The Lady Gaga Fun Pack Song Saga caused me to think: children's party bags.
I remember the first birthday party I organized for my son, at four, and a young lady refused to leave the house asking very loudly, "But where's my party bag?"
Her mum said, "Darling, you are holding it."
The point is this little girl was not going to leave until she was given a party bag.
Since when did party bags become de rigueur?
Growing up when we had no birthday parties AT ALL, to be invited to the party was the treat. Fun, games, party (=treat) foods. We bought presents for the birthday boy and girl, not expect to be given party bags. OK, this was during the dinosaur age.
So why put so much emphasis, even have a song butchered, on a "fun pack", a party bag?
As has been expressed by other Singaporeans before: Why do we need a song about a fun pack in the first place? It is, as my son would say, “a blunt pencil” (pointless).
Is it because the organizers think that the recipients are not clever enough to know what to do with the contents? (The same reason we do not have juries in law courts, because we are not clever enough to discern who is/not guilty.)
There have been whisperings about how people won't bother to wave the flag if no one reminds them.
It has also been alleged that some people go to the NDP only for the fun pack. They don't bother to stay for the parade. If this is true then it appears that we are fast advancing towards another “uniquely Singapore” trait – being “yau kwee” (ie greedy).
Thankfully the revulsion expressed by many Singaporeans towards this song shows that we have not come to that, just yet.
Meanwhile I live with the dubious honour of being a Singaporean thinking: Other nations boast of beautiful poetry like the “Ode to a Nightingale”. Singaporeans have, in a manner of speaking, an “ode to a fun pack”.
How great is that?