Red and Black Stakes

Normaali

Viikko 25


Väittelypuheiden aloitteet ovat hyvin samankaltaisia viikosta toiseen. Niissä toistuu tietty kaavamainen graavius tai vakavuus, jossa aistii raskaan aineksen läsnäolon. Leikkisästi voisi sanoa, että väittelyn aloitteissa on seksi & kuolema -tendenssi ja kahtiajako. On usein niin, että väittelyn aloitteissa joko suhtaudutaan myönteisesti tai kielteisesti kuolemaan tai vaihtoehtoisesti suhtaudutaan joko myönteisesti tai kielteisesti seksuaalisuuteen. Sen jälkeen, kun positiot on miehitetty, alkaa kädenvääntö, miten päästään eettiseen ja fertiiliin lopputulokseen, kun panoksena on seksi tai kuolema. Esimerkiksi näin:

a) mikä on syynä, kun asiat ovat johtaneet joidenkin seksiin/kuolemiin,
b) mitä pitäisi tehdä, etteivät asiat johtaisi joidenkin seksiin/kuolemiin,
c) kenen on vastuu, jos asiat johtavat joidenkin seksiin/kuolemiin.

Vastaavasti asia voi olla toisinpäin, jolloin em. asioita toivotaan:

a) mikä on syynä, kun asiat eivät ole johtaneet joidenkin seksiin/kuolemiin,
b) mitä pitäisi tehdä, jotta asiat johtaisivat joidenkin seksiin/kuolemiin,
c) kenen on vastuu, jos asiat eivät johda joidenkin seksiin/kuolemiin.

Jos tätä katsoo puhtaana abstraktiona, niin johtopäätökseksi jää, että väittelyissa taistellaan väestön epäsuoran lisääntymisen ja suoran vähenemisen ympärillä pyörivässä problematiikassa; viikosta toiseen, kuukaudesta toiseen, vuodesta toiseen. Tämä kuulostaa kummalliselta ja perustelemattomalta väitteeltä, mutta toivon, että muistatte tämän, kun seuraavan kerran väittelyseura lataa pöytään aloitteen ”eutanasian sallimiseksi lisääntyneiden ihmisten kohdalla”, tms. posketonta.

En ole kuitenkaan täysin kielteisellä kannalla seksi & kuolema -aloitteita kohtaan. Niillä on oma roolinsa väittelijakunnan mielikuvituksen ja logiikan aktivoimisessa. Niiden suhteellista osuutta pitäisi vain rajoittaa n. 20 %:iin. Olen tullut siihen johtopäätökseen ja tuonut sitä joskus esiinkin ihmisille, että väittelyn alkupisteessä voisi olla 5 motionia eli aloitetta, joiden lähde olisi muotoutunut seuraavalla tavalla:

  1. Sen viikon ajankohtainen aihe, jonka ”kaikki” tietävät; esim. olympialaiset
  2. Väittelyseuran pj:n, sihteerin tai rahastonhoitajan keksimä ”lempiaihe” (epäilemättä sitä, että hän on harjoitellut sitä salaa tai ei)
  3. Osallistuja 1:n esiin tuoma aihe (riippumatta siitä, onko hän harjoitellut sitä salaa tai ei)
  4. Osallistuja 2:n esiin tuoma aihe (riippumatta siitä, onko hän harjoitellut sitä salaa tai ei)
  5. Muista väittelyseuroista ja WUDC-ympyröistä peräisin olevat seksi & kuolema -aiheet

Tämän jälkeen voittajasta äänestettäisiin perinteisellä huuto-, käsi- tai lappuäänestyksellä, ja voittajaksi eli väiteltäväksi aiheeksi valittaisiin eniten ääniä saanut ehdotus.

Syy, miksi en ole huolissani fuskaamisesta eli siitä, tuoko joku esiin aloitteita, joita hän on salaa harjoitellut, on se, että yleensä harjoittelu tapahtuu vain joko pro– tai contra-osapuolen näkökulmasta oman henkilökohtaisen mielipiteen takia, ja on täysin ilmeistä, että onnetar arpoo tällaisen henkilön juurikin sille puolelle väittelyä, mille hän on harjaantumaton ja vastahankainen.

