The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Singapore Business Is To Creativity What Jeffrey Dahmer Was To Healthy Eating
April 21, 2008, 7:40 am
Filed under: Comment

Now I’m angry.

Now I’m really, really angry.

I’ve written posts galore about Singapore’s obsession with literacy and numeracy but this takes the biscuit …

I know what you’re thinking …

“Isn’t it good that a newspaper is doing an article about helping Singaporean parents make their kids ‘creative thinker’s”?

Well putting aside the fact that they talk about creativity interms of a mechanical ‘process’ rather than simply encouraging kids to have the freedom to explore their own World – I guess it is, however what really has fucked me off was when I saw the byline …

Can you see it?

It say’s “How you can give your child a creative edge to do well in life”

Fuck me, they’re pitching ‘creativity’ as a way parents can give their kids a competitive edge over other children … a way they can rise up the corporate ladder faster … a way they can make more money and acquire more stuff they don’t need or want but purchase it because [1] it makes them happy given they live such passive, dull, little lives and [2] it helps them look successful to other sad fuckwits who base everything on possessions rather than values/opinion/ideas.

OK, so I am glad that creativity is being celebrated rather than frowned upon … and I am glad it’s being talked about interms of thinking, not just ‘art’ … and I am glad they are acknowledging its commercial value rather than just treating it as ‘indulgence’ … however I hate that it’s being pitched as a way to achieve ‘career success’ when for young kids it should be about exploring, engaging, collaborating and experiencing life. But then what do I expect from a country that has a prime-time television that features junior school kids debating against eachother!

However as much as that fucked me off, this really got me apoplectic …

Parenting Tips Brought To You By OCBC.

And who are OCBC?

A bank.

A fucking bank.

Yep, they’re not happy enough that every Singaporean University is already selling them their students, they want parents to offer up their young as well.


You know what – I wouldn’t mind so much if OCBC was the biggest investor in new companies and/or creative organisations – however they’re not – they’re another financial organisation who want their pound of flesh from every one of their customers and then negate all blame if/when things go wrong.

It would be petty of me to say the most creative thing a bank does is find new ways to charge clients enormous amounts of cash in fees – however I do find the fact they are sponsoring a supplement on ‘child creativity’ rather offensive and further demonstrates my belief that if Singapore continues to undermine the importance of imagination and creativity [both in their young and in their attitude to business] then the nations prosperity could be severely affected.

At a time where global economic power is returning to the ‘East’ – Singapore should be looking forward to even greater times – however with their inherent rational approach to life and business, my worry is they could soon find themselves becoming a blueprint for what not to do when for the last 40+ years, they’ve been a testament to the power of creative thought and vision.

There’s alot of brilliant people in Singapore, lets all hope they believe they have a future here rather than elsewhere …

19 Comments so far
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i wonder if the same bank that’s ‘sponsoring’ creative kids is helping to support child care for its workers. and if not, do you think they would mind if the kids came into work with mum and got ‘creative’ there?

Comment by lauren

first. 🙂

Comment by lauren

i understand rob, i finally fucking understand 🙂

good fucking point lauren because we all know theyll want little creative people to stay well away from their fucking unimaginative offices unless they have 10 mill to blow in another “get banks rich quick” sheme.

this is another attempt by banks to stand out without actually doing anything. fuck theyre even aiming it at kids, what do they do for their current customers? fuck all i bet.

im with rob that they could make this into something and he told me they have a positioning around “curiosity” but rather than link it to something like “curiosity got the opportunity”, they just fucking talk about weird shit and dont link it into how the bank operates/thinks or how their customer can benefit from this approach so theyre about as creative as thatcher in a straight jacket with mind numbing electrodes stuck on her fucking head.

shit. absolute fucking shit and im waiting for that fucker to come back and call rob and the rest of us kkk members. cock.

Comment by andy@cynic

You should take this issue on to a bigger stage because you’re obviously very passionate about it and no agency seems to want to stick their neck out unless they’re talking about creativity in 30″ TVCs.

Maybe you could talk to your beloved Sir Ken? It would be a pretty fearsome combination.

Comment by Pete

Banks… Determined to be Dickheads.

Comment by Age

I just hope their agency didn’t do this for them !

