Monthly Archives: joulukuu 2015

The Television Has Been Revolutionised


Viikko 52


Motion: THB that TV does not cater for the over-40-set and should make atonement for that, enabling their TV viewing pleasure
Role: Secretary (opp.)
Date: Apr 5th, 2013

It has been said that TV today is a mélange of two things: reality-TV and lightweight talkshows, both of which irritate the hell out of the mature viewer. I agree with the latter but not with the former. TV today is better than ever, EVER! In the past, TV was horrible both visually and substantially (in terms of its contents). Today, TV is great.

The latest decade when TV was horrible was the 1990s. Back then, TV had detached itself from the raucous but vacuous 80’s, but had not yet arrived at the intelligent but raw 00’s. Shows such as Ally McBeal, Picket Fences, Twin Peaks, Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210 and Seinfeld dominated the supply back then but represented really only a pratfall. That was a semi-vacuous time when TV had not yet found its true calling and voice.

Today I can enumerate saddlebagfuls of TV shows that make the cut and grade even on Finnish TV. As always, most of the good stuff comes from across the pond (from North America), so therefore I mentioned so many of American shows in the earlier list. But the bar has been raised in Europe as well. In Britain, good shows include ”Doc Martin”, ”Fresh Meat”, ”Pulling”, ”Shameless”, ”Skins” and ”Harry & Paul”. In Finland, surprisingly the Swedish-speaking minority produce at least 2 hours of quality programming every week usually in the form of different talkshows and short documentaries. They are also adept at short fictionalized dramatisations. And while I’m at it, in Sweden…. the machine just churns out world-class fiction – and the world buys.

These are just a few countries whose shows would also definitely entertain a mature viewer with their mature content. Namely, these programs are not for teenage viewers; you would notice it instantly on screening the former to a junior high-school audience. They would zone out instantly and immediately, just the way they desert malls that choose to play classical music through the loudspeakers. In conclusion, let me say that a good chunk of today’s TV is expressly meant for the over-40-set that was mentioned in the motion of this debate.

I do understand that there are also bad programs on TV. Generally speaking, public-service channels/stations fail, when they try to create raucous entertainment, and commercial players fail, when they try to create serious programming. As examples of well-meaning BUT misconceived concepts, I can mention ”Strada”, ”Puoli seitsemän”, ”Kaken pesula”, ”Prisma studio”, ”Kuningaskuluttaja”, ”Mansikkapaikka” and ”Arka paikka”. These ”therapy talks” or ”cultural mix-tapes” or ”viewer’s digests” bring nothing to the table either for the hare-brained surface-consumer or the high-brow viewer. They are useless.

Older people should learn to surf the channel jungle adeptly, now that most of them are on the brink of retirement. If they’ve learnt to judge and juggle many a thing on the job, switching between channels should be a piece of cake. I don’t think we can reinvent a ”safe” or simpler TV for the older set.

TV in our time now is so much better than what it was in seniors’ youth, when Archie Bunker roamed freely and was a bigot about everything that caught his eye. If the old won’t accept this, the internet with its endless supply of this and that is the senior citizens’ only choice left. Meanwhile, Young Ones can lean back and relearn the good old pastime of watching immersive TV.

Puheen kesto: 5 min 15 sek
Arvio: * * * * ½. Aihe on sellainen, että siitä osaa jokainen jotain sanoa ja on jonkin sortin ”asiantuntija”. Ainakin samalla mitalla kuin kolumnissa ”Friman katsoo TV:tä” (joka käsittelee useimmiten pelkkää hömppää). Pituus osuu ihan sweet spottiin ja argumentointi on terävää. Haluaisin itse kuulla tämän jonkun toisen suusta.


Drink Up, Jim


Viikko 51


Motion: THW ban the ads for alcohol outside on billboards, roads and bus stops. On radio and TV, ads would be allowed after 9 PM curfew
Role: Secretary (opp.)

