Monday, August 10, 2009

The Parade that tried too hard

I guess I had to be there at the Parade to appreciate the spectacle, but watching it over TV (even in HD) wasn't quite as stirring. Cringeworthy, a couple of bits were even.

Some very sheltered people may have had their objections to the couple of girls dancing on poles during the Parade but for all the bluster, this storm in a B-cup only got two seconds worth of air-time overall. I thought the entertainment prior to the President's arrival was in far worse taste.

I don't know if anyone else felt the same, but I was especially put off by the Mark Lee and Suhaimi skit for the schoolboy standard of narrative in their retelling of the apocryphal Sang Nila Utama legend. Fine. "Heartland" humour if you want to call it that, but if our neighbours immediately South of us want to kick up a fuss, they can legitimately do so for the "insensitive" and "insulting" remarks the two clowns made about them. Lighten the mood, by all means, but try not to start a diplomatic incident at the same time. Please. They might send more haze over here in retaliation.

Immediately following was another eyeball-rolling narration, this time thumbing our noses with impunity at the very real threat of terrorism. They made it look so easy: snip a wire (think it was the red one) to defuse a "bomb", then chase around some hooded assassins on boats until they run out of fuel and give up. That's how we deal with terrorism over here. Right. On the one hand, it was purely national propaganda, on the other we're "just asking for it", tempting fate like that.

The remainder of the Parade went on as it does every year without much further hoop-la. National songs and formation dancing shoehorned into some theme or other, climaxing in a shower of fireworks that always mitigates the direness that had gone on before.

I like a birthday party as much as any other little kid, but hiring Bozo the Clown to provide the entertainment doesn't always work. Sometimes he just gets abused and kicked in the groin for his efforts. And maybe I'm being a party-pooper 'cos I didn't get my invite this year. Boo.

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