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Don't keep up with the Joneses!

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/5/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,096 times Debate No: 19145
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




This is intended to be a humorous debate. I’d appreciate humorous arguments, although I’ll obviously allow serious arguments.

You may have heard of the phrase ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’. For those who don’t know, it refers to the comparison to a neighbour as a benchmark for the accumulation of various things.

Confused? Let’s simplify it further. Essentially, if your neighbour owns a Ferrari then to ‘keep up’ with them you’ve got to own one.

Now, you all probably think it’s a great idea to keep up with the Joneses (assuming you have millions spare), yet you don’t know the truth. You’ve never heard the REAL origin of the phrase, and this is due to the meddlesome actions of a certain family...

Today, we uncover the lies! I’ll show why it’s a bad idea to keep up with the Joneses. Let’s begin with a recent situation where Mr. Jones’ (in this case a decent Jones) son killed Mr. Pritchard’s son. They’re both gentlemen, and decided to discuss the case after the conviction of Mr. Jones’ son.

“Welcome Mr. Pritchard! It’s a pleasure to see you. Please, come in.”

“Thankyou Mr. Jones, it’s always a pleasure to sit down and settle murder disputes over tea and biscuits. Say, do you have scones by any chance?” They sat down.

“Sorry Mr. Pritchard. You must understand, I was rather expecting more a quenching the thirst type given your recent traumatic experience.”

“I see. No matter. I understand your son’s traumatic experience. It’s a shame that he couldn’t talk about it with my son, a good fellow.”
“I think he was talking about it with your son when he shot him actually. But yes, the law doesn’t do the perpetrators justice. My son would never hurt a fly.”

“Well, be that as it may, he was willing to shoot people.”

“Well, as my son’s lawyer said, that’s a minor semantic point.”

“I suppose. Could I have some earl grey tea please?”

“Certainly Mr. Pritchard.” Mr. Jones soon returned with the tea. Mr. Pritchard took a sip, while Mr. Jones talked.

“You know, my son will be missed.”

“You mean from the force?”

“Yes. Lets recount a part of the court case aftermath for your benefit.”

The police commissioner was answering journalists.

“Commissioner, what do you have to say about this case?” asked a journalist.

“Well, it was clear that Mr. Jones was guilty of 5 counts of sexual assault, 1 count of child abuse and of murdering the honourable Jet Pritchard. Nevertheless, he was a very hard working fellow in his job in investigating traffickers. It’s a shame that he didn’t become our Chief Child Protection Officer.”

Back to the fathers.

“I see Mr. Jones. What your son must have lost through that harrowing trial!”

“I know. More tea and biscuits?”


So I ask, do you want to be ‘keeping up’ with a murdering, assaulting wretch? Furthermore, it’s exceedingly obvious that the son paid off the commissioner to put in a good word, and it’s bad to keep up with bribes.

What if this is just a single situation though? Let’s go through another dastardly case of the Jones showing their true colours!

It’s a beautiful evening, and the gentlemanly Frederick Roux is with the wondrous Clara Leveque.

“Oh Clara, your eyes are like roses your face is truly a gem. Alas though, you do contain great restraint in not allowing too many mining excavations upon such a rose,” said Frederick romantically.

“Frederick, you do really know how to charm, do you not?”

“Clara, I know that you are merely overstating any quality of mine. Now, do let me take your hand.” As Clara, blushing, got up from the restaurant table her handkerchief fell to the ground. She moved to pick it up.

“Halt, my lady! It is every gentleman’s responsibility to help out a lady in need, so I’ll retrieve that handkerchief!” With a mighty twirl and spin, he picked up the handkerchief and returned it to Clara.”

“Frederick, I do respect your noble intentions, but now your hands are dirty!”

“Fear not my lady, I will clean them. I’ll even wash my hands twice!” And so Frederick rushed off to go wash his hands, having assured Clara that he’d be properly clean when he returned. Clara stood alone as a ‘modern’ figure approached.

“Heya babe, wanna have a night out?” said Mr. Jones, with what he thought was class, but was really stupidity.


“You would reject me and my uh... uh... good looks?” Clara was about to reply when Frederick returned.

“Foul wretch, you have caused me to have to return to my lady in defence of her when I have not even washed my hands 3 times over! Explain yourself!”

“Well, I’m a Jones.”

“I couldn’t care less.”

“You insult my family honour. I should like to sort out this difference of ours!”

“Fine then. Jones boy, we shall duel to the death! I draw my sword in defence of my lady. Now, don’t keep me waiting, draw your sword and let us have this out.”

“I fear I do have a sword on my person.

“Well then, use whatever knife or thug like weapon you carry, and take your best shot at me.”

So, Mr. Jones decided to oblige and shot Frederick Roux through the head.

“Do you still want that night out babe?” asked Mr. Jones as Clara screamed at him.

And the following court room discussion...

“So, what do you have to say in your defence Mr. Jones, knowing that witnesses saw what you did,” asked the judge coldly.

