Category Archives: III puhuja (arkistosta)

To the Strains of His Master’s Voice

Normaali

Viikko 40


 

Date: Sep 30th, 2016
Motion: THW consider UKK’s legacy taller than his quarter of a century in power
Role: M (gov.)


Finland has been able to produce a generation of able conductors and composers of Classical music in the past quarter of a century, or so it is said and stated, at least domestically. Esa-Pekka Salonen was hired by the L.A. Philharmonic for over a decade, and this occurred probably not without merit or for no reason.

However, the reasons for this upswing or modest artistic renaissance are far more banal and pedestrian than you might think.

This is how it has evolved. Finland is a country of a myriad communities dominated by the Centre Party, which has probably no clear equivalent abroad. Its former name was the Agrarian League, so that hints at its past and present agenda, but no words can begin to exhaust how much and how it has influenced Finnish policy-making and politics during the postwar period. Let’s leave that to Jarmo Korhonen (the erstwhile party secretary, who was fired and who has spent his time since writing revelatory books about the party). The ”hayday” of the party was between 1956 and 1982, when the President’s incumbency was occupied term after term by Urho K. Kekkonen, the longest-serving and most unilateral president we have seen or will ever see. He was a Centrist, and he fostered a generation of future Centrists, some of whom have left their mark, as well, after 1982.

Now, what characterises a small rural community in Finland is an adherence to the Centre Party and a dull environment, where only the bare necessities of communal life are available. These communities recognize the value of culture. Instinctively, they choose the middle ground if the choice is between folk music and popular music. Folk music is too rudimentary and rustic for them while rock music is alien to them, so they opt for Classical music. Classical is enjoyed by the community’s few members of the elite, has clear and finite, almost mathematical rules and can be used for shoring up the image of the countryside.

Then, those who have an inherent aptitude for music, seek out the community’s music school, or, in the best case, Conservatory. When trained from the age of 6 to 18 or 8 to 16, the student will certainly gain enough musical fluency, musical literacy and musical performance potential within the Classical. As years go by, the music class becomes a guarantee against drifting into mischief. Then later, some of these musical hopefuls might apply to the Sibelius or some other academy at the time to leave home and seek out opportunity. Once through the conducting or composing class of a premier academy, which should take from 4 to 8 years to finish depending on the ”extracurriculars”, the original citizen from a Centre-Party-ruled community from the middle of nowhere would be ready to wield the baton in front of other musicians. This doesn’t require genius. It requires certain growing pains, normal ears and normal social competence. If we consider music just another language, speaking that language should not be any kind of ”miracle”.

I claim that the long presidency of famous Centre Partist UKK created the so-called classical-music miracle in Finland. If I’m right, most of the people associated with it abroad and/or domestically should have been born during UKK’s reign that lasted from 1956 to 1982. I say check if it’s true in the case of the person:

  • Esa-Pekka Salonen: check
  • Kaija Saariaho: cross
  • Karita Mattila: check
  • Jukka-Pekka Saraste: check
  • John Storgårds: check
  • Susanna Mälkki: check
  • Sakari Oramo: check
  • Anu Komsi: check
  • Pekka Kuusisto: check
  • Mikko Franck: check

It seems that I got a great many checks, 9 out of 10. I think this goes to prove that ”UKK’s legacy, taller than his quarter of a century in power?” is true.

Thank you.


Puheen kesto: 4 min 44 sek
Arvio: * * * *. Puhe on ihan hyvä, vaikka vähän lyhyt. Ansiokkainta siinä on vahva väite ja lopussa tuleva lista, joka vaikuttaisi puoltavan puheen esittämää kuin paraskin ARGUMENTTI. Huonointa on se, että aloitteen käsittelemää asiaa on ehkä vähän vaikea vastustaa, jolloin pallo on alusta lähtien hallituksen kenttäpuoliskolla jatkuvalla syötöllä. Tälle ei voi nyt mitään. Puhetta on kiva kuunnella ja se vie asiat ”jonnekin muualle” hukkaamatta fokusta, niin kuin kolmannen puolen puheen kuuluu parhaimmillaan tehdä. Siksi neljä tähteä.

Mainokset

Letting Us Marvin Gaye the Night Away

Normaali

Viikko 42


 

Motion: THW allow for same-sex marriage unconditionally, changing all existing legislation at one fell swoop
Role: Minister (govt.)
Date: Dec 20th, 2014


In this speech as the govt’s minister I’m going to to defend and champion homosexuals’ right to a same-sex equal and legally binding marriage. I try to list as many reasons as I can in the 7 minutes I’m allotted just like everyone else (8 people in this case).

