No water splashing allowed at Songkran festival

From ‘Singapore’s 1st Songkran water festival goes dry’, 25 March 2014, article by Melody Zaccheus, ST

There will be no water pistol fights, celebrity dunk stations, or really, any kind of water fun at Singapore’s first Songkran water festival on April 12 and 13. The organisers of Celebrate Songkran 2014 at the Padang have taken heed of the national campaign to conserve water and nixed the water-based activities.

Instead, they will host a Water Conservation and Water Heritage Exhibition in conjunction with national water agency PUB. The organisers said this was appropriate in view of the recent dry spell and current moves to cut back on water usage.

Though lighting designer Sanischaya Mankhongphithakkul, 25, agrees with the rationale, it still feels a little odd. “What’s a water festival without water?”

The whole point of traditional Songkran is to get soaking wet, as dousing is symbolic of washing away bad luck. It’s also the Thai New Year, usually accompanied by Buddhist activities such as prayer sessions, as what took place back in 1999 during Singapore’s first open-air Songkran near Paya Lebar MRT. In 1988, Songkran was held at the now defunct Big Splash, where other than getting wet and wild, participants would be expected to burn joss sticks and bathe statues of Four Face Buddhas. Otherwise, Golden Mile Complex is the place to be if you want to mingle with Thai workers ringing in their New Year with water fights. It’s a religious festival, not an excuse to get fashionably drunk and watch Far East Movement.

No wonder Thailand’s Ministry of Culture, Ms Yupa Taweewattanakijbaworn, had reportedly (according to the ST article) threatened to sue festival organisers for ‘undermining the values’ of the Thai festival, not so much that we’re cutting out the real star of the show for conservation reasons, but because we’re twisting the agenda to suit our needs and flying in entertainers, turning it into yet another outdoor pop music festival that’s really a B-grade cousin of the F1 megaconcerts, headlined by a band who’s not even Thai to begin with. How would you feel if Westerners adopted our version of Chinese New Year, but just went around eating dim sum, making fortune cookies or ‘lo hei-ing’ over meatballs and spaghetti instead of yusheng?

The ‘CelebrateSongkran’ website continues to run misleading images of drenched people with Supersoakers, oblivious that the banning of water activities has, in a manner of speaking, rained on everyone’s parade. Conservative Christians who refuse to fold paper ingots at their grandmother’s funeral should not attend by the way because of its religious (i.e ‘paganistic’) origins.  Yes you can’t have water fun because your God forbids it.

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 11.05.19 PM

Dampnation!

Songkran in Singapore used to be an intimate, simple, even holy affair, celebrated only within a niche community, now commercialised and rebranded as a pseudo rave party like how the Indian ‘festival of colours’ Holi has turned into a rainbow powder orgy. I wouldn’t be surprised to find Water Wally prancing around on stage either, blind to the irony that by completely overturning the theme toward water conservation just to avoid cancelling the damn thing, you forget that you’re also splurging on electricity and raking up carbon miles flying in celebrities. I mean, we could just run another ‘Keep it to 5′ campaign rather than bullshit our way through someone else’s New Year celebration, and with the $60 price tag for 2 nights of partying, you’re more likely to see rich teens and expats there than the folks who appreciate the true meaning of Songkran, the homesick Thai workers. The only sprinkling of any sort you’ll see there will be drunkards taking a piss by a bush, or the buckets of sweat produced by the people cleaning up after your mess when the night’s over.

It also sets an awkward precedent for future events which have the slightest implications on the natural environment. Should we stop people from burning incense during Qing Ming because of the haze? Stop circulating new $2 notes or printing ang pows in the event of worsening global deforestation? Scrape F1 during an oil crisis? Ban St Patricks Day or Oktoberfest when there’s an epidemic of hops infestation? Put a stop to Hungry Ghost Festival offerings during a famine? If you want to enjoy REAL Songkran without some event organiser messing it up and turning it into a poor man’s foam party (without the foam of course), yet don’t want to be seen wasting water, you can do it at a pool or beach where you can splash all you want. More importantly, it’s FREE, and you don’t have to listen to bloody annoying Far East Movement while at it.