“Well, as you know, I’m the sort of guy who’s a right honourable fellow. I obeyed Frederick’s last words to the letter, as every gentleman should.”

“Would you care to explain Mr. Jones?”

“Well, he did say to ‘use whatever knife or thug like weapon you carry, and take your best shot at me’ , so, I did what he asked, and took a shot at the head, as that was my best shot.”

The judge looked at Mr. Jones sternly.

“And you don’t believe this was intended as a figure of speech as a prelude to an honourable duel?”

“Of course not. It was perfectly obvious what he really meant.”

“Yes, it was perfectly obvious what he meant. You’re just an idiot. Guilty.”

You see, keeping up with Mr. Jones means being an incoherent idiot who can’t interpret things properly and is highly dishonourable. It’s bad to keep up with the Joneses, as both examples show.

Again though, I hear a cry that they are innocent. They say, all modern fellows are evil, which is all well and good to say, but even in the olden days the Joneses were up to trouble!

Mr. Jones is having an argument with Sir Henry.

“Mr. Jones, your conduct in yesterday’s diplomatic posturing with the Vikings was inexcusable. What do you have to say for yourself?”

“Well, I don’t like you either Sir Henry,” said Mr. Jones with an air of detachment as he stabbed Sir Henry through the heart.

“Why?” asked Sir Henry feebly.

“Um, eh, good question actually,” said Mr. Jones as Sir Henry collapsed.

“So, what they say isn’t true! Henry’s mouth didn’t really bite the dust. What a blazing stupid saying!”

Meanwhile Honest James the Philosopher had been watching this little scuffle. He had been considering intervening, yet remembered his teachings and decided to explore the idea of Mr. Jones’ sword having been created to kill Sir Henry, in which case his action might cause a rift in time. While Honest James had been proving this a priori, Sir Henry was stabbed.

But Honest James never hesitated to speak his mind.

“Hey, evil fellow, I don’t like your killing ways.” Mr. Jones turned around, murder in his eyes.

“You won’t tell Lord Redding of this I hope.” Honest James then made the fatal mistake of his life – he told the truth.

“Of course I am. See you.” Honest James turned his back, and was struck down by Mr. Jones. In his last breath he cried out:

“Oh, what can be the sufficient reason for my death?” before collapsing. Lord Redding heard this cry, and slew Mr. Jones in an instant.

So, as we see again, keeping up with the Jones is a bad idea. It is likely to get you killed, is dishonourable, disgraces philosophers and is just plain rude.

I’ve exposed the true origins of the phrase ‘keeping up with the Joneses’, and so I beg you all:

Don’t keep up with the Joneses!



Con Case

Keeping up with the Joneses will cause a great net benefit of good than evil. For example, Mr. Jones is a hero. We shall recount his conversation with Hitler before he brilliantly had him killed.

"Hello Mr. Hitler, how do you do?"

"I do rather well, thank you. Are you sir, a Jew?"

"No I am not. Why do you ask kind sir?"

"Because if you were, I would give you a lovely shower, out of the kindness of my heart."

"Why would a Jew need a shower?"

"Because they are dirty... Duh..."

"So is your mustache..."


"So are you going to wash that off?"

"Why should I?"

"Because it is dirty. That was why you wanted to give the Jews showers."


"So, if you don't you are being logically inconsistent."


"So, we aren't in America, your citizens want their leader to be logical. If you were clean then they might listen to you and kill more dirty people."

"My gosh Mr. Jones, you are brilliant. I shall go take a shower right now."

Hitler was never heard from again. Mr. Jones single handedly stopped the holocaust. This outweighs all of my opponent's impacts.

Next, Mr. Jones is helping us all prevent global warming. He discusses the topic with Al Gore:

"Hello Mr. Gore. I must say I was intrigued by your fascinating video, The Inconvienent Truth."

"Really now Mr. Jones? That is a first."

"It is quite true. It has inspired me to save the penguins."

"And how do you suppose you will do that?"

"I will invest in a giant refridgerator and leave it open all of the time so that it cools down the air."

"Why sir, that's brilliant! According to my calculations if everyone helped out, we could stop global warning in 27 and a half days!"

"Thank you for the kind words. I do it for the penguins."

Saving penguins outweighs everything, even extinction. My opponent doesn't save penguins. Thus, I win. However, if you are a racist savage who hates penguins, I also prevent extincion by preventing global warming and thus preventing us all from frying.

Pro Case

I would argue that keeping up indicates that you are being outperformed by them. Performance is measured by the perception of outsiders, and outsiders obviously think that murder is bad. Same for all of the other impacts coming off ofthe pro case. Thus, none of them link in. Keeping up only applies to good actions.

