29 June 2012

The irony of irony: I don't get sarcasm sometimes

Yesterday, I received an e-mail regarding my 'Ah Lian versus Predator... I mean Priority Seat Aunty' column in The New Paper and I'm a bit perplexed by it.

Hi Mr SM Ong,

I am the most excited Singaporean today. Know why?

Cos finally I got to know the name of the kind-hearted damsel who got bullied by a ruthless Aunty in the MRT last week.

I take my hats off to this young girl (called Huina) who kept her cool despite being provoked and abused in public by the Ungrateful and Senseless Aunty.

Somehow, I felt very sorry for this girl who was treated harshly by the MRT bully despite being gracious, thoughtful and polite.

Indeed the beautiful Huina is the epitome of kindness.

She is a very caring, down-to-earth, friendly and unassuming girl. Traits of a typical Singaporean.

I am really proud of her.

And she certainly deserves to be crowned Miss TNP.

Lest you’re wondering, the alphabets TNP stand for Tolerant N Patient.

Appreciate if you could kindly forward this email to Miss Huina so that I can present her a bouquet of roses. Ha ha…

Many thanks Mr Ong.

I think the writer is being sarcastic, although I'm not 100 per cent sure what he or she is being sarcastic about.

My guess it's about how The New Paper is fawning over Huina like she's a hot Mother Teresa, which is a fair point, though not very clearly made.

But then why address the e-mail to me and not the paper itself? Was I fawning over her in my column too?

I suppose this is my own fault for often trying too hard to be ironic in my columns at the expense of making my point as clearly as I can. So I get e-mails in the same vein.

Payback's a bitch.

28 June 2012

Know your City Harvest Church letters: Real versus joke



Circulating online are a couple of letters supporting the City Harvest Churchers arrested for misuse of church funds.

It may be a little hard to tell the difference, but one is real and the other is a joke.

Please be aware that the one signed "Conservative Nazi" is meant as satire.


Dear Mr Chan Chun Sing,

I read with disappointment the defamatory article posted in MCYS’ Press Room entitled “Inquiry found misconduct and mismanagement in the City Harvest Church”.

I am an Executive Member of City Harvest Church, and yes, five people from my church were taken in yesterday, 26 June 2012, for investigation and it was announced they would be charged. Among them are the senior pastor of my church Pastor Kong Hee, and our deputy senior pastor, Pastor Tan Ye Peng.

The “report” that the Commissioner of Charities put up is offensive in the following ways:

The five individuals had not been yet charged on 26 June 2012. But the report was already posted online, and circulated to the public. Does the Commissioner of Charities feel that it is the judge of these five individuals, and not our judiciary? By posting this report, it is already declaring these five individuals “guilty” of wrongdoing even before the Singapore legal system has begun speaking to these five individuals. Frankly, this is defamatory, and necessitates an apology from the CoC.

There are some points in the report that make accusations that are not supported by evidence. For example,

a) Section B point 5: “donations and tithes to the Charity were transferred to a private fund known as the Multi-Purpose Account.” This is a fabrication. The MPA was purely a private fund and the donors knew they were contributing to the Crossover Project and to supporting Pastor Kong and Sun. In fact the MPA was set up by donors who specifically wanted to contribute to the Crossover Project as we the members of the Church support this as part of our missions work. Monies from CHC’s accounts were not transferred, as accused by CoC, to this MPA. It was a private fund. Definition of “private”: “Belonging to or for the use of one particular person or group of people only.” So, there was no need for the members outside this group to know about the MPA.

b) In paragraph 2 of the press statement, the CoC insinuates that $23M was used to finance Ho Yeow Sun’s secular music career and gives the impression that money was depleted from the Building Fund. It fails to mention that the audited accounts show that these funds were actually used to purchase bonds with an interest yield of 7% and were duly redeemed with interest upon their expiry date one and a half years’ ago. So no monies have actually been lost to our Church’s Building Fund, in fact the 7% yield of these matured bonds have made this a much better investment than putting the money into fixed deposits with pathetic interest rates.

3. Inflammatory and emotive language is used throughout this report, to the effect of inciting indignation in the reader. Examples:

a. Section B, Point 4: “the Charity’s funds were used to finance the Project under the guise of donations to its affiliated church”.

b. Section B, Point 5: “There was even an attempt to conceal the existence of this Account”

While I understand the need to CoC to conduct an inquiry into this matter, I strongly disagree with this report being posted online and re-posted on sites like ST.com when the five have not even been formally charged in court! I take offence at the—frankly amateur—way it has been written and the incendiary language it uses.