 

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Singapore flag mis-Used at rock concert

From ‘American rock band vandalises Singapore flag as part of on-stage decor’, 23 May 2013, Stomp

STOMPer Djent was concerned after learning that a Singapore flag vandalised with the words ‘The Used Nation’ across it was used as an on-stage decoration for a recent concert by American rock band The Used. In his report, STOMPer Djent wrote:

“This pop-punk bank from the USA, The Used, had a concert in Singapore at the Hard Rock Cafe Coliseum in Sentosa on May 18.

“Apparently, a Singapore flag was used as stage deco and it was vandalised with the words ‘THE USED NATION‘.”

..pledge ourselves as one Used people

..pledge ourselves as one Used people

The ‘Used Nation’ is what the fan club of the Utah band ‘The Used’ calls itself, and I suspect the flag was purchased, painted over and presented by Singapore fans rather than the band itself, following the trend of displaying defaced host flags at international performance venues. In the band’s Facebook page, you’d see images of ‘The Used Nation’ being written on flags all over the world including Brazil, Sweden, Russia and even Japan, which the band apparently loves to bits. I wasn’t sure if the Used were a post-hardcore/screamo/pop-punk band who sang about politics which may explain the flags, so I checked out the lyrics to a song titled ‘Now That You’re Dead’, taken off the latest album ‘Vulnerable’.

‘Die! Die! Die! Die!
‘Breathing! Not Breathing! Breathing! Not Breathing!’

Nope, doesn’t sound like a call to anarchy to me. But just to be sure, this is from ‘Disaster’

Making love to her cadaver.
Like I said, I had to stab her.

Again, just your usual necrophilia and murderous violence. Nothing to get riled over. All part of the band’s repertoire of ‘making positive music‘, I suppose.

I doubt any of these nations have taken the Used to task for disrespecting their national flags, and it’s unlikely that Singapore will be the first. The authorities may, however, decide to shut down their concerts like what happened to metal band Cradle of Filth, or impose a requirement to take down your particulars whenever you decide to buy the National Flag outside of National Day and run a background check to see if you ‘follow’ the Used on Facebook. And then deploy some plainsclothes cops with black eyeliner as fake Used fans to seize your paraphernalia at the concert.

Land of the Rising Used

Which sets us up not just as a ‘Used Nation’, but a DOUBLE-STANDARD one as well. Local artists have been slammed and their work clamped down for using the National flag as a motif, while we allow sore loser Malaysian football fans and American rock bands to get away scot-free. The law doesn’t stipulate any exemption for foreigners showing contempt for the flag, but if I zip around town with wearing a CLEAN flag around myself like a cape, I’m likely to get arrested under Section 9, Sub-Section 4 of the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Act (Chapter 296). Hell, I may even get a warning letter if I write ‘I LOVE Singapore’ on our beloved Red and White or perform an acoustic version of Majulah Singapura at a pub with a ukelele decorated with five stars and a moon stickers. I can’t imagine what would happen if I starting rapping the Pledge.

Cradle of Filth banned from St James Powerhouse

From ‘No venue for Cradle of Filth’s gig’, 28 April 2013, article by Tan Yee Kun, TNP

THEY were set to play on Friday night in Singapore for the first time. But three days before UK extreme metal band Cradle of Filth’s ticketed gig at Powerhouse at St James Power Station, the owners of the venue decided to pull out, leaving fans in the lurch and the organiser scrambling for an alternative stage

Tickets were priced at $100, with an early bird rate of $80 and $120 at the door.

Mr Dennis Foo, chief executive of St James Holdings, told The New Paper yesterday that he was alerted to the band’s background by one of his “associates”.

He said: “We decided not to allow the concert (to be held at) our venue after we were sounded out, and after we checked their website. Their content (contains) heavy (anti-religious) elements and vulgarities.

“St James, as a responsible operator, cannot allow these types of performances on our premises, especially when our entertainment licences are at stake.”

