Here is the original text from NPR, and here are my favorite points, the discussions I shy away from the most, the ones that make me reach for a beer.
by Linda Holmes
Don't do it. You may want to do it, but don't do it. You may think you are among friends, but you only think that because you have not brought up any of these topics yet. Tempers will flare. Nothing good will come of it.
1. Home schooling. This one combines the explosive issue of child-rearing with religion and stay-at-home versus work-outside-the-home parents. Always a delicious stew of vitriol. Wait for the moment when someone brings up that girl who spelled "euonym" to win the National Spelling Bee.
2. Bikes versus cars versus pedestrians. In this discussion, every car is that one that opened its door and almost clobbered you while you were ferrying a basket of native prairie grasses for replanting in an urban greenway, and every bike-rider is that one that swerved in front of you while giving you the finger and wearing a T-shirt that says "Anarchy." Eventually, someone will wish broken bones upon someone else, and it's all downhill from there.
4. Declawing cats. I am seriously not even going to describe this debate, because I am that afraid of it.
The last six, including an HBO cliffhanger, the clash of the titans, and that one band you hate, after the jump...
5. Music piracy/copying/sharing/theft/freedom. Go ahead and try. You're better off trying to get people to reach consensus about Star Trek and Star Wars.
6. Breastfeeding. All the emotional complexity of motherhood, all the economic complexity of work arrangements, and all the idiot-attracting power of anything that has anything to do with breasts. Avoid at all costs.
8. Twitter. One important thing about this list is that it is a living thing. If this were 2000, it would include Elian Gonzalez. The most recent addition is Twitter, which is a good example of something you should never attempt to debate, because it generally morphs into a heated argument about the merits of something between people who use and people who don't -- it's like arguing about a movie with people who haven't seen it. They know they haven't seen it, they don't want to see it, and the more you say "But you haven't seen it!", the more they will say, "THAT'S RIGHT, AND I NEVER WILL." And thus do you go round and round and round in the circle game.