Battle of the Snarks: On MDA’s mindnumbing rap music video

If you don’t already know, the blogosphere is both beauty and bane because it is snarky.

PinkFreud gave an awesome $3 Google Answer (worth more actually) to the origins of snarkiness which you simply have to read. In cliffnotes style, you might understand it as a form of cynicism, sarcasm, and sometimes irrelevance. Despite a common attribution to negativity, it’s actually a complimentary term, signified by intellectualism and sheer balls. I feel that it’s intended to add the wrong colors to a paint-by-numbers world, just for the sheer pleasure and disdain for poorly constructed ideologies. Perhaps I’m high on my honey lemon tea, but can we consider snarky memes = “backdoor” propaganda? It’s a reversal, a discontinuation, but also a perpetuation of an idea all in one.

Which brings me to this…
Latest on the snarky trail is Singapore’s Media Development Authority’s so called “Sing along to the MDA Senior Management Rap“. It’s disturbia bad; the makes-me-ashamed-to-be-Singaporean kind of bad. But wait, there’s more to this…

I wonder who their target audience for this video is. If it’s the fellow citizens, perhaps they’re missing the point in trying to sell their ideas. Considering how wonderfully cultured Singapore already is, with tribes of Hokkien comedians and Singlish audiences (Singlish = English-based creole spoken and written colloquially in Singapore), our media authorities have rejected our identity but instead assimilated (poorly) a rap that’s barely lyrical in English. An alienation between the state and the people.

As blogger Carolyn noted, “and they are the people deciding media”. I shudder, but that’s unproductive no? Perhaps I should stop complaining and produce my own rap music video for under a $10 dollars entitled “I’m all about the KPIs” (See key performance indicators).

Enough from me, here are the top snarky responses I’ve gathered from the video:

  1. The almighty Gssq painstakingly lists the rap lyrics for your sick pleasure, and notes that “[a] car on fire is a very appropriate metaphor for this video”. Oh, and he wants his tax money back.
  2. The mysterious Tym reminds us that this is another “[r]eason #1 (yes, #1) the Singapore government’s attempts to “nurture” a media industry are doomed to fail.” She told Popagandhi that “it parodies itself”. Oh, and she too asks about taxes.
  3. In “Bad Stuff, Cannot Bluff“, Beeker realizes the unavoidable snarkiness of the situation, so he partakes by saying “all i can say is that i am VERY glad that i do not work at the MDA right about now ;)”. Damn it, he too says this is a waste of taxpayer’s money.

Moral of the story
All this validates the claim that we should either be very good, or very bad. Don’t be an in-between… be a freakin’ spectacle.

Oh, and could MDA tell us how much it cost to make the video?
If we don’t like it, can we get a refund in the next “progress package“?
Perhaps someone should read Seth Gordon’s The Big Dip.

Update: Elia Diodati point out another “classy” rap video by Certified Public Accountants in Hong Kong. Hmm, accountants having fun… now who belongs to the Tute?

27 thoughts on “Battle of the Snarks: On MDA’s mindnumbing rap music video

  1. See, it’s not just very bad.

    If it’s very bad, it can be so bad it’s funny.

    This is so bad beyond very bad that… Ugh.

    I rather watch 2girls1cup than this. =D

  2. These are the ones that leave a bad taste to our country. If our country are gonna be led by these goons and wannabe management then i think its very sad. If the world sees this video what will they think? For the amount of money spent it could have been channeld to help the poor and homeless. MDA who do you think you are? All of you look like fools and nerds on the video and you think you did a great job? You cant rap for nuts let alone rhyme your lyrics. I guess you are as lost at this as you are at your job. Now we all know who the fools are at MDA

  3. Oh BTW those idiots have bandwidth that can serve themselves only-the stupid video took yonkers to load on broadband-KUDOS to them for being the Media Authority who are clueless about the internet bandwidth and media streaming capability…..oh please dont say that lots of people are watching it thats why its slow…try YouTube version and it loads well…..

  4. Sometimes things that are so bad, they’re actually fun to watch. Like the Macarena.

    Maybe not.

    I take that back.

    Bad is just bad when it comes to top civil servants rapping (I STILL can’t wrap my head around that idea!).

  5. Yes yes y’all, we don’t stop.
    Get creative, can do, rock on!
    Yes yes y’all, we don’t stop.
    Get connected worldwide, rock on!

  6. Was gonna mail you the link but looks like you already have it! This was supposed to be an internal video but was leaked.

    Well…what can I say but “get creative can do rock on!”

  7. Hey guys, Ong Jiin Joo, from the Infocomm Development Authority (Singapore), has issued a friendly challenge for us to make our own music video. In his words, “Finish cringing yet? Create an “answer” video on YouTube la!”. Do it and you’ll help our country in a way, even though you might just be boosting MDA’s video too. 😉

  8. See lah, it is so typical of government style. When “dumbed down” and embarrassed, they challenged you. This style reminds you of some “wise” men talking down to peasants. Remember “honest mistakes”.

    In the first place, if you are willing to do the rap video and you know it will create a storm, then do not make a fool out of yourself. Since it is already done, accept criticism in good faith. How to do big things when you cannot take some heat.

    Die, die must win.

  9. If NTUC Comfort’s cabs suck, we should set up our own taxi company otherwise we have no reason to complain.

    Luckily people don’t use that line on movie, book and food critics…

  10. At first look when a friend showed it to me, it looked like an adventurous attempt by MDA to appear funky, and fun…

    By the time the video’s ended, I wonder when has Rapping become mainstream with Singaporeans. While Internet is redefining RELEVANCE, MDA is taking just too many steps backwards with this one.

  11. Well, it is really another version of the “Emperor with no clothes” story. While the real ground feeback can be felt in the blogosphere, the mainstream media is nodding their heads at the “Emperor”, and showing their thumbs up! Ha ha… if they aren’t careful, and be less arrogant, I can’t imagine what will become of our country in future…

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