austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

My island home

The 9th was Singapore's 41st National Day, and on hindsight, which is how I do most things, it would have been a good day to wear something red or white or even both, like many people were doing. My problem here is that I don't really grasp, deep down, that my clothing is something I can consciously affect. My last moment of understanding my clothing was about a decade ago, when I went out wearing (I swear) a pair of orange sweatpants, caught a glance of myself reflected in a window, and went back in, finally understanding that there are people who can be in public in orange sweatpants, and I will never be one of them, ever.

I didn't have tickets to the National Day Parade, which was fine by me, since I don't much care for parades. I did watch some on the TV. They had a determined bunch of performances including a demonstration of ``military bicycles,'' which I don't think I heard right, but that shows how I should have been paying more attention. There was also a display of people with small lights on the parade grounds, in the center of the National Stadium, creating pictures that Channel 5's commentators tried to explain. At one they didn't have much to offer except that it was a ``molecule ... structure'', they guessed to highlight Singapore's hopes to be a leader in biochemistry.

For the National Day Eve, Channel 5 showed Conan the Barbarian, the sensitive story of how a barbarian from the outer provinces learned to interview Clutch Cargo representations of the President. For National Day itself the movies were Marabunta, Air Bud, Andre, Penn and Teller: Off The Deep End (which is more of a special than a movie), The Rock, Army of Darkness, and Shredder. Nothing quite expresses the hopes and fears of a city-state thrust into an independence it wasn't really expecting and yet thriving so much as Bruce Campbell saying, ``Well, hello, Mister Fancypants.''

Trivia: In August 1891 Alexandre Gustav Eiffel telegraphed the directors for the Chicago Columbian Exposition of 1893, offering to design a tower for its showpiece. Source: The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson.

Currently Reading: War for the Union, 1863-1864: The Organized War, Allan Nevins.

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