I have been a member of City Harvest Church for 18 years. Our pastors have always been open and honest with us, while trying to accomplish the vision God has given our church in the best way they know how. Whilst they may not be perfect, integrity has always been their hallmark.

In Point 6 of the report, the CoC says it may take action against these individuals “in order to protect the charitable property of the Charity.” We the members of the Church have given voluntarily to the Church and the Crossover Project, monies have never been solicited from the public. We are a society and do not owe members of the public any account of our how our funds are used, yet we post our audited accounts online on our website for transparency and accountability.

I can assure you the “charitable property” that I have donated to the Charity does not need protecting by CoC. Pastor Kong Hee, Pastor Tan Ye Peng, Chew Eng Han, John Lam and Sharon Tan have my—and I am sure my fellow churchmates’—trust and support. We know them, trust their integrity and we have seen the fruit of their labour. Nothing that they do is for personal gain, glory or self-furtherance. I am therefore not supportive of the CoC’s suspension of the 8 persons from their offices.

I write to respectfully ask that the CoC apologises to City Harvest Church and its members for this inexcusable report and its poor timing.

Yours truly,
Christopher Pang


The letter above was sent to the Ministry of Community Youth And Sports and the media.

The letter below is created by New Nation, a sort of Singapore version of The Onion. So don't do a Lim Hwee Hua and take it seriously.



Dear Editors,

I am deeply saddened by the reactions of netizens to the arrest of my dearest pastor Kong Hee. As a long time member of City Harvest Church, the public clearly does not understand the sacrifices he had to make in the name of God.

When I first received Sun Ho’s Chinese pop CD in 2003, I thought to myself: “what kind of devil’s music is this?” But as I listened more, it began to dawn on me that I was being overly prudish and she was actually spreading the word of God in the form of Satan-worshipping music to beat the devil at his own game.



Indeed, the more involved I became at the Church, the more I began to understand that I could not even begin to comprehend God’s plan and the plans pastor Kong had for me, and the church. You see, I am but mortal. Pastor Kong was the chosen one.

Without his light shining like a beacon of conscience, the gays, prostitutes, and the opposition would start to take over Singapore. Satan would then have a hub to take over the world.

So it was with deep love that I decided to dedicate 30% of my husband’s salary each month to help fund Sun Ho’s music career as part of the Crossover project.

As a good christian, I have an obligation to The Lord to spread his message: from Singapore to Malaysia, to Taiwan, China and even the town of sin, Hollywood.

It must have been extremely difficult for pastor Kong to see his wife in such disgusting states of undress in public, and for her to live in the heart of the most unholy places on earth, Beverly Hills. I’ve watched the TV series 90210 when I was younger. These people have no morals but like lepers, the Man and Woman of God must go to the sick to heal the sick.

People outside the church don’t understand us and are so quick to condemn when they haven’t experienced God through His music, sung to thumping beats and a negro man saying something intelligible at the beginning.



I do not understand how “China wine” or being a Geisha is related to God’s work, but as I said, I’m only mortal. God has a plan, even when I don’t understand. Even when it involves S$23 million. If pastor Kong was using that money, it must be God’s will.

Jesus preaches forgiveness, and therefore we must forgive even if we don’t want to.

So I forgive the government, and the public for misunderstanding and maligning the Church.

There’s a special place in hell for people who say nasty things about Kong Hee and an even worse one for those that framed God’s chosen workers.

I pray that it will be like Sodom and Gonorrhea.

Yours truly,
Conservative Nazi

24 June 2012

Ah Lian versus Predator... I mean Priority Seat Aunty



Spoiler alert!

A week after the Alien prequel of sorts Prometheus crash-landed in the cinemas and killed the evil queen from Snow White And The Huntsman (again!), the Ah Lian Versus Priority Seat Aunty (AVP) video spread online like an alien virus on a spaceship without a stringent decontamination protocol.

Where’s a flamethrower when you need one? Maybe I can use a screwdriver.



Just as many moviegoers have questions about the movie Prometheus, I have a few questions about the AVP video.

The video shows an alien... I mean Ah Lian standing in the MRT train having a war of words with an aunty in a “priority seat”.

Warning: If you have not seen the video, stop reading this column now. It will give away major plot points and dialogue.

