Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fuck the F1

So these last couple of days, downtown Singapore has reverberated with the incessant buzzing of Formula 1 cars speeding around its streets. Because we write in the area, I've had opportunity to peer through the fences while the drivers were practicing during the day, realizing that the cars are really smaller in real life than you'd think, and also that you can hardly make out anything besides the main color when one of them flashes by you.

Which leads me to think that the folks who paid upwards of several hundred dollars for a seat in the grandstand are really, really stupid.

No matter how good your seat is, you see each car as it goes by for a grand total of - let's be generous - two seconds. And if they're all in a pack, you can't really focus on anything. Each car is supposed to travel 61 laps around the circuit. So I suppose it would be generous to say that you will physically see the cars in action for all of ten minutes in the entire night, at most.

For the rest of the time, you're watching the TV monitors. Which you could very well do at home during the live telecast. And in the comfort of your living room (I doubt the grandstand has air-conditioning). For free. And without overpriced food and drink. And you don't even have to fight with the crowd to get home afterward. Come on, do you really want to spend hundreds of dollars, only to end up pressed against some idiot who doesn't know the meaning of deodorant on the MRT ride home?

Besides, don't you think the entire F1 is a colossal waste of money and resources? You have to fly everyone and their Aunt Petunia over here, you have to transport all the cars and equipment, you have to set up all the necessary facilities, you have to shut down the roads and piss everyone working in the vicinity off, and do you know how much fuel those monsters consume? Hey, dear Minister, can you honestly advocate a greener lifestyle while promoting this event? How hypocritical can you get? And how many taxpayer dollars are going towards this ostentatious display?

To me, it seems to be nothing more than ridiculous overcompensation. Kinda like the balding guy with a really small dick and erectile dysfunction who drives around in a Lamborghini. Yes, we're a small nation. Stop acting like we got something to prove. How pathetic do you want to look? Like the desperate middle-aged women who shriek their way through Mamma Mia! The Movie?

How do you justify inconveniencing everyone that works in the area? Or visits the place? Or ends up getting in jam-packed train carriages that were already crowded enough during rush hour, and now are worse than ever? Well, basically, someone who's really pissed off at the whole affair, like me?

Tourist dollars? Come on, how much are they going to spend, when all their needs are paid for? I honestly don't believe that many people fly all the way in just to watch this damn thing.

You don't know? You can't think of anything? I didn't think so.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

My Company Has No Balls, No Spine, Nothing

We received our first complaint yesterday.

This was sent to the Media Development Authority, who partially funded the show (emphasis mine).

"I write to you today because I saw an MDA production on the bus yesterday which was shocking in many ways.

The program is called "First Class" and what I saw was a short "comedy " about snuff films and the elderly... something like that. I couldn't hear it, but the images and production were beyond juvenile and the theme of euthanasia for the elderly is beyond tasteless..."

And you, my dear friend, are beyond stupid.

Some background information. There's a channel on Singapore buses called TV Mobile. It mainly shows content that has already been screened on local TV before, although sometimes for major shows, they do simultaneous telecasts. As expected for this kind of free platform, there's lots of airtime to be filled, so there are lots of ads, and also short clips (behind the scenes, etc.).

The clip in question was a short that was developed for the internet and mobile phone downloads; a "spinoff" from the main series designed to tie into the episode showing that week. It's a parody of a corporate video for a charitable organization, done in the style of a nature documentary, appealing for funds from the public, and is meant to satirize the Singaporean practice of dumping old people in old folks' homes.

Immediately, the powers that be on our end responded in their typical balls-less, knee-jerk way. The spinoff in question, SNUFF Film, has been yanked from TV Mobile and the official website, and is unavailable on any official platform.

Here's the synopsis:

4) SNUFF Film
The Sang Nila Utama & Friends' Foundation appeal for public donations. Please donate. Please? For the old folks?

Since there's now no way to watch the short, I'll provide you with the script so you can see our intentions.


On a Sang Nila Utama and Friends Foundation (SNUFF) sign.

Camera approaches the Director, who’s hard at work at his desk. It waits expectantly. Director looks up and feigns surprise.