First of all, I have a number of proper or per-se reasons for allowing this ”unholy” union between man and man or woman and woman. The first one of them is cynical: marriage is already, by now, a ”broken toy” that does not interest the majority of sane heterosexuals. It provides two people with juridical shackles that have ramifications beyond the wedding vows in Las Vegas. Common-law marriage is virtually as good, and children are a nuisance. So, if gay people want to have that kind of trouble, let them have it. Young heterosexuals are going in the opposite direction, rather adopting lifestyles that remind of old gay San Francisco, such as ”fuck buddies” and Grnder (→ Tinder).

Second, being gay is not a crime nor an illness. This was established as early in this country as 1971, and 1981, respectively. If gay people have all the other signs and trappings of ”free citizens”, they should have the rest as well. Otherwise, it would look queer and perverted, from God’s perspective. The Christian God is not as vengeful as that of the Ottomans, Muslims or Jews. Remember that early Christians were killed as a sideshow to Roman gladiator battles in antiquity, for they were so ”soft”.

Now I’ll hop over to to the instrumental reasons or utilitarian reasons, but at this point I’ll allow questions on what I’ve just been preaching about, two at the maximum.

— (allowing questions for a minute)

Third, we in the Christian part of the world have already seen how two other pillars of the world of the cloth have fallen; namely, male priests have been allowed to marry (not so in the past) and female priests have been allowed in the first place (not so in the past). Consequently, what could solve it for the church would be that the three were brought to interact with each other. Let us have gay weddings officiated by female Reformist priests or grateful, married male Catholic priests. Since they have seen the mercy in the church, they’d be likely willing to pass it on to the liberal wing of the church in the absence of conservative forces. Gay weddings could be modest affairs, and little-attended events, but within the confines of the church nevertheless.

Fourth, I see gay couples as part of the adoption solution. There are far more children in need of great parents in the world than there are unfit adoption parents waiting in line. Waiting in itself tells about an earnest attitude towards the thing, as opposed to making babies on one’s own in the rush of the ”moment”. Children left out in the cold are far more likely to die and suffer than any given to functional adults of any shape or sort. I’m all for a ”machine” that receives babies from dysfunctional hetero adults at one end and gives them to all and sundry parents-to-be at the other end of its conveyor belt. In the past, it was often grandparents that raised kids into adulthood, so nowadays their place could be taken by gay non-relatives. Gay people may be promiscuous, but they would have to take care of an adopted child, anyway. It’s a commitment, and they understand that, like they understand their monetary commitments to their lenders and landlords. For all that, if gay parenthood failed, the child would be passed on to straight parents after a failed try.

I rest my case is here, and I hope that it convinced you. Thank you.


Puheen kesto: 5 min 7 sek
Arvio: * * * * ½. Puheessa mennään liberalismin nimissä erään ihmisryhmän ihmisoikeuksien täydellistä normalisointia kohti. Tätä kohti on menossa läntinen maailma, siinä missä muut laahaavat ajatuksineen perässä. Pisteitä ropisee kuitenkin ensisijassa hyvästä kappaleajaosta ja puheen pituudesta, joka jättää tilaa puheesta varmasti versoville kysymyksille, sekä selkeästä argumenttijaosta, jonka voi esittää vaikka nyrkki pystyssä sormiaan lasketellen.

To Nato or Not to Nato

Normaali

Viikko 41


 

Motion: THW change Finland’s defence doctrine in this century for the better
Role: Minister (govt.)
Date: Mar 14th, 2014


When talking about the NATO, emotions run high if not wild. The acronym is such a potential well for argumentation that here I want to focus on it impassively and bring the discourse to a head analytically.

In Finnish thinking on defence, the going rationale has been to think of Russia as the grizzly bear it was/still is, and try to steer clear of its path. If you think in terms of a real bear, how do you avoid or prevent a bear attack? First, you can play dead whenever you are faced with a bear in close proximity. Another means is to roam the woods with a posse with guns and mow down the occasional wandering bear. In time, the bear population would become such that it was rarer and rarer to encounter one in the wild, due to the scarcity of the numbers and caution on both sides. The only trouble is that Russia is a gun-toting bear in herself – and a menace not only to us but a host of nations around her.

Finland has, so far, historically, opted for the play-dead tactics. Her defence is built on methods that worked during the Second World War but would be now out of time and barely up to scratch. It’s not plausible that soldiers of today would go to the Eastern Border/front armed with tents, knives, bayonets, rifles and pea soup. That, however, is still the foundation of Finnish armed forces. Furthermore, the heavier artillery equipment that we use can be traced back to imported Russian arms from the 1960’s.

We have to think about defence in another way. It should be a federal rather than a national thing. As defence federations entail fighting in OTHER PEOPLE’S wars and not just those of our own, the right solution would be the federation whose wars we’d be willing to back up.

