We promised we’d hear the band.
Which is how we, the assembled multitude, myself, the AEG guys and Ross and Laurietta, Singapore concert promoters, found ourselves in the Beer Market.
There’s no litter in Singapore. I think there’s a fine for that. Or a re-education camp. They actually have signs boasting about this. So, a bar is never seedy. Never unclean. Certainly not in Clarke Quay, a redeveloped area by the river, a modern entertainment center.
Actually, once upon a time, Singapore was all about the river. For the fresh water, for the access. Before it became overused and polluted. But now it’s been revitalized, it’s kind of like Venice, with shops on both sides and numerous bridges.
Oh, I’m overstating the case, but unlike so many areas of redevelopment, the riverside is not ersatz, you want to hang there. Then again, they wanted to charge us $400 to share a crab. Now that’s $400 Singaporean, which is just a hair over $300 U.S., and although it was a huge crab, it wasn’t that big.
Anyway, after having some ice cream, because it’s so damn hot there, we needed a respite, we ambled up the stairs to see Sixx.
Funny about bands. They always think there’s a future. But in Singapore? Hell, it’s even worse than America. There were nine people on stage, they were tight, nothing was prerecorded, they were energized, they killed, but I hope they enjoyed the performance, because there’s not a hell of a lot more than that.
Then again, the lead singer doesn’t only do this. She’s got multiple acts at multiple events. You see once again, and it’s not only in Singapore, musicians are itinerant, they’re cobbling it together from a multitude of sources, they just want to make a living. Hell, if you want to be a star, you’re doing the wrong thing. You’re better off writing software, the odds are better (and the longevity of your hit may be just as brief, did you see Molly Wood’s analysis of Facebook on CNET today? Facebook could be heading for the dumper. Because it’s all about mobile, and the company hasn’t been able to figure out how to monetize portability yet.)
Anyway, the band’s playing, I’m marveling at the boxes of wet beer coasters…since when did an establishment ever care, aren’t they usually strewn about and ripped apart, and Sean, CMO of AEG, previously at Levi’s and the Hard Rock, taps me on the shoulder, points out the big screen and asks me if I’d seen it.
HD screens are a dime a dozen. They’re all over airports. I think if you use a CRT you’ve got to go back to the nineties, you’ve got to listen to N’Sync and the Backstreet Boys only. And looking upon this wall, I saw three screens, no big deal, they were reporting the cricket scores, only they weren’t.
They were charting the beer prices.
You see they fluctuate. Up and down, depending on demand. The more people buy one brew, the more expensive it becomes. They reset the prices constantly, but they also list the prices for the week. You see what everybody is drinking. Which makes you want to partake, but then it costs you.
They’ve made drinking a game. That doesn’t involve ping pong paddles or trivia. They’ve added a wrinkle to going out that makes you want to.
I keep on hearing how the United States is the greatest country in the world. It might be, but the most beautiful girl is not necessarily the most intelligent, one thing can’t possess all characteristics.
The United States is imperfect. Rather than live in denial, maybe we could admit our flaws and try to become better.
First and foremost, we could become a world citizen, stop believing we’re independent and better than everybody else. China builds our electronics. And my friends in Singapore were thrilled when Obama became President, they could finally stop apologizing for their homeland.
Second, we could glean the improvements in the rest of the world and adopt them. Like electronic gas signs, requiring essentially no effort to adjust prices. And double flush toilets. And beer markets.
They call them "Dumb Americans". And it’s not that they’re stupid, they’re just uninformed. Our country believes in ignorance. People railing against high taxes when they don’t pay any. People saying there should be no national health care but you can’t take away their Medicare.
Oh, all you right wingers can now bombard me with insults.
But what you’ll find, if you travel the world, is so many developed nations are to the left of the U.S. They provide health care for everybody and they’ve got no death penalty.
Speaking of death, you know how many murders there were in Singapore last year… NONE! I kept asking if it was safe to walk in certain neighborhoods. They laughed, it’s safe EVERYWHERE!