Category Archives: VI puhuja (arkistosta)

Take a Stand With Your Band

Normaali

Viikko 36


 

Date: July 29th, 2017
Motion: THB that pop-culture musicians have become wiser with time and age
Role: Rep. (opp.)


What characterizes this generation of youth is its seeking of attention, often gullibly, avidly and without regard for what has passed as culture before. Furthermore, many teeny-boppers seem content to try to please as big a chunk of the audience as possible, thus resorting to the cheapest tricks, the meanest, keenest common denominators and most plastic kind of backing tracks.

I claim that it is entirely possible to court an audience in a counterintuitive way, wooing it less rather than more, and here I’m going to tell you How.

A ”tenure-track” musician should first develop a style and contents that alienate 65 % of people in exchange for appealing to 35 % of people. The reasons for the potential, desirable aversion may be varying: abrasive guitars, nasal singing voice, shocking clothing, naff lyrics, explicit lyrics, ugly-looking fellow musicians, off-putting ”farting” synths, fixation on death/sex/alcohol/graves/food/Americana etc. etc. etc. The reason for the appeal, on the contrary, should always boil down to just one thing: the Originality and Humanity or the musician(s) in question.

Then, it’s time for the breakthrough. The musician needs to break through somehow, creating a big enough splash, in order to be recognized in the humdrum buzz of the media landscape. Usually, mainly in the Past, all that was needed was a catchy enough song to release. It became trickier during the MTV Era, when a flamboyant enough music video was also needed. Today it is trickier still, as a video no longer carries enough prestige or commands enough attention to get noticed. An alternative, cheap route to recognition may be a tune to the opening or closing credits of a pay-channel TV show, for instance. At any rate, any self-reflecting posse of musicians ought to be able to ultimately figure out what they need to do to break the glossy surface in the Attention Economy.

When the fan base for the band has been created, the conformities of a proven rock n’ roll trajectory begin to take over for the benefit of the musicians. A lot of things come taken for granted:

  • a record will be followed by a tour
  • royalties come at the end of the bookkeeping year
  • the band may ask for gratuities on their so-called ”raiders”
  • the latest record is always the ”best” (even when it’s the worst)
  • shows are a mix of old and new songs, plus a cover song, perhaps
  • critics will hate the band, if it’s not a mixture of the academic, proletarian and pathetic
  • the first visit to the rehab of any of the band members is to be anticipated
  • etc. etc.

What is great, all the same, is that from here on in, all that fans of the said band want is that the band will repeat the formula of making music and rock stardom ad infinitum. The band may voluntarily or involuntarily, by way of coercion, have to repeat the qualities present in the initial line-up, for as long as it is capable of producing something Original in that 10 % of free space that is reserved for creativity, warmth, humanity and originality in the goings-on of a band. And this is Good News for those who are not that keen on change and self-improvement, but rejoice instead in free play and ego-tripping.

Fans, namely, accept all the flaws and faults in the bands and musicians that they happen to admire or adore, if and when these musicians steadfastly continue in the trodden tracks that they set to tread and sought for themselves. For this reason, it would be foolish for any young musician to try to be an artist EVERYBODY or ANYBODY likes. It’s bad for business, quite simply. Rather, be warts and all, and repeat yourself and your story. What would work in a rock n’ roll song (repetition and an acquired genre/niche/taste), will work in a pop life and on a rock n’ roll career.

I’m claiming that pop musicians have not become wiser with time and age, because they don’t follow, arguably, these recommendations in this time and age.

Thank you.


Arvio: Puheessa saattaa olla joitain abstrakteja aineksia peruskuulijalle. Se tulee kuitenkin ymmärrettävämmäksi, jos tietää, että en lähesty aihetta ihan nolla-lähtökohdasta vaan olen mm. tehnyt juttuja musiikkistudioissa ja kuluttanut paljon aikaa ja paperia musiikkielämän lainalaisuuksia pohtien. Parhaiten puheen tajuaa joku, joka on samassa tila(ntee)ssa tai samanikäinen kuin minä. Lopun viimeinen rivi selventää, miksi käyn juuri tämän sisältöisellä, vähän erikoisella puheella tätä motionia vastaan.

