the winning tragedy … :(

There are some quarters who say that we should stop picking on and penalising Ris Low. She’s made mistakes. She’s human let her move on.

Well, sure. The only thing is Ms Low needs to want to move on too. If she stops giving media interviews, then perhaps there won’t be too much fodder for dinner conversations. But she continues to be “in your face” and with every interview, she just ups the ante on the intelligence quotient or rather the lack of it.

I guess some day people might get bored or find another controversy to critique on, but meanwhile, you can’t say that your funny bone has not been tickled.

Forget about “Singlish” and the fact that every other Singaporean, Tom, Dick, Harry, Zoe, Fann, Mary speaks the same way. It is not about that. It’s not a debate between “Singlish” and grammatically correct English. It is not a choice. We need to be English literate and competent. Then if we want to add the “lahs” and “lors” and do a literal translation between Hokkien speak into Singlish phrasing, You eat oredi or not?, we can. The difference is knowing the rules and being able to apply them and knowing when we choose to lapse to the less formal, Singlish. There are no two ways about that. If not, we run the risk of having subtitles to translate Singlish to English! Bizarre.

The underlying issue, I think, with Ms Low, is her lack of self awareness and others awareness. By that I don’t mean that it has to be about “me”, “me”, “me”… “I rrrrr care what they think [of me] strurting down Orchard Road wearing a naughty, LOUD, BOOMZ, RAT bigini and jiins. It’s about me. It’s all about how I think… yah.” News flash MS Low, the world is not about you. The world does not revolve around you. 😮

It’s about understanding and correctly reading verbal and non verbal cues and setting correct boundaries knowing what’s expected and what’s acceptable. Even living with apes require adapting to their social environment and behaviour.

Her lack of awareness is almost naive. Is there another adjective to use? It’s so much so that when asked a question, her answers, belie to me, a warped notion that she is being sought for her expert opinion! 😮

She is after all studying…”erm….. (now what was that again)… oh yes …”natural sciences… and horse-pee-ta-ta-telly-tee and tourism”. Really? There’s such a course? That’s why she can strate-te-gise on how to win. How erm…the fashionis… er fashion style dictates that khaki green teamed with leopard and “zibrraaa” “preens” will totally take thrash out of the trashy. Yah…you know. A style so totally hers based on her persona-na-la-la-li-ty. You know, you know… BOOMZ! 😀 “My style cos it’s not your style, so it’s my style. Not your style. My style.” So goes the PCK spoof of the infamous Razor TV interview.

There you have it. A circuitous route to a winning tragedy… I mean, strategy.


3 thoughts on “the winning tragedy … :(”

  1. I agree with you. I am still reeling from the comedy.
    1/ To the organisers of beauty pageants, please stop trying to tell the world that beauty queens have brains. It is a beauty contest….not a Mensa IQ test. Let’s call a flesh parade a flesh parade. They are eye candy, period. Once in a while, you may come across a beauty queen with brains, but that’s a flash in the pan. If we wanted beauty with brains, make them take an IQ test during the screrening process instead of oogling them in bikinis.
    2/ I really would like to know more about the panel which selected Ris Low. She won at least 3 or more other titles. Maybe the judges were non English speaking? or short-sighted 😛
    3/ I was almost sad when Ris stepped down. I so wanted to see her on the world stage answering questions on world peace while adding to the collection of new words in wikipedia.
    4/ To be fair, I thought she was very courageous in the aftermath when strategy, oops, I mean tragedy struck. Most would have gone into hiding and yet, she not only provided interviews but was a guest on a local radio show. Obviously, she is comfortable under her own skin. But alas, there is a fine line between being confident and being full of yourself. I have seen several MPs and mandarins in public offices who are too full of themselves. But I guess they are good at what they do, hence are tolerated by the establishment.
    5/ I hope the Ministry of Education has done something to the teaching of English in Singapore. Years ago, the government decided that the country will focus on 2 languages – English and Mandarin (at the expense of dialects). It also did away with Chinese schools. One would have throught that with these initiatives, the standard of English and Mandarin will improve. I get a sense that the standard of Mandarin may be better than English……what happended?

    To end on a lighter note, this episode reminds us of the importance of being clear about what we want. As an example, if you are looking for a pet dog who provides good companionship, don’t try to pass it off as a guard dog.

    We cannot be all things to all men….unless you are a newspaper. Uses of a newspaper:
    1/ Read about world news
    2/ Check share prices
    3/ Make papier mache
    4/ Wrap vegetables
    5/ Line plastic bags when you buy fish at the market
    6/ As a floor mat when you sit at the park
    7/ As a rain shelter
    …I will stop here… get my drift 🙂

    1. Huh? [blank stare], [eyelashes fluttering] I can’tl buy a guard dog forl a pet?! You know, you know, I t[h]ink that will conltribute to wor[ld] piss… er…………….. (read long pause), [eye roll] ….. piss, right? Yah…you know, you know… piss on earth and allr that kind of thin[g]s.. no BOOMZ. 😀

      And (in hush, conspiratory tones) you mention an unmen-tion-na-na-blre word. Mensa. It’s a wemen thin[g], you know. No need to test one….

      Hahahahaha….. I couldn’t resist that. I know, I know …. BOOMZ… this is a PG rated, blog. Pardon, my one indiscretion.

      Wah…all things to all man… wait till I get around to writing about a day in the life of a newspaper. Floor mat indeed! 😀

    2. Oh and btw, I was told, both our standard of English and Mandarin are below par. I hear Chinese students who come here to study are apparently disappointed. Their standard of Mandarin is obviously more superior. And the primary reason, they are here ie to learn English has also been somewhat of a disappointment. They are surrounded by Singlish and poor standards of spoken and written English. I guess depending on which schools they enrol at. But being survivors, I hear they are fighting tooth and nail for all manner of scholarship and ironically, they are out of here, when they receive the scholarship. What a dilemma! For the foreign students, our local students and the country.

      The good news about teaching of English is I have been told they are reverting to teaching rules of grammar, instead of the crap of contextual learning which probably some scholar came up with, during his stint at MOE, during his fast track tour of duty. When I heard about the methodology change from my teacher friends, I was appalled. What about context if you can’t engage by the rules?! Too bad that under a perception of draconian repercussions, I could not be persuaded to write to MOE, complaining instead to principals and teachers whose hands were probably tied.

      Anyway, I was relieved when my friend told me recently that they started teaching grammar to the primary school cohort this year. Primary 1 to 6 and next year, they start with secondary school.

      We have lost, perhaps one and a half to two generations after us (15 – 20 good years) to contextual learning. Hopefully, we are back on track with Grammar 101. Three cheers!

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