14 Nov 2005

Cover Citizens, Cover Country, Cover Bands & U2

Last week, I found out that a cover band, dedicated to covering only U2 songs, is performing in Singapore. It is remarkably ironic. Emblematic of the conundrum residing snugly within the multiple layers that is Singapore. A polished sheen of modernity. The State has created a generation brimming with potentiality, the possibility of flowering because each and every Singaporean has had an empowering education. But this potentiality gets lost along the way. And we, Singaporeans, find ourselves walking on by in a dry and waterless place searching for a forgotten fire.

The State creates an illusion of vibrancy that cannot look within itself. The restrictions on Gay party events, the 'loosening' of the Arts scene, the 'encouragement' of contrary opinion are all counter-poised with censorship, sedition and regulation. The State creates this illusion of creativity but refuses to let it out of the Box. 15 and Royston : restricted and censored. Jack Neo and Prison Life : Cultural Medallion. Reality and contextuality denied, hyper-State reality and textuality programatically processed. Reject the process, reject the reality and ship out to Van Diemen's land.

So we have a cover band of U2 performing in Singapore, because my country is a cover country in so many renderings of the word. That a cover band is performing in Singapore slices open the heart of the cover band itself and explains why it remains a cover band without the soul of U2. In so doing, it slices open the perplexing state of Singapore and its people. A cover citizen of a cover country hearing a cover band in a state of the art stadium. Hearing but deaf towards the beauty and the message delivered in the songs of U2. Deft betrayal.

I was a cover citizen of a cover country. Once devoid of soul, empty in heart. Staring at the sun, happy, blind, deaf and mute.

It's been a long hot summer. Let's get under cover
Don't try too hard to think. Don't think at all.
I'm not the only one. Staring at the sun.
Afraid of what you'll find. If you took a look inside.
I'm not just deaf and dumb. Staring at the sun.
Not the only one. Who's happy to go blind

But I saw the real thing. And it was even better than the real thing.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Three words: You are lame.

bono said...

anon - guess u bot tix for the fake concert huh? lolz

patriot said...

I know i won't be paying money for offcially approved "fake goods", unlike anon there.