Monday 22 July 2019

This is how they stop us: Storming ST Kinetics for aliens? Sorry, ST Kinetics doesn't exist

I’m spacing out.

What year is this? 2019 or 1999?

Is that why people are suddenly talking about extraterrestrials like it’s pre-Y2K when we were obsessing over The X-Files on TV? The show was like the Stranger Things of the 90s but with more paranoia and less Winona Ryder.

Or is it 1969?

Is that why I’m seeing all this news about the first man on the moon? Oh, it’s the 50th anniversary.

Ironic, isn’t it? We can put a man on the moon, but we still can’t use bitcoin to hire a hitman on the Dark Web to kill our ex-lover’s boyfriend without getting caught.

But the lunar landing’s golden jubilee is not why we suddenly have celestial beings on our minds.

Nor is it due to Men In Black International because that movie was so last month and not very good.

No, aliens are cool again thanks to a joke Facebook page called “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All Of Us”, which went viral last week like a certain app that can make your face look old and send your personal data to the Russians.

Area 51 is a classified US Air Force facility where conspiracy theorists believe the US government is secretly doing stuff with flying saucers and their other-worldly occupants.

You would know that if you’ve watched The X-Files.

Or Independence Day. Or Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull.

Or the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode, “Little Green Men”.

More than 1.8 million users have supposedly confirmed on the Facebook page that they are “going” to “storm Area 51” on Sept 20.

Although I’m one of the 1.8 million, it may shock you to learn that I may not actually go. The main reason is Area 51 is in America, which is very far.

Fortunately, for those in Singapore, someone has created a “Storm ST Kinetics, They Can’t Stop All Of Us” Facebook event page.

ST Kinetics is in Boon Lay, which is much closer.

Why ST Kinetics? Because it manufactures advanced military products for the Singapore Government, possibly using alien technology, who knows?

The event page has these instructions:
“We will all meet up at the ST Kinetics Main Entrance and coordinate our entry. If we do our contact drills, we can dodge all their SAR21s and Terrexes. Let’s see them aliens.”
More than 1,700 have indicated that they’re “going”. More than 3,400 are “interested”.

It’s telling that while Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has warned us about using FaceApp, he has yet to warn us against storming ST Kinetics.

But before committing, I messaged a friend who works at ST Electronics to find out whether he can provide any inside intel on ST Kinetics since both companies are under Singapore Technologies, which is what ST stands for.

His reply shook me to the core of my very soul.

“No more ST Kinetics,” he wrote.

Reality shifted. It was as if I was in an alternate universe.

An entire company just warped itself out of existence to escape being stormed by 1,700 alien hunters? Maybe ST Kinetics does have UFO tech and really doesn’t us to know about it.

Actually, as my friend explained, ST Kinetics has been renamed ST Engineering Land Systems since June last year. Just as the company he works for has been renamed ST Engineering Electronics.

The confusion arises because if you search for “ST Kinetics” online, much of the information has not been updated, including on Wikipedia and Google Maps.

Somehow, “Storm ST Engineering Land Systems” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

But the only way you can storm ST Kinetics on Sept 20 now is if you build a time machine using alien technology and travel back two years to storm ST Kinetics on Sept 20, 2017.

I sent my friend a link to an article about the “Storm ST Kinetics” page and he was intrigued.

He messaged back: “Hope my pass can sneak in…”

My hero! He must have realised that just because ST Kinetics isn’t called ST Kinetics any more, it doesn’t mean the arms manufacturer isn’t hiding alien secrets.

In the end, one man may accomplish what 1,700 or 1.8 million can’t. No storming required.

The truth is out there in Jalan Boon Lay.

- Published in The New Paper, 22 July 2019

UPDATE: The “Storm ST Kinetics, They Can’t Stop All Of Us” Facebook event page has been renamed “Thoughts & Prayers For Aliens At ST Kinetics” with this note:
As you all know, ST Kinetics is no πŸ™…‍♂️ Hong Lim Park so storming ST Kinetics counts as unlawful assembly.

As such, let us put our hearts πŸ’• and minds 🧠 together as one πŸ‘½ alien loving congregation to pray πŸ™ for the hearts and souls of the trapped aliens living within the confines of those grey walls.

We believe in the great power πŸ’ͺ of thoughts and prayers to right all wrongs in our society and if it doesn't work maybe we can shrug it off as not part of some divine will 🀷‍♂️ hopefully, if the divine power be willing, allow us to clap some alien cheeks along the way.

comment "thoughts and prayers πŸ™" to send virtual help to these poor aliens. 1 like = 1 thought, 1 share = 1000 prayers.

