Saturday, August 23, 2008

Olympic Glory for Singapore? Which Singapore Ah?

Singapore winning a second Olympic medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics after 48 years, quite frankly SO WHAT? I am a SINGAPOREAN and I took more pride in the Silver won by Mr. Tan Howe Liang at the 1960 Rome Olympics than this one won by so-called sports(wo)men imported/bought/enticed from another country's truly first class national table tennis programme.

I did not watch the Li Jiawei vs. Zhang Yining semis but I did watch the bronze contest Li vs. Guo Yue and the gold contest Zhang vs. Wang Nan last night. The sheer class divide was sorely evident. I have nothing against Jiawei as a human being but I just could no longer stand the way the leaders of this nation gloat about this medal with so much self-pride than the one won by Mr. Tan. The government likes to measure everything in dollars and cents and I just wonder how much have we spent "buying" this silver in 2008 against the 1st one in 1960. Alright, times may have changed, inflation and all that but the costs would be staggering. And then there is also the adverse impact of their FT policy on the so-called "heartlanders" of this country so evident at all fronts (not limited to only sports!) throughout this tiny island that they seem to turn a blind eye to. At the end of the day, all things considered, was it worth it and what did the 2nd silver really achieved?

Jiawei had the word "稳" written on her left palm during the bronze medal match. I don't know why the word "steady" was used, possibly as a constant reminder? I think she do not need to use any words on her palm to win a sports match, she just need to look at Zhang Yining for inspiration. I do wonder had Jiawei chosen to stay behind in China would she had also reached the same level as Zhang Yining going through the first class training programme of China instead of opting out of being among the best in your own country and in fact the whole world. I cannot pin down whether is it for the "opportunity" that a foreign country shamelessly sold to her or did she actually gave up being in the best programme of this field that the world has to offer. Did she feel that she could not make it to the top tier in the No. 1 country for this sport despite of the best training programme available?

At the other end of the stick, did the enticing country settled for second best or simply scrap for what was made available and hoping against hope that she could be No. 1 in the world donning its colour? If that is the case what could be worse than investing that huge sums of money on your own "heartlanders" instead of opting for the easy way out of importing when ultimately you had settled for second best from the outset?

I recall when France won the FIFA World Cup, the hierarchy here was quick to pounce on the fact that the team composed of people with origins from other countries and tried to parallel that to the rationale behind their FT policy push. Of course they forgot those players not born in France were from ex-French colonies, hence in a way there was a tradition to talk about, whereas our silver-medalled TT team were all enticed from a nation much larger in all aspects than this desperate island state trying to claim itself as a ridiculously-coined so-called "first world" nation or in other words as having arrived at Division One of the world league. And there was even a dreamer among them who hallucinated and threw up the GOAL 2010 dream and tried to sell it to the whole country. How naïve they could be, what was the logic behind that bold dream? Buying 22 ready-made Zinedine Zidanes from overseas? Come on! Who were you kidding? You could not even land a world class coach to begin with and I think they totally missed the plot with this football thing, they simply do not understand the history of this sport to begin with. A footballer wants to be the best and to do that you have to play and train with the best week in week out to prove yourself. Do you think anyone playing in the best leagues in Europe will opt to don Singapore colours with not a ghost of a chance to ever win the World Cup? Try selling that to the best young players around in Europe/Africa/Latin-America? I think most, deep down in their hearts, will prefer to play for their own country of birth rather than for a country so foreign to them and with a joke of a football league looking more like a plate of rojak than anything else. It's an ASS-LEAGUE alright!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Every once in a very long time a song will pop out that goes against the grains of the present state of things. Recall The Who's "My Generation" & Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" - these had become definitive classic songs with an ATTITUDE all of its own.

Weezer's latest from their new "Red Album" - "Pork And Beans", in my book, will come to its own and become a definitive classic ATTITUDE song like "My Generation" & "Smells Like Teen Spirit".

It is also a dig at the idiosyncrasy of the music/entertainment industry and how artistes could hold true to their roots. It is a kick-ass song that sort of makes you want to raise your middle finger and tell the rest of the world to buzz off 'cos "No.......I Don't Care".
But in the real world how many could truly do that with absolutely no reservations??

The chorus of "Pork And Beans" ranks among the best I have come across, my interpretation as below:

To do whatever your heart desires with nothing to prove to anyone except yourself.
To be comfortable with the "YOU" inside and not be bothered by what others think.

People try to put us down
Just because we get around
Things they do look awful cold
I hope I die before I get old

Why don't you all fade away
And don't try to dig what we all say
I'm not trying to cause a big sensation
I'm just talkin' 'bout my generation
This is my generation
(..........from "My Generation" - The Who)

And I forget
Just what it takes
And yet I guess it makes me smile
I found it hard
Its hard to find
Oh well, whatever, nevermind
(..........from "Smells Like Teen Spirit" - Nirvana)

I'mma do the things
That I wanna do
I ain't got a thing
To prove to you

I'll eat my candy
With the pork and beans
Excuse my manners
If I make a scene

I ain't gonna wear
The clothes that you like
I'm fine and dandy
With the me inside

One look in the mirror
And I'm tickled pink
I don't give a hoot
About what you think

No, I don't care........I don't care.....
(.......from "Pork And Beans" - Weezer)