Monday, August 04, 2008

Why you are not allowed to sit and watch 'the whores'. Why it's actually a sport in Singapore.

Hey, look, basically, you're just not allowed to say that. It just isn't on. Any of it. Do I really have to explain? Do you need the background to how we got here. Ooooooooh. Okaaaaaaaaaay then. Right here goes.

Scene 1: A room. Let's leave it that ambiguous. A shared area.

Character List:The author, who we'll call - just for a laugh - Mauve. Mauve is faffing around doing some aimless activity.

A another man person who chooses to remain nameless. So let's call him Harold. And try and imagine that he looks like this handsome fellow in the photo below. He looks black & white, he sees things in black & white. You know the kinda guy.

Actions: When we arrive on the scene the action is already ongoing. The two men, Harold & Mauve are having a chat. Making the ole *conversation*

Everything that follows is taken verbatum from the author's probably inaccurate memory of yesterday morning... and let's face it, this is never gonna be as exciting as the over-extended build up demands...

MAUVE: Hey, how you feelin this mornin? Have a bit of a heavy night last night?
HAROLD: Ahh, I guess. It was a friend from work's leavin do so he had a list of things he still hadn't done in the city.
MAUVE: O yeh? Explore the transport museum, that sorta thing. I really must get round to doin that.
HAROLD: Nah, he kinda wanted to go The Printworks? We haven't really been to any of the clubs, just thought it was somethin that had to be done, y'know.
MAUVE: O, nice one. How was it? Did you get bladdered?
HAROLD: Nah, we couldn't get in anywhere cos I was wearin these long shorts n trainers, so we just sat in this bar nearby and watched the whores.
MAUVE: (face going a shade of purple)...
MAUVE: What? What do you mean? You mean young women in short skirts? You can't call them whores!

(Scene continues with MAUVE explaining why the offending word is offensive, but then the room drifts into a heavy silence and MAUVE ends up just chuntering to himself and then exiting the room without the customary faux cheery goodbye/see ya later back'n'forth.)



Let's list the levels of rongosity registered above:

1. What we have here is one of those slightly *wrong* conversations, where both members of the team having the dialogue have, or are assumed to have, a shared set of assumptions about the world. It's like African American rappers using that *N* word when they are chattin to each other, but why it seems so uncomfortable coming out of the mouth of Jimmy, played by - and dialogue written by - Quentin Tarantino, when he is addressing Samuel L. Jackson's character in Pulp Fiction

2. Here is what my reliable friends at The Urban Dictionary have to say about the modern usage of the word Wrong:

A wrong 'un is a phrase used to describe someone or an action someone has undertaken that you disapprove of.

Yeh, that's about wrong 'uns, but I can't actually find any webby evidence of the more recent, more common phrase, "O my God! I cannot believe you just said that, Harold! You are soooooo wrong! Lol. Ha ha ho ho." But clearly, I've heard that kind of thing a million times when I or some work colleague/friend/stranger has said something that they damn-well-know is a wildly politically incorrect statement. Very very wrong.

You know all the examples that exist in the privacy of your own peer group - or get publically espoused by the rebellious right-wing columnists in the newspapers - or else debunked and confusingly adopted by comedians like Ricky Gervais:

Now that's hide your face in a cushion funny, surely?

But back to 'whores'.

Listen, Harold, this has gone on too long so let's get back to a quick list:

2. A woman wearing a short skirt on a night out is not a whore. She is not a slag either, in the same way that you, in your lovely pockety shorts, are not a stud. That's fairly easy to work out, surely? Manners maketh the Man, not the habidashery, right?

3. Whore. Wow, that's just such a loaded term. It's not prostitute, it's not the comical slapper, or even the faintly grim sounding slag. It's whore and it just isn't nice. By all means letch and look at the lovely and perhaps in your opinion? - less than quantitatively lovely ladies in their tottering high heels and thigh revealing micro-minis. I can't stop you doing that. I can't promise I wouldn't do it myself. Look, I'd probably fall of my bike if I was riding by, from doing too much staring. But please don't label all these young women as whores. Not that word.

4. Yes, where does that word lead to? It leads to an assumption that the women are for sale. And all the other nasty thoughts that people (i.e. men) have once they start using that word in conjunction with others such as: dirty + begging + deserves + choose the violent act of your choice.

5. If your sister/niece - heck how about your mother? - decides to put on a short skirt for a work night out at The Printworks - does that mean we can label her a whore? Would you not mind if I were to call her that? How do you know that none of my relations were walking past you last night? Hmmm. That sounds a bit dodgier doesn't it? Or did they all just deserve it?

Aren't we slipping into Islamist Fascist territory here? Wasn't that the sort of opinion that the morally upstanding gents that tried to bomb the Tiger, Tiger club in London had in their brains? Women in short skirts + alcohol = deserved death?

Clearly, I'm stretching the point here, but that's why you really shouldn't even go there, Harold. You hear me now? Do you know who you are lining up with here? I think Salman Rushdie said it best before the Afghanistan War started that we needed to fight for our right to listen to music, dance, wear shorts & skirts and basically, have a bit of a good time. So yeh, Harold. I don't mind you havin a laugh, but know your boundaries. You can call me a whore, I don't mind. "O, look at you, gettin some more of those 'reduced for quick sale' items. You're such a price whore!" LOL indeed.

Hey, I promise, I'll laugh. But leave it with the women in short skirts, okay?

Now, hmmm. Wasn't there supposed to be something about Singapore in here? O yeh, when I went to visit friends in Singapore a few years back, basically, Singapore was so dull that one of the most popular pastimes was going to the Little India part of town, having a fantastic vegetarian curry and watching the transvestite prostitutes parading up and down.

I think we were doing it for cultural reasons, but it as was all a bit odd really. What a way to spend an evening - and yet, I'll admit it was bizarrely fascinating.

I am not sure I have any idea how I think about that now. It seems like all of those modern phrases bundled up into one night out:

*Wrong! Sad! Random!*

No comments:

Post a Comment