Monday, April 13, 2015

Father Knows Best

It was a kopi-tiam argument that tested the best of friendships - at stake was the erudition of a Cambridge scholar. We had to pipe down quickly before being accosted by plain clothes law enforcers for "disorderly behavior by speaking loud in the general public". The demi-god had said steamboat was two words. The redolence of mass adulation will brook no contrarian view.

In chapter 12 of "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" (first published 1885), Jim and Huck continue down the shore of the Missouri mountains and come upon a steamboat crippled on a rock. Cliff's Notes say Mark Twain's decision to name the boat the Walter Scott continues his mockery of romantic novels and their authors. The wreck's importance to the novel, however, is found in the contrasting images of peace and police brutality and Huck's inevitable deliberations on death.

If literature is not your cup of tea, you may find this easier to swallow. Steamboat Willie is a 1928 American animated short film produced in black-and-white by Walt Disney Studios and was released by Celebrity Productions. The cartoon is considered the debut of Mickey Mouse and his girlfriend Minnie. In 1994 members of the animation field voted Steamboat Willie 13th in the book "The 50 Greatest Cartoons", a compilation of the greatest cartoons of all time. In 1998 the film was selected for preservation in the United States' National Film Registry for being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". It is not found at the National Museum of Singapore. That would take the mickey out of somebody.

The founding father did arrive home that day, we are told, but not by battleship. He explained that he wanted steam boat for dinner, but as “steam boat” was two words, and telegrams were charged by the word, he wrote “battleship” instead, to save words and money!

16 comments:

  1. May be battleship was the name he gave his love one-the better half.

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    1. Perhaps you were thinking of "battleaxe"?

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  2. Ha ! It took a while for a daft like me to see the Light ! On a different note, I have always question the wisdom of calling that vessel with charcoal burning in the centre to cook meat, vegetable , bean curd and seafood a "steam boat " .
    Sure , there will be steam but it was the heated and often boiling soup that cook , right ?

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  3. All that good stuff in the Steamboat will inevitably turn into shit.

    How great one self praised and claimed to be shall end in ash and dust.

    What's the Great Fortune and Infamy for?

    patriot

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  4. Singaporean Aunty4/13/2015 8:46 AM

    oopsy daisy ... poor man must be turning in his grave...if only he had a dictionary with him!

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  5. The whole matter is indeed puzzling, if not absurd. You do not have to be Oxbridge alumni to know that steamboat is one word.. No savings there. Then again why would anyone send a code-word to a recipient who did not know it was one? That translator for the Japanese kempetai should know. Finally, how would 6 year old Lee Hsien Loong know what his father said to his mother? Given that the telegram was 'discovered' the other day it would indicate that it was never the subject of a discussion by the parents in his presence. As with much else the truth will lie buried with the old man.

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    1. methinks it's just another mee-siam-mai-hum moment

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    2. Making a mountain out of a molehill. Will the adoration know no end? Should have sent "Arriving today Musashi".

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  6. Are you kidding me? It just meant that he get to steamboat her titties that night !! Go look into urban dict!

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  7. So much ingratiation.....the mainstream media.....

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  8. It is fine to respect.....as an old cautionary re-quotation goes..."Do Not Respect a particular person so much until One forgets to duely Respect Oneself and others"...

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  9. Lky is dyslexic

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    1. LKY ? .... Who cares?
      It's not as if LKY or PAP is benefiting me much over the last 10 years.

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  10. Its a pattern of embellishment and hubris so fondly imitated by the civil service in order to get a leg up the promotion ladder. Game of Imitate the Boss. The stakes are high.

    I seem to recall EBD management, in a petty civil legal case, describing his/her actions in terms of "shaping" the killing zone. Seems to remember, its a civil case regarding a chess club? Hardly a life and death battlezone situwaaytion. And I doubt this person was ever in a war, but its fun to play pretend isn't it, with a judge?

    Also remember people carrying heavy tomes of LKY bios around. In economic terms this is called signaling. But I digress.

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  11. He even conned his own family.
    Spun a yarn that they swallowed hook line & sinker.
    That must have been his test bed

    Looks like we arent the only ones thats daft.
    ( unlike the masses, they are daft with billions )

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  12. The Lee Children are asking the People to respect their beloved Old Man.

    HOW COULD THEY NOT KNOW THAT RESPECT IS TO BE EARNED.
    NOT BY DEMAND. WHAT KIND OF UPBRINGING DID THEY GET FROM THE OLD MAN?

    THEY WANT THE PEOPLE TO FEAR THEM?
    LIKE THEIR FATHER DID?

    patriot

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