Welcome ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, to our nation's 44th birthday celebrations!
It was 44 years ago today in 1965 when Singapore was kicked in the buttocks and nuts, and out of Malaysia. The former Malaysian state was now an independent country.
We would envelope ourselves with the nation-building ideologies of pragmatism and survivability, the rhetoric of which we still continue to uncritically experience and reproduce today.
To enhance that effect, we sugar-coat that ideology with our own brand of meritocracy, which have dutifully served as strategic egalitarianism for the nation-building agenda. Ever Singaporean is considered "equal" so long as his or her contribution is recognised as a national contribution.
In our first routine, we have 10,000 women in the field performing their feminist rage against lower pay. They are dancing to the hip-hop tune of "I regret giving women higher education", a special song that combines loops of Lee Kuan Yew's opinions towards the female sex.
Yes, now we see the 10,000 women are forming intricate formations on the field. What's this? It is the process of ligation! Ah, the wonders of nation-building! And how the disciplining of women's bodies are intertwined with it. Doesn't it warm your heart with nostalgia the know that we once had 'stop at two' policies and our Singaporean women were incentivised into doing funny things to their fallopian tubes?
Oh. It appears the 10,000 women have been hurried out of their routine and off the field, as 20,000 men, clad in army fatigue, invade it. You wouldn't want too much attention paid to Singaporean women, and create gender envy and disgruntlement amongst our men, the very males who sacrifice 2 years of their youth, and many more months of their professional careers for the singular cause of defending Singapore and her treasured economy, foreign talent included.
To emphasise the commitment of our boys for the past 4 decades, they are reenacting for us a wonderful routine to the futuristic techno song of "Dunka dunka dunka". Yes, apparently most of us think that techno appeals to the working class in the 1990s. The men are now divided into 100 sections and they each surround a tank filled with water. They proceed to submerge one soldier's head under the water, to signify the unwilling sacrifice our boys go through. I've been told this segment is called "Drowning". Very apt, very powerful.
Flanking the routine are various soldiers writhing on the ground, each holding a limb. We have our medical officers strutting across the field, but blatantly ignoring these men as they roll around in pain. This exemplifies the culture of "Care of Soldiers" as they treat every case as a case of malingering, no matter how legitimate the injury is.
As we speak, the field is now slowly being shrouded with a thick white canvass, revealing a happy smiling face. This routine is called "Cover up". Helicopters from above are now dropping 100,000 lollipops on our stadium audience! This is such a warm gift as our spectators are continually pelted with sweets! Auntie, you better use your umbrella! What is a cover-up without the assurance of sweets?
As the canvass rolls away, children of the four major ethnicities take to the field. We see the stereotypical colours attributed to each "race" - yellow, brown, browner and white, representing the CMIO categories our government had created many moons ago. All various dialects have become conflated into a singular alphabet category. Talk about pragmatism!
Despite having inter-marriages and our children appearing more ethnically ambiguous, our children performers have had 2 hours of make-up and special effects to enhance the colour of their skin, just for the sake of this show. To make them look as one in their respective categories, the Eurasians have had their skin bleached white to join the Caucasian residents in the O category, nevermind that a major portion of Eurasians in Singapore have darker skin tones.
The children are now forming words. How wonderful.
I see "Racial Harmony" from the Malay, Indian and Others contingent.
I see "Prosperity and Wealth" from the Chinese contingent, that appears to distance itself from the other children. At least now we know the message from the Chinese elite government! How cute!
And for this National Day Parade, we have something unprecedented, the stadium roofs will now close and we now become confined indoors. This is the first time our NDP is indoors! The powerful air-conditioners are now blasting to simulate the confines of our secret police, the Internal Security Department. Damn, it's really cold in here! Singaporeans sure love their air-cons, but this is way too nippy for most of us.
In the middle of the field, we see reenactments of beatings that leave no bruises, and other forms of physical and psychological abuses our secret police have been mythologised to execute. Of course, police brutality in Singapore is merely an unproven, unspoken myth. And you will be gladly thrown into a mental hospital to fully disprove and invalidate your sanity.
Now, we have probably 50% of our entire population above the age of 80, entering the field and doing various activities, such as cleaning tables, picking up rubbish and some are even scouring for recyclable material! This is active ageing at its best! They represent the wonders of our system, that most are compelled to continue working given lack of savings. Of course, given our rhetoric of meritocracy, most of us will assume that this is due to their indiscretions and lack of personal responsibility. When times are good, the leadership takes the credit; and when times are bad, it is the people who have to take the responsibility and "readjust expectations".
What's this? There is a pair of claws descending from the retractable roof! This reminds me of the UFO catcher game! It is reaching for one senior citizen amongst the thousands! It is grabbing her! Oh dear mother of Le...
Phew! She is now placed on an elevated platform. The routine, I am informed, is the glorification of active seniors through the careful selection of senior role models! Yes, Singaporeans love their role models, no matter how unrepresentative they are of the actual population. And speaking of role models and heroes, I thought the camera just caught a glimpse of that Malay general. I hope we will have more of him later, and I am sure we will, because since this is a National Day Parade broadcast, our producers will dutifully and conscientiously try to depict racial diversity, lots of youths and children, and lots of smiling seniors and their families, never mind if some of these seniors live in the bomb shelters of their families' flats. We will have obscene doses of happiness and tokenism, I kid you not.
As the parade draws to a close, we have something different from previous NDPs! It is a parade of 20-30 foot-long penises! In place of showing military might with our artillery and armoured vehicles, we have decided to be a little bit abstract, given the improving literacy of our population.
The parade of phalli represents the big masculine ego that little Singapore has. You know what they say about small folks with big schlongs. Singapore has that huge package and we are not afraid to use it.
And dozens of young adults are now swarming the various gargantuan phalli, religiously putting their tongues on it, symbolising the loyalty they have to authority, but we know it is for the sake of job security and upward mobility. Yes, even our NDP can teach us some life skills. The tried-and-tested "lips on dick" is a powerful metaphor that will stay with us for the rest of our lives. Nobody wants to be a deviant.
Wow! Those blow-up penises are indeed larger than life. Subtlety is not a Singaporean trait.
The trailers of the penis parade are not running over 365 "bodies" placed in their path, to represent the suicide rates in Singapore - one suicide every day. Suicides are part of Singaporean life, given the amount of stress we have, plus the stigmatism and lack of understanding of mental health issues.
And what is our NDP without the grand finale - the fireworks display!!!
Wait. The parade just ended... What's happening? No fireworks? Oh! In line with our values of pragmatism, we have scrapped the fireworks display given the poor economy, and also to fund the pay increment of our ministers lest they be tempted into corruption should they not earn their yearly million. In Singapore, everything is a slippery slope. Prudish and always politically correct, we see danger in every corner, and would elect to keep the herd together by creating boundaries of fear. How touching.
I will see you next year!