We can start ruling unions in and out. First of all, a defence union among EU member states is out of the question. Militarily, the EU is weak and astray, and we would be obliged to fight other people’s wars at any border of our quite a wide continent if we chose to do so. Secondly, the NATO is not much better. Its membership is so scattered that we’d end up in strange places of our familiar globe if we chose it instead.

Therefore, the only option that I consider wise to join in is with our nearest national relatives and the only direction that we know an attack would not come from: Denmark, Norway and Sweden. To that I’d add the buying of military equipment from the US and NATO, as their value base is also something that any of these countries share and practise even today widely. If we already fly F-18 Hornets and use other state-of-the-art gear, why couldn’t we buy more arsenal from the same people? That would make us NATO-compatible and technologically but not technically NATO.

World War II was a chance for Finns to show that we have a sense of national unity that overrides differences in class, province and gender. We did not crumble in the face of hardship and too loose a national foundation, as some more bitterly humiliated nations and peoples on other continents have sometimes done. That was 70 years ago. A generation has been born, raised, and taken through life to retirement during that time. We couldn’t fight any new war with the same emotion, weaponry, politics and personnel. We need new a navigation and political moves that are the least redundant. In my view, this would be accomplished through a Scandinavian defence union shored up by American defence material.

Thank you.


Puheen kesto: 4 min 30 sek
Arvio: * * *. Puheessa käsitellään aktuellia asiaa, josta ei saa puhua silloin, kun asia on aktuelli, eikä siitä puhumiselle ”ole tarvetta”, kun asia ei ole aktuelli. Kyseessä on siis poliittinen tabu, jonka voi puhkaista tai jättää rauhaan. Puhe ottaa ärhäkästi kantaa, mutta siinä saattaa olla väärä mielipide. Nykytiedon valossa siinä ehdotettu ehdotus ei olisi sen parempi kuin vääriksi katsotut vaihtoehdotkaan.

 

What Goes Up Doesn’t Have to Come Down

Normaali

Viikko 40


 

Motion: THB that fashionable diets play a role in national health
Role: Minister (govt.)
Date: Sep 16th, 2013


Dieting is a constant topic in the media. Lots of magazines are sold thanks to the public’s insatiable appetite for the subject, even if not a single person could lose weight in the short or long run. I will cast my nets into these waters and see what the catch is going to be.

First of all, let us look at the extant body types and via them what kind of weight loss is possible. According to the physiognomist Ernst Kretschmer (1888–1964), body types range from the pyknic, who is chubby and pear-shaped, to the athletic, who is muscular to the asthenic, who is thin, slim and without muscle power. When we talk about dieting colloquially, we refer to an athlete, who wants to become an asthene and lose the few pounds that separate a mediocre build from a thin build, or to a pyknic, who wants to shed dozens of kilos to become a person with a mediocre even frame. In other words, we can talk about two kinds of weight loss:
a) the medical kind, which leads to a better, healthier life quality and
b) the medial kind, which reflects the common people’s desire to be as good-looking as possible or as thin as one’s neighbour.

The trouble with dieting thus is that when we talk about weight loss and going down, these two types get tangled up. Thereafter, priorities, methods, aims, means, choices, and timetables all become an unholy mess!

For the sake of clarity, let’s concentrate on the ”novel” 5:2 diet by Michael Mosley and Mimi Spencer that boils down to fasting for two days in a week on a caloric diet of 690 calories a day in return for being able to eat normally (at 2000 calories a day, or more) on all of the other weekdays. Since this diet is not extreme per design or realisation, it is clearly an example of a diet that aims to change an athletic person into an asthenic person for aesthetic reasons. It is kind of nice, balanced, not dangerous, and shouldn’t therefore be put down by the medical community, even though some people have brought up that anorexics and bulimics do not prosper under that regimen. Consequently, doctors should only be concerned about diets aiming to transform people in the medical way (see above), cases that they know and can best help. To medial weightlosers, self-help is the best kind of help.

But how to fast right on Mosley’s diet? The diet will fail and fall on its face, like most diets do, if people don’t grasp one fundamental thing: they can’t decide in advance what days they get to fast on (and on which ones to let go). If they do so, they will only think about food on those earmarked days and on every day of the week for that matter. The key is to leave food out of the day when it can be done spontaneously, because there’s something better to do rather than eat determinedly or by decision. In other words, when the one on the diet notices that (s)he hasn’t eaten all day, (s)he shouldn’t even try to during the rest of the day (but instead go to sleep and wake up hungry the next morning). End result: one day of absolute success.