Monday 8 July 2019

Cryptopsy in Singapore: I wore a Hello Kitty shirt to a death metal concert and didn’t die

On March 7, the Singapore concert by Swedish black metal band Watain was cancelled by the authorities at the last minute.

I and presumably most of Singapore had never heard of Watain before. Only 150 were expected at the concert.

The cancellation was largely attributed to a petition by a Rachel Chan to “ban satanic music groups Watain and Soilwork from performing in Singapore”.

Soilwork’s concert is in October. I and presumably most of Singapore had never heard of Soilwork too.

But Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said: “The petition per se did not influence the decision.”

Even so, two months later, the petition was updated to include on the ban list the death metal bands Pestilence and Cryptopsy plus an event called Metal United World Wide.

I had never heard of Pestilence or Metal United World Wide. The shows were last month.

But I have actually heard of Cryptopsy. I own one of their albums, The Best Of Us Bleed.

You know how we all go through a phase where we seek out music that would annoy our parents? I went through that last year. I was 51.

I wouldn’t say I “stan” Cryptopsy, but I enjoyed the album.

After news spread that Cryptopsy was added to the Rachel Chan petition, the Canadian band responded on their Facebook page to the “potential banning” in Singapore:
“We as a band have no say or opinions when it comes to any sort of religion. We believe that everyone should choose their own paths in life.

“The lyrical & visual content in our music is a parody of the extremity of our music. It is a theatrical representation of the brutality and has been created to shock and awe as much as the drumming, guitar & bass riffs.

“We are in no way encouraging our fans to act out any of the content our art depicts.

“For us, our music and visual imagery is in no way worse than most of the Hollywood movies that are available today.”

Way to throw Hollywood under the bus, guys. Could a petition to ban horror movies about killer dolls be next?

Annabelle and Chucky in the same week? Come on, Hollywood, space them out!

To show my support for Cryptopsy, I bought two tickets to their concert at The Substation last Friday night. I paid $75 each, which is still much less than a U2 ticket or so I keep telling myself.

I forced my 19-year-old daughter to go with me. She prefers Bastille and K-pop.

She sported a black Snoopy T-shirt from Uniqlo while I rocked a white Hello Kitty Run T-shirt because wearing black to a metal concert is so basic – even though neither of us had been to one before.

There were more than 100 paying audience members in the small Substation theatre, mostly men in black T-shirts and only a few women. No seats. We all stood.

As expected, the music was very loud and the singing consisted mainly of growls without any discernible words. I couldn’t tell the songs apart. The repetitiveness made my daughter sleepy even though she used ear plugs.

But I enjoyed myself, watching the fans stage dive, crowdsurf and wince in pain when they crash to the floor. I just had to be careful not to let any metalhead land on me.

My daughter and I got violently jostled a few times by slam dancers as we were standing too close to the mosh pit, but we’re okay.

In between doing the windmill with his buttock-length hair, Cryptopsy frontman Matt McGachy alluded to the petition when he urged Singapore not to let anyone tell us what we can and cannot listen to. I’m giving you the censored version of what he said.

After the hour-long performance, I queued up for the meet-and-greet with the band to get a picture with them.

No one commented on my Hello Kitty T-shirt.

I asked if they were told not to play any songs like Watain were. Cryptopsy drummer Flo Mounier shook his head and joked that nobody can understand what they are singing anyway. So at least they have some self-awareness.

Asked whether they were worried that the concert could have been cancelled like Watain’s, Mounier said that Watain and Cryptopsy are very different bands.

He’s right. Watain is a black metal band while Cryptopsy is a death metal band.

You may ask, aren’t black metal and death metal the same thing?

That’s like asking if Katy Perry and Taylor Swift are the same person. In case you don’t know, they’re not.

Well, at least the concert wasn't cancelled.

The Rachel Chan petition has since been deleted. Could it be because of a petition asking Mr Shanmugam to “get Rachel Chan deported from Singapore”? Who knows?

I wonder whether I should go to the concert by Swedish death metal band Soilwork if it does not get banned.

My daughter says she never wants go to another metal concert. I’ll have to ask someone else. My mother may be free.

- Published in The New Paper, 8 July 2019

UPDATE: Soilwork concert in Singapore was cancelled