Mainokset

The Age of Content

Normaali

Viikko 34



Date
: Mar 17th, 2015
Motion: THB that there is still a lot to do about racism & sexism
Role: MP (opp.)


The Progress of Feminism
At this point, it seems to be clear what feminism has achieved. It has reached its primary goals after universal suffrage. In these days, a woman can do four things with flying colours: she can
a) live as a single, b) have a baby without masculine input through artificial insemination or a rented womb, c) live together with another woman (with possibly a girl child, in an all-female household, as conceived in b) and d) rise up to the top of state or communal tenures, provided that she has obtained a suitable education and experience for that to happen. These things in combination are something that early feminists such as Mary Wollstonecraft or Charlotte Perkins Gilman could only have dreamed of. Today more and more women achieve a mixed combination of these four things, and coming generations are guaranteed to get the same standard of living, if not realistically more, on condition that the Earth survives our standard of living.

Consequently, feminism is at a crossroads when it comes to its next move or motion. The real ceiling isn’t made out of glass but brick or tiles, by now. Some say that this is not the case, for a woman’s euro or dollar is still only 80 cents of a man’s euro, but this, in my opinion, does not really matter.

Women may get paid a fifth less than men do, but at the end of the day, it is most probably a result from men not giving birth and being on maternity leaves, men doing more overtime without asking for late-hours recompensations and men being smarter in positions of trust, leadership and difficult maneuvering. Some of this boils down to differences in biology, which sexes can’t do anything about, except emasculating men, and the rest boils down to possibly a historical privilege. Employers will make it worth anyone’s while, when they perform well in their position and task. All of progress cannot be made by means of legislation. Besides, single women have enough disposable cash in their purses. Many begin to drink it away, because they do not know what to do with their good fortune.

My notion is that since feminism has reached its primary goals and guaranteed a veil-free life worth living for independent Western women, feminism has only some derivative secondary or tertiary goals left. What might they be?

The Prospects of Feminism
The way I see it is that there are Three possible goals left. Feminists may want to
a) drive the instances of domestic abuse to zero (tolerance), b) bring the number of women with tenure to over fifty percent and the number of women with a position in the private sector to about fifty percent, and c) liberate and emancipate women in developing and underdeveloped countries from under the yoke of oppressive men, who are oppressive due to machismo, poverty, religion and other reasons.

The first bullet in the list is the only one that I would recommend to be solved. I’m in favour of zero tolerance for domestic violence, and harsher punishments for it by law. But the other ones are too much to ask for. Saying that they are desirable would undermine my own position in the playing field of careers, human relationships and money ($$$).

I don’t want the public sector to be swamped by women. Nothing indicates that they would do a better job than men on social posts, as social posts are constrained more by economic realities, controlled by men-dominated fields of export trades, than their holders’ own decision-making powers. On the other point, I don’t (have to) care about global woes and injustices as much as I (have to) care about the iniquities in my own country and continent. I won’t fight to make it right on continents other than Europe.

Accordingly, what I’m saying is that on this continent, feminism has achieved the ceiling and can confidently wave its flag off the rooftop. As the first continent in the world. There’s nothing bad about that. But sufficiently is enough.

Thank you.


Arvio: En käsittele puheessani rasismia ollenkaan vaan keskityn vain yhteen kahdesta pääaiheesta. Mutta riittävästi sanottavaa on siitäkin, eikä/sillä mahdollisuutta esittää 14 minuutin puhetta (ei) ole. Täytyy toivoa, että edellä on sanottu riittävästi. Alun poleemisuus alkaa puheen kuluessa taittua humaanimmaksi sovinnollisuudeksi, kunnes se loppua kohti ottaa vielä yhden nousun kohti poleemisuutta. Mutta ehkä ”kuumuus” on parempaa kuin ”laimeus”.

Motionless Pictures

Normaali

Viikko 33



Date
: Oct 17th, 2014
Motion: THB that capitalism in culture keeps mending itself as it goes on
Role: Rep. (opp.)


