I judge thee to be winner of round three…

Posted on 04 March 2011

Belmont ‘Caustic’ Lay gives his royal verdict.

The worst show in the world.

YOU ever watched America’s Got Talent? You ever wondered how ridiculous the judging criteria is? It’s worse here at New Nation.

Every other week I am reduced to coming up with temporary and flimsy categories just to attempt an act of judging involving entries for this website’s writing competition.

And every other week I am stumped.

If you’ve ever watched America’s Got Talent (if you haven’t, don’t), the funniest part about the whole enterprise is how an ex-editor of tabloid newspapers, the wife of a metal band vocalist and a C-list ex-Baywatcher decide what is entertaining.

So you have fire-eaters competing with the talentless, contortionists going toe-to-toe against harpists, harmonicists outplaying the gormless and generally a lot of booing for people who go on stage and pull faces.

Did someone mention that’s the whole point because having people of diverse talents (or the lack of) playing against one another is entertaining due to the incompatibility of comparison?

No, I’m sorry, but I beg to differ. It is entertaining precisely because there isn’t even a compatibility with any known criteria.

But here at New Nation, we can try to have none of that. So, here I offer you this week’s judging decision with arbitrary categories imposed (with good reasons who wins, of course):

Saying something old about something old: Love of the unromantic kind by Rachel Teng

Every year, around Valentine’s Day, I never tire from reading about the many facets of love. Why this indefatigable interest? As I’m always acting like a twerp, which means someone has harboured the desire to kill me, but since I’m not dead I can still give the gift of giving or have always had and that diminishes my standing as a public shit.

Reading about a timeless issue is, therefore, always a gentle reminder I’m still alive. And there’s time to change.

Saying something new about something new: Beware the Octopus by Kwan Jin Yao

Information and communications technology (ICT) is just stuffy speak. Its rise can be traced to the advent of the WWW. Basically, it is a high and mighty way of saying “Internet” and “computer”. No, really. Just because you can transmit ones-and-noughts from one end to another and have it reconstituted into a “file” with “information”, someone somewhere, who is most likely sexually frustrated, has to acronymise it.

And I think this pretty much sums up the scandal that is ICT.

Because practically, major institutions, such as schools and the education ministry, are the laggards who are worst at utilising ICT resources. They are basically people. when given a hammer, will hit every nail they think they see.

So, while schools in Singapore can insist all they want that students make Powerpoint slides or do up fancy videos that will never go viral and teachers put up lesson plans in digital folders that will end up underviewed anyways, I know practical, resourceful people – who happen to be musicians – who learnt everything about recording a song on an iPhone and building a virtual cult around their melodies online.

ICT, to say the very least, is a tool for people who know what they’re doing and to what ends they want to reach.

But as the Tree Octopus has shown, don’t take everything said online at face value.

Ok, I was just dishonest about the public shit part. I’m really very nice.

Winner: Kwan Jin Yao!

You’ll be hearing from us because you will be $60 richer.

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