Also, I'm going to turn the case. He talks about keeping up by buying Ferraris. I would say that ferarris are badass. Buying ferraris = more awesome points for people. People are part of society, so as their awesome points rise, so does that of society. We only want to live in an awesome society. So if society is not awesome, we'll all kill ourselves. Ferraris prevent extinction. True story bro.
Debate Round No. 1


(sorry if this is a bit worse than before - not much time) Thanks in advance to Mestari for the debate and here's hoping his last round will keep the humour going along! Also, no Joneses should vote unless they vote for Pro (otherwise it'd be bias) !


By George! Mestari has really put Mr. Jones in a light that I never knew existed. I'd like to personally thank Mestari for illuminating the Illuminati conspiracy to keep the true details of Hitler's death secret. What a well versed fellow (even though I'd never use Internet memes...) !

We should note though that Mestari agreed to the grievous atrocities committed by the Joneses that I showed in round 1. I feel that this, coupled with a 'man off the street' approach to things is sure to affirm my case beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Also, before we begin, Con claims that buying Ferraris are good. I did agree with him on this, but he didn't seem to realise that some people don't have millions on hand. Of course, I could be wrong on this point, and urge Con to give me a taste of such riches.

Now, onto my case!

Philosophical points

As the common layman would say, philosophy is the bread and butter of social life, so what better way to make a case?

Put simply, I was quite shocked at first when I heard of the details of Hitler's death, especially given the Joneses propensity for evil (as shown in Round 1) . So I said to myself 'why didn't he just join Hitler's side?' The only explanation I could come up with was the multiple worlds theory.

You see, there are many possible worlds. Given the Joneses evil nature it is clear that in a majority of these possible worlds that Mr. Jones aided Hitler or declined to do what a good man would. Henceforth, we can conclude that on the whole (out of all possible worlds) , the Joneses are indeed a bad influence, contradicting Con.

Street Cleaner's approach

On this issue, like so many others involving finance or the way women think, the answer is provided to us by theoretical mathematics.

You see, unfortunately Hitler never actually made it to the gas chamber. First he had to make it halfway there, then half of the remainder and so forth. Essentially, he'll never make it to the gas chamber.

In the logically impossible (and hey, my name indicates that I'm a well versed authority on the subject) event that Zeno's Paradox is defied, we know that Hitler had eternity to walk for his death (and think on it), which makes the hype about Mr. Jones tricking an evil mastermind just slightly less impressive.

Global warming

Con does raise a neat point or 2 here, but I must protest against some key issues.

Firstly, global warming isn't an inconvenient truth, it's a convenient truth for the majority. I know winter's the best temperature, but most fools don't. Also, much formerly unsuitable land in harsh climates will become available to be farmed.

Con surely doesn't believe we should prevent global warming, does he?

Also, I must criticise Mr. Jones in this case for showing suicidal tendencies. I don't know about you, but I like many of the things in my fridge that would otherwise spoil. Seeing as Mr. Jones plans to live without a fridge for about a month, he'll die when he eats certain foods that haven't been sufficiently cooled.

In the case that Mr. Jones doesn't like cold stuff, we must agree that he is insane and should not be followed.

Finally, I must point out an error in Con's calculations. It was blindingly apparent that it would take 28.14 days and that the idea had a 15.3% chance of failure. We don't want to keep up with mathematical incompetency.

Must it be the Joneses?

In English we tend to like avoiding duplication of meanings, and so tend to just have one phrase for something, the phrase that best exemplifies what we want to say. For example, we might say the well known phrase 'the rolls royce of...' , but there isn't 'the Ferrari of...' , 'the Mercedes of...' and so forth as we already have a phrase to describe things and it's pointless to duplicate.

This means we only want one group of people to keep up with, and we want it to be the one that best exemplifies that which we want to keep up with. Undoubtedly, the Joneses aren't the best group of people to keep up with. How about the Chevaliers? Being French we know they don't exhibit violent tendencies (even if their surname means knight) . But it doesn't really matter who, because we know the Joneses aren't the best people.


Although Con would try and use the honeyed words of a politician to win, he has been exposed.

I've shown how the layman's approach of using philosophy, theoretical mathematics, invoking how friends the Chevaliers and the problems behind Mr. Jones suicidal tendencies are sufficient support for my case. Add to that the characteristics of the Joneses and the atrocities shown in round 1, and the debate is beyond doubt.

Vote Pro, and please, don't keep up with the Joneses!


Mestari forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Logic_on_rails 6 years ago
No problem Mestari. My only fear is voting - the voting period somehow became 3 days instead of the planned 1 or 3 months...
Posted by Mestari 6 years ago
I'm sorry that I could not post a final round. I was going to post when I had over a day left, but wanted to give myself more time to come up with witty responses. Yesterday was a rough day for me and by the end of it posting DDO arguments was the last thing on my mind. I apologize again and if nobody sees this debate because I forfeited I'll gladly message people to vote for you.
Posted by Logic_on_rails 6 years ago
What in the blazes? I set the voting period to 3 months. Does it reset upon edits to a draft or something (which would explain things) automatically?

Shame you couldn't post something Mestari.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: I'm voting conduct for the forfeit. I might come back to this later to give a more detailed RFD.