Capitalism claims that in a stiff competition, unhealthy companies and fields of trade, products and practises disappear, as they are gradually phased out by and with better products, by means of consumer choice. Money flows to where functionality grows. Then, why do we still have such a thing as a video rental (shop) left in our economical-cultural landscape?

My view is that a video rental (renting out DVDs and Blue-Rays) these days is the worst choice for someone who wants cinematic entertainment. I base this on the triangle of three criteria, which, I claim, produce a better outcome, when it comes to six other means of obtaining cinematic entertainment. The triangle is made up of selection, time to watch and cost. I’ll go through the other alternatives in the following, summing them up very briefly. I’ll begin with the freshest option and move from it towards less fresh ones.

  1. Seeing movies at Movies/Movie Premieres. Movies are at their freshest in the cineplex. The time to watch is short (the movie’s duration) and the cost high (10 to 20 currency units on weekends), but the selection is versatile and wide. Chances are good that someone’ll be willing to discuss the movie later on.
  2. Seeing movies on the Internet. Both licit and illicit supply of the Internet is great. One can see for a going rate stuff on Netflix, HBO, Cmore or up-and-coming services, and on P2P platforms almost anything, old and new, for free. The selection and time to watch are limitless.
  3. Seeing movies on Pay Channels on TV. Not long after the cinema run, movies make their way to the lucrative 2nd market. Specialized channels show only movies week in and week out. There is a good selection and plenty of reruns during a given month.
  4. Seeing movies on Free Channels on TV. Basic cable or free terrestrial national TV screen surprisingly or even amazingly many movies every year. At the freshest end, movies that are about 4 years old, are typically shown. Rarities, black-and-white oldies but goodies and exotic cultures are on offer. There is no cost and there is always something to see.
  5. Seeing movies as DVDs bought and ordered online. Many retailers sell compilations and boxed sets of previously popular movies and series. They are more compact than single episodes or single seasons, providing an arc of drama, and a full narrative from the beginning to the end. These are cost-competitive with a wide selection. The time to watch is unlimited, and repeated viewings are encouraged as a matter of fact.
  6. Seeing movies as Library Loans. Libraries have often slightly out-of-date specimens from crummy selections of bargain-bin titles in the worst case, but the time to watch them is measured in weeks and cost is free. The trouble of having them is the same as for video rentals at large.

Compare the specifications of all of these alternatives with those of renting out a Video: a poor selection of contemporary offerings in schlock entertainment — action, rom-coms, exploitation, bare bottoms and horror. Other people effectively preselect what you choose. You have typically one night to watch the film, it costs too much proportionally and you have the thankless, unrewarding task of returning the opus, even if it was no good.

We ought to witness the sunset of video rentals now. They exist today, I believe, because they made the decision to go into the business of selling candy 15 years ago, and they sell it by the ounces and pounds still. Candy makes teeth rot. Low-quality, cheap eye candy is no better.


Arvio: Puhe yrittää todistella, että vallitseva markkinatalous ei karsi automaattisesti kaikkia rönsyjään. Aiheeksi on valittu tarkoituksellisesti teema, jota ei varmasti olla käsitelty saman puolen aiemmissa puheissa, sillä niissä on pitänyt pitäytyä suuremmissa linjoissa ja suuremmissa ”vioissa”. Edustajan kuuluu lähteä omille teilleen samalla kun hän pitää puolensa puolta. Esimerkiksi näin.

Parent-Voucher Association

Normaali

Viikko 28


 

Date: Apr 4th, 2014
Motion: THB that children’s benefits should be cut last, as the former are more important to society, i.e. future taxpayers, than senior citizens
Role: MP (opp.)


The Current Climate in Finland is such that the govt. should be able to save some budgetary money in cutting this or that. One of the items proposed on the agenda is child allowances, which are a uniquely Nordic phenomenon, a result from decades of work by tireless Nordic Social Democrats, who developed the benefit-transfer machine and had their fiscal power increased until recent times, when the economy, civil servants and bureaucrats have made it clear that we cannot go on with our business as usual.

We could go on financing our social-security benefits with borrowed, global money, but over time that would lead us towards a lowered credit rating by Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, Fitch’s, and the rest, and therefore politicians have opted for taking the hard and rocky road out of the social-fiscal crisis.