The lead singer of CoF Dani Filth comes from the ‘heart of the English countryside‘ and helms a band that sings about ‘vampires and werewolves’, except that extreme death metal isn’t the kind of stuff you’d hear on a Twilight soundtrack. ‘Dark’ and ‘morbid’ lyrics betraying a scholarly grasp of medieval occult and Crow-inspired make-up aside, the folks at Cradle of Filth turn out to be pretty normal people in real life who actually smile and don’t look like they’re about to impale you with a pitchfork or grow giant fiery bat wings and drag you down to Hell, as the Inokii Facebook page reveals. They have, however, caused quite a stir with a T-shirt featuring a nun in a ‘compromising position’ and features extreme Jesus blasphemy. Sounds not that far off from Lady Gaga antics.

Still, Dennis Foo and the St James honchos should have done their research before committing to a venue for the band. Just as someone didn’t like Adam Lambert’s gay lifestyle, one of Dennis Foo’s buddies thought that Powerhouse was no place for raging dark metal full of blood, questionable ‘lords’ and overall damnation. I have no idea what Foo’s or his associate’s religious inclinations are, though ironically in 2001 the man was responsible for the DEVIL’s Bar at Orchard Parade Hotel, a themed waterhole for a football club that calls itself ‘The Red Devils’. He also put up a white paper on his own to lobby for the casinos. A black metal addict may very well damage his hearing from his music or be a sucker for the Antichrist, but a gambling addict does far more destruction to himself and everyone else around him. I’m not sure which of the two is the greater ‘evil’ here.

Surely, the band title itself should alert you that they’re not here to do Bon Jovi or Nickelback cover versions. Although most people attuned to milder forms of elevator music would freak out at the guttural incantations of extreme metal, it’s worth noting that the genre has a rabid following here, one website listing the number of metal bands at a stunning 197! We’ve also had our share of ‘underground’ metal festivals such as 2011′s CARNAGE fest, which features names like Cardiac Necropsy and Remains. Cradle of Filth sounds tame in fact (Every bundle of joy leaves behind a cradle of filth) compared to the nightmarish likes of Devourment, Dying Fetus, Blood Anatomies, or ANALDICKTION. The latter is a local band by the way, and it has a song called ‘CB destroyer’. Mommy…

Any literate person WOULD know if a band is black metal or not simply by looking at its name. It’s either has death imagery, virulent disease, or scary Latin words straight out of the Necronomicon in it.  In fact, you can think up one yourself in a jiffy, like Lethal Injection, Rigor Mortis or something pants-pissingly terrifying like Final Examination, Internal Security or One Direction (STRAIGHT TO HELL). If, however, you don’t know anything about the macabre or John Milton you’re no better off than a D-grade horror movie, an ageing professional wrestling tag team (Legion of Doom, Demolition), or a bad Kiss tribute band.

Last year, another metal band ‘Inquisition’ was banned from performing at the True Metal Invasion fest for reasons unclear. I checked out some of the lyrics and found Satan-summoning and song titles like ‘Ominous Doctrines of the Perpetual Mystical Macrocosm’. That’s what you get when you combine a love for the occult and quantum physics. The song ‘Crepuscular Battle Hymn’ has the lyrics: Crushed from the blow of my hammer strike/ Thrones made of gold crumble from the blast. Which sounds like freakin’ Thor’s anthem, for God’s sake. Hardly the kind of stuff to possess horny boys so that they can molest little girls. Ban this but allow ‘Motherfather’ Gentleman’ on radio? May the scythe of my Leviathan lord lay a thousand curses on your rotten soul.

Kids clapping between movements in Esplanade concert

From ‘Children need better guidance in arts appreciation’, 15 April 2013, Voices, Today

(Liu Yiru): I watched a wonderful performance at the Esplanade last Friday evening by the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (NAFA) Orchestra and Chorus, in celebration of NAFA’s 75th anniversary. Among the audience were distinguished composers, NAFA alumni, as well as guest performers from London’s Royal College of Music.

Also in the audience was a class of Primary 3 or 4 students accompanied by two teachers. I must commend the school and teachers for exposing their students to classical music and cultivating their interest at such a young age.

However, I believe many in the audience were, like me, shocked when the students clapped between rests that marked an end to significant sections in the fourth movement. It is recognised and accepted that the audience applauds only at the end of a piece and not at the end of every movement or worse, whenever they supposed the piece “seemed to end”.