DIRECTOR (direct address): Oh! Hello there! I’m Jack Neo Swee Lin, and I’m the director here. You must be here to learn more about Sang Nila Utama and Friends Foundation Old Folks’ Home. Come on.

He gestures to the camera to follow and walks off. Turns a corner. Beat. Sticks his head back in. Gestures again.

DIRECTOR (CONT’D): There you are! I thought we’d lost you! Come on, you’ve got to be faster if you want to catch the old folks in action!


Director walks up to Assistant.

DIRECTOR: Why, hello, my lovely assistant, Zoe Tay Ping Hui!

ASSISTANT: Hello Director Jack! (gestures to camera) I see you brought friends.

DIRECTOR: That’s right, Assistant Zoe, because friends are a very important part of Sang Nila Utama and Friends Foundation! (winks at camera)

ASSISTANT: You came just in time, Director Jack! I was going to feed the old folks. Do you want to come along?

DIRECTOR: Sure thing Assistant Zoe! And I’m sure our friends want to come along too! Let’s go!

They skip out of the doorway.


Estab shot of Old Folks’ Home. Shots of old folks.

ASSISTANT (V.O.): At Sang Nila Utama and Friends Foundation Old Folks’ Home, we’ve set up our enclosures to closely replicate the natural environment of the old folks. Here, they can engage in all the activities they used to do in the wild.

Shots of old folks sitting around doing nothing.

DIRECTOR (V.O.): Our team of warm-hearted caretakers feed them regularly, sometimes even twice a day!

Shots of the kids feeding the old folks.

DIRECTOR (V.O.) (CONT’D): How happy the old folks look! They must be enjoying their delicious meal.

Shots of kids spilling food and drink all over the old folk.

DIRECTOR (V.O.) (CONT’D): Wouldn’t you want your old folk to enjoy the same kind of lifestyle as them?


DIRECTOR: Old folk are an endangered species. Their lifespan in captivity ranges from 2 to 5 years.

ASSISTANT: But it’s even more difficult for them to survive on their own in the wild. That’s where you come in. (points at camera)

DIRECTOR: If you have spare old folk lying around, and you want a better life for them, call us.

ASSISTANT: Our toll-free hotline is 1800-SNUFF-’EM. We’ll arrange for a pickup on the next working day. What service! That’s a result of our ISO certification.

SUPER: 1800-SNUFF-’EM and 1800-76833-36 as well as ISO logo.

DIRECTOR: (gestures to super-ed numbers) That’s 1800-SNUFF-’EM, or 1800-76833-36.

ASSISTANT: If you want to support our conservation efforts, please make a donation to the Sang Nila Utama and Friends Foundation.

DIRECTOR: We accept cash, cheque, bank transfer, all major credit cards and Paypal.

ASSISTANT: We hope you’ve enjoyed your visit. See you soon!

DIRECTOR: Or in 50 years!

They beam and wave goodbye at camera.

As of right now, we don't know the final decision regarding this short, and are awaiting official responses to see whether it'll be banned, we'll be fined, or any other stupid thing that you can think of.

Several things anger me about this incident.

1. The complainant
If you didn't hear the sound, you have no right to go spouting your mouth off. You, my dear sir/madam, are an absolutely fucktard. It's called jumping to conclusions. It's what stupid, irrational people do.

2. The powers that be
You have no balls. Period. This is the kind of idiotic complaint that would get laughed out of the offices of television studios anywhere else in the world. It's one complaint. ONE. By a fucktard.

3. Censorship
The assumption that we have to "protect" the children so that they won't get the "wrong message" is rather simplistic and naive, to say the least. We are not responsible for viewers' intelligence, or lack thereof. Not that our viewers are stupid. If you're a fan, you quite obviously aren't.

Hmm. This post reveals lots of sensitive/privileged information. Maybe I could be fired if I post it.

Oh well, why not? It's not like I'm afraid of getting fired.

Fucktard, balls-less company.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Goodbye, and Good Riddance

This sounds pretty sad, but I bought a Sudoku puzzle book all the way back in February. February 6th, to be exact. The day before Chinese New Year.


Well, I finally made my way through the bloody book, all 178 puzzles, and completed it nary half an hour ago. Yes, it's an accomplishment. But a fucking pathetic one.

Man, I've gotta get a life.