What could be done about child allowances? My answer is simple: there is a way to both ensure that the neediest members of society will get them as usual, combined with the prospect that the wealthier parts of our social crust will cease to have them land onto their bank accounts. And now I’ll give you the means to the end.

Let us make child allowances to be applied for via social-welfare offices the way subsistence allowances (the so-called ”sossu” or ”fatta” money) are channeled today. This would mean that any family who would want that money needed to go humiliatingly through those same doors that were once reserved for the poorest and the most afflicted. This would ensure that the wealthy, who today may use all of that money towards the down payment for their child’s first proprietary student apartment, might opt out of the arrangement. Until now, it has been very easy for them to collect their due money. This would make it a notch harder. Many of the wealthy do not want to have anything to do with the unkempt and unwashed.

There is a a catch or a hitch, nevertheless. This arrangement would drastically raise fiscal spending for communities and municipalities, as they are the one footing the bill for subsistence allowances. Therefore, the govt. should direct all of its money earmarked for child allowances to communities instead of the Social Insurance Institution (= KELA). The rest they could return or use on something else.

What about the neediest? There is a catch here, too. They receive their net income in a manner where everything affects everything. If they get more of a certain benefit or money from a relative, they get less of another benefit. This is crazy. As they are poor and will apparently remain so until Hell freezes over, it is useless to try to flog them any more than they are already being put through. The truth must be that the poor use up all of their allotted money, in all circumstances, on basic necessities such as rents, food, clothes, fuel, booze, field trips and a smattering of domestic travelling. Only the well-off have the luxury or setting money aside to gather interest and be idle. All the worse off are in perpetual motion and their money revolves like that as well.

Let us be fair and adjust the system, for now, in this way. This way we can have our child-allowance cake and hide some of it as well. It’ll be a Birthday Bash. In the end, the donkey will get its tail and there will be fishing.

Thank you.


Arvio: Puheessa kangertelee se, että sen kirjoitusajankohdan jälkeen tilanne on muuttunut; KELA maksaa sossun aiemmin maksamat rahat. Lisäksi sen ehdottama esitys on epäilyttävä siinä mielessä, että rikkaat maksavat absoluuttisesti enemmän veroja kuin köyhät, vaikka ehkä relatiivisesti vähemmän, joten he lienevät moraalisesti oikeutettuja lapsilisiin. Kiinnostavaa on se tapa, millä puhe asettuu aloitteen ”puoliväliin”, niin että se sekä vastustaa että puolustaa kohdettaan (lapsien etuuksista leikkaamista) että taipuu talouden raameihin ja realiteetteihin, tai ainakin yrittää tehdä niin. Yleensä puheissa ei tehdä minkäänlaisia kompromisseja, puheiden liikkuessa puhtaiden abstraktioiden tasoilla, vaikka aidossa politiikassa lehmänkaupat ja kompromissit ovat hyvin tavallisia, syynä talouden realiteetit tai ristiriidat muiden puolueiden kanssa. Jos mainitsemiani vikoja ei olisi, tätä voisi pitää jopa parhaana kirjoittamani puheena.

Not Five a Day But for a Fiver a Day

Normaali

Viikko 27



Motion
: THB that the underclass can’t be taught how to cook meals
Role: Rep. (opp.)


People are today somehow anxiously ambivalent about food. Some would like us to believe that the food industry forces such nosh down our throats we don’t like, suffer from and fall ill with. This is an erroneous assumption. Good eating is just a few decisions, determinations and insights away.

First of all, I would spend some time with the person who wants to change his or her eating habits, eking it out on a small allowance, benefit or pension. I would first try to figure out how much that person is spending on nutrition all things summed up, counting in such consumables as alcohol, crisps, dinners in front of the TV, microwave meals, peanuts, popcorn, snuff, tobacco and so on, not forgetting anything that passes for foodstuffs or secondary digestibles. That way, a budget could be set at an expendable sum of money. We could spend together, as a mentor and a protegé, the same amount on sane, sound and healthy eating as on insane, depraved and vain eating.