What does this say about the’ teachers? Do the teachers have an understanding of concert etiquette? Do teachers have musical background or basic musical knowledge to guide their students’ appreciation for music in the right direction? Were there enough teachers to handle the number of students? This incident shows that our teachers’ competence in developing and educating Singapore’s future in the arts has much room for improvement.

If in doubt, always take the cue from others when you’re a concert novice. Untimely clapping can earn you dirty looks as much as sitting cross-legged with your shoes off. These kids were just being polite even though they’re likely to be bored stiff, and you’d be sending conflicting instructions if you told them that there are only certain points in a performance when they’re ‘allowed’ to clap, a mentally strenuous task that gets in the way of one’s enjoyment of the classics. It’s like I’m not allowed to use my hands to tuck into the pincer of chilli crab, and can only do so for the purpose of dipping the buns into the gravy.

I doubt the teachers themselves were aware of such a custom, and most people, myself included, would shift nervously in their seat if any performance appears to end and there would be this nagging, awkward pause or the nervous, muffled cough before hesitant applause. As a consolation, even President Obama himself once joked about the No Applause rule, which itself deserves a topic in musicology and seems to have its origins in cranky maestros and composers who abhorred over-clappers and didn’t care about the fact that their salaries were paid for by their audience. Such restrictions were in place even in the 70′s, when intrusive applause ‘disrupts the pattern’ of the programme and found to be ‘very irritating and distracting’, making otherwise harmless applause sound as disruptive as blowing a trumpet into a surgeon’s face while he’s performing emergency heart bypass surgery.

I’ve never attended an SSO concert, but only because I have no idea where to get a monocle, a shiny cane and can’t clap my hands in the dainty manner or timing befitting of concert etiquette.  I’d have to restrain myself from expressing my joy if I were to find a piece so haunting it moves me to tears, that if I couldn’t bear it and had to give a standing ovation clapping my hands sore and weeping my grateful heart out, my outburst of spontaneity would be rewarded with the harsh shushing and tsk-ing from a couple of concert snobs like some menopausal librarians shutting a genius up when he’s having his ‘Eureka’ moment. If I’m really unlucky, the conductor, furious that my clapping cramped his style, would grab the nearest cymbal and try to decapitate me by throwing it in my direction like a frisbee.

According to the SCO website, it is ‘best not to clap’ between movements of a larger composition, but it’s perfectly acceptable, maybe even recommended, to blare ‘Bravo’ and ‘Encore’ as loud as a soccer hooligan when it’s finally completed. No, you can’t wolf-whistle or yell ‘Awesome!’ too. At least the kids didn’t break out into a spell of ‘annoying, distracting’ coughing for a full 80 mins of SSO concert, or play with their mobile phones, munch crackers or giggle among themselves. Clapping between movements has its supporters who deem it a necessary, reverent inconvenience as there are those who dismiss it as fatuous snobbery. If I were in a band I’d imagine playing to a bunch of disadvantaged orphans or handicapped kids to be a more fulfilling experience even if they clapped every 5 minutes, than to some snooty folks who know everything about my music and etiquette, but might as well be ‘enjoying’ themselves with a mp3 recording of my music in the privacy of a cemetery.

Adam Lambert concert promoting gay lifestyle at StarPAC

From ‘Church feels the heat over gay singer’s gig’, 2 March 2013, article by Tessa Wong, ST

THE National Council of Churches of Singapore (NCCS) is looking into a complaint about a church-owned venue hosting an upcoming concert by openly gay singer Adam Lambert. Lambert is due to perform next Friday at The Star Performing Arts Centre, a commercial entity fully owned by Rock Productions, the business arm of New Creation Church.

New Creation is a member of the NCCS, which represents about 200 churches in Singapore. NCCS general secretary Lim K. Tham said the council had received a complaint from a Christian that “the gay lifestyle may be promoted at the concert, and that the concert venue is owned by a church,” he said.

“The NCCS has conveyed this concern to New Creation so that it can make a response.”

