In the midst of some blatheration about the importance of everyday living spaces, and how heritage should be something alive, not dead and documented, I said frivolously, "I think we should blow up Orchard Road and start over." Which, for anyone reading this without their sarcasm-meter turned on, I of course did not mean literally, but that wasn't the reason I kicked myself later for saying it. No, it bugs me that I said it because I was implying that Orchard Road --- and its identikit malls, and its crowds, in all its tiresome glory --- wasn't 'real' culture, was somehow less worthy than everyday lived spaces like provision shops and coffeeshops and hawker centres. That shopping and mall culture was something we (as Singapore) should disown and eradicate.
Which, at its heart, is an unworthy, totalitarian impulse that I shouldn't give voice to, even in jest. We hear enough diktats in Singapore about what should or should not happen, should or should not be spoken. I don't need to be perpetuating that way of thinking. Less silencing, more speaking.
Labels: Singapore stories