Monthly Archives: marraskuu 2015

Cutting the Crap

Normaali

Viikko 48


 

Motion: THB that talking complements doing in running the world
Role: Secretary (opp.)


I believe that people should stop speaking in code, so that there is nothing in what is being said. A lot of political speech is filled with phrase after phrase after phrase, so that the intention remains hidden, trivial or bleeding evident. There is virtually no point in producing meaningless prose and speech. Silence would do better in lieu of meaningless speech.

There are ways to spot meaningless speech. One is to spot the so-called ”noun disease”. If sentences are infested with fancy nouns instead of colourful adjectives and dynamic verbs, something is usually wrong not only on the formal plane but on the substantial plane as well. Abstract nouns, accordingly, are commonly the enemy of meaningful communication. Not always, if the goal is to talk about difficult and complex things, but usually so if not.

There are good ways to focus on what should be said, if being infested with the noun disease is what shouldn’t be uttered. Take these three simple ground rules:

  1. Cut to the chase
  2. Add your personal aspect rather than someone else’s or the conventional wisdom
  3. Say less if by saying more there is the possibility that you might ”lie” or distort the picture of truth.

These 3 simple guidelines cut out most of the BS that people churn out of the corner of their mouths.

One could actually say that meaninglessness in speech is the verbal equivalent of progressive rock. The latter was a scourge of the rock scene from circa 1968 to 1975, between the end of psychedelic rock and the advent of punk. Prog rock relied on making simple music excessively intricate, complicated, sinuous and lengthy or overblown. The lyrics were about matters only their writers were interested in; dream worlds and such, pipe dreams, visions produced by sci-fi and phantasmagoria. Album art reflected this in its often daring and fantasy-filled execution. Progressively oriented rock was very boring, but it came into being as rock music’s one attempt at trying to outdo classical music in its own game, even though there was no prize or anything to win. Classical music and rock are totally different worlds, and rock has prevailed, in terms of turnover, audience, and media coverage. Prestige was the only thing classical music had more of.

Punk was the thing that put an end to the era of prog rock. It was about bloody time. The Sex Pistols replaced Emerson, Lake and Palmer. A similar bloodless coup would be in order, when it comes to the pompous ballast of meaningless speech. Meaningless speech will be supplied for as long as its hearers refrain from clamouring for something better, newer and curter. The supply does not create the demand, but it plays a role in the picture. People of course think of punk as something that was rude and chaotic, but the lasting legacy of punk has been the requirement for immediacy. If you think about post-punk and new-wave bands, they are and were all immediate in their substance, even if their personal form varied very much.

The same way that people have defenestrated their TV sets and subsequently their superficial and transient content, they should reject empty speech and its spectrum of emptiness.

Thank you.


Puheen kesto: 4 min 30 sek
Arvio: * * * ½. Selkeä, subjektiivinen, kriittinen. 3:nnen kappaleen 3 kohdan lista on hyvä.

Short(changed) People

Normaali

Viikko 47


 

Motion: THW make the jobless join ranks with those who are in community service
Role: Secretary (opp.)


Minister of Health and Social Affairs, Ms. Paula Risikko (of Finland and the Coalition Party), recently spoke on the need of the unemployed to give something back to society in exchange for their dole money, their UB40, their social security. Conventional wisdom says that she is right, and so would a fair share of men in the streets, Coalition politicians, a few True Finns and Christian Democrats. It just makes sense that it would be so, or rather that that would appeal to their and our sense of moral (if not progressive) justice.

The truth, at any rate, is that both the employers and the jobseekers have already tried at least a few times. Before an unemployed person turns that way, (s)he will have been rejected at least once with a job search. (S)he has once gotten the information that his/her contribution does not match the monetary compensation that the labour union would require for the job in question and the employer has at least once been compelled to make such an (de-)evaluation. There is most often a perpetual mismatch between his/her job-worthiness and the requirements of a decent, regulated line of work.

Työttömän puutteellisuus

Ms. Risikko’s urges would create a situation where we, as a society, would have to invent a layer or sphere of work where people are in ungainful employment despite the said mismatch that was described earlier. After all, I don’t think that any person would rather go jobless and collect a pittance for nothing than go to a job and collect what the labour regulations stipulate. The difference is a MARKED gap in the standard of living. A tragic mismatch lies at the root of the problem of unemployment.

