Monthly Archives: Touko 2015

Labour to the People


Viikko 22


Motion: THB that not all has been done for the jobless
Role: Minister (govt.)
Date: August 27th, 2013

I’ve come to the conclusion that employment is not a tricky question @ all. Or unemployment. My thesis is that everyone who can work should work. Then the so-called sustainability gap that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is talking so much about could be looked in the eye for what it is. Namely, is unemployment due to a true lack of effort on the part of the govt. or a false lack of effort on the part of the people, i.e. there being a part of the population lying low and doing nothing to sustain itself?

On the one hand, I would allow people who are genuinely mentally or corporally invalid or disabled to stay out of the workforce and do nothing for the rest of their lives. Everyone else, on the other hand, should pitch in and work for a living, however skimpy that living might then be. Only after full relative employment should we begin to aim for structural changes of a more groundbreaking scale. My further thesis is that since I know some people outside the workforce now, whatever would help them to attain employment could help the whole of the population in general. Let us go through my suggestions one by one:

The govt. should set aspiring people up with a Y code/number (indicating a single-man firm or a multiplayer company) and push them in the direction of entrepreneurship. The jungle of red tape is frightening to someone who has not worked ever in profession. The civil service should lower the hurdles and usher people in in this way; after all, it is the civil service that made up the rules and created the atmosphere of hardship in running a business. Tax breaks, counselling and such help would be welcome during the first 12 months of running any business.

Someone who wants to take a sabbatical should take one and hire other (young) people in her or his place in order to be able to rest, after many years of active service. To the hiree, that sabbatical would be a much-needed and necessary introduction into the world of work life. He or she should be mentored and tutored in, but after that (s)he should be able to work @ one’s own pace.

Local authorities should create groups where the unemployed discuss those ideas of entrepreneurship that would involve several people instead of just one. If two matching talents (in the bud) could be hooked up in this way, they would set up an example for the others to follow. They would try out their business idea together, trying to make it prosper. Even if they failed, the truth about businesses IS that a half of them fold within the first five years of trial.

Two for One workplaces might be one option for the desperate and unemployed. This would mean that instead of hiring one employee at a time into a company, two would be hired at a time. Their combined talents and educations would be added up into one and they could ”get the job” on condition that they were willing to share the salary together. If the salary was 2000 euros a month, both would get 1000 euros. Labour unions would not like this, but it would be ”desperate measures for desperate times”, and at least something to shore up people in a foundering situation. 1K a month is better than 500 a month. It’s a raise.

Organic agriculture is something that people do today out of the goodness of their hearts, even without pay. Those who could not get anything else, should work on a plantation cultivating pure food for themselves, each other and other people, as most people of a liberal disposition would probably say Yes to organically produced local produce. I have come up with at least these 5 suggestions for a better future in employment. This should prove true the government’s idea and motion that not everything has been done for the jobless in this country or in the world.

Thank you.

Puheen kesto: 4 min 39 sek
Arvio: * * * ½. Tämä on kohtalainen puhe, mutta täynnä jossittelua. Asiaan ei ole mitään ratkaisua, jos katsotaan yleisiä suuntaviivoja. Esitetyt ehdotukset eivät välttämättä toimi lainkaan käytännössä — mutta ainakin ne vastaavat huutoon tai haasteeseen.


It Ain’t Over Until the Slim Lady Sings


Viikko 21


Motion: THB that youth today should be told the truth about celebrity culture, so that they stopped dreaming about it
Role: Minister (govt.)

Celebrity Culture case study: Acting

I want to talk a little bit about actors. Are they beacons in our lives? Why do we follow up on what they are doing in their lives?

Let us first define what makes an actor. This is a tentative list, but I think there is some grain of truth to it. You may add your own bullet list by standing up to offer a POI. The following characteristics or should I say qualities or skills define an actor/actress:
(S)he can
a) dance
b) sing
c) cry on demand (and twist one’s mouth in expressions of grief).

As I see it, these are the human qualities that come up on a number of random occasions in the lives of a lot of people, and so they have to be mastered in order to be able to act in a certain role according to the script. Namely, anything/everything else can be catered for by the effects (FX), costumes, props, set designers and stunt (wo)men. They are more than happy to help on a number of ”impossible” situations that turn into sleights of hand. It’s easier, for example, for an actor to dress up as an airline pilot (only clothes make the man) and pretend flying an aircraft (in a simulator) than playing a realer human being in a realer situation, even though the actor would know nothing of flying an actual plane. I’m talking here about general acting qualities that cover everything from musicals to horror to Westerns to absurdist plays. Naturally, one can specialize in roles that do not require e.g. singing at all at any time.

