Here is a brief excerpt from a wonderful essay that Ben Lerner wrote about his days as a smash-mouth high-school debater. As you will see, most of the text is behind the paywall. To read the whole thing, you will need to head off to your friendly indie bookstore and buy this issue of Harper’s. While this analytical and personal essay is not explicitly about the latest round of debates, you might wish that Lerner was up on the podium, giving grief to everyone involved, including the moderator. This essay is not short, but if you get in your car or cinch up your sneakers right now, you will have time to reach your neighborhood bookstore, buy the magazine and a cup of coffee, read and re-read this essay before Obama and Romney mix it up this evening. If you remember from a couple of weeks ago, Ben Lerner is the author of Leaving The Atocha Station, and I am proud to say that I’ve got at least one of my Cactuseaters readers hooked on that book. You know who you are.