Creating a new job market of deliberately undervalued work for the unemployed is problematic in the sense that it is exactly this that the Big Companies (listed companies, dividend-paying firms) work against most of the time. When they are trying to figure out how to make bobs better, they shed jobs from their currently gainfully employed employees. They are constantly refiguring what it means to be Gainful and setting the bar ever higher. Ungainfulness would never threaten the board members of the firm, but even lowly middle management somewhere might be on the firing line. Shouldn’t the unemployed get these jobs after they have been taken from their previous occupiers?

The truth, the sad truth about the unemployed or unemployables, is that in the beginnings of their uncareers they are a little short of employability, and the longer they stay that way, the wider the gap will widen out. At the same time, they may be medically & mentally entirely capable of work, as opposed to those people whose handicaps or mental disturbances actually prevent work. We talk about ”unemployed” or even ”unemployable” people, but what we are really referring to in their cases is people whose ”information capital” is too low for the job market and its needs in its contemporary state. In a way, they are not unemployable but ”too poor” for the job market. They’re not attitudinally flawed or faulty people, as whom they are sometimes painted. How did they end up this way? Should we start off with the educational system?

Shame on you.

Thank you.


Puheen kesto: 4 min 26 sek
Arvio: * * *. Puhe loppuu hienosti. Työttömyyttä on kuitenkin vaikea puolustaa, mikä puheestakin näkyy.

 

Hi-fi

Normaali

Viikko 46


 

Motion: THW declare that there is no Finnish identity per se
Role: Secretary (opp.)


What is Finland to do in the 21st century to begin with?

What Finns have themselves reached by way of a conclusion is or seems to be that ”we are the A student in the class”, for the better and for the worse. When others are skipping classes, we attend. When others do not contribute to the field-trip bursary, we do. When others aren’t getting straight A’s on their exams, we are. When others are bullying their fellow classmates, we intervene and blow into the whistle. When others do not stoop to bringing an apple to the teacher, we bring it, without forgetting to polish it first…..

I think we should stick to our self-image of an A-student. There is more to benefit than suffer from it. The most evident arena to shine in equipped with this stance is, of course, economics and the balance sheet. There, a triple-A rating (AAA-) means that we would get the money we need for offsetting our deficit at the lowest possible rate compared with the more delinquent borrowers. If we borrow, we pay a two-percent interest, while others may be forced to pay five percent, for instance. That is one thing.

Another is the role of the environmentalist. As there is a relatively unspoilt Nature in Finland, it’s relatively easy to preserve it. We can take care of our forests, for example, because we no longer even long to go there ourselves. Foreign people pick our berries and, presumably, mushrooms in the future, because the unemployed of our own are ”too busy” to do it or the like. Windmills rise up here to smaller opposition than in most other countries, because… we just adjust more harmoniously. Deep down, we know that the Age of Exploitation is over, when it comes to food production, industry and tourism, so it’s better to look voluntarily forward to a Greener future. We should therefore be the first in line to adopt environmentalist/conservationist legislation that is being churned out of the corridors and cabinets of the European Union. ”Green is Good,” as Gordon Gekko would not have said.

Sauli Niinistö, our current President, recently uttered that Finland shouldn’t act like being on a moral high horse in the world. His reasoning was that it cost us a (revolving) seat on the Security Council of the United Nations. He is wrong, unfortunately. People have a tendency to think that a country’s or one’s own popularity can be chalked up to the latest diplomatic act one has committed or done, meaning that we are only as good as our latest fair feat/dirty deed. It is not like that, let me assure you.

What really defines a country is the standard of living, market economy, democracy and justice system it has acquired and developed in the long run and proven results or record thereof. Countries that have achieved a high GDP, good credit rating and an excellent welfare index are virtually untouchable. If countries whose standards of living are high act untowardly in international circles, the others begin blaming themselves and contemplating what they may have done wrong. A high national self-esteem does not come out of nothing, and it should be a buffer for a lot.

