Another Home spoils image of Singapore

From ‘Video spoof of S’pore causes stir online’, 2 Aug 2011, article in Asiaone.com

A VIDEO clip taking a fresh spin on Dick Lee’s classic National Day song, Home, has caused a stir online. The seven-minute clip entitled Another Home, produced by Singapore Independent Films Only (SINdie), gives an irreverent twist to Singapore’s key talking points in the past year. SINdie is a website dedicated to independent films here.

The pro-bono video project has garnered about 45,000 hits since it was posted online last Saturday. It was put together by a production team and cast of about 60 people.

…The video also features the Singapore Democratic Party’s bear mascot in a pair of swimming trunks, similar to those worn infamously by members of the national water-polo team last November.

SINdie founder Jeremy Sing, 34, told my paper he feels that Singaporeans are “mature enough to laugh at ourselves”, especially after the recent watershed General Election. He declined to reveal the video’s production costs, saying that the video was intended to “stir conversation”, while stressing that it was not politically driven.

Chua, who plays the NSF in the clip, said: “It’s like a review…of what Singapore got up to as a 45-year-old. It’s like those videos that one has to watch at a wedding banquet.”

There were mixed reactions from netizens, though. Netizen Jacksonlcq said that the video “spoils the image of Singapore”, while a few others said that it was embarrassing.

This image creeps me out

Considering the high production values invested in this clip, it would be waste if it were not featured on national television. Not exactly a montage of the last 45 years of our history, but rather a compilation of sly references to the most talked about cultural memes over the past year: NSF and his backpack-carrying maid, Tin Pei Ling, Nicole Seah, national water-polo team swimming trunks, election mushrooms, YOG Oh yeah Oh yeah cheer, Fun Pack Song (at the end credits). You could say it’s almost like a Noose musical version, but judging from the crop of musical tributes from past NDPs and its generally low tolerance of satire and obsession with bland patriotic fluff, it’s unlikely that you’ll see this featured in this year’s celebrations, though it may score higher in terms of Youtube hits than any other NDP song in history.

This is where I MUST be

In fact one could detect a sense of restraint from going totally off the cuff with the inside jokes here, though that would mean it would be banned outright for being, well, simply too Singaporean for the NDP organisers’ liking.  The SDP bear in obscene waterpolo trunks is probably the funniest thing here, while using a bizarre doppleganger in the form of Tin Pei Ling was  a bit too obvious and predictable. Still, at least there’s no pesky rapping going on, unlike the ‘We Are the World’ version of the exact same song featuring Sheik Haikel. There’s so much potential in this to be something wildly magical, and you get the feeling that it was created half-heartedly for mass appeal without offending anyone too much in order to get a rare shot at the NDP. Nothing wrong with playing it safe, but there’s this gnawing feeling that Chua En Lai and gang are capable of so much more than just 7 minutes of cheesy dancing, Tin Pei Ling pouting and bad synchronised swimming.

Still, spoofing is always preferable to what our past NDP songs have been doing all this while: Recycling. I present to you now the most over-used word that is not ‘We’  in the history of NDP songs:

‘We are told no dream‘s too bold that we can’t try for’ – Count on Me Singapore, 1986

‘Where my dreams wait for me, where the river always flows’ – Home, 1998

‘Where dreams come true for us’ – Where I Belong, 2001

‘Our dreams we’ll all achieve’ – Reach out for the Skies, 2005

‘Your dreams and hopes will all come true’ – Shine for Singapore, 2008

‘With our hopes and dreams, imagine what tomorrow will bring’ – What do you See, 2009

‘Live our wildest dreams’ – Sing a Song for Singapore, 2010

‘I have a dream of starting a life’ – In a Heartbeat, 2011

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3 Responses

  1. Goes to show, this whole island is built on “dreams” not real stuff.
    They are all make-believe ..we’re living inception time. When you wake up, you’ll realize we are all living on “hop(e)ium” that never exists except to enrich a small group of people.

  2. Agree with the “restraint” observation.
    The thing with funny satire, like mrbrown (both are good humor notwithstanding) are not sending a sharp, clear and serious message to PAP enough. They treat them as “soft complaints/whine” by singaporeans and thus are to be entertained, not viewed politically serious.
    But well, at least in this highly-charged politically environment, they have their gentle place too in the society.

  3. […] from the National Day Parade 2011 stray fireworks projectile incident – Everything Also Complain: Another Home spoils image of Singapore – Singapore Actually: Brilliant National Day Spoof Video: Another Home, with Chua Enlai & Tin […]

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