Uskon, että tästä painotuksesta huolimatta tai johtuen 5. kohdan mukaiset puheet tulisivat silloin tällöin valituiksi mutta eivät suinkaan aina, ja tämä olisi seuran kannalta vain myönteinen ja tasapainottava asia.

Mainokset

Studio Hail to the Chief

Normaali

Viikko 23


 

Participants

  • Ingrid Biese, researcher of organisational psychology at Hanken Business School
  • Alf Rehn, professor of economics specialising in leadership
  • Carolina Sirén, HR executive at Scandic Hotels
  • hostess

under the surtitle of ”Hur leda”, or ’How to lead right?’, orig. aired on May 31st

Leitmotif
A poll conducted among Finnish leaders has given the impulse for the discussion. The polled leaders stated themselves to be ”bad at leading people” but ”relatively competent, when it comes to the nitty-gritty”, and matters of fact and structural understanding. The discussion deals with characteristics, phenomena and problems of leaders and leading.

Opinions of Others
Women in the discussion bring up the importance and listening in crisis situations. Furthermore, the role of the family looms large in their talk. Human relations are also seen as motives for ending a career, changing careers or reasons for crises. Mr Rehn proposes that firing a person may be regarded as the best option if it leads to a beneficial end result for the organisation or company, as someone in (and out of) it needs to personally grow. Ms Sirén sees that as the last resort before other alternatives have been considered or tried. Rehn, for some reason, does not ever use the conceptual pair of ”superior” and ”subordinate”, but he talks instead of ”leaders” and ”followers”. This sounds like some strange newspeak. The discussion suffers from the women watering it down with their talk about people and relationships and Rehn watering it down with his postmodernist namedropping (with Netflix as one example, uncalled for). Both sides should have concentrated on things of the essence. Since Sirén is clearly of a feet-on-the-earth type of leader and Rehn is of a head-in-the-clouds type of leader; and Ms Biese seems to have the most profound things to say about the topic which she nevertheless cannot quite get out of herself, I’d sit between her and the hostess.Own Opinions
There is a great generational shift occurring among leaders, when X’er leaders and millennials are replacing most of the older kinds of leaders on different levels from school principals to project managers to rank-and-file ministers. We do not have a lack of leadership models. Many American TV shows have depicted leadership from J.R. Ewing’s oil business to the Hill Street Blues police station and air-control towers. What unites good leaders is listening, responsibility, determination and action, usually in this order. Generally speaking, these qualities are in older men, but mature or even young women might possess them too.

Theory is theory, but what about reality? My latest boss was rather a bad one, as he was away a lot, did not give any instructions on anything or try to bring about a community spirit and cohesion at the workplace. As a superior, he effectively delegated key responsibilities to his nearest tenured subordinates. He did not intervene, when the toilet sink’s plumbing was clogged for months on end, and everyone used it and everyone suffered. What was good, on the other hand, was that this from-afar commuting boss held a palaver once a week, on Thursdays, and gave a lot of rope to anyone in the workplace to perform any task at hand. Consequently, my latest boss corresponds to the findings of the poll quite well.

Bad leadership especially in Finland but perhaps also abroad is characterised by the retreating of leaders into their ivory towers, grounded by matter-of-fact knowledge and economical power and higher salaries. Why couldn’t these ”leaders” be demoted to mere experts, if and when they see themselves as only good at crunching numbers and facts? The elite of leaders should be formed by people who are really multi-competent in understanding the relations between people and people, people and things, and things and things. A superior should earn his or her higher salary and bonuses by a polymath disposition, higher than that of a subordinate, and not by his or her better networking suitability as a boss — or unsuitability as a subordinate. The profile of a mobile-phone user is not the profile of a leader.

Studio Raw in the Middle East

Normaali

Viikko 21


 

Participants

  • Pekka Haavisto, former presidential candidate & peace envoy/negotiator
  • Mette Nordström, managing editor on foreign affairs at the FBC
  • Pär Stenbäck; former MP, party chair and third-sector official
  • hostess

under the surtitle of ”Jerusalem”, orig. aired on May 17th

Background
The debate is concerned with the specific situation in the Middle East’s tinderbox in 2018, in a situation where Israel has won the ESC, and the United States as well as Paraguay are moving their embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to cement the latter’s status as Judaism’s cradle, to the chagrin of Palestinians. Furthermore, the central conflict in its modern form turns 70 years of age, counting up from the days of 1948, when the number of newly arrived Jews was down to 650,000. All seems like much ado about nothing new, but there is a chance of something novel brewing under the lid as well.