The Media Development Authority (MDA) said it has also received feedback from some members of the public “expressing concern” about the concert. It declined to reveal what their concerns were. Even though it is not the first time that Lambert has performed here, the NCCS said it did not receive complaints about his previous gigs. The MDA declined to say whether it received any complaints about him previously.

He performed at Resorts World Sentosa in 2010 and sang at the Formula One Grand Prix at the Padang in 2011. (He ‘came out’ in 2009)

…This is not the first time that Christians have raised concerns about a pop concert in recent months. The MDA previously met with the NCCS and LoveSingapore, a network of 100 churches, about Lady Gaga’s concert in May last year. It is understood that they had raised concerns over how she may have insulted Christians and promoted homosexuality at her concert.

The Star PERFORMING ARTS centre at Buona Vista sounds like a venue for an evening of ballet and other classy types of refined entertainment, like an uglier Esplanade of the West. Yet it showcases a diverse range of celebrities from golden oldies to K-pop, saccharine David Foster to Bollywood, sleepy Norah Jones jazz to the flamboyant razzle-dazzle of American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert. Earlier this year, the church-owned theatre wowed male audiences with  an all-girl group from Japan known as the Ebisu Muscats. Unbeknownst to many, the Muscats are in fact a spin-off novelty act consisting of nude models and PORNSTARS.  The NCCS said nothing then. Oh I forgot, those guys don’t watch porn. They were also seemingly fine with singing pastor Sun Ho’s China Wine video.

NCC insists that its Star stage operates independently from the workings of the Church, like a secular debauched fantasy realm of its own, though the theatre is just an escalator away from a Christian book and music shop. Lambert’s music is not known to promote any agenda for ‘free love’ or cast a cursory eye on religion unlike Lady Gaga’s overt references to biblical characters (Black Jesus, anyone?). Last year, 300 Protestant South Koreans gathered for group prayer cum protest against Gaga’s Born this Way Ball. I wonder if anyone has already booked Hong Lim Park for a similar vigil to save humanity from Adam Lambert. A commenter from the NCC Facebook page refers to Lambert’s gig as an ‘appearance of evil’ (1 Thessalonians 5:22). The actual quote from the Bible is ‘Abstain from all appearance of evil’, or ‘If you see a gay dude with eyeliner, run far, far away’.

You can pray and Air guitar at the same time, it seems

As the singer proudly proclaims, he’s just here ‘for your entertainment’, though that entertainment may include him kissing his band guitarist amid the gothic ‘glitter and leather’ extravaganza. Up yours S377A!

The people complaining to NCCS and Malaysia’s hardline opposition party PAS have something in common then, both terrified of a gay epidemic, with the latter forbidding Lambert from even showing fans his nipples. In response to allegations of promoting homosexuality in Malaysia, he said:

Does my show ‘promote the gay lifestyle’? It promotes living ANY lifestyle that includes the freedom to seek love and intimacy

Lambert’s ‘We Are Glamily‘ tour was also recently cancelled in Manila due to ‘unforseen circumstances’. This is the same country where Christian and Muslim brotherhoods unite to banish demonic singers. Interestingly, the ‘Glamily’ title was left out for the Singapore promo. Sistic calls it ‘Adam Lambert Live in Singapore’. Imagine how outraged the church elders must feel if it had been left intact. Some gay singer coming here to break up the family unit! Dear Lord!

I wonder what the wholesome folks at NCCS think of Elton John (who has a male spouse, surrogate child and an orchid named after him) performing Candle in the Wind for charity here. Elton John is the last person Singaporean teens would look up to on sexuality matters of course, nevermind that he implores you to ‘Feel the Love Tonight’ on a Disney cartoon. Lambert is gay AND cool, which in the conservative Christian’s mind is an equation that adds up to ’666′.