People who can’t do easily the aforementioned three things should cease applying to drama schools once they get once rejected in entrance exams. We have too many bad actors. Once actors get their schooling behind them or miss their education @ their school of choice, they become creatures who are always hungry for another string of these three things: attention, bread on the table and cinematic opportunities — as if off an assembly line. They do not care whom they will play, because they can act as anyone thanks to the aforementioned faculties. They only thing they need is remembering their lines and briefing themselves into the right mood.

A case in point of this is Robert De Niro, who has acted in far too many roles for his own good. He has diluted his iconic reputation by starring in a lot of half-baked, clichéd, stereotypical junk entertainment. Voluntarily.

We should see actors and actresses for who they are rather than some ideal incarnations of ourselves, our love interests or interesting human beings in general. Actors are people who were born with the right genes, good motoric skills, a bit of luck, and not much more. Their movies would never be made without the lever-pullers and key players behind the scenes. The latter shoot, cast, set up, paint, visualize and finance all those films. Actors contribute 10 %, but they attract 90 % of the buzz, attention, discussion and love in the air.

If one wants to go to Hollywood, Pinewood Studios, Madrid or Trollywood (in Trollhättan, Sweden), a better motive than being an actor is to want to contribute as a screenwriter, musician, financier, cameraman or set designer. Those real jobs make the movies and develop the character (of a human being) a whole lot more in the long run than acting, which is a narcissist’s choice.

Puheen kesto: 4 min 54 sek
Arvio: * * * ½. Olen nyt vaihtanut puhujaroolia ja samalla siirtynyt ensimmäisten rooleista toisiin. Ideana on puhua hieman vähemmän laveasti mutta kenties kiinnostavammin ja konkreettisemmin. Tässä näitä edustaa keskittyminen vain yhteen ammattiryhmään. Puhe piiskaa ryhmää, jota yleensä vain idolisoidaan.

Fleurs du Mal, Orc(hid)s of Evil


Viikko 20


Motion: THB that all internet users should have their IP addresses displayed publicly to discourage/prevent trolling and abuse on the internet
Role: Chair (opp.)
Date: Nov 20th, 2014

In Defense of Trolling

Trolling is a modern phenomenon which is usually condemned. Trolling is seen as an evil of the Internet Age that we
were spared in the past. Why? Let’s think for a second about what kind of commentators moderators let through and how ”trolls” differ from them. I can discern 4 different types of easy passes that people get all the time.

1) Moralists fare well on commenting sites. Those who clamour for justice, condemn criminal behaviour or criticise corrupt behaviour get always heard. Do we really benefit from their opinions? No, we don’t, as we have our knowledge of what is right and what is wrong that does not need shoring up. Also, we have our justice systems in place that should take care of morals through the verdicts that come out. If judges don’t know what they’re doing, why should the layman  know? Has (s)he read more jurisprudence?

2) Lax commentators get heard. They usually write one or two lines without proper grammar or punctuation. They may swear or be generally unkind. Do we benefit from their opinions? I doubt we do. Thankfully they are brief in speech.

3) Whiners and complainers are listened to. Anyone who tell about their own anguish, bad luck and misery get a free pass. They ”cannot” be bad people. (They may have caused their own grief.) Do we benefit from their opinions? Their misery often does not translate into anything anyone else could find useful or desirable.

4) Agreers. Finally, ultimately, the last group that gets heard and affirmed a lot is those who agree with the tenor of the story in question: an article, essay, science digest, editorial or something else, such as a press release or a communique. Do we benefit from these Yes (Wo)men’s opinion? No, because we have already heard the nuclear message from the original author of the story proper.

Moderators take a tolerant to harsh stand on most other kind of feedback on their online output. The label ”troll” is easily and lightly applied to any other kind of feedback than that above and previously mentioned. Something suggests to me here that there is a need to look in the mirror.

The real reason why moderators, on behalf of original authors, take such a hostile stand on free-thinkers on the Internet is that they want the journalists’ cadre to be that force in the world that is creative, opinionated, funny, silly, analysing, thought-provocative, and summarising. Readers need to be their audience, herd and pasture; otherwise, the tables turn upside down, and those journos lose their position of being the Fourth Estate in capital initials.