Opinions of Others
Mr. Haavisto is an erstwhile presidential candidate (for the Green Party), who thinks that the One-State solution might bring peace to the region. He is aghast over Trump’s actions and deplores the loss of Palestinian demonstrators as casualties. In this, he gets a sympthetic echo out of Ms. Nordström. Mr. Stenbäck considers the conflict a cynical reiteration of its old history without too many novelties. He deems that POTUS is surely pandering to the Midwest Christian conservatives with his measures rather than the Jewish-American population in the US, who usually vote for the more liberal Democrats. None of the debaters takes a strong stand on the ESC victory (Israel’s 4th), but Stenbäck opines that the people of Israel are a different matter to the State of Israel — hence, the result and the sympathies.

Own Opinions
On the face of it, anything happening in the Promised Land has been seen many times over, from roadblocks to stone throwing to ultra-orthodoxy to bombs going off to children being killed to martyrdom to suicide attacks to knife attacks to revenge attacks. The overall spiral of retribution is something that has been ongoing for my entire lifetime.

As a simplifying generalisation, it may be said that the conflict was about survival for 35 years up until the turning point came during the Lebanese Civil War in 1983, after which it has been about simmering resentment and suppression for another 35 years until now. Some Western people don’t care about the status quo being bad, while they do come up with a raised forefinger to chastise and criticize, if someone dares to worsen the situation or do a unilateral provocation (such as the relocation of an embassy).

My own standpoint is that the Middle East requires a Bi-State solution that may nonetheless have traits of a One-State solution and many conciliatory gestures. I wouldn’t be stuck staring at the ”symbolic violence” so much as the real violence and actions that cause grievance in the area.

The future ESC in Israel is a good thing in that it could improve on the relations of the two sides in the same way as the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea [and the inclusion of North Koreans in a joint team] seemed to bring about a mild thaw in Korean relations. Crisis management of the past few decades should be revisited for its ”best” practises, in order to relieve the tensions, such as inviting the grievants over to Washington to negotiate to the tunes and on the tab of the Americans.

This is where I’d be seated around the now invisible round table

Studio Addictica

Normaali

Viikko 19


 

Participants

  • Jeanette Björkqvist, journalist at the FBC
  • Anne Salovaara-Kero, on behalf of Valo, Ostrobothnian Centre for Crises
  • Kristian Wahlbeck, director at the Finnish Association for Mental Health
  • hostess

under the surtitle of ”Vem fastnar”, or ’Who gets addicted (to drugs)?’, orig. aired on May 3rd

Beginnings
The discussion is informed by a 30-minute program by the FBC, aired on Tuesday, in the Spotlight series, where the life of a thirtysomething addict, Jape, was under the magnifying glass. Jape got drunk for the first time at age 8, high at the age of 12, and now he is trying to feed his habit in committing petty theft. Every now and then, he gets medical treatment by health officials at public hospitals. He lives on the street between sundry temporary stays in better lodgings.

Opinions of Others
The debate does not manage to recommend measures about how to rehabilitate junkies into functioning members of society and reputable citizens. The hostess of the debate broaches, since addicts are in the habit of stealing to pay for their daily doses, the possibility that they are a security threat, and, therefore, eligible for prisons and penitentiaries (where rehabilitation could be thought of as taking place), but the others do not grab this straw. On the other hand, there seems to be somewhat of a consensus among the seated about what constitutes the profile of many an addict: a) a fairly gullible and sensitive soul, who b) seeks out bigger thrills than the average person, c) comes from a broken home and d) often has an undiagnosed ADD.

Own Opinions
I don’t think of prison as an impossible place for a drug user. Prison should come with drug maintenance/replacement treatment, but with adequate support I reckon withdrawal symptoms from drugs wouldn’t make prison ”hell” for inmates and recovering addicts. Namely, it seems that now addicts are over-, even supermedicating in taking what the state offers and combining that with whatever they can find on the streets — in addition to the legal stuff; alcohol, tobacco and drugs affecting the central nervous system.

