The X'Ho-Files

The Crucible According To Capt. Goh

BY X’HO

 
There are so many cracks on the nation-building pavement that, of late, the pulp press has foregone some subtlety to go shameless in propping up agendas to help Remake $ingapore like it’s on Desperation Blvd. Take for instance, The Sunday Times’ report "Why the casino rethink’ (Mar.14, ’04). I don’t need to read it in full to know. Let’s see, good for the tourist industry, the economy and no one’s objecting to the Govt’s decision (not that anyone can or bothers to anymore; Capt Ryan Goh of the pilots’ union… anyone?).

Still, there was, of course, a very valid reason for casinos to spring up in $ingapore now, we are told. "Industry players say huge revenue generated is too good to pass up" is the official reason. Don’t gasp, we all know about implications; not that we care to voice them. Capt Ryan Goh!

Ironic that below the casino report was one about why the Govt draws the line on some theatre-group’s desire to stage a gay-forum, citing the Catholic Church, the Methodist Church and the Hindu community’s support of the prohibitive stand. I guess the Catholic Church, the Methodist Church and the Hindu community are cool with all the licensed gay saunas in our midst now — on OUR VERY SHORES - housing Sodom & Gomorrah free-sex; cos they’re not heard objecting to those depraved haunts. Nor are they cited to object to building casinos in $ingapore. So it’s probably not a burning issue, shall we say, when it comes to the moral ethics of gambling. Don’t have to say, we already know. When push comes to a hard-shoved economy’s thrust, we just have to go pelvis-Elvis and sing Wooden Heart (now, is that a good enough pop-culture excuse for you, Big Brother?).

I certainly am not complaining. I’m a ‘historian’ to save amnesiacs. The juicier the details, the better for me. Here’s crack no.2…

"Don’t impose mother tongue as second language" — the top story in Commentary/ Analysis from Straits Times’ Political Desk on Mar.6, ’04. (Not that mother-tongue wasn’t already imposed in the first place!) This comes some 30 pages after another top story (on page three) about a college-grad rejoicing that admission to local university does not require a second-language admission-pass anymore. "No need to go overseas now" is what she says. That, of course, is the point of the story. That and its positioning as a prelude to the essay from the Political Desk to convince everyone that nothing is just the Govt.’s decision. (Capt Ryan Goh?)

Crack no.3…

"Why $ingaporeans return: they simply miss home" (ST, Mar.7, ’04). Don’t laugh. The quote highlighted in that report was - "Always an outsider… you’re not one of them and never will be, no matter how hard you try." Now, shall we inform the thousands of recent Chinese immigrants on our soil about this too? How about rubbing it in on Capt Goh? Let’s just move on to crack no.4, shall we? Ironies have hit a mind-boggling level of mass hypnosis for us to really bother about anymore.

Wait… There’s something we have to acknowledge - the hip-&-funky new look of Ms. Chua Mui Hoong as seen in the picture for her column Reflect. Hence, the retro-swinging specs and the slightly unkempt hair. Oooh, how ratty. Gone is her previous serious administrator look to speak for the moral majority. Since we know now that the older moral majority are so successfully boxed in, there’s really no need to work on them that much. Therefore, like those Satanists who rally: We have (now) come for your children (!), it’s their little maturing mindsets we have to set our eyes on for now (hence, the Heeren glasses!). Of course, it takes the "no longer young but more daring ones" (quote from The New Paper, Mar.7, ’04) to activate the mind-buzz. I should know. So, ‘media whore’? Yes, congrats to Ms. Chua, for success is just that hint of cleavage revealed.

Back to crack no.4 (and it’s not her top!) …

‘Twas she who announced with her new makeover look on Mar.7, ’04: "Oh baby, baby, it’s a harsh world" in relation to the nation’s falling birth-rate that needs to be rectified. In conclusion, she added that she was merely giving "suggestions… in the spirit of encouraging a no-holds-barred debate on the baby-making issue". What a triple-whammy crack — babies, subtlety and no-holds-barred! Not quite the old paternalistic argument we’re used to then. In other words, Father may have thought he knew best but Father couldn’t fix everything, could he? In that case, know best for what? I also know best, what. Just that I couldn’t bear to have a ‘wooden heart’ for everyone’s good and for the sake of…yes, ‘industrial-peace’. God bless the glasses… with Ryan Goh in tow!

Truly. And listen to this other Ms. Chua argument— "Why use my tax dollars to persuade couples to have kids?" (she wrote on that very same day!). Don’t gasp. No-holds-barred open-society tactic with unkempt hair, may I remind you! Exactly. That’s sort of like — Big Sister as foil to show Father up but still gets him what he wants. A tad obvious, isn’t it? Well, that takes care of not only crack 4 but 5 and 6 as well.

Besides, since when have we persisted in asking what’s done with our tax-dollars? That’s why Ms. Chua to do the honors, lor. Now you know why it’s imperative to have at least me as ‘historian’, otherwise old truths will get wound like endless circles pointing in Big Brother’s favor and it would be for your own good. See, I know the tune real well.

Crack 7— "Baby talk dominated the seven-hour Budget debate, an issue dubbed a national imperative by leaders" (ST, Mar. 9,’04). Lest you’ve forgotten, they did say a long- long time ago, I can still remember, how that music was played to the tune of "we’ll cross the bridge when we get to it". So cracks? Just another long series of bridges, luv. Bottom of the bridge — NO future leaders, darl. But wait, that’s not their fault! Since, we elect our leaders, of course it’s our problem. Let me be Big Sister then and say, in that case, case closed… on 4, 5, 6 and 7, cos they’re oh-so justified.

Ah… but the specter of Ryan Goh suddenly appears just when you thought you’ve tackled the no-holds-barred open-ness with all the baby-cradling subtlety to nurse your frazzled and fried minds. "It’s your ‘duty’ to procreate," an MP was reported saying with great alarm on Mar.10,’04 in the Straits Times! (Never mind that he qualified that statement later). It’s all Ryan’s fault, isn’t it? He of superfluous ‘unions’.

Nine months ago in July ’03, I had reported in these Files that a certain bespectacled servant of Big Brother had called for artistes in Singapore to be ‘civil society actors’. I’d also warned that they be careful not to end up being civil society puppets. Well, look what that same ‘servant’ wrote with regard to what he called "the near-blanket media coverage of the Great Baby Debate"— "Do the math, fall in love"! (ST, Mar.14,’04). Maybe Mr. Glasses is being a Joan of Arc for all his fellow thespians so that they’ll be spared of falling into our new no-holds-barred open-ness and committing that same Ryan Goh-‘heresy’.

You never know. We’re about cunning cleavages these days, as in - Sex And The Baby, with the Catholic Church subtly in tow. Desperate is as desperate does, babe.

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