Unburied Nuts from 15th January 2007 : Romance at the Speed of Light

on Sunday, February 17, 2008

In the last post, blackcrag suggested that his couple romance life resembled that of Pepe le Pew and the Black cat. It so happens Pepe and Ms. Cat helped me illustrate one of the early posts of this blog and I have decided to shamelessly recycle it here under my "Unburied Nuts" series.

Recently, Dave, managed to dig up an old advertisement poster where the Canadian Government tried to encourage women to go west and get married with statements like “anything in skirts stands a chance”. It of course reminded me of how different things are today. Women, for one would not stand for this kind of malarkey. We have all grown more mature as a global culture and are better educated on issues like etiquette, equality, respect and commitment. Yeah, right (sarcasm).

In today’s mad rush of living, is there time for love, romance and family? Many people are finding it hard to cope. Some caring governments are once again entering the fray to help out and surely the award for the most “caring” government goes to Singapore.

Singaporean professionals are too busy spending more hours than there are in a day, just to achieve the minimum 5 C’s required to enter the dating game. How are the poor dears ever going to find a match and get married? The super-caring Singapore Government has been in a huff and a puff over the fact that fewer citizens were getting married and many of them later in life. Even when married, the couples were not productive. According to statistics for 2002, Singaporean women give birth to 1.37 babies in a lifetime, down from 1.87 in 1990. Since a replacement level of 2.1 is required to keep a country’s natural population stable, Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong elevated baby-making to a national priority. The concern was that the declining fertility rate would lead to economic crisis, increased security risk and political instability.

With admirable determination, the Singaporeans took action on bachelors and bachelorettes. In 1984, the Working Committee on Marriage and Procreation was formed with the task of increasing the birth-rate. Figuring that Singaporeans respond well to financial incentives, they introduced the “baby bonus’ incentives. I do not have figures to show how successful this program was.

This did not solve the issue of fewer and later marriages. Thus the Social Development Unit or SDU was formed which came out with 70 recommendations for increasing baby production. SDU was to succeed where earlier efforts failed because they would tackle issues like dating and matchmaking because as was said earlier, hardworking Singaporeans do not have time for such distractions. SDU’s efforts have earned them the nickname of Single, Desperate and Ugly.

Not swayed by such popular opinion, SDU went on to implement their plan which included compulsory dating courses in the first year of Universit, the “Love Boat Cruises” and the “Love Plane Flights” which include on-board lectures on seduction. The latter two, were subsidized holidays for singles and I believe, if any couple ended up getting married, the fare for the holiday was reimbursed.

Nowadays, Single, Desperate and Ugly hides behind their campaign brand of “Romancing Singapore” which organizes state-sponsored matchmaking events like speed dating (e.g. meet 6 guys/gals in 60 minutes), rock climbing for couples (an opportunity to get sweaty), love boat river race and midnight walks, just to name a few.

SDU produced an official eight-page guidebook called "When Boy Meets Girl! The Chemistry Guide” which teaches busy engineers and IT nerds how to court a girl, where to go, and what to do on a date.
Don't you hate it when
the chemistry's all wrong?

Singapore even has its own celebrity love guru, Dr. Wei, who also is known as Dr. Love. Dr. Love runs love cruises, Baby Planing Camps and was planning in 2004 to do an "edutainment" reality TV show called “Dr. Love’s Super Baby-Making Show”. This never materialized, perhaps because it went too far for “prudish” officials, despite Dr. Love’s assurance that it would be done very clinically. Hmmm, very romantic indeed.

And has all this government plotting worked? In 2003, Durex did a sexual habits survey amongst 34 nations and Singapore ranked last for the second consecutive time. With Singaporeans reported having sex less than 8 times per month on average or 96 times per year. For the curious, it was the Hungarians, fortified with spicy paprika that took first place with 152 rolls in the hay per year.

Alas, so sad to see the fine efforts of Single Desperate and Ugly produce such poor results. Perhaps the expert readers in the blogosphere can give some advice on how we can avoid a movie entitled, “The Last of the Singaporeans”.

"I am a Satire, yes?"

22 comments:

Odat said...

OMG That was coffee-spitting funny!
Hungarians??????? hmmm.
And I can't believe you used the work 'marlarky'! My grandmother used that all the time.....

