On the subject of National Day Parade and celebratory Mass here on this tiny red dot, from an old post and old comments:
Tiny red dot
Singapore — like the Venetian Republic in its day — is a wonderful triumph of open commerce in a autocratic island; there is no question that every city in America fails by comparison just as 15th-16th-and even 17th century cities in France and Britain failed by comparison with the jewel of the Adriatic. But we decrepit students of history find ourselves wondering how and when events will find a parallel with the day the French Army arrived across the Lagoon.
And my response to the above:
Don Chu on June 1, 2009 1:33 pm:
While I doubt that Raffles and the British East India Company had “Give us your poor, your tired, your huddled masses longing to be free…” in mind when they ‘finagled’ that treaty to establish a trading settlement on pre-modern Singapore, the largely unrestricted immigration policy in the early years did lead to a melting pot immigrant population reminiscent of America. And with any bubbling cauldron of huddled masses, the double toil and trouble of seething tensions and volatility (ethnic or otherwise), will always be boiling just beneath the surface.
True, the achievements of modern Singapore is heartening; and like the obedient automaton that so many view it’s citizens to be, I raise my stringed arm to hail and herald the contributions made by our dear Doge. But in truth, it was the unstinting hard work and thrift of generations of stoic immigrants that built this city-state.
And as Mr Jovanovich alluded to, the fortunes of sparkling, bejeweled city-states rarely overstay their welcome and have never been more than an interesting appendix (or indeed, a sour-graped dismissive footnote) in the capricious pages of History.
Decrepitude or not, perhaps this may be why this ‘tiny red dot’ of just 4 million-plus spores have often been accused of having a siege-mentality; whether it be born of a genuine fear of losing its much-vaunted racial cohesion amidst the growth pressures of a shrinking island, or the induced paranoia of being in an encircled (see map above) sea of potential fundamentalism.
Awaiting then, the inevitable…
On July 8, 2009 at 12:25 am I said:
(I was feeling a little ornery)
Watching the helicopters overfly above with the giant national flag (rehearsing for national day) has awakened my latent patriotism.
I feel an irresistable urge to jump to my feet, put on iridescent and colourful tunics+costumes and join in a mass synchronized display of uniform flag-waving and placard-changes to the rhythm of loud and stirring anthems.
I want to raise my arms and hail our dear leader for all that he’s done to build this magnificent modern glazed Gotham…
No, wait…that’s not my patriotism. That’s just scenes from Bruce Stirling’s Islands in the Net.