Talking Cock in Parliament

Positive Influences of New Media: Blogs, Vodcasts, Podcasts

• Talking Cock in Parliament

The event Talking Cock in Parliament was publicised almost entirely through “viral marketing” on the Internet. It was a stand-up comedy held at the Old Parliament House on 24 August 2006. Most of the performances were captured and made available on YouTube and other websites. The most memorable performances were probably that of Ruby Pan and Hossan Leong. Ruby Pan had her audience rolling in laughter as she demonstrated the different English accents used in Singapore to illustrate the different strains of Singlish — acrolectal Singlish (i.e., the “high class” Singlish) and basilectal Singlish (the colloquial, ungrammatical type frowned on by the government).

Hossan Leong also had his audience in fits of laughter when he sang his localised version of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire”. His song, “We live in Singapura“, accounted the history of Singapore from Sang Nila Utama to the present day.
This refreshing, citizen-driven event not only showcased the amazing artistic talents of Singaporeans, but more importantly demonstrated that Singapore does have a unique and vibrant culture despite our short history. The event succeeded in making Singaporeans laugh at themselves and in the process, celebrate their “Singaporean-ness”, regardless of political differences.

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