Sunday, August 14, 2011

Episode 1056: Why Was PM Lee's Shirt Blue?

Just surprised myself by sitting through the whole of PM Lee's National Day Rally Speech! Was impressed that his pronunciation preserves the wine/whine phonetic distinction, whose gradual loss I remember Amanda Hopkins lamenting in a Middle English language class in first year. (I must admit, I myself do not habitually make the distinction, even though I do agree that it's worth preserving.) Also, I'm pleased that Mr Brown shared my sentiments regarding PM Lee's blue shirt this year. Was it a nod to the WP's landmark win at GE 2011? It did make for a moment of bad colour design towards the end of his speech though, when the background switched to pretty much the same shade of blue, and he promptly blended into the background. Shirley says that I was paying attention to all the wrong things, but well, aren't the speeches basically the same every year? You can distil them down to one sentence: Singaporeans must always think long-term and look beyond our shores. The details change annually depending on what are the 'hot' issues of the day, but otherwise, that really is the message the government trumpets 24/7. Not that I disagree with it, of course, but it's a bit on the abstract side, you have to admit.

Anyway, in a burst of industry, I've done some preliminary research for my dissertation, after a sudden bout of worrying that it would be impossible to research. Have been pulling articles from online databases, leading to the surprise discovery that Warwick subscribes to The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, which seems suitably obscure. I guess you can argue for the Commonwealth connection, but I wouldn't have placed this journal on a must-have list for a place like Warwick. Still, I'm glad the university subscribes. Really made getting secondary literature easier. Now just need to comb the Lee Kong Chian Reference Library and make a stack of photocopies, and I'll be well on my way to having enough material to read, digest and work with. Need to come up with a proposal though, and I may have to tweak it slightly from what I originally proposed to MOE, just to make it more likely to be accepted by the university. The Merlion angle is definitely a fruitful one, just because the poems in the anthology I'll be working closely with lend themselves well to comparative close readings, but I probably need to work in a postcolonial angle as well, much as I dislike that whole body of theory. Who knows? Maybe I'll come across something in my reading to change my mind.

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