# 1  Argument:

Alcohol consumption is not based on alcohol advertising. The notion that people would drink more because of billboards is ridiculous. I’ll tell you why people drink. They drink, because

  • someone offers them a taster at an impressionable age
  • they start drinking socially in their teens
  • they continue to drink socially in their student years
  • they find out that alcohol may help personally as a cure or remedy for anxiety, joy, envy, love, hatred, fears and other emotions (shame etc.)
  • they may find out that alcohol is a great companion when preparing meals and discussing food, almost by accident (someone at some point uncorks a bottle of wine)
  • they can only meet and hook up with certain people when they drink together with them on premises that are licensed to serve alcohol

Summed up, these things lead ”one” (standing for anyone) to the conclusion that alcohol is intert(wine)d (no pun intended) with our lives. The substance is almost inextricable in some cases. It is ludicrous to try and control the sale of alcohol through ads, when they do not actively or effectively generate sales. What the ads do is they merely redistribute to what breweries and distillers the alcohol dollar, euro and pound is going to in the end.

# 2  Argument

Let us imagine a lab-rat experiment. Let us picture lab rats in an environment with alcohol advertising and without alcohol advertising. There would be no texts as animals cannot read, but there would be pictures of liquids, bottles, glasses and accessories around. Now, do you think that this would affect the consumption of alcohol by mice and rats in the maze at large, at all or all the way? My presumption would be that the consumption of alcohol would be equal and even in both the ad-freaky and the ad-free environment (or maze). Mice and rats would smell the substance in any corner of their maze as long as it was somehow available, through using a lever or straight up. They would drink it and they would act accordingly; sometimes gregariously and socially and sometimes viciously and dissocially. The same thing applies to human communities. The VISUAL info on alcohol is nothing compared with the CHEMICAL information that the substance imparts.

# 1  Assertion:

Alcohol is seen as an evil as such, but maybe it’s the grey area in life which is neither good nor bad. It is true that a lot of bad things happen in the wake of downing the tipple, but perhaps that is merely an excuse rather than a reason. People slyly start drinking alcohol SO THAT they can commit heinous crimes with an ”alibi”; ”I did it because I was under the influence”. To me, it has always been clear what I have done or seen when intoxicated up to the point of passing out. I never use it as an excuse for anything. I know that I may talk a little louder or bolder when I’m drunk or make my voice sound hoarser and raspier, but that’s about it. I am always aware of my emotions and responses and actions when I drink. Like many people, I get ideas – some also affirmative, not always adversative – that seem stupid on the morning after, but I don’t have to act on them. Alcohol would be stopped used as an excuse if people did not listen to stories about it as an excuse. It simply would not be tolerated as an extenuating circumstance, period. For this reason(ing), I state that alcohol is NOT bad as such, and therefore there should be no restrictions on its advertising either; it is not an evil the public should be guarded against.

Thank you for listening.

Puheen kesto: 5 min 34 sek
Arvio: * * * * *. Tämä puhe on vain niin hyvin strukturoitu ja muotoiltu, että kyse on muotovaliosta… Myös sen pituus on lähes sekunnilleen täydellinen antaen mahdollisuuden vastata pariin lyhyeen kysymykseen kuitenkin vastaukset lennosta hieman pidempinä. Jos joku muu kuin minä esittäisi saman puheen, asettuisin puheen pitäjän kannalle.

Noli me tangere


Viikko 50


Motion: THW restrict human contact to prevent infectious disease
Role: Secretary (opp.)
Date: April 3rd, 2013

The govt’s motion is evil. We humans crave and need interaction with each other. We can’t live in that kind of deprivation that the govt. is suggesting. There is enough isolationism in the world todays as it is. Hotels house lonely businessmen, who crave for an infectious sickness by renting out a prostitute. People want to go to football matches and communal swimming pool centres despite the obvious risk of contracting foot fungi. Dogs greet each other by smelling each other’s excretions and the holes where they came from — and they’re all the healthier because of these unsavoury activities, or not at least ill in any way that a vet couldn’t cure.

The govt’s motion is useless and backward-looking. We have mostly conquered infectious disease. Few of us contract any kind of sickness anymore via hands, water, kisses, keyboards, handles or food, except for the common cold and travelling flu viri. And as time goes by, immunity becomes better in human adults. Old people seldom fall ill in their days of retirement and on pension. Moreover, immunity can be shored up by injections and nutrient boosts, fruit vitamins and condensed pills of various kinds, not to speak of exercise.

Shying away from human interaction would result in dysfunction. The unemployed would stay unemployed, if they refused to go to job interviews and shake hands with their potential recruiters. The economy would lose in value, if people did not go to shops to buy stuff anymore in fear of touching demonstration machines. The internet cannot be the sole source of revenue in a thriving and throbbing economy.