By the way, if you’re planning to watch the video, I hope you’re not younger than 16 because even though the video has not been submitted to the Media Development Authority for classification, I believe it should be rated NC16 for explicit language.



What if you’re under 16 and have already seen the video? Hey, if you don’t tell anyone, I won’t tell anyone.

Question 1:

Why is the AVP video in English? This greatly limits its box-office potential. How to appeal to heartlanders like that?

The local productions that are the most consistently profitable are Jack Neo movies. Why? Because they are not in English.



Since the two main characters in the video are supposed to be an Ah Lian and an aunty, wouldn’t it be more natural for them to speak Chinese?

I would attribute the English spoken in the video to the Speak Good English Movement except that the English spoken in the video isn’t good.

At least now non-Chinese-speaking viewers can follow the story without having to read subtitles.

Question 2:

Since the Ah Lian speaks English (or Singlish) and not, say, Hokkien, is it then correct to call her an Ah Lian?

After all, no one actually refers to the younger woman as Ah Lian in the video.

In the first Ah Lian... I mean Alien movie, at least someone called the alien an “alien”, so that we know for sure it’s an alien.

Not being a certified expert on the anthropology of Ah Lians, I cannot verify whether the woman is an Ah Lian or not. But I can verify she’s kind of hot.

And since she has been given the Most Polite Ah Lian Award online for her, uh, restraint in the video (plus she said “please” and “thank you”), she’s pretty much stuck with the Ah Lian label.



I hope she attends the award ceremony. I wonder what she’ll wear for the red carpet. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it’s something low-cut. Please and thank you.

By the way, I have no problems with the older woman being called aunty. Just don’t call me uncle.

Question 3:

Why does the aunty say to Ah Lian, “Most probably you’re from China”?

Doesn’t the aunty know that Singapore is not in China, but in Europe? Doesn’t she follow Amanda Bieber on Twitter?

Amanda Bieber, also known as Manda Swaggie, is the pseudonym of an online troll, which went viral last week with this tweet: “Amanda Bieber and Manda Swaggie is trending in Singapore. Does that mean I'm famous in Europe? :D SWAG!”



I’m guessing the aunty doesn’t have a Twitter account.

Question 4:

Why isn’t Mr Alex Ong in the video?

Mr Ong, a well-known local scarf aficionado, recently starred in his own viral video where he threatened to hit an older woman on the bus and eventually pushed her off, but he later apologised.



Wouldn’t it have been cool if after Ah Lian gets off the train, Mr Ong enters the frame and stands in front of the aunty just before the video ends? What a cliffhanger!

I would pay to watch the sequel - AVP2: Alex Ong Versus Priority Seat Aunty.





Question 5:

What are the headphones Ah Lian is using in the video?

They look like Monster Beats by Dr Dre, but I want to know if they’re the real thing or fakes.

In case the Ah Lian is reading this, she can tell me by writing to my e-mail address here on this page.

So e-mail me, maybe?

- Published in The New Paper, 24 June 2012



SM Ong,

Firstly hilarious article on Sunday paper, do you know that the fake Beats outnumber the authentic Beats Headphone/Earphone out there on a ratio of 5:1, basically the fake one come in 3 different categories, priced differently as well.

Ramakrishna


Hi,

Your article is classified as Humour but I have to say it failed to even make me smile. I am not related to te Ah Lian by the way. My question is, do u have to make a mockery of her by questioning, of all things, if her headphones are the real thing. If that is meant to bring humour to your article, it certainly was in distaste and you have failed miserably. Give me Dawson Cheong anytime.

Jamsowyong


Dear Smong,

After your last line: E-mail me, maybe, Baby!

And she does reply ...

And so the story continues...

U get a reply... From the Alien (aka - Ah Lien). I call in JN (aka Jack Neo),
To make a sequel in Mandarin!! - this time around.

From AVP3 - the story progresses - in tru style and takes the spin off a step further - alien mates - with U - to extend her progeny - aka Species - except she's no Natasha Henstridge.

I do believe Species spawned a whole lot of other franchises - and on and on it goes. Jack Neo's career is revived.

He goes on and scores with many of his female leads and now - THAT is a horror story in its own right!!!!

Glad I cld b of help!!

Cheers!!!

Michael

UPDATE: The Ah Lian has been identified and she doesn't like being called Ah Lian (but that doesn't mean she isn't one)

21 June 2012

Another reason to run

In The Straits Times today:
This year's Shape Run will introduce 30 male runners as pacers - chosen not only for their running abilities but also their pin-up looks.

