United Colours

Normaali

Viikko 41


 

MotionTHW take as many refugees as possible, as defined by the national infrastructure
Role: Whip (govt.)


When it comes to refugees, the discussion is lively and ambiguous, as the previous contributions have amply demonstrated. Our side has championed refugees strongly, whereas the opposing side has maligned and condemned them in equally strong-language terms. Being a spectator, I might be tempted to choose either side at the flip of a coin.

However, as the whip, I’m going to opt for defending the refugees in the way that is open to me. I’m going to tell you why they should be let in in pandering to the theory of ”influential allies”, something which is usually missing in the political debate, where the individual is rotely placed at the center, being alone the ”driving force” of forces around her/him.

Our first speaker reminded you about the national reputation and the fact that no nation is an island. All countries have ties to neighbouring countries and they also have ties to more far-off countries which expatriates have emigrated to and immigrants immigrated from. France has a special relation with Algeria. Indians and Pakistanis have a special relation with the UK. The descendants of slaves have always had a special relation with the former slave-trading conquering countries, this hinting at a trading partnership, even if the merchandise were the ”merchants themselves”. In other words, refugeeship would only be a way to form new ties in an evolving world, and nothing more than that. It would be about give-and-take, not just about giving or taking per se.

Our 2nd speaker told you that the reason for aiding and abetting refugees is the fact that they may result in improving your life quality in your own sphere. A refugee can be a future spouse or dependent. Refugees may turn up at the workplace, owning or manning them, usually as colleagues. Dining out would be a very common way of meeting refugees, but true for any number of us.

Our 3rd speaker offered you the viewpoint that, even if one personally did not have any contact with refugees, that MIGHT be the case among one’s family and relatives or friends and acquaintances. Would you sever your contacts off with them due to their hooking up in some way with refugees? Considering they might only pop up in conversation without your never even having personally met them, your attitudes would be the thing souring down or cheering up the prevailing ”situation”.

In any event, what I’m saying is that none of this may be relevant to you as a citizen. You may NOT care about national reputations, personal contacts or familial affiliations, as we’re a nation of singles’ households; those singles sometimes having severed their ties vertically to their genetic and geographical past, and horizontally to their fellow man, except for the employer or the state. In that case, consider this: you still have to like refugees, for they are liked by the elite of this country. If you care to take note, you’ll see that politicians, artists, businessmen, clergymen, athletes, journalists and civil activists all tend to accept and endorse refugees.

Together they have more power than the side opposing refugees, in all likelihood. An individual member of the elite does not count either way, but as a mass, members of the elites are too formidable to offer resistance to. As much as you may like critics of immigration, they seem to be feeble, prejudiced, disorganized, uneducated and misled. They do have visibility and a voice, also structures, but it’s small fry compared to the forces that have allowed immigration into our country. This, I think is the final argument that carries in the end: even if you don’t like refugees, the fact that people more powerful than you like them forces you to like them, too.

Thank you.


Arvio: Puheessa summataan kaikki aiemmat puheet yhdeksi kokonaisuudeksi. Ideana on kursia kokoon muiden parhaista (tai sopivimmista) paloista vielä yksi hyvä puhe. Loppu on hämmentävä. Toivon sen taivuttavan kuulijan puolelleen; puhe kun on yhdistelmä retorisilla keinoilla ja tosielämän esimerkeillä vaikuttamista. Mutta en tiedä, miten se otetaan vastaan. Joku voisi pitää sitä valheellisena, epäloogisena vetoamisena ja kehäpäätelmänä.

Mainokset

¡Ciudadanos en adelante!

Normaali

Viikko 38



Motion
: THB that original inhabitants of popular places should take precedence over newcomers
Role: Whip (gov.)


Every aspiring young person has some kind of relationship with cities, counties, countries, provinces, states and towns. Some of them suit us fine, while others ring a false note/tone. Some localities we just can’t put up with.

This time, as an example, I’m going to talk about LA, the City being the original ”redwood” homebase to some while a ”Zoo Station” for others. To me, LA represents the weekday of Saturday. What do we know about Saturday?

  1. It’s part of the weekend, the first half (or the middle part, if we count the evening and night of Friday in.)
  2. It’s gotten its name from a Roman god called Saturnalis.
  3. Some associate it with sauna.
  4. Some concerts are staged on Saturday.
  5. Booze flows on Saturday.
  6. Doctoral vivas may be held during the pre- and afternoon part of the day.
  7. Financially, it’s the worst day for commercial transportation/logistics companies, as it’s not a day for work-related commuting, and everyone will have travelled for leisure either on the previous day, or a day thereafter, on Sunday.
  8. A sausage has been named to it (in Finland).
  9. It’s ”alright for Fighting” (according to Elton John).
  10. During Easter, Saturday has no special religious or liturgical meaning, at least to the layman.
  11. Most businesses are partially open on Sundays. It may be very good when it comes to discounts, refunds, sales or shopping (in a stationary way).
  12. Pets like Saturdays, for it’s the first day of the week when their owners have truly time to feed, maintain, walk and wash them.

In short, Saturdays are the day of the week, when it’s still OK to be messy, or a Mess, but which nonetheless do not the next day bite one in the ass.

What is, then, my relation to Saturdays?

Well, it’s not my best-liked day, but it’s not my bugbear either. It’s firmly one of the in-between days that I tend to have, united in that quality with Thursday. I have found that it’s an agreeable day, more for entertainment than for benefit, epiphany, erudition or profit. This means that my relationship with LA is a bit precarious and volatile. I have the potential to like LA, but that comes with a bit of strain, luck and determination. The underlying impression or illusion is that the day has more control over me than I have over the day. It also passes much faster than I think.

These impressions I have assembled in having been once to LA, for a few days, and having lived through innumerable Saturdays over the course of my life.

I do not obsess over LA, like some people do. We have to remember that the actual atmosphere in LA has very little with its original settlers to do. The ambience of raw competition, dog-eat-dog mentality, live-and-let-die attitude, viciousness and superficiality, and so on, have been created by all the arrivistes, upstarts, nouveau riches and social climbers who have since flooded the city saddled with their ambitions, aspirations, hopes and longings. They, in turn, have originally come from humbler, rainier locations, expressly to counter that ”poor provenance”.

I believe that the True Spirit of LA has more to do with Sunday than Saturday, were LA still that mission station once set up and inhabited by Spaniards. Once upon a time, LA had a promise about it. Now those days are long gone. Those, who come to LA, have to show some promise. They will get something in return, if they redeem themselves; this promise is given to them by those who have already settled there to prosper. But, maybe it’s a Com-Promise

Because LA has been tweaked into some thing it originally was not, I back up and forward the govt.’s motion that original inhabitants of popular places should take precedence over newcomers.

Thank you.


Arvio: En tee puheessa viimeisen puhujan työtä toisten puheita tiivistävänä ja selittävänä ”intendenttinä”. Sen sijaan puhun omiani. Tämä on väärin, mutta joissakin tapauksissa näin voi käydä. Joskus kyseessä on ymmärrettävä lapsus, ja haluan esittää yhden esimerkin, miltä se sitten näyttää ja kuulostaa (eli tältä). Syyt ovat nämä: a) muut puolen puhujat eivät ole myöskään tehneet hommiaan, jolloin ei ole ”mitään tiivistettävää” tai b) muut puolen puhujat ovat tehneet ”liiankin hyvää” työtä ja ammentaneet aiheen tyhjiin omilla puheenvuoroillaan, jolloin minkä tahansa uuden aineksen, jopa selälleen flippaavan, lisääminen debattiin bloosaa vain lisää myötätuulta oman puolen purjeisiin.

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.

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.