watching you dangle your infant child off a third-floor balcony in Berlin, and they just squirm and want it to stop before the inevitable happens!

  4. i will never accept a text from nate, nor let him have custody of my infant child.

  5. Wow. A lot to read. STUMBLE! (thumbs down!)

  6. what the heck?! anonymous disapproves!

  7. He/She/It must not be a big fan of reading.

  8. Or texting, as if there is a difference.