Ms Diana Lee, general manager of fashion and beauty at Singapore Press Holdings, the organiser, said: 'This is a chance for women to chase the guys for a change. It's to introduce a fun element, to provide 'eye candy' for the runners.'


After seeing this picture, my wife says: "Eee! Who wants to chase them? I'll run away from them!"

She also asks: "Why can't they hire the Abercrombie models?"



She's right. Even I would run after the Abercrombie models.

20 June 2012

Was U2's last album that bad?



Bono to be put to death with Aung San Suu Kyi?

I did a double-take when I saw this page in today's Straits Times.

A rather unfortunate placement of the headline "Two who sparked unrest to die" below the picture of the Myanmar opposition politician and the politically-active U2 frontman.

Fortunately, the "two" who were sentenced to death in the headline refer to someone else.

Otherwise, Sunday Bloody Sunday could have a very different meaning.

17 June 2012

What is art? (And the meaning of the movie Prometheus?)

Since today is Father’s Day, I should mention my father, who died in 1993.



He was an artist (spelled without an “e”) and not, say, a MediaCorp “artiste” (spelled with an “e”).

Although he was best known as a cartoonist, he also painted, held exhibitions of his work, taught art, wrote books about art and was the president of the Pachui Art Society. (Never heard of it? Don’t worry. No one has.)



He was friends with Cultural Medallion-winning artist Tan Swie Hian, who described my father as “a significant political cartoonist and probably the only one” in Singapore during the 1950s and 1960s.

If he were alive today, my father would probably be really good at Draw Something.

While I don’t care about art as much he did, I was interested enough in the subject that as an undergrad in the US in the late 80s, I took a philosophy course called Social Problems Of Contemporary Art.

Naturally, before going into the social problems of contemporary art, the class had to first address the eternal question: “What exactly is this ‘art’ thingy anyway?”

And just my luck, it was one of those classes where if you asked the long-haired bearded professor anything, the old hippy's likely reply was: “What do you think?

Hey! The professor could be a deputy prime minister of Singapore - that is, if he cuts his hair.

And shaves. And becomes a Singapore citizen. And is a former Chief of Navy.

Anyway, regarding the “what is art?” question, I think I may have finally found the definitive answer last week – after over 20 long years!

Last Tuesday, at the “town hall” meeting to discuss the impact of Sticker Lady's arrest on the local art community, the director of the Intercultural Theatre Institute, Mr T Sasitharan, said:

“The whole issue then becomes some kind of cognitive dispute: ‘Is this art?’ That’s not the point. The point is, we think it is art.



And there you have it: Art is whatever “we” think is art.

I assume “we” refers to the art community, represented by the people at the meeting, whoever they were.

Next, I’m asking Mr Sasitharan about the meaning of life and to explain the movie Prometheus to me. (Why didn’t Charlize Theron just run perpendicular to the direction the alien ship was falling? Hello!)



Is it just me or did anyone else detect the odd mix of self-aggrandising, siege mentality and everyone-is-against-us-because-no-one-understands-us paranoid pity party at the meeting?

It kind of reminds me of my father. What is an artist without a little persecution complex?

I wonder what he would think of all this Sticker Lady stuff. Probably not much, since he’s been dead for almost two decades.

A few years after his death, my mother organised a posthumous exhibition of his work to get rid of... I mean to sell the art pieces he left behind.

I berated her for printing too many invitations. Think of the planet!

Afraid no one would attend the exhibition, my mother desperately handed a bunch of invitations to my wife to give out to her friends.

My wife dutifully gave out the invitations to her colleagues in her IT company and even told them there would be free food at the exhibition, but secretly hoped they wouldn't go because she was afraid they would see how much my father's art sucked.

But like me, her colleagues were suckers for gratis grub. My wife was shocked by the number of colleagues who turned up at the exhibition.

And while they were chewing, they took the opportunity to view my father’s works but decided not to buy any.



Some time later, one of my wife's colleagues finally found the courage to tell her how much they thought my father's art sucked.

Some time after that, my wife finally found the courage to tell me how much her colleagues thought my father’s art sucked.

I just shrugged.

Having grown up with my father’s art, I don’t have an objective perspective of whether it sucks or not.

It was just there.

My father’s art was part of the furniture in my home (although some may argue that furniture design is also an art form, but that’s not my point).



