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Meesa gonna kill you!

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Thursday, November 07, 2002

Incidentally, it just occurred to me that those inspirational pieces of government propaganda on Signaporean TV really says a lot about the population. The ads I had in mind are:

a) The one where a despondent looking guy walks into his HDB living room over and over again, to the glum looks of his family, before entering in one glorious day to their hugs and smiles. This is followed by the soothing, "Three quarters of those who get retrenched find another job. Don't give up."

b) The one that's a bit too weird and abstract for my taste or capacities for description (it involves a park, flowers, cartoon graphics, and a bench) which ends in the words "Don't stop advertising."

I'm told there are others.

What does it say about the government's attitude to the population that it feels the need to pat them on the shoulder reassuringly just because they're unemployed, WHILE still hiking up prices for all manner of things? Note also that for all the gornaw about creativity and entrepeneurism, the official line is, "Get another job.", not, "Try to create something of value." or "Be your own boss." Get back to work - there's always some other MNC or GLC willing to take on a wage slave like you.

Also note the pleading exhortation of creativity - that they have to place an ad for ads. (Very charmingly post-modern:). Do they really feel that creativity and economic necessity has to be dictated? Okay, they're not the only country in the world to do this, but most interfere directly (like Malaysia has) with things like "Buy local goods" or :"Promote local tourism." Singapore goes, "Advertise more.".

I can only draw two conclusions about the latter ad; either that the government feels their captive populace are so easily manipulated that they will actually be inspired to buy more simply because more ads are being foisted onto them; or that advertising is such a vital sector of their economy that its continued health must be assured, no matter whether it works or not.

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