A question every openly gay singer will have to ask when seeking to meet their fans in this part of the world is: Whaddaya want from me? Whaddaya want indeed. All together now…

Yeah, it’s plain to see (plain to see)
that baby you’re beautiful
And it’s nothing wrong with you
(nothing wrong with you)
It’s me, I’m a freak (yeah)
but thanks for lovin’ me
Cause you’re doing it perfectly

Ebisu Muscat’s rope trick banned in Singapore

From’ No sexy rope trick here’, 19 Jan 2013, article by Rachael Boon, ST Life

Mui Kuriyama, a member of sexy Japanese idol girl group Ebisu Muscats, has a special skill she normally shows off on stage: She can tie herself up in rope. But for fans in Singapore, they did not see this at the group’s concert here on Thursday.

Kuriyama, 24, says she was advised to leave out her sexy little trick because it is associated with deviant sexual acts collectively called BDSM, or bondage and discipline, sadism and masochism. “I usually perform with rope bondage on, but I was told it was better not to do so,” she says in Japanese during an interview at Resorts World Sentosa’s Hotel Michael, ahead of their concert.

Ebisu Muscats are a singing-dancing pop group that comprise soft-porn video actresses and gravure idols, or models in Japan who specialise in sexy shoots and assignments but do not strip. They were formed in 2008 as part of TV Tokyo’s variety show Onedari Muscat SP!, and have no fixed line-up.

Mui is a knotty girl

Mui is a knotty girl (NSFW)

Ebisu Muscats are not your average girl-group. For one, its fanbase appears to be mostly males, in particular males who have seen them wearing much less clothing than when they’re performing song-and-dance. Many would raise an eyebrow when the media describes the group as an assemble of SOFT PORN actresses, because anyone familiar with the Jap porn industry would know that certain Muscat members are known more for their no-holds-barred erotic performances in a studio bedroom (mostly), rather than their vocal talents or dancing. Calling them soft-core is like saying KFC is ‘low-fat’. If you view a random Ebisu video, you can tell that they’re no Girls’ Generation in the making, and they could very well be the Milli Vanilli of pornstars. You would get the same adulation from men if you take a bunch of aging action heroes and put them in an all-star ultraviolent movie as a last hurrah to an illustrious career of kicking ass. Wait, that’s already been done before. Twice. Speaking of movies, it’s strange how a bunch of pornstars are allowed to hold a concert here with curbs, but an indie film by an acclaimed director featuring a porn starlet was never screened here. I’m sure there are as many fans of Sasha Grey as they are of Kuriyama.

Mui is a BDSM tease and self proclaimed ‘rope artist’, while others in the line-up, such as Yuma Asami are, or used to be, hardcore pornstars. It’s ironic that the authorities would clamp down on what they perceive to be a public display of bondage fetish, when tens of thousands of Singaporean men view the same Ebisu muscats perform ‘deviant acts’ or having sex online every single day. I also wonder if people take offence to lyrics of songs suggestive of bondage. Like British duo Tears for Fears’ Woman in Chains. But what’s a mere song when people have written whole teenage fiction revolved around it?

If rope and chain bondage is not your cup of tea, perhaps you’re more a ‘woman in a cage’ kinda guy. I’m not sure if MDA banned Shakira’s She Wolf video for its deviant BDSM nature.

If a girl in a Sailor moon outfit with a history of showing off her butt and cleavage close-up on camera ties herself up in rope, it’s frowned upon as a fetish. If a sexy female magician does it, it’s called..well..magic. The only difference is that for magic tricks, one is supposed to escape while in BDSM you’re supposed to just LOOK like you want to escape.

Here’s a little test if you can tell your ‘magic’ from ‘BDSM’.

A)

B)

Screen Shot 2013-01-19 at 9.34.12 AM

C)

Screen Shot 2013-01-19 at 9.41.28 AM

Yes they’re all acts of MAGIC. If you got all 3 right, you either have no idea what BDSM is or are an expert practitioner of it.

Expats sure know how to have fun

From ‘In a sea of foreigners’, 10 July 2011, article by Sumiko Tan, Sunday Times

…I was at the Kylie Minogue concert and one thought struck me: ‘These expats sure know how to hang loose and have fun’. It’s a common sight at concerts. Save for pockets of more demonstrative Singaporeans, it’ll be foreigners who look as if they’re really having a good time.

