Who wants to be a superhero?

Captain Obvious

We’ve had Survivor (1997 – yes, that old!), Big Brother (1999), Fear Factor (2001), American Idol (2002), America’s Next Top Model (2003), Beauty and the Geek (2005 – a favourite), amongst many, many others. Granted, the format’s nowhere near new, but there are now so many “reality” tv shows that the makers of reality tv shows are running out of real things to make reality tv shows out of.

So how, like that? Running out of reality? Turn to fantasy lah!

HyperstrikeWhich is exactly what “Who wants to be a superhero?” is trying to do I suppose – get people to break out their spare spandex, toss a lasso, spin a web, leap over tall buildings and so on. Quite fun if you’re keen on reliving primary school games. One of my primary school classmates who went on to become a Channel 8 actor used to lurrrrve playing Wonder Woman when we played at being superheroes during recess and between classes. It didn’t matter a tiny bit to himself that he was a fat, mostly Chinese-speaking boy with a chipped tooth. Didn’t matter how much he got teased either, with taunts like “你那么 fat, invisible 飞机 how to fly?”

But with a little imagination, and little regard for what people think of you, some of the contestants have created super powers that are quite um… interesting. Take “Hyper-strike“, who is “able to turn his own sweat into a weapon”. He’d be a hit in Singapore. Air-conditioning would be to him what kryptonite is to Superman. Noooo… Not. The. Air. Con. Must. Perspire. Probably also faces tough competition and turf wars with Captain Stinko.

Then, there’s also “Basura“, an environmentally friendly superhero who “turns trash into treasure and reshapes rubbish into robots.”

If we had a similar program in Singapore, seeing as we’re rather prone to adapting formats for local consumption, what heroes would we conjure up from our spare fabric lying at home?

Sick and tired of loitering louts downstairs of your home? Be sick and tired no more!

Behold! Void-Deck Man!

Look out for his monogrammed jersey, and every time you see louts hanging around your void-deck, drinking, playing chess or, more likely bottle caps, call out for VD Man! Not to be confused with the fella who takes trips to Batam!

Or, behold! Captain Jump-Q! Able to get you that box of donuts you’ve been hankering for in under three hours! NDP tickets? No problem! You just have to reimburse him for his cab fare. Don’t worry about the taxi queues either!

8DayscoverBut really though, who do we really have? Who will save us? Who will defend us while we sleep? Not VR-Man. (James Lye is damned lucky that that show was aired almost ten years ago, before the ingterneck became really big and everyone started uploading pictures of bad tv shows – I can’t find any pictures!).

Then who? Who? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to who? Who?

Captain SMRT

Behold, Captain SMRT! Captain who? SMRT?

That’s the best we can come up with? Captain SMRT? WTF?!

How do you even pronounce his name? Captain Smurt? Captain Ass Am Arty? What kind of hero name is that?

CaptainsmrtBesides, I’m not really sure what his superpowers are, and I only read in the Straits Times yesterday that he goes around giving out free SMRT tickets to people who hold on to handrails and stand on the left side while riding escalators. Also, I hear that SBS bus drivers are wondering, “Captain, so what? We also bus captain, you don’t see us in a mask and cape. Siao.

And there’s probably good reason for Captain SMRT to be masked. His mild-mannered secret identity might be beaten up if he wasn’t. And does his mild mannered secret identity hold on to handrails and stand to the left while riding escalators? Or would that give his game away? So many questions, so little time.


Still, I’d give a little more time to guessing Captain SMRT’s mild-mannered secret identity’s day job.

You know how traditional superheroes (if there’s such a thing as a traditional superhero) have secret identities which are mundane, like Peter Parker’s a photographer, Clark Kent is a junior reporter, and Bruce Wayne is a millionaire…. eh? OK, but anyway, our local hero would have a job that’s really, really, really, really mundane, so that being Captain SMRT is a real step up.

So, I’d go for “chief bonelessness inspector in a boneless chicken factory”, where, you know, by day, all he does is poke around to ensure the bonelessness of the boneless chickens in the boneless chicken factory?

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Neglected – by <3 [ { – a u b r e y – } ]

So football season has begun in earnest, because the half of every local paper is comprised of local news, while the other half is EPL news. I can’t say I was never a football fan. I was, until I attended this school that was sucky at football but good at rugby union.

I suddenly remembered what a big fan I used to be when Naomi asked me how come I didn’t watch soccer like the rest of the country. I recalled the Tottenham Hotspur’s 1980/81 team anthem with glee, then scared myself a little bit because I still remembered a lot of the lyrics:

Ossie’s going to Wembley
His knees have gone all trembley
Come on you Spurs
Come on you Spurs

Come on you, Spurs are on their way to Wembley
Tottenham’s gonna do it again
They can’t stop ’em, they boys from Tottenham
The boys from White Hart Lane

Spurs are on their way to Wembley
The kings are claiming the throne
Everybody will be singing
When the Spurs go marching on

We are the boys of Keithie’s army
And we’re marching off to war
We’re sending our soldiers to Wembley
Under General Burkinshaw


In our ranks there’s Ossie Ardiles
He’s had a dream for a year or two
That one day he’s gonna play at Wembley
Now his dream is coming true

Ossie, we gonna be behind you
Altogether man for man
We know you’re gonna play a blinder
To ween thee cop for Tottingham

Ossie ArdilesThat funny last bit, “to ween dee cop for Tottingham”, was sung by Osvaldo “Ossie” Ardiles, one half Tottenham’s star duo, together with his fellow Argentinian Ricardo “Ricky” Villa. And they wreaked havoc in the first division in ’81 and 82, when they also won the F.A. Cup back to back. Which was a very big thing in those days. Football fans in Singapore in those days lived for two things – the F.A. Cup and the Malaysia Cup.

Ah, the pre-EPL days, when football was a sport and not quite yet a business. Back in the day, I stayed up late with my older sister to watch the F.A. Cup finals ‘live’ via satellite, which was a very big thing because ‘live’ feeds were a bit dodgy and prone to technical mishaps – the 1987 Rugby World Cup final in Auckland had its sound feed mangled, leaving the RTM’s lone Malay language sports commentator to ad lib.

1981 was a great year for Spurs, they won the F.A. Cup for the 6th time (and in 1982 for the 7th), but the reality of sporting businesses began to sink in, when in 1983, it became the first football club to float shares on the London Stock Exchange.

And so, I lost interest in football, starting calling it soccer, and no matter what anyone tells you, it’s not because I can’t play the game. I’ll have you know I’ve been sent off the soccer pitch a few times for ‘boisterous play’.

But go, football season! I’ll be watching. Sorta. Until this starts in a couple of weeks.

Talent I

I know there were other outstanding acts, but for me, Paul Potts wins

Nessun dorma! Nessun dorma….

…Ma il mio mistero e chiuso in me,
il nome mio nessun sapra!
No, no…

…Dilegua, o notte!
Tramontate, stelle!
Tramontate, stelle!
All’alba vincero!
vincero, vincero!


None must sleep! None must sleep…

…my mystery is locked within me,
no-one shall know my name!
No, no…

…Vanish, o night!
Fade, stars!
At dawn I shall win!
I shall win! I shall win!

And if that touched you, and it must have, watch his semi-final performance too (via Perez Hilton)

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