5:2 is merely a sane and moderate reinvention of the wheel. It has already been proved in lab conditions on lab rats that caloric restriction lengthens the lives of its subjects. Leaner populations tax the overall resources less than indulgent populations, and that is one key to their survival. Because of this, we can safely state that fashionable diets can indeed be healthy and good to the general wellbeing of citizens out there.


Puheen kesto: 5 min 3 sek
Arvio: * * * *. Tässä asiassa kaikki eivät ole asiantuntijoita, joten ehkä lattia täytyy antaa niille, jotka joko ovat a) laihoja tai b) laihduttaneet menestyksekkäästi. Ilmoittaudun ensimmäisessä ryhmässä. Puheessa käydään läpi yksi käsitesarja, yksi kahtiajako ja yksi suhteellisen uusi dieetti, joten se aika kivasti menee hierarkkisesti yläkäsitteistä alaesimerkkiin niin, että kuulija pysyy mukana ja tuntee puhujan puhuvan asiaa.

School’s in, for Autumn and Winter and Spring

Normaali

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

Normaali

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.

School’s out for Summer

Normaali

Viikko 28


 

Motion: THW fix problems in schools by restricting the roles of parents, politics and technology
Role: Minister (govt.)


Today, schools are faring worse than before, because or despite of advances made in the technological landscape. It’s harder to be a kid nowadays due to the fact that ”silence” and ”focus” and ”boredom” seem to be in part things of the past, no longer existing historical curiosities.

One of the big issues is the equation in which learning (something schools are for, in two senses of the word) has been turned upside down or on its head. In the past, kids learned from their teachers and their peers. Today, parents and the Internet are the foremost authorities for pupils and students. Parents supply their wisdom on what is right and correct and the Internet supplies data, facts or information. This creates an atmosphere where moral guidance is biased, self-centered and lopsided and there is an information overload. Progressive growth within limits becomes difficult to attain.

Schools should be allowed to be the self-regulating ambiences they once were. They can be oppressive, frightening and dark places to their goers, but that kind of pressure creates backbone, resilience and self-esteem, whereas its opposite, the parent-monitored school creates depression, AD/HD and behaviour featured in the spectrum of autism. Eating disorders are the only unifying link between old-school schools and new-school schools.

I would also roll some of the guilt onto the very schoolgoers. As stated, they do not let their peers educate themselves. The eternal question goes, ”Who will I spend my recess with today and tomorrow?” The right answer is to spend it with whoever happens to be available for friendly banter and exchange of ideas. There are two reasons for this: a) those people won’t be available or seeable after school years and b) they will provide the broadest spectrum of competing ideas about the world and what there is in it. The wrong strategy is to spend every recess with the same people or the ugly and socially neglected rejects due to self-esteem issues that say ”I am not worth more.”

School years should be an era of art, culture, discovery, enjoyment and wonder. It is important to understand that this period in life will not recur or come back in any form whatsoever. Therefore, it should be lived as fully as possible. Otherwise one will be doomed to repeat the failures, unredeemed promises and vagaries of those school years in a loop long afterwards. A successful schooling does not beg for a repeat even though repetition is said to be the mother of learning.

What is the root cause, on the other hand, of teenagers’ awkwardness? This may have to do with brain structure. Theirs is a brain that is like a computer circuitboard with a CPU. Everything is decided centrally and information passes there back and forth very rapidly and incessantly. An adult’s is different: information can travel around and around without going through the centre. This interconnectedness or neural cohesion creates a heightened self-image, -esteem and -sufficiency and also -containment that a teenager would find most useful during her youth’s travails and troubles. Alas, it can only come after a lot of struggle and passing of time.

Because the brain is like a circuitboard, it should be fed rational, logical and mathematical things instead of the incessant supply of ”culture” that is now being the norm. Culture, manners and language are learnt through ”osmosis”, on the sly and little by little, so it is not so useful to spend hours and hours of valuable school time on something that is a civic necessity. School time should be devoted to things that are future-oriented and benefit from tutoring, mentoring and the focus that a classroom can endow.

I would like to wind up my speech in saying that all education culminates in a vocation or a profession at the end. When you choose your vocation or profession, try to pick a major or a field which is not a school subject at all. Applied knowledge can help us out of this ongoing recession, monetary woes and societal problems. Don’t forget about critical thinking, ever. Thank you.


Puheen kesto: 5 min 8 sek
Arvio: * * * ½. Puhe alkaa lupaavasti, ja se suomii sitä ansaitsevia tahoja eli oppilaita, vanhempia ja poliitikkoja. Loppua kohti tulee kuitenkin ns. uutta uutta ainesta, joka voi viedä terää kokonaisuudelta. Kokonaispituus on kuitenkin juuri oikea.