scraps of a life

July 18, 2005

My life is diktated (i made ‘diktat’ a verb, gives it a rather Auschwitz feel, don’t you think?) by the decisions of less-than-competent people who have no conception of irregular (I am punning on the word ‘regular’, don’t you find this highly ironic and witty?) life: they think that people must be coerced into doing things for them, they think it funny that they have the lives of others at their beck and call, they are brainless, immoral idiots with no conception of what it means to be civilianised (I welded the words ‘civilian’ and ‘civilised’, how creative!)

Many examples come to mind, but it truly the small things which illustrate how brainless they are: for example, that day, while locking up, I turned to my direct superior, a low-level ‘specialist’ (which is what the SAF calls its non-commissioned regulars), and a realy bitch if there ever was one, and asked her to pass me the key. She picked it up, and, without saying a word, took it to lock up her stuff, then promptly threw the key down on the table. What an abject lack of manners. She also never bothers with simple things like ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’ during telephone calls, or ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ when she requires favours. She never learnt her work, so all the tough stuff is handled by us, the conscripts. What is the point of her existence?

They should realise the lack of worth of their lives and commit suicide – how can anyone lack so much perspective?

This is perhaps the most disgusting aspect of conscription. (I refuse to call it ‘national service’, that is too euphemistic – does the ‘nation’ exist, culturally, politically? What ‘service’ am I rendering it? Am I a national servant?) Why must I subject myself to the brainless politickings of regulars who really aren’t in it for the glory and honour, but really are looking for an iron rice-bowl or their own promotions. This isn’t going to affect me, really, for the rest of my fucking life – but wait, if they decide to complain to the scholarship board to which I shall owe my (delayed by three years) Stanford education, then my chances of California 2007 are gone. Whose fault will it be? Mine, for not working nearly hard enough.

I used to be fond of Singapore. Now, after almost 7 months of conscription, I laugh at its facility (a terrible joke, of course, since I only mean ‘facile’). And to be honest I really feel nothing for this place anymore, except perhaps for its food. But tantalising one’s tastebuds is hardly a reason to remain. There really is nothing holding me back, nothing – and if there is any chance at all, any opening, I’m going to dash for it.

Addenda: What the fuck is up with all these Orientation Camps going on in all these stupid local universities? God, they’re so goddamn lame, and people who enjoy it and rant and rave about it like it were the best thing ever (because some of them really do) are going to have terribly unfulfilled lives. Frankly nothing appeals to my mind less than friend by ballot, and spending a few days of my life pretending that doing sexually suggestive things with members of the opposite sex (or otherwise) is fun and funny is to my mind anathema. That’s why I didn’t bother with JC orientation, as a number of you will remember. I walked out and screamed at everyone for being so silly. And in the end I was right: most friends aren’t made in the artificial constructs that are Orientation Groups (or whatever dumb name that is given to them), they’re made by sheer serendipity and a lot of effort.

And these Orientated Ones are going to become this country’s future lawyers and doctors. If I were anyone logical or intelligent, I’d send my scholars overseas immediately. Oh but wait.


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