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rearrange (the) deckchairs on the Titanic

To partake in or undertake some task, activity, or course of action that will ultimately prove trivial or futile in its possible effect or outcome. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. For all his blustering about overhauling the education system, the prime minister might as well have been rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic for all the good these proposals will do. You're applying for arts council funding? Why don't you just rearrange deckchairs on the Titanic while you're at it?

be like rearranging (the) deckchairs on the Titanic

To be a task, activity, or course of action that will ultimately prove trivial or futile in its possible effect or outcome. You're giving the baby a bath before we eat spaghetti? That's like rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic.

rearrange someone's face

injure or mutilate someone's face by hitting it. informal
See also: face, rearrange

rearrange the ˌdeckchairs on the Tiˈtanic

if something is like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, it is an activity that is not worth doing because it cannot improve the situation: None of the staff believe that the new system will improve anything. It’s simply a case of rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic.This expression refers to the famous ship that sank after hitting an iceberg on its first voyage.
References in periodicals archive ?
Rearrange the letters of ABROGATION to get an ending for a sentence that starts "A blank and a blank.
doc file ready for me to rearrange and format," Parker said.
But the goal is the same: to rearrange society's wealth, generally from the "haves" to the "have nots.
But the clubs have moved quickly to rearrange the fixture for Tuesday, January 13 with a 7.
The two rivals were forced to rearrange their showdown after a fixture clash with the Carling Cup.
Phillip, 38, of Whitestone Road, Whitestone, said: "Originally it was due to be played on a Sunday but we had to rearrange it because myself and four others are serving soldiers.
The forecast looks better from Wednesday onwards, but with it being the King George meeting, I'm sure they will rearrange it if they have to," said the Dorking-based handler.
We tried to rearrange the game against Worthing and were going to play them in Widnes but Worthing refused and said we didn't give them enough notice.
Already, the Bulldogs' calendar needs elasticated edges to rearrange three postponements and Bulldogs captain Garry Griffiths suggests the sport's authorities will have to consider extending the season if the deluge continues.
Fortunately, Mr Kendall has been able to rearrange his diary and will fulfil his promise to visit Cumbria.
That's all it takes to rearrange the atoms in that layer in a way that imprints one bit of digital data--the proverbial 1 or 0.
If a subordinate thinks he or she can rearrange your job, the boss may fear a loss of control, never a boss-like thing to do.
When the shell is lit, the chemicals react with each other; the bonds between the chemical atoms break and rearrange themselves to form new substances.
Assuming everything is OK with Newbury, hopefully we will be able to rearrange the card - there shouldn't be any reason why there can't be a swift turnaround tomorrow.
Most people still worked while they were on holiday and more than one in three have had to cancel or rearrange a break because of work commitments, a report revealed yesterday.