So while the art community during my father’s time might have determined that his work was art, the community of IT workers in my wife’s company determined that it was sucky art.

So the issue for me is not whether something is art, but if the art sucks, is it still art? In other words, is sucky art an oxymoron?

If I asked my philosophy professor this question, he would probably say: “What do you think?” I would then curse him in my blog and later apologise.

I got a B for the course.

I better be getting fantastic Father’s Day presents from my kids today or I’m forcing them to watch Prometheus.

By the way, anyone wants to buy some sucky art?

I can give you my mother’s number.

- Published in The New Paper, 17 June 2012

15 June 2012

Why is MediaCorp telling us to turn off the TV when we already have?



I find this headline "Not watching TV now? Then turn it off" on the front page of today's Today problematic for four reasons:

1. Is people not turning off their TV when they're not watching really such a big problem?

The story is about how people should reduce energy consumption at home.

I think it's more common now for people to leave their computers on when no one is using them. At least that's the case in my home.

2. I hardly even turn on the TV anymore these days. I watch almost all my TV shows on the Internet.

3. Today newspaper is owned by MediaCorp, which is also in magazines, radio, movies, events, outdoor and what have you. But its mainstay is still the TV business.

So why is MediaCorp telling people to turn off the TV?

It's like Singapore Press Holdings telling people to put down the newspaper.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

4. And most ironic of all, TV is not even mentioned anywhere in the story apart from the headline!

I think someone just came up with the headline to go with the cartoon.

10 June 2012

Sticker Lady not a stickler for grammar (Free Oliver Fricker!)

My grandfather's grandson.

That's me.

This is the extent of my contribution to something called My Grandfather Singapore on Facebook where Singaporeans are asked to take a photo of themselves "all over Singapore, ala Sticker Lady, with a sign reading 'My Grandfather Road/Temple/Stall/etc' to show Singaporeans can be creative and that we have ownership of what we love in Singapore".



No, wait, I wrote it wrongly. It should be "My grandfather grandson".

Actually, I wrote it correctly the first time, but in this case, being right is wrong and wrong is right.

As the people behind the My Grandfather Singapore Facebook thing pointed out (in parenthesis): "Yes, it looks like a spelling mistake, but it's how some Singaporeans tend to drop the possessive when speaking in Singlish."

Actually, it looks more like grammatical error than a spelling mistake, but I quibble.

But you know who is one of the people behind the My Grandfather Singapore Facebook page?

Catherine Lim!

Fortunately, it's not the Catherine Lim whose books are taught in Singapore schools. How can a Ministry of Education-approved author be encouraging us to use broken English?

Did I send Phua Chu Kang to take English classes as instructed by then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong all those years ago for nothing? Were 13 years of the Speak Good English Movement for nothing? Did I do a spellcheck for this column for nothing?

What hath Sticker Lady aka Samantha Lo wrought?

Lo was arrested last week for painting "My grandfather road" on public roads. She is also allegedly behind the black stickers pasted on traffic lights around Singapore.



On Facebook, MP Tin Pei Ling, Nominated MP Janice Koh and non-MP Nicole Seah have written in Lo's defence.

Lo has since been released on police bail. So why are slacktivists stepping over themselves to jump on the "Free Sticker Lady" bandwagon when she is already free?

Why are Sticker Lady's supporters pre-emptively sending her to jail?

Forget Banksy. Sticker Lady is treated like she's Nelson Mandela. (I'm still singing along to the Special AKA's Free Nelson Mandela, even though I know he has been free for a while.)



But where were these "let's support creativity" types two years ago when Swiss Oliver Fricker was arrested for spray-painting graffiti on the MRT train?

Where were Tin Pei Ling, Janice Koh and Nicole Seah back then? No, wait, Koh wasn't NMP and no one heard of Tin or Seah back then.

Why wasn't there an online petition for the Ministry of Information, Communication and the Arts (Mica) to recognise Fricker's work as "art, not vandalism" (like the petition to Mica to "review sentence" of Lo, even though she hasn't been sentenced yet)?



Is it because Fricker is a foreigner? And not a cat-loving 25-year-old Singaporean who worked for the National Art Gallery?

It's probably also a good thing Lo doesn't drive a Ferrari or wear a scarf on the bus.

And being a foreigner, Fricker would've never thought to spray-paint the train with "My grandfather train" - or even "My grandfather's train" (with the possessive).