(A footnote to this is if we could and should also count medicine into the equation. It would be tempting, as medicinal expenditure could raise the budget considerably due to its costliness in some people’s cases. Besides, it’s swallowed and ingested usually as pills. Nonetheless, I’ve decided to exclude medicine from this discussion, as it has no nutritional value and no calories.)

The key is to spend money on things that are as close to the primary-production chain as possible. I would shun any food that comes from a factory, as a rule of thumb. I would allow, though, spice, condiments and prefab sauces, and such things that are a necessary aid in cooking food and preparing meals. Even then, I’d keep an eye on the (E) numbers listed on the tin (i.e. food additives). I would not buy anything supplementary that has more than 5 (E) numbers blended in.

Then, I would come to an understanding with my protegé about what kind of food (s)he likes to eat that is easy to have as a platform for making food in a hurry, disorganised, from ingredients shelved and fresh. It could be cold or warm when served, as long as it was a kind of tuttifrutti dish that tolerates many flavours to add, methods to use and end results to achieve without becoming inedible.

The main thing would be to steer clear of a diet that is high in fats, salts and sugars. They are added to TV dinners and micromeals, mainly because they are chemical substances that are a) cheap to produce, b) preservatives in their own right and c) appealing to our central nervous systems and Stone Age brain circuits. They are the means of food manufacturers and marketers by which they got the upper hand in supermarkets, conquering people’s fridges and freezers and getting into the business in the first place. Without these ambivalent ingredients, factory-food manufacturers wouldn’t be in business, as their wares would be too expensive to produce with too small a profit margin.

Food is like culture, education and friends. They all should be raw, unadulterated and inexpensive. If kept organic and/or natural, food will nurture us and keep us healthy and sanguine. For this reason, it is absurd to claim that a poor person cannot afford to eat on a healthy diet. On the contrary, a poor person can’t afford not to, because (s)he will still have to fulfil other missions and needs besides eating.


Arvio: Puheen lineaarinen rakenne sisältää johdonmukaisen etenemisen ja yhden kolmen kohdan kiteytyksen ilman väliotsikoita. Jos aiemmat puhujat ovat keskittyneet aloitteen avainsanaan ”alaluokka”, ”alaluokan jäsenet”; teen työni hyvin, jos puolestani keskityn avainkohtaan ”valmistaa ruokaa” / ”kokata”.

King for a Day(cade)

Normaali

Viikko 26


 

MotionTHB that royal families do a good job, so they should be expanded to democracies
Role: MP (opp.)


It is only fair that royal families should pass power on earlier to those following in the footsteps of the reigning monarch or regent. These days monarchs are hoary and age-old when they are fading away in office. A much better solution would be a virile, younger monarch, who would also be more popular among the subjects and better entertainment in the media.

We shall, namely, not forget how much the media landscape has shifted in the past few decades. No longer can a monarch do virtuous or vicious things out of the public eye.

One case in point is the King of Sweden, who has been caught having extramarital affairs with dubitable people from the luxurious undergrowth of Stockholm. Allegedly, the king has been sleeping with a chanteuse, an otherwise perfectly normal infidelity that the wife is not supposed to know about. In normal circumstances, this might lead to divorce, but in royal circles the connivance, corruption, depravity and privileges keep profiles low when people commit leftfield deeds. The queen doesn’t care.

On the other hand, the King’s daughter Victoria or son Philip would be perfectly suited and fine to have power handed over to them. This would be a Way Out: To keep the power within the family, while reacting somehow to the foibles and faux pas of the reigning monarch. Wherever whenever there is a scandal, the wheels of the royal-family machine or the pages of the rule-book should be turned.

I think it is safe to say that royal families have their own hidden agenda, when it comes to passing power on. Surprisingly enough, a lot of it seems to revolve around sex/gender. If the reigning monarch (and this is only the Rule of Thumb) has already received a grandchild of the same sex (s)he stands for, (s)he is much keener to hand the power over to his or her own child. In other words, monarchs cherish their own sex, when it comes to ruling, and would like see that continue across time relatively unchanged.

