Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Power Of The Sublimal Message
The youngest in the family plays the villian piece, and can't understand the justification for grandma's cantankerous ways. Just like the Gen-X and Gen-Y will never stomach the synthetic adulation for a product way past its expiry date. Dad, however, remembers the rainy days of old, before it was conceivable that Orchard Road could be flooded because of a clogged culvert.
Dad recalls how the colonialist Brits were challenged:
"If you believe in democracy, you must believe in it unconditionally. If you believe that men should be free, then, they should have the right of free association, of free speech, of free publication. Then, no law should permit those democratic processes to be set at nought, and no excuse, whether of security, inconvenience to traffic, or inconvenience to police officers, should allow a government to be deterred from doing what it knows to be right, and what it must know to be right..." (Legislative Assembly Debates, April 27, 1955, vol.1)
What Dad chooses to turn a deaf ear to:
"Over time, the MM says, Singaporeans have become “less hard-driving and hard-striving.” This is why it is a good thing, the MM says, that the nation has welcomed so many Chinese immigrants (25 percent of the population is now foreign-born). He is aware that many Singaporeans are unhappy with the influx of immigrants, especially those educated newcomers prepared to fight for higher paying jobs. But taking a typically Darwinian stance, the MM describes the country’s new subjects as “hungry,” with parents who “pushed the children very hard.” If native Singaporeans are falling behind because “the spurs are not stuck into the hide,” that is their problem." (Interview with Mark Jacobson, National Geographic January 2010)
So how would you answer the plaintive cry, "Dad, grandma treated you and mum so badly"?