© 2007 Catherine. All rights reserved.

Singapore: TV in Asia

I have to admit, half ashamed, that a big excitement of my trip was getting to watch tv. I don’t have a tv in Taiwan. My roommate is a VJ and we have a projector setup in the living room pointed towards the wall and we watch movies we rent or download that way. Aside from a few tv series we’ve rented or downloaded I haven’t watched TV in a year and a half.

I’m glad but sometimes I do miss the mind-numbing fun.

One night while watching TV in Singapore I was flipping through the channels and I found the Daily Show. Ya! One of my favourites from back home. Then as I was watching I noticed the “CNN” emblem on the upper left hand corner. “What the????”. I thought that this was hilarious and ironic and I sat there taking pictures of the tv for five minutes. I was so excited to come back here and blog about the irony. Daily show is shown on a news channel in Asia….. did the daily show even know??? but then I googled it and found out this isn’t an Asian oddity. Daily Show actually has a slot on CNN now. I still have a “what the???” reaction and am very amused by the irony but I’m bummed I didn’t find something as hilarious as I had thought.

Oh well. I did have an absolute twilight zone moment while watching tv. Commercials were on and I was thinking “It’s so strange how much my memory has improved since I’ve moved to Taiwan, I wonder if it has to do with how much less job stress I have now, but I’ve always had a bad memory…. it just doesn’t make sense!”…. then 5 seconds later, no word of a lie, a “Chinese heritage” type commercial came on with video pulling away from chopsticks while a narrator said “Chinese tradition states that using chopsticks improves memory”. Did someone implant a chip in my brain? That was bizarre.

The last thing I found hilarious about Singaporean tv, although I didn’t manage to grab a picture of it, is that they “censor” smoking on tv shows. But they don’t actually censor cigarettes themselves.

If someone is puffing on a cigarette on tv their mouth and the cigarette are blurred out, but as soon as they remove the cigarette from their mouth their mouth unblurs and so does the cigarette. It actually took me awhile to figure out why they were doing this. I couldn’t figure out why they were blurring half of someone’s face. I thought maybe it was to bleep out swearing but then I noticed those characters weren’t talking so it didn’t make sense. It wasn’t until I saw the magic blur disappear when someone pulled a cigarette away from their mouth and a cigarette magically materialize in their hand that I figured it out. So I guess it’s ok to look cool and hold a cigarette, you just can’t actually suck on them. Not that I ever smoked but I always thought the “looking cool” part of smoking was actually holding the cigarette. Most of those evil cigarette ads had people holding cigarettes to look cool, they didn’t actually have people sucking on them, right?


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