Royals only seem to be able to identify with their own sex when it comes to ruling, even if us subjects might consider them altogether a rather effete, effeminate, sexless, poncy crowd. So, if a grandpa-regent or grandma-regent already ”sees” himself or herself in his or her grandchild, the throne may in his or her mind spend the interim in the hands of his or her own child of the opposite sex, an ”unreliable transition” ruler. This is the case in Great Britain and Sweden, in the reversed ways, and potentially in most other kingdoms as well.

Rule should be passed on by the royals as a way of encouraging people in (s)lower social classes to do the same. The Finnish Family Firms Association, once led by former PM Matti Vanhanen, grapples on a daily basis with the pragmatics of passing power on within family-owned LLCs and other enterprises. If we consider royals instead of aristocracy the ”1st Bourgeois Members” of a ”republic”, they should set an example indeed.


Arvio: Puheessa on konstailematon, alaotsikoton, korostuksia käyttämätön lineaarinen rakenne. Voidaan olettaa, että aiemmat puhujat ovat jo käsitelleet vanhan hallintatavan räikeimpiä ja tunnetuimpia epäkohtia ja yleistä asenneilmapiiriä.  Tässä puheessa, niiden vanavedessä, varsinaisia pääasioita on kaksi, joilla yritetään todistaa, opposition 3. puhujalle soveliain epäortodoksisin keinoin, että hallituksen ajama esitys on susi.

Mayday, Mayday

Normaali

Viikko 25


 

Date: Apr 30th, 2013
Motion: THW cancel First of May due to a surfeit of trash and disruptive behaviour that irritate too many
Role: MP (opp.)


Jussi Lähde wrote in the Other national tabloid that according to him, there should be no First of May (open link for story). The day has degenerated into such a bacchanal that it no longer carries the cachet of Student Romance and working man’s Political Protest. Namely, all that there is left is drinking and debauchery, in their cheap and pedestrian version.

Those words of Mr. Lähde could be those of a mild agoraphobe with a slight panic disorder; a person, who cannot tolerate wide open spaces crammed with unruly, rowdy people. Sometimes this feeling may hit any person, either abroad or at home in Finland.

The chaotic aspects of the surrounding behaviour may make it worse, but alienation from one’s nation must be the root cause and reason for any outburst against public holidays and festivities and celebrations. Why would someone otherwise feel bad about a red-letter, feel-good day?

If one has three things,
a) Friends, b) a Mission or Something to Do and c) Alcohol, First of May is no problem. First one meets those friends. Then one drinks that booze (and never stops doing so, carrying some and buying more at every opportunity). Then one finds something to do, or someOne to do. (Wink wink.)

Conversely, if all of these things are missing and there is merely idle sightseeing and loitering and drifting to do, an estrangement will ensue for sure. This has been proven subjectively to and by some unhappy May Day castaways and outcasts. So, consequently, do not fall prey to that feeling but fix your First of May well in advance.

First of May means many things to many people. Therefore, it could and should not be cancelled or removed from the almanac. A change of aspect or point of view makes all the difference. In fact, First of May could be turned into a bona-fide carnival, in exaggeration of its ”irritating” traits. What if it was like Carnival in Rio, with all the trappings of a charade and parade that inform that Event? We could have a very different take on the day. We could regard it as a masquerade, parade and charade and blow some more life into it, certainly.

This could be the future of First of May — a bright future for an event that has strong roots in tradition. In order to achieve that, I admit that the intake of alcohol should be reined in and restricted to some extent. There should be more sobriety in order for us to be able to coreograph all the moves better. But then again, wouldn’t it be sweet be get laid on May Day instead of just getting drunk? Or stoned? Or magically metamorphosed (into a butterfly?)


Arvio: Nenäkäs mutta analyyttinen puhe vaikuttaa pinnalliselta. Analyyttinen ote on syvemmällä. Puheessa otetaan vastapuolta hyvin huomioon aluksi mutta yritetään sitten kiepauttaa heidät ympäri ja mattoon.  Lopun karnevalisointiesitys saattaa mennä liian pitkälle vastakkaiseen suuntaan, mutta tärkeintä on ajaa juhlapäivän asiaa.