Well, i guess nations try desperate measures to become number one in something! So, did you go to any of Dr. Love's courses? hehe.

Cheryl said...

What a lively and informative post. A great read that must have the people around me wondering what I'm smiling about.

blackcrag said...

I see why you are using Pepe to illustrate this post.

Informative and a little funny. Why don't Singaporeans just work 5 or 10 hours less a week? Or Singaporeans who work over 50 hours a week have to take one day off a week and spend it dating? The SDU could mandate that as a 'dating day.'

meggie said...

This was a fun post in some respects!
On the other hand, it seems so sad, that people don't have time to meet the 'right' one, because they are too busy working. It seems the more developed a country becomes the lower the birthrate drops. Not really what nature intended... or is it??

Tai said...

LOL! The first time it was funny, this time is even better!

citizen of the world said...

The world is already over-populated, I hate to see a government actively encouraging more babies.

citizen of the world said...

The world is already over-populated, I hate to see a government actively encouraging more babies.

Jocelyn said...

You can analyze anything, and I'll read it.

I'd argue, though, that a certain subsection of American woman still want that "if I head West, the men will be plentiful and desire me"--and they eye Alaska greedily.

Seriously.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

odat,
I belong to the "Bring back the Marlarky" club! I did not attend any of Dr. Love's courses as I was already in trouble with Basic Biology.

cheryl,
Keep on smiling.Dr. Love say, "smile is like honey for the bees."

blackcrag,
If you look at the earlier post which I linked to the phrase "5C's", I explained a bit about the Singaporean attitude which is not just to keep up with the Jone's but to beat the Jone's and to rub their noses in the dirt. Hence they have no time.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

meggie,
it is sad.:(

tai,
thanks.

cz,
Many developed countries are experiencing shrinking populations and that isn't good for their economy.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

jocelyn,
Ah, so many attractions for Alaska.

Gledwood said...

Singaporeans appear to be the Germans of the East... ultra-organized & all...

OK I know Malaysia & Singapore = 2 totally different countries... but is it true Malaysia demands from birth that all citizens are registered on their permanent ultra-difficult to get a single fact upon it altered ID card as racially: ethnic Malay; ethnic Chinese; ethnic Indian or "tribal"? And that someone registered "Malay" is assumed to be "Muslim" and has enormous difficulty ever changing out of this?...??

Please RSVP bc I'm fascinated to know... I heard all the above on BBC World Service

Jay said...

That's just....wunderbar.

Marja said...

I had a great time here. Can't stop laughing. Poor singaporians missing out on the best live has to offer. I never needed a doctor love, maybe one to get me off it.
It is well known of engineers that they are not an expert in this area. They are logical thinkers. You can't change that a lot when you got a lot of them in Singapore. I am fully surprised about the Hungariens? Aha I would
have thought more easily at thefrench or italiens

Open Grove Claudia said...

I do love peppi le peu. I do... I love his confidence and capacity to... just be himself. I sometimes with she would just let him love her... but that's just me.

Diesel said...

Here in the U.S. we just import people. It's way easier than making them.

patterns of ink said...

I'm up late and felt inclined to check some of my favorite blogs.
I'm gradually getting back in circulation. Thank you for your consistent words of encouragement during the past difficult weeks in my life. I am still amazed by this thing called blogging and how it connects otherwise disconnected people in very real ways. In the weeks ahead, I hope to resume some posts about my trip to northern Thailand. It was as you told me it would be.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

gledwood,
I'm afraid that those things that you mentioned about Malaysia is all true. Here's a good place to read about one of the more recent and high profile case; http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/67914

jay,
Thanks. Your new avatar is very wunderbar too.

marja,
That's a good way to look at it. Singapore.....a nation of engineers!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

claudia,
I think there actually is one cartoon where they end up together.

diesel,
The ultimate "Made in China" joke.

tom,
good to hear from you and looking forward to read about your Thai adventures.

Samurr said...

Interestinghtr post
.

Dr.John said...

I guess some of us were just lucky or blessed. I never knew it was so hard to find a mate.

Molly said...

Hilarious! In ireland there's an annual festival devoted to matchmaking--no joke---dead serious! my mother's family used to repair there to take the waters, and check the talent! Irish farmers are too busy for romance!

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