Sunday, 29 November 2009

when lapdogs bark

What's with these condescending headlines, Straits Times?

Wasn't there just another one a few weeks ago? 'Stop whining and start serving the customer'?

Maybe the whining would stop when the Straits Times stop infantalizing Singaporeans?

Maybe for a start, tell Sumiko Tan to stop whining? Go tell her, Man Sun, she's just next door. Go. Stop whining yourself too. :)


  1. Cav - that's the only thing the Straits Times does with regards to Singapore life and politics.

    Where education is concerned, I am not sure how rare it is for a teacher to take the extra effort to help a student who does poorly (like Man Sun did). I had a mix of both. My Mandarin and Math teachers couldn't care less. I did badly and it was considered my fault. My Literature teacher, however, took the time to try to find out why I was not performing. That kind of effort paid off and I developed some interest there (I emphasize: *some*) I hold to this day. Meanwhile, I've given up on ever being literate in Mandarin and the Sigma symbols still put me to sleep (for about an hour) when I encounter them in the research papers I read. I guess I'm just a whiny little punk.

    Where customer/server relationships go, I think it goes both ways. A favorite story of mine I told to my American friends is how Singapore service practices some kind of "reverse racism". An Indian friend of mine from the US visited me in Singapore one time. He was from South India and looked no different from any local Indian in Singapore. So, I warned him to expect service to "kinda suck". True enough, we were ignored for a long time at a hotel restaurant we settled on for dinner. Then I think about the reasons why this might be so. Maybe it was the "Pinkerton Syndrome" at play ... a colonial hangover where rich foreigners are treated better than locals. But I believe it is also equally true that local customers tended to treat waiters and other service personel poorly. I do not recall having witnessed many words of thanks in exchange of service in Singapore. It is also not in our culture to tip people for good service.

  2. It makes lots of sense to tell people to stop whining. The basic message behind the unofficial Stop Whining Campaign: Don't think you have the right to be miserable.

    In a land(fill) where determined to deprive human beings of dignity and sensibility, misery is subversive. Therefore it's a crime to whine.

    Sumiko Tan isn't whining. She's attempting, quite successfully, to coax contentment out of herself.

  3. Chee Wai: I think there'll always be good service/teachers. Maybe depends on one's luck? Especially in a place where human beings regarded as things, and things are always a means to an end? Maybe this mechanistic system was the reason for your aversion to Lit? heh heh!

    Molly: No la, you can be miserable, just cannot whine. And you must be miserable lar (not being able to whine helps ensure this predicament) - otherwise who would read their daily happy trash that is the ST?

  4. You can be miserable. You just don't have the right to be so. It's a crime to be so. It's like 377A. We don't come after you for being miserable, but you really don't have the right to be miserable. If you start whining though . . .

  5. Cav - maybe. Though I must really be unfortunate to have encountered only one good Mandarin teacher as a student. I do not have an aversion to literature. I am, however, unable to comprehend or appreciate the deeper or finer aspects of literature where more abstract ideas are being expressed.

  6. Oh Straits Times is a newspaper? Thought it was just another PAP newsletter...