Whitewashed Insolence

Would you ask a 13-year-old, ‘Are you horny?’ Our local hard-rock band, Ronin, did. And not just once, but twice and it asked those young adolescents who were horny to raise their hands. The audience consisted mainly of secondary school students no older than 16-year-olds. Does a fine performer like Ronin need to stoop to that level? Is his vocabulary of human experiences so stunted, it consists of nothing but sex? Is this defiance of authority just his attempt at being ‘cool’ because rockers must keep up that edgy image? I really think it was pure insolence and insensitivity on the part of the performer. I know I shouldn’t be wasting binary ink-space talking about a band less deserving of mention because ‘bad publicity is still better than no publicity’, but I just felt that such mindlessness should not be left unwarned.

Would you feed sugar to your diabetic mother? Yes. But only an animal would do that. Because they can’t discern between what’s right, what’s not appropriate, and what’s just plain wrong. I’m all for pushing the envelope, to progress, to always try new things, to challenge authoritarian injustice, but please, these are kids. Can they even appreciate the true meaning of being horny? I imagined it won’t be difficult for them to understand because they’re at an age where hormones rule, but do they have the conduct and knowledge on the responsibilities brought on by lust? I know as adults, we sometimes lose that sense too, but do we want to teach that to the kids in a generation where STDs are as common as dried mushrooms in a Chinese medicinal hall? I have to qualify that I have none of those up till now. Not that I am conservative about sex, but I’m no liberalist.      

In all unlikeliness, I was asked to be one of the bouncers for a school’s charity concert event. Imagine me, a bouncer!? Half the kids were taller than me and my puny presence is hardly one of authority. But I went in part to be something different, but also for what possible experience I could gain. School is such a distant word for me, I don’t know if I could still spell it right.

The event at D’marquee, Downtown East, was an amazing experience. Wholly organized and put together by secondary school students, the concert was a competition for rock bands, dancers and singers from various schools, while being an effort to raise funds for the Straits Times School Fund. The execution was sleek and I kept telling myself that I better buck up because these students are already achieving what I do professionally for a living… and they did it with such ease, at such a young age. And their showcased talents were so amazing.

But what the students took months to build was leveled to the ground in 15 minutes. That’s when rockers Ronin played. The lead singer encouraged the students to stand up and come to the front of the stage and I was glad for that. A rock concert is not meant to be enjoyed fully with the butt glued to the seat. All was well and nice and I even twitched my body to the beat… ever so slightly so that I don’t seem like I’m enjoying myself and compromise my supposed bouncer authority.

Then things got out of hand at about the third song. The singer asked the ‘horny question’ to screaming teenagers and proceeded to perform his song about horniness and ended it with very vigorous hip thrusting actions like he was f**king an air bubble.

Was that ill-conceived sex-education, or pedophilia on a grand scale? While I was flushing beetroot standing amongst these kids, I could see the youngsters going wild. Like my dog Joy, everytime I dropped something unfamiliar on the floor, she laps it up like food only to realize later through regurgitation, that that’s not something she can digest. I mean, you can sing all you want, but know your audience. What are you trying to prove? That you’re stylish but at the expense of basic morality? Yes, the media provides no less discretion, but when it’s a direct experience as such with unsolicited membership in idolization, just sing and shut up. There’s a time for everything and Ronin is not the authority to rush the growing up process simply because it lacked maturity and a sense of responsibility. I would applaud the band for its antics if I was in an adult concert, but in a school performance, distastefulness had just found the band to describe it.

I was told that the organizers had spoken to the band and it had agreed to tone down its act. But to me, even if there was no speaking to, it is intrinsic sense to know what is inappropriate… unless again, the mind in decision is of a lower life form. At the end of the gig, the band asked that the students write in to radio stations in Singapore to support local music. I’ve not heard of the authorities-that- be wanted to kill local music. Otherwise, why have the Singapore Idol? Maybe it’s just a particular band. And I wouldn’t be surprised. With such disregard, why should anyone hold such a band in regard?

And the mess that they stirred up was unforgivable even though it may be the reward for showmanship. Much to my disbelief, the juvenile audience was actually body surfing! My bouncer bliss was shattered and I was mobilized to control the crowd. Let me tell you, I have no idea what to do! There were so many of them and only two scrawny us! I stood there in the midst of the body slamming feeling like bambi. Then something possessed me to grab those surfers and dragged them to the ground. I still have no idea what got over me. Each time someone got hoisted up, I pulled them by their collar and forced them down. That is followed by, “Don’t do that, you may hurt yourself!” Now that I think of it, I’m really such a wuss! That aggressiveness is probably as butch as I could ever get. Ha. I have a new-found respect for bouncers.

Perhaps this was the experience I was looking for… something that opened my eyes and shocked my ears. I was half-deaf from those 4 hours. I hope I’m not half-blind by seeing things the way I did. Sometimes trash passing off as style on stage should really just be ditched into wannabe’s hell.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. chrisloup
    Feb 20, 2006 @ 08:18:28

    were you in yogasun last sunday?
    (can’t be sure, saw someone vaguely familiar)


  2. i_hate_smurfs
    Feb 20, 2006 @ 08:44:09

    I hear you but will you henceforth hang the bell on the cat or is this just a mouse-hole whine?


    • celebratelah
      Feb 21, 2006 @ 06:44:24

      I hope it’s just a mouse-hole whine and such acts don’t present themselves again. Last I heard, my friend said that the incident may be costing his colleague her job coz she brought the band in. I was also told that the lead singer shouted profanities at the students offstage. I think that’s plain bad attitude…


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