Allergies etc. are a by-product of over-sanitization. A healthy population could handle and host even parasites of the graver variety and still stay relatively viable. Namely, even if parasites of the bug-like or vermiform kind are disgusting and unwanted, they have the potential to reduce the risk of cancer in a population by having the potential to eat away at human tissues and therefore destroy potentially malign tumours composed of cancer cells. That’s a kind of life insurance, these days.

A better solution that would take into account our point of view as well as the govt’s slightly ridiculous and neurotic standpoint would be to use mouth protection the way Asian people have used it during their SARS and MERS epidemics. This wouldn’t prevent human contact or restrict it altogether, but protect one from inhaling germs through the mouth. Respirators would be an option, not an obligation, of course. That way all interest groups could be taken into account and catered for.

Please vote against the motion on the agenda. We don’t need more protection against threats of yesteryear whereas we need more protection against threats of today. Polio isn’t here anymore. We need instead cures for disease born out of a diabetic lifestyle and overindulgence, one of which may be simply exercise and eating less.

And finally, prick up your ears to my motto for today’s speech, which is: The population is not a problem but — a solution.

Puheen kesto: 4 min 24 sek
Arvio: * * * *. Paljon kiistanalaista (ja osin epätoivoista) vastaan haraamista roolin mukaisesti, mutta onnistuvaakin ja hengeltään tervettä. Aloitus on ärhäkkä ja vastustajan suoraa torppausta yrittävä: se sanoo ensin vastustuksensa ja antaa sitten argumentteja, mikä on tehokas taktiikka.


And Then There Was — Work


Viikko 49


Motion: THW engage the govt. in creating jobs in the care sector
Role: Secretary (opp.)

The present situation has seen a lot of youth unemployment. Whatever we do to amend things, the equation seems to burst at some other point. It is like there is no room for new external factors in that employment equation. If the present forces at work are like X and Y, there is no room for Z in the formula. Mathematically, there is no (new) work.

Some say the Baby Boom comprised only of the years 1945 to 1950, whereas others draw the line until 1964, based on different interpretations of population growth curves, and possibly sociological sets of values and interviews of people. I would say people racked with unemployment are expressly those born in 1965 or later. You can make your own interpretation but make it quick.

I don’t think that the retirement of so-called Baby Boomers will bring much relief to the fraught labour market. Simply, the vacancies that they leave behind will not be refilled. In other words, those vacancies will implode or expire and be phased out. The dirty secret seems to be that a lot of those jobs have been cooking on the backburner for a longer time already; they’re convenience jobs to keep an important electorate happy for the time being. ”Scratch my back, and I will scratch yours,” or so the logic goes.

This should be fine with us younger people. We shouldn’t care. My big thesis is this:
Those born during the baby bust should create their own jobs.
Namely, boomers have operated in a fashion that could be replicated. The elder of them, those born in the 1930’s and 1940’s have been the driving forces behind entrepreneurship: they have founded firms and companies and brands. They younger part, those born in the 1950’s and early 1960’s, have enlisted in masses to be the workforces & workhorses in those very companies. The problem seems to be that all the time younger and younger generations try to line up for this same feeding chain, which leads to resentment, contest and friction.

A new round of companies should be started from scratch by people born in all of the decades of the latter half of the last century. Again, the older ones could and should design and finance while the younger ones would execute, or perform. This way experience and vision could lead the way while energy and spirit filled up the factory floor. Those who are in their fifties should found companies, while those who are half their age could work for them.

The worklife is not exclusive, even though it may seem daunting at times. It is inclusive, but the Catch-22 is to find the ambience, box or niche in which the piece that you represent fits in, hits home and sinks in. You are not the wrong size or wrong material – but of a wrong shape – on those occasions when you have been denied work and a chance to show your skills.

Työttömän puutteellisuus

As workers, we should not burn ourselves out trying to fit into an existing situation, but use the same energy instead into creating new boxes that are tailor-made for us (and possibly for those that follow us). It seems daunting, but it is the only way to save ourselves on a global scale in the competitive situation that we are facing.

Thank you.

Puheen kesto: 4 min 52 sek
Arvio: * * * ½. Samoin kuin hieman aiemmin kirjoitettu samantyyppinen puhe, tämäkään ei välttämättä ole realiteeteissa kiinni. Lopussa rohkaisua, jota kenties tarvitaan. Pituus on silti optimaalinen.