This is where I’d place myself around the now invisible round tableThe model of rehabilitation that society offers is still intended for the ”virtuous but fallen minds” rather than ”chronic cynical escapism artists”, and society’s model would work, were the addicts of a different kind.

The bottom line seems to be that some kind of a neurotransmitter that makes one care is lacking in an addict’s brain, and that’s why the lot is self-medicating that insidious hole on its own. This would also explain away the easiest why relapses are very common, why rehabilitation is not successful and why it gets only worse on every new round of abuse. This is why, I think, the discussion around drugs is often on a level where ”corrective measures” target merely the drug user’s external symptoms and circumstances and not the internal reasons.

Studio Narcomania

Normaali

Viikko 18


 

Participants

  • Frida Hindsberg, high-school student
  • Mimmi Malik, school social worker
  • Robban Nilsson, youth social worker
  • Selma af Schultén, high-school student
  • hostess

under the surtitle of ”Knark”, or ’Drugs’

Premise
The debate springs from the fact that the main island and scattered archipelago of demilitarised Åland has seen a surge in drugs and drug-related social ills in the recent months and years. The police and health authorities are faced up with the problem in an idyllic small archipelago. The scapegoat is allegedly the proximity to Sweden. The culture of Åland (affinities, customs, language) is by nature Swedish-oriented, so its drug culture seems to import its influences and maybe even substances from its Western cousin. Of course, the situation has been the same for a long time, so it’s not clear why the subsituation should have changed lately.

Opinions of Others
Grownups Malik and Nilsson and teenagers Hindsberg and af Schultén wage a civilised and indirect dialogue about drugs on the mainland, since the former seem to tread carefully about the subject out of vocational cautiousness, while the latter speak carefully due to a young age and scant experience. In consequence, the discussion never really takes off on a meaningful trajectory. Ms. Hindsberg as one is defending cannabis to some extent as a potential substitute for ethanol in the future.

Own Opinions
Youth have always been interested in the Unholy Trinity of Drugs, Sex and Rock n’ Roll that all may bring out some unwanted side effects and damage, such as psychoses (drugs), STDs (sex) or tinnitus (Rock n’ Roll). The abuse of drugs is a taboo topic, but in reality one may think that even the squarest adults youth know may have experienced druglike epiphanies, premedicated before an operation on a legal high of a substance that may be sold on the streets illegally. So, even the squarest adults may know something about druggy drugs.

Drugs could be summed up to young people so that they cause tragedies easily, for they are typically used by short-spanned people who turn out even less focussed that way; by impoverished people who turn out even more impoverished that way; and by friendless people, who turn out even lonelier that way. It should be emphasised about drugs that they affect the central nervous system in a paralysing way that changes the neural pathways of its structure. Drugs always come with some sort of price to pay, the over- and under-the-counter price. One could compare it with the side effects that are listed in the packages of ordinary prescription drugs at a pharmacy. In addition to psychoses, drugs may cause constipation, sweats, double images, blurred vision, headaches, migraines, insomnia and countless other things, whose best authority would be the end user.

When one is under the influence, no adult — whether it’s a neighbour, official, friend, parent or relative — can be asked to bring oneself back from a high and hallucinations. Only one’s own central nervous system and its stamina can do that. For all that, the comedown off most drugs happens between 4 and 14 hours.

I cannot really identify with anyone in the debate, so I would regard myself as speaking merely for myself, were I in the debate. As my pair, I’d enlist a former adult end user, possibly an artist, who could honestly tell about the pros and cons, advantages and drawbacks to drugs, with an emphasis on the latter.

This is how I’d seat myself around the now invisible round table.

Studio Women in Holy War

Normaali

Viikko 17


 

Participants

  • Beri Jamal, excommunicated but faithful Muslim
  • Atte Kaleva, ex-hostage, military researcher on jihad
  • Antti Kuronen, journalist
  • Anneli Portman, social psychologist
  • Anna Sundberg, ex-fundamentalist from Sweden (via skype and mobile phone)
  • hostess

under the surtitle of ”IS-kvinnor”, or ’Women for Holy War’

Premise
Women under Islam and Muslim men are used in many ways at their service. Through them, the religion acquires new(born) adherents, and lately they have been persuaded to fight alongside IS fighters, apparently due to the replacement of casualties, or, sheer desperation. While doing so, women form their own individual convictions about their religion and sometimes distance, detach and divorce themselves from it.

