Sunday, December 05, 2004

Sharity Charity

A big hello to all my readers. As you know, I have not been writing much lately.No, I am not shutting down my blog again. Just down with flu for the past couple of days. Great to be back in Singapore after a gruelling trip in Hong Kong.

Anyway the few days in Hong Kong made me more tired than ever. Usually people don't associate holidays with gruelling, but then again, early 8 plus morning calls and late nights till 1 or 2 am. (d0n't these Hong Kongers sleep?, Their shops closed at around 1230am and they will be greeting you in the early hours of the morning with their megawatts smiles) I guess it was the fatigue that made me vulnerable to the flu virus.

Glad some of you managed to watch the show Angela Ashes on channel I. I had to agree that it was not as impactful as it was since the last time I had seen it. Nonetheless the whole movie did go into sensitive themes which I was unable to openly show to all of you behind closed doors (read: air conditioned classroom with a DVD player, ie the career room or humanities room) But with you watching it on TV, I am ABSOLVED of all responsibilites of teaching you the "wrong" values so as you may have misintepreted. That is the powe rof the media and of course the power of pushing the blame...

Anyway, in one of my decadent moments of watching TV, (I usually feel that watching Tv is a complete waste of time, second to reading blogs :P, it burned brain cells and killed creativity according to REUTERS) , I notice that there is going to be yet another Charity show up again which I never bothered to remeber its name. This is like the zillionth one this year. How many are there going to be?Is it a trend now to have a freakin' charity show every few months? It is a bloody waste of the non-handicapped time.

For the non initiated, this is how a charity show works.
First, they announce the prizes you will stand to win. Never mind the fact that the money spent on the prize could very well be used to help the needy in the first place.
Secondly, spend weeks telling anyone unfortunate enough to be watching TV at that time how hard the has been actors/overseas stars/ Mediacorp Artists/handicapped has been working and preparing for months just for the needy. And all the charity shows are the same. A bunch of celebrities (most who you hardly know) to do all sorts of stunts. How innovative. MediaCorp must have earned more from those advertisements than all the donations.
Thirdly, the real deal. That charity show is finally on air. The artists perform their little trivial and crappy exciting stunts. A Cirque De Soliel extravaganza. Hosts tell audience at home that these stunts are not be practised with supervision at home. This is the part where the actors pretend to be in a lot of pain, and suffering. Amazingly, hosts will shed tears and urged viewers to call in. Boohoohoo. Fools who actually believe them will then call the hotline.

In case for those who think that I am an unsympathetic B#$%^&* who shouldn't be even writing this. Let me get some points straight. Firstly I am always and and still one of the those FOOLS who donate but I just cannot comprehend the need to have all these over and over again. Singaporeans are growing increasingly immune to all these charity shows. You need money for your organisations, do a charity show, you need to build a new hospital? do a charity show? No money for your overseas studies, do a charity show? I see these whole things of telecasting these people and exaggerating their plights COMMERCIAL exploitation. I surely won't want to have that form of help with me in front of a TV audience sobbing etc. For the sympathetic, you may say that all these are publicity, and I had to agree that Advertisements do have the desirable effects of getting the donations in. I just wonder if TV had become a device to get the cash registers (opps, donations) in?

Another issue that I have a big grudge on is there really a need to have a cap to the amount donated. Say you are on the street, a little girl with a tin came by with a tin and ask you to donate, you took out a one dollar coin and as you were about to put it into the tin, she placed her little hand over the slot and shook her head, "sorry sir, too little, I only accepted $2, $5 and $10 donations and above" What type of crap is that? Nowadays all these donation come in denominations of $2 $5 and even for some cases $88! Where have the old spirit of giving gone to? When was the time when you give a dollar or even 50cents and you don't feel that cheapskate.

Secondly, I sometimes wondered, while the average Singaporean give and give, what are our leaders doing? These are the people who earn like five digit income from the taxes the people pay? Do they give a cent? Maybe they are just some nameless philantropists but I seriously doubt that the government did placed any form of donation on their own personal terms. Let's face it, they are just living to the government stance of self reliance and non-welfarism in Singapore. They are not heartless, they do grace the occasions at times and encourage other average Singaporeans like you and me to give.

And the best part about the donations are those operating companies managing the hotlines. These telephones network providers insisted that they are only using that extra 20 cents or 50 cents per call to cover their administrative charges. But then again, if they are seriously about getting people to donate and to show the spirit of giving, why do they even need to have that? At the end of the month, they (read:the losers and fools who donated) will then suddenly realise that the telephone network provider has stolen/deducted a lump sum of your donations.

Have you regreted calling the hotline now, don't you?

(in conjunction to coming festive season, Mr Ng encourages all his readers to give generously to charity to help the less privileged, he has nothing against charity or even charity show per se and even the prizes awarded, but if you happened to win something from your donation and is in a giving mood, Mr Ng would gladly be the recipient of the goodwill...:))

No comments: