Wherein I Witness Love Peace and Complacency

Went to support Xiao Pang’s song at some North-East CDC National song-writing competition. Note the capitalized “National”, which signifies that the subject of the song was imperative. Xiao Pang got third place, despite her song being nothing at all about Singapore – it was titled “Yu3 Ji4”, rainy season – which only by a far stretch of the imagination could be applied to the monsoon we were experiencing. Unfortunately it wasn’t raining during the competition.

We sat on a big patch of empty land that ersembled a gigantic kitty-litter box on red National Day picnic-spreads, some 50m away from the raised stage. I am uncertain as to why we had to be so far away – perhaps they were afraid terrorists would throw trash cans at our budding talents. Some horrible old man kept giving us dirty looks because he claimed we were taking too much space and that the fifty supporters for his son (whom had written a song for the competition) would be arriving soon and that we had better make room for them then. They never showed, though, and we ended up sitting beside his son’s two lonely supporters, a morose couple who didn’t even bother to clap much for him.


On the other hand there were the girls from Methodist Girls’ School, who were very enthusiastic indeed about their teacher being in the performance. I believe young girls are the most fun to sit beside during pop concerts – only they have the lungs and vocal chords to still produce those primal hunting cries that stir your most basic instincts.

Inside our goodie bags were these MacDonalds toys. We took them out and played a little with them, but then quickly tired of the mindless plastic Aladdin figurines. I offered them to a seemingly-innocent little boy, who took much advantage of them and was soon arranging them all over the mats, much to the annoyance of the couple sitting beside me. Unfortunately, the little boy was also the rudest child I have seen, ordering me to open plastic wrapping for him, hitting his brother who also showed up after the introduction of toys and throwing tantrums whenever anyone touched any of the plastic things.

It got to the point I almost gave him the plastic bags to play with, in the hopes he would suffocate himself.

Somehow Xiao Pang’s song had been categorized in the “students” range, which was rather embarrassing considering she’s been professionally trained and her competition consisted of people almost half her age. Also, she’s not exactly a student anymore. I suppose it was divine irony that she lost to a Dave-Matthews-soundalike JC band from Innova JC and a fourteen year old (the one with the annoying father) whose wrote some cheesy song about loving his home. In fact, most of the songs were rather boring and insipid, sounding suspiciously like stuff you would expect a National Day song to be like.

One band, though, stuck out like a sore thumb. Their song, “Love, Peace and Complacency”, contained some rather derogatory lyrics concerning the state of Singaporeans nowadays. We are allegedly living in a fairyland of happiness, protected by our government and ignorance from the knowledge of impending doom. There was little applause after their performance, though I personally thought it was pretty good, and they had break dancers and everything. Perhaps most of the audience was paying more attention to Mr Mah Bow Tan’s expression, our minister for Naitonal Developement and guest-of-honour for the night being our yardstick for political tolerance. His slight frown meant, I suppose, that the band was more or less screwed.


Then Taufik came along, and the crowd went wild!!! I had no idea the Singapore Idol was so popular. Unfortunately his fan base seems to be rather skewed racially, which says a lot about the integration of the races here in Singapore. Thankfully some of the Methodist Girls also joined the fray of screaming fans, contributing to a more politically-correct groupie group.

Thank heavens for mindless little screaming girls! What would we do without?

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