In consequence, I’d like to state that there IS a Finnish identity per se, which builds on being the best in class, taking care of nature, and making sure there is market economy, democracy and justice. That is the full house of being Finnish, and you can bring that to an international poker table either in the form of chips or what is hidden behind the player’s face.


Puheen kesto: 4 min 45 sek
Arvio: * * * *.

I’m Sooo Blue

Normaali

Viikko 45


 

Motion: THB that U.S. Democrats should be mandated to dictate what happens in their nation at large
Role: Secretary (opp.)


The democratic party is a joke when it comes to running the country differently. It claims a moral majority & superiority most of the time, but when it comes to putting all of that in action, scales fall off the eyes. One blatant example is what Barack Obama said right after the Boston Bombing Incident in April: ”We will hunt them down. Justice will be done; mark my words. This is a day of judgment.” His Biblical rhetoric did not differ to any extent from his predecessor, the most-reviled-president-of-all-time George W. Bush. What do you think about that? Before Bush (2001-2008), Nixon (1969-1974) was the scapegoat for all evil in administration. (Reagan was too popular for a thorough bashing.)

It is detrimental to the wellbeing of a nation that the power is shifted continuously between the Liberal ”moneyspenders” and the Conservative ”moneylenders”. One of the reasons the U.S. is in such a huge debt is its inability to fully go either along Keynes’ or Friedman’s monetary ways. Both count on making ends meet.

The basic dichotomy is simple: Democrats want a big state, so that they could help simultaneously the poor, the needy, immigrants, minorites and themselves, to taxpayer money. Consequently, they are popular among the ones whose position they claim to promote. Republicans want an organic state and small government that is just as big as the scale of the industry, talent and luck of the citizens. If that amounts to little, so be it. But what surplus value the nation may eventually create, they want to direct to medical research, protection, police forces, the justice and penal systems, as disease, war and crime are seen by Republicans as some of the few sources that can threaten free enterprise and the fruits of labour.

Judging by the numbers, the Democrats would appear to win every time, since the poor, needy, hapless, destitute or otherwise out of luck notoriously outnumber those who are favoured by Fortune. When they also have a moral, progressive and more diplomatic platform, how on Earth could Republicans compete with something like that? Well, a lot of the time they can’t!

What comes to the rescue of Republicans is Three Things:
1. Another party can’t co-opt human virtues by just saying so. It also has to act on what it says and do it convincingly. A lot of the time, Democrats don’t.
2. The devout Christian sub-platform that many Republicans have espoused and touted makes partially up for the shortcomings of core Republican goals and objectives, and shows that Republicans also do care, and show it most often in contributing to charity.
3. If and when working wage-earners and salarymen and women strike it rich and become abundantly wealthy through their own labour and toil, they have a strong impetus and temptation to switch from Democrat to Republican, and sometimes they do.

If things do not improve, soon there will be a time for a bistate solution in the USA as well, as is the case in the Middle East (Israel vs. Palestine). The liberal coastal areas must in all likelihood secede from continental USA, for their ideas of what a good life is is so very different based on a different take on money, sex, race, religion, entertainment and culture. What is acceptable, holy, frictionless, funny, parsimonious, or smooth on one side is the polar opposite on the other side. Liberal USA calls the Midwest ”the Flyover States”. I don’t know what the Midwest calls the coastal areas.

If things remain a stalemate or a dead end or an impasse, coastal USA could join the EU instead of its federal home. I’m sure they can find a way to air-bridge the separated slices of land with each other.

Thank you.


Puheen kesto: 5 min 39 sek
Arvio: * * * *. Puhe on lähes täydellisen mittainen kvantitatiivisesti; enempi tekisi sen, että sitä ei ehtisi puhua tyydyttävästi loppuun ja vähempi olisi – vähemmän. Aihekin on ajankohtainen (alati) ja näkemys oikeansuuntainen: demokratia on kehittynyt alkunsa jälkeen vääriin suuntiin kussakin sitä harjoittavassa maassa kussakin hieman eri tavoin eli USA:ssa näin ja muualla muin tavoin. Puhe on myös ytimekäs ja hapokas sillä tavalla, jota politiikassa ymmärretään.