Monthly Archives: syyskuu 2015

School’s in, for Autumn and Winter and Spring


Viikko 39


Motion: THB that the underaged should right now be put in their place at school by joint adult action
Role: Minister (govt.)

”Kids today are in school to foster/educate adults; whereas adults in school today aren’t there to foster/educate kids,” or, so said one commentator on the feedback pages of a national tabloid, concerning the sordid state of underage/teenage education in our country. There may be a grain of truth to this observation; at least I dug it on that level. Kids are unruly, AD/HD-infested, directionless, smart, conscious of their rights, sadistic, world-weary and so on. All of this presents an obstacle to those who would like to make them learn something for real.

Pacifying schools should be important. We need an educated workforce, who have the following virtues:
– skills in self-expression and foreign languages
– general sophistication and
– knowledge on manners and the etiquette
Unruly kids undermine all of this severely. They are effectively doing away with those very years when they would be physically able to learn, for example, Swedish, French and math. As a result, if we’ll do nothing, we will be at the receiving end for young adults who are ready-made fodder for collecting disability paychecks and sickness pension.

If this situation goes on for a longer time, teaching may become a profession that will lose out on talent and become a haven for those whose main talent is in crowd control (policemen) or discipline (soldiers, officers). Schools should be able to do their own policing without resorting to the actual police and military forces.

I would like to introduce the concept of Blunt Resistance. That would mean this:
”Physical contact between people would be allowed on school grounds, unless it is delivered at the point of some sharp object or projectile such as knife, gun (bullet), ruler or brass knuckles.”
In other words, each person would be allowed to shove/push some other person as a necesssary evil that moments of friction in education cause. Teachers could, if things reached the boiling point, push teachers, students students, teachers students and students teachers. These infractions would not lead to disciplinary measures (but some moments of tumult and a calming down in most cases). The exceptions would be said use of pointed instruments, more severe violence, use of explosives (not the use of expletives) or repeat offending in terms of disruptive or disturbing behaviour.

Then, the duty of the dean or principal or rector would be to mete out the kind of justice which seems to have been phased out of Education: Expulsion. In the  past, it was customary to read about someone having been expelled from this or that school once or twice or thrice. In this new expulsionary model, teachers could as well be subject to the threat of suspension instead of expulsion. In their case, it would lead to financial consequences: they would need to hire a substitute teaching fellow to carry out what the pupils or students would otherwise miss out on. Their wages for that time concerned would go to the sub, and they’d be in charge of mentoring him or her.

As to the young offenders, their spending some time, maybe a week or so, in their parents’ house would have the desired effect of making those parents acutely aware of how useless/insensitive their offspring can really be, for it is likely that the erroneous behaviour of those said kids would somehow not be invisible at home either. I.e. they would not take the trash out, vacuum-clean their room or seek out some temporary job.

We could mend three problems with this approach:
– Bring peace to besieged schools under stress for those, who deserve it the most (diligent studentry/faculty)
– Help ease the job-drought of teachers-to-be and young seminarians
– Put contemptuous and over-protective parents in their right corner.

Report this, if you can.

Puheen kesto: 5 min 20 sek
Arvio: * * *. Puheessa on luja vauhti ja vähän yläkierrettä. Lievä kokeellisuus ei ole silti pelkästään hyvästä. Puheen hahmottelemat kaksi toimenpidettä rikkovat harmonista kokonaisvaikutelmaa. III puhuja voi esittää ne edellyttäen, että hän on sopinut tästä I puhujan kanssa, eikä sooloile omin päin. Toimenpiteillä on kuitenkin sellainen sävy, joka on tyypillisempää kokeellisille väittelyille luokkahuoneessa kuin varsinaiselle politiikalle parlamentin täysistuntosalissa. Edellisellä areenalla tämän tyyppiset ehdotukset kuulostavat tutuilta, siinä missä jälkimmäisellä ne kuulostaisivat vierailta.


Recognizing One’s Face in the Mirror


Viikko 38


Motion: THB that TV rewards bad behaviour in its personnel and builds cults of narcissism
Role: Minister (govt.)

What makes a good program host on TV?

This question must be perused in more detail in my speech. We all know some examples of bad ones. Conan O’Brien springs to mind as one who always makes stupid commentaries, comments on those commentaries in a millisecond (before we understand what is going on) and builds these commentaries up into intolerable trains of commentary that last for minutes on end. At the same time, he has guests waiting in the wings of NBC studios (or used to have) who are subjected to listen to all of this as well and whose thoughts we might like rather hearing.

Let’s take a Finnish example. Ms Bettina Sågbom, the Finnish-Swedish TV hostess. Her personality and looks are pleasant. That is not the problem. She is slim, photogenic, telegenic and attentive to people, like most people are bound to be if they wish for a career on TV. However, this is only the surface and not the substance.

One bad thing is that Sågbom lets her guests hijack the program on occasion. If they’re talkative and domineering, they can twitter on about their lives endlessly while the allocated time is 45 minutes or so. What’s worse, Sågbom doesn’t dare hijack her program back.

Another bad thing is that whatever time is left for hard talk tends to be filled with clichés that are familiar from the history of talkshows. They do not bring any catharsis to the spectator who wants something new and life-altering.

Yet a final gripe is the fact that the industry praises Sågbom as a profound, insightful female clairvoyant of sorts who can ”read her interviewees’ minds” — but the sad reality is that she misplaces information about her guests that she has hastily collected during the prep time for the show. In other words, the producers of the show try to create the illusion that she understands and is friends with her interviewees, when in actual fact she hardly knows them @ all and will blank her work memory out after the show with a snap of the fingers.

Consequently, people should require more of their TV personalities. We are being force-fed some certain ones, although they are not that good after all. It’s just that the pace of the TV world, the media and the internet-laced reality is so fast and quick that we hardly have the time to stop and think.

If Sågbom has a future in the industry, she would need to follow suit of her Finnish equivalent, Ms Maria Veitola, the only one around, around whom a similar ”cult of personality” has been built up. Where Sågbom tries to please and fawn, Veitola irritates and provokes and acts out. I know it can be hard for an older cultural personality to mimic the persona of a younger rival, but sometimes it is the only Right Thing to do.

Thank You.

Puheen kesto: 3 min 43 sek
Arvio: * * +. Tämä on lyhyt puhe, mutta siinä on asiaa. Puheen ongelma on siinä, että se alussa vieroo juontajien persoonallisuuskulttia mutta lopussa toivoo sitä lisää tietyssä määrin. Puheessa on sisäinen ristiriita.