Comment by fan

With so many creatives questioning the role and creative intentions of planners, I find it interesting it is a planner who is publically fighting this issue rather than the advertising and creative community.

Not too difficult to assume why.

Well done Robert, keep fighting the good fight.

Comment by Lee Hill

A father speaks.

As a father of three daughters who do not need to be asked to be creative (my eldest is actually shooting a short film which she has written together with her sisters) I totally understand why a bank would “encourage” parents to give their children a “creative edge to do well in life”.

It costs a fucking fortune.

I never set out to creative “creative children”. Setting out to “create” any kind of child is both sickening and doomed to failure because children to tend to have aa mind of their own and, at the end of the day, do whatever the fuck they like (just ask Mrs. Campbell).

I can’t read the article/ad, so I can only guess at the kind of creativity the Bank is trying to encourage. And it’s fucking expensive – so you’ll need a loan – from a bank.

Comment by Marcus

When we were kids and asked what we wanted to be when we grew up, we never said “Creative” – we wanted to be truck drivers or policemen or footballers or musicians – so I find it sad that Singapore is encouraging parents to not only push their kids into achieving exceedingly high literacy and numeracy qualifications, but also to define themselves as something that [1] is one of the most ambigious statements known to man and [2] defined by a fucking bank!

Is being able to play the guitar being creative or being a musician?

Is being able to draw being creative or being an artist?

Is being able to think being creative or being a businessman?

They’re all inherently connected and yet we have a culture/government who seems happy to separate them out which is going to lead to even more confused people than we already have.

Comment by Robert

When I was a lad, all I needed to be creative was a piece of paper and a pencil. Youngsters are creative by design, it’s only when you are made to grow that it magics itself away.
Bankers were born wankers though

Comment by northern

I like this discussion, because it’s a campaign (for me this is a campaign for the Bank and nothing else) that touches on the lives of the people working within creative industries. Call me a fool but I’d lump advertising into that drawer too.

I like the passion. It’s knickers in a twist stuff.

It’s like the contemporary art scene around the middle of the 1970’s getting their knickers in a twist at the very mention that advertising could be considered as creative.

This is a campaign and it’s a bad one. It’s a campaign for mums and dads who buy “how to be a better parent” books to get them interested in things that cost a lot of money. And get a loan – from a bank.

I know a fuck load of parents who would cut this out of the newspaper and stick it on the fridge. Now, that’s worth discussing.

Comment by Marcus

We found a great insight why parents buy video cameras when they become parents – and while alot of it was to document their childs development – there was also the fact it gave parents undeniable evidence they could provide their parents [ie: the kids grandparents] that they were bringing up their children correctly because they feel under constant pressure and scrutiny to fulfill the expectations placed on them [as a parent] by family and country.

With this in mind, you can see how a company offering parents ‘top tips for having successful child’ would be eagerly gobbled up despite the fact [1] they’re actually stopping their children’s individual development [2] there is always an ulterior motive when companies offer this sort of ‘advice’.

I’m not slagging off education or regimented learning processes, but what a BANK is doing has nothing to do with children’s development, it’s about getting more cash from parents by giving the illusion they [1] care [2] will help them fulfill the minimum requirements of a Singaporean parent interms of their childs achievement.

Comment by Rob

With you all the way Campbell. But who came up with this crap.

a) The bank all on their own
b) The bank’s agency
c) The newspaper/magazine.

Comment by Marcus

I would say all of them together – collaberation of delusion! [assuming they actually are trying to help which obviouisly is VERY questionable]

Comment by Rob

marcus, will miss h be publishing her short film when she’s done?

Comment by lauren

Knowing Hannah, she’s already sorted out the deatils around distribution etc.

I’m not joking – she did a CASTING. The was a queue of kids waiting to audition for it. She’s organised a camera man and I couldn’t visit this weekend because “we’re filming”.

Comment by Marcus

I could get Lee to get Virgin Films distribute it – if only so I could wipe the smug smiles off certain people’s faces who think they’re “oh-so-genius-like”!

I love Hannah … I am so bloody proud of her … so god knows how Marcus must feel!

Comment by Rob

god she’s brilliant marcus. although i hope you’re visiting next weekend, before post-production starts 🙂

Comment by lauren

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