Sunday 15 April 2012

I didn't feel the Earth move under my feet

Hands up those of you who sang to yourself “I feel the Earth move under my feet” by Carole King when you read the news about people in Singapore experiencing tremors during the earthquake near Sumatra last week.

Okay, those of you with your hands up, get out of here!

You’re old and ruining what little street cred I have by reading this blog. The song is from 1971, for chrissake!


You’re scaring away my One Direction-listening youth demographic.

You’re so ancient you probably think The Stone Roses are floral sculptures.

No, wait, you would also think the same thing if you're under 30.

Let me try another one: You're so ancient you're probably lamenting the closure of Rediffusion at the end of the month.

Here’s a quick test:

When you learnt that Rediffusion is shutting down after 63 years, what was your reaction?

1. “So sad.”

2. “Rediffusion is still around?”

3. “What is Rediffusion?”

If your answer is other than No. 3, please go collect your CPF and blow it all at a casino right now. If you hurry, maybe you can catch Wicked before the musical ends its run at Marina Bay Sands next week. Wear a bib in case you drool after falling asleep during the show.

To prove my point, I asked my 15-year-old son what he thought Rediffusion was.

“Physics?” he ventured.


“I heard the word ‘fusion’.”


No, I said. It’s an actual thing you can have in your home.

“A lamp?”

Uh... try again.

“Is it the iPad?”

That doesn’t even make sense. You mean after Steve Jobs died, Apple just went nuts and decided to rename the iPad “Rediffusion”?

“It’s not?”

Maybe something fell on my son’s head during the earthquake.

Speaking of things that don’t make sense and earthquakes, I read that during Wednesday’s Indonesian earthquake, tremors were reported in the Central Business District, Ang Mo Kio, Serangoon North, Geylang Bahru, Marine Parade, Woodlands, Bendemeer, Punggol, Hougang, Beach Road, Bukit Panjang, Farrer Road, Whampoa, Selegie, Siglap and Toa Payoh.

Fish tanks shook and buildings were evacuated.

There were tremors at all these different places? Really? Seriously? That’s pretty much all over Singapore.

I’m no seismologist (or physics nerd like my son), but then wouldn't almost everyone on the island have felt the tremors?

I was at the SPH News Centre in Toa Payoh during the earthquake and all I felt was a rumbling in my stomach after eating too many oily sardine puffs from the canteen.

Here are a few possible explanations for what some people thought were tremors from the earthquake:
  •  White men stampeding to the sperm bank to withdraw their sperm after reading in The New Paper that plus-size comedienne Michelle Tay would prefer a Caucasian sperm donor.
  •  The aftershocks of US$1 billion of Facebook’s money landing on Instagram’s lap. For years before Instagram was invented, I re-created some of Instagram’s photo effects simply by using a very cheap camera and being a lousy photographer. As usual, I was ahead of my time.
  •  We’re being attacked by the aliens from the movie Battleship and only Taylor Kitsch can save us. Wait, isn’t that the guy from John Carter? We’re doomed! Wait, there’s Rihanna. We’re doomed!
  •  The heavy last breath of a 63-year-old medium long past obsolescence. Yes, I’m talking about Rediffusion again. But kudos for outlasting Elvis Presley, the rotary phone and two Glenn Ong marriages.
The pager, which surprisingly is still around and coincidentally will also be finally euthanised at month's end, is a punk compared to old man Rediffusion.

Understandably, some of the not-so-young and nostalgic among us wish that Rediffusion (but not the pager) could be saved, but to quote something else that my son has never heard of - Carole King:

It’s too late, baby, now it’s too late.

Alamak. There goes my youth demographic.

- Published in The New Paper, 15 April 2012

PREVIOUSLY: April is the cruelest month for obsolescent tech

UPDATE: Rediffusion on 'air' again