Saturday, 18 July 2015

Marina Bay Sands

Runners who finished their run
Today we went for a walk in Marina Bay Sands. We saw the famous Singapore skyline and the famous Gardens by the Bay. With the giant tall trees make of metal that look like they have come out of the computer simulation of Avatar. Anyway, i am not impressed by these things - not because they are not impressive - because they are really impressive - but to be impressed by these things is like being impressed with the atom bomb or drone technology - it is taking all this intelligence and effort and then doing the wrong thing with them. The most important thing in the world right now, in order for the human race to survive is to do habitat restoration and really work on an economic system that redistributes income in a fairer way. But instead we are wasting our time building places like Marina Bay Sands. So, i am not impressed by this at all. Even though it is very impressive. To me it is a huge waste of time.

There was also a marathon being run while we were there. It is very impressive Singapore's ability to organise events. Having been an events organiser in my past life, i know what it is like to organise events. I detest organising events - i love celebrating festivals, but detest organising events. What is the difference you ask me. A festival answer a real need. A real need usually rooted in the cycle of the year and it celebrates our part in the greater cosmos. An event is an artificial occurrence, usually designed to promote some form of money making or PR agenda. Of course there can be awareness raising events - those are different - but it does not detract from the artificial nature of an event - where you have to get everything ready, promote it and then hope for the best - that people will come. I find the last bit the most annoying part. I know i sound like a grumpy old woman.

It is completely sweltering by now, but there are literally thousands of people taking part in this event

My sons with the financial district in the background

My question is, should we be using up
valuable time and resources doing this sort of thing
while there is starvation and famine in the world?

Here is a giant shoe - for no reason at all

Oisin... are you putting this on the blog?

Here is a giant baby
The upshot of this kind of landscape is deeply alienating. When you are standing in a similarly awesome landscape in nature, you are invited to take part in it. Your hear goes out, you are the waterfall, or the mountain range, you are the aurora borealis. You enter the realm of nature and you are embraced by the universe. When i look at this, as an adult - children may have a different sense, i do not know - i feel complete antipathy. I feel like this has nothing whatsoever to do with me and more than that it feels as if i am being crushed by this as i am most certainly not part of it. It is a truly profound feeling of the other. These buildings, the MONEY it has taken to raise them, the activities which go on in them, the purpose they are for, the spin off it creates. I have nothing but disdain for it. Perhaps if it could all be done with no consequence, then i would be very happy about it. However these things come at an enormous price - whenever one of these buildings are created and giant hole is dug out of the Earth, never to be returned. Families are destroyed. Resources are plundered. And the commerce that takes place in there perpetuates the destruction of the Earth. Furthermore the problems of the world have not been solved one jot by any of these buildings going up. Seriously. How can i be impressed with any of this?

It is ironic that there is a giant baby in front of this landscape
seeing how it is so life threatening

Only someone who has never thought about a single issue,
like maybe a five year old
could look at Gardens by the Bay and not be struck
by the utter irony of the place
The entire park is built around this conceit that it is all about nature. We love all this greenery, but the truth is that this is not a virtual Holywood movie set - in fact it is like walking around the Charlize Theron Aeon Flux set - instead it is this huge over manicured park with plants from similarly temperature climates in the world being planted in a sort of Botanic Garden way. This is the concrete proof of why there is no turning back for Singapore. Gardens by the Bay is so over the top and so uninterested in the amount of natural resources which it has taken to create it, when it purports to be attempting to educate and promote biodiversity, that it the definite demonstration that the place has lost the plot. There is nothing which is in context. Nothing. Everything is an idea which is devoid of a trail of consequence. We will do this - it will cost that amount of money? Do we have it yes. OK, let us do it.

I did like the lotus stone sculptures- that i did like

Another study in irony - stainless steel dragonflies -
i did not see a single live dragonfly while i was there

Marina Bay Sands
The reason why Gardens by the Bay exists is because of Marina Bay Sands. Because it was a casino, the government said that there had to be some kind of benefit which would be accessible to everyone. Thus was born Gardens by the Bay - it is the direct result of casino money. Which will explain why it was made with the thinking behind it.

I mean you can see it - you know the environment is a hot topic now. Yes. It is. People love the environment. Yes they do. We should do something with plants. Yes we should. We need to spend an obscene amount of money on plants. Yes we must. But plants don't really cost very much. No, they don't. I know, these giant trees. These giant trees, they cost a lot. Yes they do. And we can also build these biospheres and import plants from temperate and desert areas - that would cost lots of money. Yes it will. OK, i think we have a winner. Excellent. We can call it Gardens by the Bay. In the bag.

So we have the giant trees and the two biospheres

We also have all these waterways.
The waterways are quite nice.

There are manmade waterfalls in both these places
The unnaturalness of the entire setting makes me NEVER to want
to visit any of these places

The Singapore Flyer
Singapore is due to get 5 degs hotter by the end of the century. Most of these plants will probably not survive.

The idea is that these metal structures
will soon be covered by the creepers, creating these

A real palm tree - by this stage Ghin was so hot that the sweat was
running off his face

View from below

Waste of time

Waste of space
Lest people think that it is because i just can't bear anything which is Singaporean that i am so negative about this, i have to say that it does not matter how large or small a thing is - i have two golden rules when i do something - complete it, or if you don't complete it, know that it is incomplete and then don't start something else. Or if you do start something else, do complete the other thing. The other thing is do something really really well. How would this apply to these magnificent buildings? Well i believe that poverty and income disparity have not been tackled yet, not has climate change, nor has ecocide. If these issues have not be tackled, you have no business doing this sort of shit. These works are simply glorification projects. They are like the Roman circuses and huge vanity building projects which took place just before the collapse of ANY empire. It is only future generations that are going to look after them - in Singapore that track record is not a good one.

This looks like something out of Aeon Flux

I mean it is seriously impressive

This lion statue was carved from a single tree trunk
- from a really rare tree which is called the
Golden Silk Thread tree because the tree's grains look like a gold in the sunlight
It was used in the construction of the pillars in the Forbidden Palace. It is very very impressive. Of course being who i am i think, surely this tree would have been better off still being alive in the forest, giving off oxygen?

This brings me to my next story. Which is the entire place is littered with petrified wood. Dead tree trunks which have turned to stone and cost a fortune. They have been dug up from the swamps of Indonesia and sent here. They are very very costly. Oisin managed to get a piece which had naturally broken off. It as lying on the ground. How much is this mom? I said about $5. Well i wouldn't sell it anyway because its cost does not match the value -it is far more valuable than that - you can't put a price on its value.

My fourteen year old son has understood that nature cannot be monetised. It is impossible to monetise it. A fourteen year old.

Water play parks

Here children can play in the water parks for free - this i think is a nice thing

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