(The 1994 Michael Fay incident doesn't apply because that happened long before people could put black "Anyhow paste police catch" badges on their Facebook pages.)

And unlike Fricker, Sticker Lady has also sparked more intense discussion about art than the recently-concluded Singapore Arts Festival ever did, just as the festival organisers announced last week that the festival is taking a break next year for reassessment.

Perhaps if they want to avoid low attendances like for last year's festival, they should resort to vandalism too.

But don’t do what the Singapore Post did in 2010 when it had post boxes around Singapore spray-painted with graffiti for a publicity campaign. That just upset people.

In this case, wrong was not right. Wrong was just wrong.

SingPost's gaffe was that the graffiti wasn't in Singlish. It should've had the post boxes spray-painted with the words "My grandfather post box". Remember to drop the possessive.

Which brings me back to Catherine Lim's (but not that Catherine Lim) My Grandfather Singapore project on Facebook to get Singaporeans to show that they can be creative by following her instructions to basically copy what someone else did.

Do what you're told and copy.

And that, ladies and xenophobes, is the state of creativity in Singapore in a nutshell.

By the way, why is Lo called Sticker Lady and not Grandfather Lady? I guess it's all relative.

Spellchecked.

- Published in The New Paper, 10 June 2012


COLUMN: What is art?

UPDATE: 'Sticker Lady' and her accomplice charged with mischief


9 June 2012

Video created the viral star (Too early to apologise)

Last week, as a sub-editor at The New Paper, I laid out two reports about elderly women being assaulted by strangers in fits of rage.

The first report was about an elderly foodcourt cleaner who was allegedly punched by an angry woman after the cleaner told the woman not to place used trays on the floor.



The other report was about an angry male bus passenger who pushed an elderly female passenger out the door of a stationary bus because he was furious that she caused the bus to stop again by pressing the bell so late.

The male passenger later apologised to the elderly woman. I made it a point to mention this in the second headline of the story.

My wife read both stories and thought that the first case was more serious and wondered why it's the second case that has gotten more attention.

I was also surprised by the attention. As far as I was concerned, the man apologised. Case closed.

The reason for the attention is obvious: The second case has a video of the incident.

And I might add, no video of the apology.



Mr Alex Ong also extended his 15 minutes of infamy by going online to explain why he pushed the old lady off the bus. Plus the scarf he's wearing (in Singapore?!) in the video doesn't help.

Usually, this sort of thing ends with an apology, but he had already apologised early on.

So where's the closure?

In this case, (I hope) it's the police statement that "the incident was being investigated and has been classed as one of voluntarily causing hurt".

Meanwhile, the unnamed woman who punched the elderly foodcourt cleaner is all but forgotten. Why? No video.

6 June 2012

Free Samantha Lo! (Or 'This is not your grandfather's vandal')



She has been arrested for acts of vandalism that included painting “My grandfather road” on the road and placing "humourous" stickers on public property.





And suddenly, Samantha Lo aka skl0 aka Sticker Lady, 25, is the latest cause celebre online.

NMP Janice Koh and failed political candidate Nicole Seah as well as many others have come to her support.

I wonder if Singaporeans would be jumping on the Free Sticky Lady, I mean Free Sticker Lady bandwagon if she were a foreigner.

Or a Ferrari driver.

Actually, I don't wonder at all; no, they wouldn't.

But then a foreign Ferrari driver wouldn't be able to win over Singaporeans' hearts with Singlish phrases like "Press until shiok" and "Your grandfather road".

Free Sticker Lady with every purchase!

I'm disappointed she isn't called the Grandfather Lady. That would've been more "humourous".

As for the “Vandalism or art?” question, I've written about it before, so I'll just leave you with the video below.



COLUMN: Sticker Lady not a stickler for grammar (Free Oliver Fricker!)

UPDATE: 'Sticker Lady' and her accomplice charged with mischief


3 June 2012

Gaga's gone, let's protest Katy Perry!



Is it Halloween already?

No, it's Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, better known as...

All I hear is Lady Gaga, Lady Googoo, Lady Gaga.



Halloween came early this year as Her Monstrosity completed her three-night stand at the Singapore Indoor Stadium last week and her fans, or Little Monsters, dressed up to look the part.



Nando's even offered a whole chicken if you showed up at the restaurant dressed as Lady Gaga. But I don't know whether you'd get water or not. I wouldn't wear the meat dress in case the restaurant cooks it by mistake.

