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Monday, July 10, 2006

The Lights Are On, But Nobody's Home...

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Note: The phrase "the lighs are on but nobody's home" is a common American euphemism to mean "not the brightest of people" and is usually used to indirectly describe someone that's not quite gotten things figured out, or sometimes just plain daft. Similar euphemisms include "a few fries short of a Happy Meal", or simply "duhh".

Image hosting by PhotobucketThe ability of our politicians, elected Members of Parliament mostly, to come up with simplistic solutions for complex problems can only be described as uncanny. And they are usually grand souding, but stupid solutions, because they're rarely thought out properly, or rushed out for the sake of making a statement.

Last week, Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Datuk G. Palanivel called on the Censorship Board to disallow scenes (specifically in Indian movies) where people threw themselves in the path of trains to commit suicide (this has been reported in numerous papers, and also caught the attention of the BBC). This came after the tragic death of a mother (and two children) in an apparent suicide by train.

Now, Walski is not a big fan of Indian movies, particularly not the song-and-dance types (which probably account for 99% of 'em) - but, seriously, are we really going to reduce the suicide rate by cutting out scenes from films that depict suicide?

Another elegantly simple, but totally whacked solution, to a complex problem.

And what if the young mother had chosen another method of ending her life? Say, for example, dousing herself and her children in gasoline and setting themselves ablaze? What then? Ban gasoline?

The tragic suicide could have also been averted if we didn't have any trains, too. Ever thought of that, Datuk? Suicide by throwing oneself in front of a bullock cart is a lot less effective. Sure, a few cows would get royally pissed off, but No Trains = No Suicide By Train!

So, Walski being Walski, myAsylum looks at other complex social problems, and the elegantly simple (but probably wrong) solutions to overcome them. Don't be surprised if one of our politicians steal some of these ideas.

High Rate of Road Accident Deaths and Injuries - the permenant solution would be to ban all forms of motor vehicular transport. No vehicular transport = no vehicular accidents. Okay, bicycles could cause accidents too, but nowhere as serious as a 9-passenger Kancil in a head on collision with an express bus going 30 km/h over the speed limit, on the wrong side of the road. Less messy, too. Balik kampung would be a total bitch, though.

Annual Haze Problem - which is attributed to massive open tract burning in various areas of Indonesia, and occurs round about this time every year. Solution? Nuke Indonesia. No Indonesia = No Open Burning = No Haze Problem. Sure, we'll have the temporary problem of radioactive fallout, but that should clear up in a mere 150 -200 years or so - no problem.

Drug Abuse - in order to prevent people from being attracted to illicit drug use, the authorities should stop giving glamourous and hip names to them drugs. Oh, hang on a minute. This is an actual official suggestion. Yeah, that's precisely what the Pemadam spokesperson for Kedah (who's also an assemblyman - a politician - no wonder) suggested at the recent Pemadam National Conference. Ariffin Man, the spokesperson, suggested the following to be renamed:
► Ecstacy renamed as Agony
► Syabu renamed as Bamboozle (hey, sounds kinda hip!)
► Opiates renamed as Organized Killers (also pretty hip, like Quentin Tarrantino hip)
► Cannabis renamed as Mind Destroyers, and
► Ketamine renamed as Community-paralyzing Agent
It's not immediately known if Ariffin was under the influence of any substances when he made the speech. Yeah - Walski predicts that this will be as effective as the Tak Nak! campaign to reduce smoking among the younger set. But here's the kicker: Ariffin also said that "society should not allow illicit drug manufacturers, distributors and users dictate the generic names". You try to figure out the logic (and feasibility) of this, 'cause Walski sure can't. Renaming Ketamine is gonna confuse the hell out of veterinarians, that's for sure.

Illegal Sports Betting - the best solution to eradicate this menace is to ban all competitive sports, their broadcast on TV (terrestial or satellite), and to block any site associated with competitive sports of any kind. Except maybe for marbles, or lawn bowling. That will show them dastardly gamblers. Simple, no?

Unemployable Local Public University Graduates - this problem has recently been highlighted in the press. The easiest, most cost-effective, and fastest solution: shut down all public universities. No Local Public U Grads = No Unemployable Public U Grads. Problem solved! Why waste more public money on a lost cause? Those faculty that are actually worthwile would probably be absorbed by the numerous private higher institutions - likely faster than Walski can finish typing this paragraph.
(more simple solutions to complex problems in the full post)

Image hosting by PhotobucketRising Utility Costs - recent hikes of electricity, and the threatened hike in water rates, are becoming more and more a burden on the citizenry. Solution? Stop using electricity. Candles are way cool, and illuminate just as good. Oil lamps are good too - unless you're a conservative Muslim, then you're totally screwed. Less demand = More supply (simple Economics) = Lower Cost. As for water, that's what God made rivers and rain for. For highrise dwellers, this is a good opportunity to get that needed exercise you always bitch and moan about not getting enough of. Who needs lifts, when the stairs get you there just as good? Ever heard of a staircase breaking down? Walski rests his case.

Negative influence from TV and Movies - too much sex and violence on TV? Too much immorality from Akademi Fantasia, and those other dastardly reality shows? Ban TV. Simple! Solves the suicide problem, too. Walski's sure there's a God-forsaken country somewhere that will be more than happy to get our surplus TVs once the ban's been imposed, like Myanmar or Ethiopia, or even Singapore. No TV = No Illegal DVDs. Two problems killed with one stone. Isn't Walski a genius? And what about the cineplexes? Shut those f*ckers down, immediately, and turn them into houses of worship. We spend too much time at the malls as it is - why not spare some time for worship? You can never have too much religion, no indeed.

And the list could go on, and on, and on....

So you see, for any complex social problem, there exist a multitude of simple, easy to implement wrong solutions. It's only a matter of time your elected Parliamentary representative clues in on this simplistic way of solving problems. And when they do, make sure Walski gets some credit for it, OK? Walski's counting on you!