Accordingly, those who are being called trolls are simply often merely people who think outside of the box, in their (wo)man-caves, free from restraints. The working definition of a troll is actually the working definition of a ”radical”: someone who wants to change the prevailing (thought) structures. This is seen as disturbing, subversive, pathological and unhealthy. Most often there is no collusion or outsourcing: any one troll is acting on his or her own, without money or assistance from other quarters.

In my estimate, trolls notoriously true to form and their name are those who
a) rejoice over someone’s death
b) reveal sensitive data about other people’s private lives
c) rouse people they know or don’t know to suicide.
They deal in sex & death, and they are a far cry from your average garden-variety middle-of-the-road atheist dissident who scribbles something down the internet. Dissidents dish out facts, whereas trolls spew out obscenities, bias, hatred against peoples and individuals and love of chaos. Thinkers are orderly, while trolls are truly unruly.

Thank You.

Puheen kesto: 5 min 50 sek
Arvio: * * * * ½. Puhe on onnistunut ja siinä on hyvä kosketus aiheeseen. Se myös onnistuu nousemaan kiistanalaisesta otsikosta huolimatta yli ja ohi sen.


What’s My Beef?


Viikko 19


Motion: THW allow U.S. food chains to land in Finland to widen the international selection of menus
Role: Chair (opp.)
Date: Sep 4th, 2013

Junk Food?

Recently I tucked into a junkfood meal that I took home as a takeaway. Many times previously I have not understood why people call McDonalds, Carrols, Dairy Queen, White Castle, Hesburger among others junk food, but that time it hit me home. It all began with my eating a Mega Burger as a meal with fries on the side….

Normally I eat a Double Burger (the equivalent of a Big Mac), which is the average or median meal at any given fast-
food joint. Something that takes the hunger away but leaves also room for a dessert or a drink. A Mega Burger is meant to snuff the hunger out entirely. More cost, more substance. Or, so I thought.

When I was @ home eating my burger, I discovered 5 things about burgers that make me feel sick:
♠1) If I tried to eat it with my bare hands, all the mayonnaise in the burger would make the beef slip in and out and
make the whole thing wobble uncontrollably and uncomfortably.
♣2) If I tried to eat the burger with cutlery, I would feel poncy and useless.
♥3) If I ate the burger without warming it up, the burger would taste lukewarm and uninspiring, like warm beer does.
♦4) If I microwaved the burger first for a mere minute (@ max. heat), it would change its taste and turn into an
unsavoury and smelly meal.
◊5) All this time I had an alternative in the fridge to the burger meal: an equally insipid, salt-poor salmon
casserole, for free, without any cost.

In other words, there was an occasion on which I could NOT have enjoyed my junk-food meal by any stretch of the imagination or measure. Junk-food lovers, I believe, do not fall victim to this, as their portion sizes, eating venues and taste buds tend to be different. There was no way to enjoy that $9-12 meal, however hard I might have tried.

More emphasis should be put onto how and why greasy diners and short-order kitchens dupe us into buying meals that don’t match the amount of money we hand over. Their incurred expenditure per a meal may be 2 euros while we pay up to 12 euros. The profit margin is huge compared to a lot of other products on the market. That is the real reason why we are talking about junk food. Another reason is that French Fries taste like **** when they are warmed up uneaten a day later. But that’s something my fellow speakers may talk about later on.

Junk food is a masterly optimum nutritional-cum-monetary performance/calculation. If you eat too little of it, you are left hungry, craving for more. You can easily meet that craving by ordering a little bit more while you’re waiting. If you eat too much of it, you are left with a sick feeling in your system, but you can’t get a refund. Your disappointment will melt away through metabolism. The continuing profits come from those who have learnt to eat that small-to-mid-size meal. And the profit margin is hefty for the company which serves it, as it bases it on base, bulk ingredients bought anonymously from a grocery wholesaler.

Junk food is junk not only for its nutritional qualities but also because of its embittering financial qualities, leading us up to such a word as ”junk bond”.

It’s the economy, stupid….!

Kesto: 4 min 44 sek
Arvio: * * * *. Aihe on hieman arkinen, mutta siitä on jotakin terävää sanottavaa. Lista sopii käsillä ilmehdittäväksi, sormi per asia. Aihe ei vastusta aloitetta täysin suoraan, mutta ei sitä voi oikein tulkita muutenkaan kuin kautta rantain vastustavaksi.