The US singer's concert in Indonesia was cancelled due to protests and security concerns. There were also protests in South Korea, the Philippines and Thailand - but none in Singapore.

That kind of makes me feel left out.

While she has been condemned elsewhere for her provocative image, mocking religious figures, promoting homosexuality, ripping off Madonna and tweeting about buying a fake Rolex, one Singapore minister actually held up Lady Gaga as a role model.

At an event last July, Mr Lim Swee Say reportedly said: "Somehow, Lady Gaga is able to engage her fans all over the world, not just with her songs... but also with experiences. Every (company) ought to find a way such that more of you will become like the Lady Gaga of your respective sectors."

Yes, the Minister in the Prime Minister's Office was telling us to be like Gaga - which explains the early Halloween, I guess.

So no protests against Mother Monster in Singapore then. (We'd rather protest SingTel mioTV anyway.)

But there are still plenty of foreign musical acts coming to town who haven't been endorsed by a minister.

Now which ones can Singaporeans protest against? Here are a few suggestions.

Stylistics, June 14

I want to protest against the Stylistics because they no longer have the original lead singer with them. Only two original members of the 70s hit-makers remain.

The guy who sang lead on those 70s hits left the group years ago and formed the New Stylistics.



I would rather see the New Stylistics and hear the correct voice singing the song from the Gatsby commercials: "I can give you Gatsby... Gatsby... Gatsby..."



I believe my wife would rather see the pretty Japanese guy from the Gatsby commercials.

Train, June 17

Eastbound Train service between Boon Lay and Lakeside moving slower due to track fault.

Jason Mraz, June 29

I'm seriously disturbed by the missing vowel in his last name.

Dan Hill, July 1

He had one solo hit, Sometimes When We Touch, 35 years ago and he's giving a concert? Are we supposed to sit through 80 minutes of songs we don't know just for that one hit?

Maybe he'll trot out Vonda Shepard to sing Can't We Try with him for an encore. Yeah, and I'm Ally McBeal.



Stone Roses, July 22

Or is it "Stoned" Roses? Ban them!

Snow Patrol, Aug 6

The band's biggest hit Chasing Cars is not about high COE prices, even though it should be.

The song was also featured on the US TV show Grey's Anatomy, which inflicted Katherine Heigl on the world.



Garbage, Aug 21

The band's song Stupid Girl is hurtful to young women with learning disabilities.



New Order, Aug 22

The band is named after a Nazi ideology. The members used to be in a band called Joy Division, named after sexually exploited women in Nazi concentration camps. That's two Nazi references too many.



Beach Boys, Aug 22

The average age of the five current Beach Gramps is 68. Their audience is even more elderly. Not in my backyard.

Maroon 5, Sept 22

One of the band's biggest hits is Moves Like Jagger, which is about elderly Rolling Stones singer Mick Jagger, who has been arrested for drugs before. Just say no to bands that sing songs about elderly stoners.



Proclaimers, Sept 21 to 23

The identical twin brothers from Scotland wear glasses, obviously mocking the myopia epidemic in Singapore. They shouldn't be allowed within 500 miles of the island.



Bananarama, Sept 22 to 23

The 80s pop trio is now a duo, so they should be called Banarama. Tickets should also be 33 per cent off.

Katy Perry, Sept 23

Her first hit I Kissed A Girl is banned on Singapore radio. Her cleavage was banned on Sesame Street. But most unforgivable of all, she misspelled California Gurls.



Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Sept 22 to 23

They're not Oasis.



- Published in The New Paper, 3 June 2012

1 June 2012

Here's a bag to carry your bag



I was at NTUC FairPrice supermarket and bought two 1-litre cartons of F&N Fruit Tree Fresh juice and got a nice recycling bag free.

But then the cashier put the juice and recycling bag into a plastic bag!



Didn't that kinda defeat the purpose of the recycling bag?

Because I buy the juice regularly, I now ask the cashier to put the juice in the recycling bag she's giving me.



If I'm really green, I would use these bags every time I go to the supermarket instead of relying on plastic bags.

I guess I'm not really green.

Speaking of not being green, I ordered a discounted Picard wallet from Zalora and when it arrived, I was amazed by the amount of packaging relative to the size of the wallet.



And see the bubble wrap? Why would a wallet need to be bubble-wrapped? It must be a very fragile wallet.



Well, at least it didn't come in a plastic bag. No, wait ... it did.

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