Viewpoints of Others
Messieurs Kuronen and Kaleva and Ms. Portman would all, as non-Muslims and state-employed knowledge-economy workers, seem to support all those women who want to deradicalise themselves and emancipate themselves from different kinds of arrangements and instruments of oppression. Ms. Jamal has taken a few steps away from her religion, living today as a veilless wife to a man from a rival sect, abandoned by the old community of hers. Ms. Sundberg has given up on her fundamentalist and radical beliefs, which she used in the first place to fill up a void, and returned to a largely religion-free life. If there is a debate and arguments in this for and against, it’s in the nuances.

This is where I’d seat myself around the now invisible round table.

Viewpoints of My Own
Since beginning, too little attention has been paid to how (badly) people from the patriarchies of the Muslim world get domesticated (in the literal and metaphorical and ecumenical sense of the word) into the European matriarchies and neuterarchies. Personally, I do not embrace the Muslim attempt to build an enclave within state per the ”Chinatown” model of immigration.

I would want to support Muslim women, who step aside of the destructive eye of jihadism or the clan-like and familial aspects of their religion to raise their children as single mothers, loners without kids or remarried women, not least because it’s likelier that women spend their means on their children. The reason I would want to shore them up is that in this role of theirs they are closer to the definition of a refugee than those men who come over to live on welfare and send money back home digitally over the borders, and in the worst case, to ISIL. This is not a case of religious crusading, because Christianity has run its course as well and it’s on the wane, to be honest. It’s more of a question of doing the right thing: If someone flees a dysfunctional patriarchy to a functioning matriarchy, the rules of the old system should not be roundly applied anymore, should they?

Studio Communal Squabbles

Normaali

Viikko 16


 

Participants

  • Cornelius Colliander, municipal civil activist
  • Carita Henriksson, member of town council
  • Julia Kuokkanen, child protection specialist
  • Patrik Nygrén, town mayor
  • Hostess

Headline of the Debate
”Barnskydd” (’Child Protection Services’)

Premise
The kernel of the debate lies in the fact that Pargas Municipality has lost 4 of its 9 child-custody workers in a short time and as a protest. In the words of the resigned this is down to the absence of or dysfunctional leadership. It did not become clear if dysfunctional leadership is bad resourcing, bad custody policies, bad atmosphere, bad recruiting or colleagues bullying. Part of the obscurity comes from the common classification of information in child protection services and, of course, from attempts at saving face.

Others’ positions
Mr. Colliander and Ms. Henriksson support the rank and file of child-protection services in a leftist spirit, for they would seem to have a Liberal-Leftist background in politics. Mr. Nygrén talks in roundabout terms about leading and caring but in reality does not take stand on anything in real terms. Ms. Kuokkanen represents the third sector, member associations of which do not even perhaps want to interfere with the failures of a specific municipality but only with child-protection services on the level of principle.

This is where I’d place myself around the now invisible round table.

Own positions
The basic question is: Do I identify in a small community’s troubles with the role of the child-protection worker or the person who is the unwilling customer of those said services and who thus probably has an already hostile view of the whole activity and process, where one’s parental skills and means are called into question? I’d rather put myself in the pants of the child-protection worker, for I have spent next to no time with children or matters revolving around them during adulthood.

The majority of child-protection service customers view with dissatisfaction all of those measures and decisions where their children are taken away from them, to be placed in foster families or state-sponsored foster homes manned by social workers. I think that town leaders should pull rank on behalf of child protection for two reasons. These growing children are either future taxpayers or social-service customers, and it shows in the balance sheet which side they fall on. Furthermore, if a child is taken away from its biological parents, they should have a ”Wall” of powerful adults facing them, so that they couldn’t single out individual social workers as the targets of their ire. Different municipal quarters should also listen to outsiders’ reports about child abuse, molestation and neglect with a keener ear.

For all that, each and every adult should have the right to rear one’s own child(ren), if (s)he can keep in check his or her own a) finances, b) intoxicants and c) sanity, also d) temper. There is ”silent knowledge” in child-protection circles about what kind of people make the grade in parenthood as planned.