Tag Archive | "Alvin Phoon"

Popping your election cherry

Popping your election cherry

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This virgin voter gets nervous about his first time.

By Alvin Phoon

THERE are many moments in life we just can’t seem to erase from our memories (assuming your life is as exciting as i’m making it sound). First times generally claim a spot in our hippocampus’ hard drive.

You know how it is. The idea forms and instantly, the lack of experience terrifies. You trawl whatever medium you can for information; books, videos, websites, hoping desperately for an epiphany to unveil itself. Eventually, the moment arrives. You try to look prepared, but, your mind threatens to empty itself out. You make your way through those doors with sweaty palms amongst other sweaty body parts. Finally, it’s time. You pull out your instrument and linger for a moment, before finally making your move. And after 10 seconds, you’re done.

Damn voting must be tough.

At 23, I’ll be popping my election cherry in less than a week. I’ve never known myself to be an emotional person; I don’t cry at movies, I don’t smile at cute babies, and I don’t let stray dogs lick my face, no matter how adorable they are. This week, I’ve seen a side of me I’ve never known, and am quite frankly a little ashamed of.

All this time, I’ve believed that Singaporeans were mostly cynical, apathetic people who’ve accepted that we would never have a shot at toppling the mighty men in white. I’ve convinced myself that I would be one of the few who were willing to invest their hearts and heads into what appeared to be a losing battle. I have, myself, conceded defeat, and made plans to exit the country as soon as I can. Yet, as I stood atop a tiny bump, watching the first NSP rally at Aljunied, as my pupils scanned the horizon and my ears took in the deafening roar generated by the crowd, I felt my eyes grow moist.

We are educating ourselves, and we are getting braver by the minute. We are no longer afraid of imaginary consequences, and we no longer care about short term rewards.

I have never been to a rally until Thursday, and even then it was to a rally whose party I had written off as late as February. I have never been in the presence of so many disgruntled Singaporeans. And I have never seen so many hearts linked by the same ideology (yes, not even during national day).

I have never participated in so much political conversation, online and offline. People I don’t even know to be politically aware are suddenly reposting quotes and videos. People I’ve always thought to be indifferent are displaying, very outwardly, their anger at the current administration. I have not seen a single pro-pap status update since the start of the rallies.

If there’s anything I’m sure of this year, it is that there is a wave of political awakening sweeping through our island. We are educating ourselves, and we are getting braver by the minute. We are no longer afraid of imaginary consequences, and we no longer care about short term rewards. We are getting angry, and we’re demanding change. We are steadily realising the power we hold as citizens of this country, and we’re learning to utilize it.

I have never been this glad to be wrong. Come May the 7th, this virgin voter is ready to get it on.

Image: BARBARA DURAND. Modified with Creative Commons license

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The Holland Village troll

The Holland Village troll

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Alvin Phoon lets rip on Samantha, the girl who criticised heartlanders on radio.

Photo: Choo Yut Shing / Creative Commons

THE 1,000 peeps to Holland V in Singlets, Shorts and Slippers Day event on facebook has exceeded the target crowd by more than 100 people. If you’re wondering what’s the big fuss about wearing a singlet, shorts and slippers to Holland V, because you do it all the time, maybe you should listen to this:

To summarise the rather hilarious clip: Some chick called Samantha called up 91.3FM on Friday to rant about how heartlanders were invading the cultured atmosphere of Holland Village. And they should stay in their little heartland areas like Ang Mo Kio or Bukit Batok.

“Enough is enough!” so the troll rawred to the Married Men, as she espoused a philosophical gem, encapsulating her vision of an ideal society in those oh-so-succinct 2 minutes. If anything, one could call this passion. For vigour, for culture, for the bourgoisie café-hopping lifestyle accessible to only those who exclude the unworthy.

Years of separation and alienation from her own people had clearly crystallized her view of who the heartlanders were. Uncouth, uncultured, impolite, slipper-shorts-singlet-wearing plebeians.

Samatha knew she needed backup and with one little nifty adjustment – switching the “I” to the similarly monosyllabilic “We” – she transformed herself into the bastion of Holland V-styled civility.

“I just can’t understand why the people from the heartlands want to come here…” Samantha questioned. Her defensive stance immediately evident, as if at some point in her life she was left behind by loved ones, forced to fend for herself but through loneliness and independence, found strength. Strength that hath convinced her, that companionship was redundant.

Her lips asked ‘why are they coming here’, but her heart cried ‘where were they when I needed them’.

“We people are cultured, but you heartlanders are definitely not cultured…” Samantha struggled to hold it together as her mind swerved from the carpool lane into the express lane. Her angst so clear, her hatred for society ever present.

But one opinion does not social exclusion make. Samatha knew she needed backup and with one little nifty adjustment – switching the “I” to the similarly monosyllabilic “We” – she transformed herself into the bastion of Holland V-styled civility.

The DJs took the bait as they told Samantha to stay on the line while they scrambled to seek a counterweight. She taunted the world, all while savouring the sweet trickles of revenge.

The triumph was apparent. She was right after all. The world hath no clue what they’re doing and she, the matyr for the bygone cause of social exclusion had to say, firmly, “only the cultured shall pass”.

The cards were turned, and she just rivered the hell out of us.

That or she’s just a hugely unintelligent wanker.

Editor’s note: We do not know at this point of time if this was all a hoax.