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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 (one's) face

1. To change one's facial expression, especially to hide a negative feeling or reaction. Hearing the news filled me with shock and despair, so I took a moment to rearrange my face before returning to the table.
2. To badly damage or mutilate one's face by violently attacking it. He threatened to rearrange my face if I didn't give him everything in my pockets. He's a towering bulk of man who could rearrange your face with a single punch.
See also: face, rearrange

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 ?
Dad's Puzzle is so named because it reflects the task of the head of the family rearranging pieces of furniture including a grand piano.
Calabasas 15, Northwood 3: After Sarah Cohen, one of Calabasas' usual starters, didn't show up for the team bus, coach Kim Kinberg spent the bus ride to Irvine rearranging her lineup for the team's second-round match.
Women are more likely than men to report missing work, but just as many men as women report rearranging their work schedules to provide care.
Rearranging the images allows the study to be presented to a radiologist in the proper order to facilitate quick and accurate diagnosis.
Just rearranging your furniture, changing the lighting, or getting rid of the clutter can rejuvenate your environment.
Think of it as a way of looking at the world around you and rearranging it in a more pleasing pattern that makes you feel good.
Hawaii, born of furious geologic activity, was rearranging its face once again.
25, 1998--Incentive has closed a deal rearranging its five year USD 1 billion syndicated multicurrency revolving credit facility into a seven year facility.
Rueb's creative rearranging costs $100 an hour (with a three-hour minimum) and clients must agree in advance to any additional cost for new accessories.
1 -- 3 -- cover -- color) On the cover: Interior designer Erica Rueb turned Bonnie Hoult's dining room into a showcase by rearranging her own accessories and adding a few special touches.
This always is a hectic time of year for teachers, a time for last-minute preparations and staff development, of rearranging furniture and wondering exactly what kind of students they'll have to deal with for the next nine months.
That means teachers who had their classrooms arranged in clusters of desks, where students face each other, are now rearranging them into a semicircle surrounding the teacher's desk.
As soon as Mom would turn her back, NOEL - with a little deft rearranging - became LEON.
It really amounts to tinkering around the edges of Los Angeles' deep social, cultural and governmental troubles, sort of like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.