…At the Kylie gig, I was seated in a row of about eight people. They must have been Singaporeans because we all remained seated throughout. The most energetic thing they did was to wave the light stick, and even then feebly and self-consciously. Surrounding us, though, were hundred of foreigners – I am guessing Australians, Britons and Americans – who were partying away.  For a moment, I felt like a stranger in my own country.

…This feeling of dislocation surfaced again when I was shopping in Orchard Road… It’s the same at all my weekend haunts, whether it’s Ngee Ann City, Great World City or Little India or a suburban mall. I just feel outnumbered by foreigners. Singapore has changed.

Maybe the foreign fans attending the Kylie concert REALLY LOVE Kylie so much that they had to make a party out of it. Perhaps they were drunk, or they could just be tourists who paid good money to follow their idol on tour. And why ‘Americans, Australians or Britons’? What about Canadians, Spaniards or even the French? Do Americans even listen to Kylie? In her more than 20 years of showbiz, she has had only TWO top ten US Billboard hits (Locomotion, Can’t Get You Out of my Head). Sumiko’s selective observation doesn’t say much about EXPATS being fun loving in general, especially since there are supposedly more than a million foreigners lurking among us. I’m sure they’re those who’d prefer to stay at home and watch TV or walk the dog, instead of hanging around Clarke Quay watching EPL,  fooling around with local women or joining conga lines outside Ion Orchard. So in her midst of appearing victimised by this deluge of foreigners into our beloved homeland, Sumiko has inadvertently committed the sin of double-stereotyping here. One, foreigners are party animals who know how to enjoy life and get lots of sex. And two, Singaporeans are boring as hell.

But the general impression that I get from her piece is how ‘Tell me something I don’t already know’ it all is. There’s nothing surprising about bumping into foreigners in major shopping malls, which are ‘tourist attractions’ after all, or at enclaves like Holland Village where expats reside, doing something most locals wouldn’t dream of doing: Sitting out in the hot sun people-watching. Suburban malls still maintain a distinctive local, though not entirely palatable, flavour. Personally, the only time when I would feel out of place in this country, when the infiltration is omnipresent, would be something as mundane as taking the MRT, which Sumiko fails to mention here. If nothing is done to curb the influx, it’ll reach a point where MRT commuters would evolve their own separate pidgin language just to survive in train carriages, in addition to developing adaptive skills of slinking past giant backpacks, filtering out harsh body odours or dodging pickaxes and other construction tools which workers bring on board. Feeling out of place is fine as long as our alien population behaves. The problem which Sumiko hints at but doesn’t expand further, is foreigners who screw things up; beating up taxi drivers, cheating at casinos, spray painting MRT trains, leaving their mess about or letting their kids piss into dustbins mistaking them for pissing wells back in their godforsaken village.

OCBC priority booking

From ‘Extra Jay Chou shows, but fan upset they’re only for OCBC cardholders’ 5 May 2010, posted in Stomp online.

Their main sponsor OCBC cardholders had privileges for all three (Jay Chou) concerts.’

I believe that the organisers have planned the second and third shows due to the overwhelming response from the audience. However, why is it that only OCBC cardholders are entitled to the last two concerts?

It this an OCBC marketing strategy to make people open banking accounts with them?

Perhaps a last ditch gimmick by a bank probably in a financial deficit after giving away too many birthday cakes. SISTIC and OCBC should just put a cap on crazy fans (and I bet there are) who go for all 3 shows in row. If you’re an OCBC holder and want to make a sleazy quick buck out of adolescents, then sell it on the black market for more than 1k a ticket.

Sex bombed

From ‘Tom Jones’ concert cancelled ten minutes in’ 26 March 2010 Asiaone news

Ten minutes into the concert, which was held at Resorts World Sentosa, Tom Jones shocked the crowd by announcing that he’d have to postpone the concert as he had a bad sore throat and was unwell. He had sung two songs.

(Stella Lee) “I thought he was joking at first but when the lights came up I couldn’t believe it. He should have called it off earlier this afternoon if he was unwell. What a waste of time”

It’s not unusual that in Tim Burton’s movie Mars Attacks, Tom Jones also left a casino performance prematurely, though at the time with the world at the mercy of little green men, it was a valid excuse.

Sings shoots and leaves

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