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#09

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Fun shall now commence

I had been out of the house for over 24 hours. But things were cool. I had my fun.

And I was assured that a missing person's report could not be filed until after 48 hours. So that was well, nice to know. But things could have been worse, I could have ended up like my country. Our very own Minister Mentor recently noted how Singapore was having no fun. It was quite the proclamation. Our very own Straits (I'd linked but they'd made me pay) Times dutifully followed with suggestions on 'Injecting fun into Dullsville Singapore', a smart neat one-page article outlining several strategies on how to combat the boredom.

Yes, so here is a structured response to MM Lee's speech in which an 'anti-structure' solution, placed aside other structured arguments and strategies, proposed to combat the problem due to the strict structured nature of Singapore; a suggested solution that is housed in a structured newspaper article belonging to a structured media network (ranked only above Iraq in several internet surveys).

Another solution proposes that to have fun, the gah-men should have nothing to do with it. This sounds neat, but the only reason why we're even hearing of this solution is because the gah-men has already decided to do something about it. Why else would your suggestion be in the Straits Times?

Fortunately, there will be no campaign. There will be no advertisments, no posters, no slogans, no t-shirts, no logos, no fines, no mascots. After all, we're still busy trying to learn chinese well, learn english well, be courteous, practice life-long learning, stay fit for life, not do drugs, not smoke, report suspicious articles, not leave belongings in our cars, be vigilant in our neighbourhood, be cultured, not drink and drive, eat healthy, check for various cancers regularly, use the electronic tax-filing system, rest our eyes after staring at computer for a long time, not litter, not sell gum and vote for NKF leh.

Instead, going fun will be a gah-men structured hands-off spontaneous hands-on affair by Singaporeans.

There appears to be a problem. And I'm not sure where to start.

I think the Singaporean definition of fun-ness and the means of indoctrinating introducing it to us young yuppies needs some tinkering. I found this lime green booklet lying around the house, from A*STAR. Like all things A*STAR-ish and government sponsored, the booklet looked expensive. And since it was from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, this former Arts student could not resist reading it. Ha-ha. Especially since the cover (decorated with funky scribbled science formulae and DNA models) cried out "My Journal" in hip purple cursive font (it went with the apple green, perhaps). Oh, the fun awaited.

On the "Introduction" page, not only are we once again confronted with the horrors of 'The King and I' number Getting to Know You, Getting to Know All About You... as the heading merrily exclaims - the perky booklet prolongs the agony by engaging in jovial rhetorical banter, asking "ARE you humming to that ever-engaging tune?" Ha-ha-ha.

Several more rhetorical questions later, we meet SAM and TIAN - the apparent owners of the "journals" we will be reading. Ah, but just when you thought you'd be enjoying voyeuristic fun, it is revealed:
Are these two guys for real? Mainly "Yes!" with a bit of "No". They are composite characters formulated for the purpose of getting real-life information across in an appealing manner...
So these two people you've languished so much detail and colour on aren't actual people?
But they are based on real people, on seven living A*STAR scholars whose identities will be revealed...
Well, aside from the fact that these are two fake people whose fake journals and fake emails we will be falsely violating, I'm just wondering why they're both chinese. I mean, to be politically correct and accurate to Singapore's famously multi-racial demographic, shouldn't one of them be like, one quarter Malay, another quarter Indian and maybe throw in some "Others" blood in their "composite" character somewhere? And why they're both good-looking. Scholars are not supermodel drop dead gorgeous and the face of this imaginary girl here looks rather like Annabelle Francis.
Hey Sam,
Will happily read the attachment right now.
Really sweet dreams. tian.
If this is A*STAR's or the government's idea of fun, I find it somehow, somewhat unsettling. And funny.

en at 11:24 pm

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