TV makes my world perfect


SINGAPORE - Greece cancelled TV.

Actually, to be exact, due to very severe cost-cutting measures, the government shut down their public television and radio broadcaster. I believe that means their equivalent of Channel 5, Channel 8, Channel U, Channel-this, Channel-that, some radio stations and everything that's paid by taxes. Except, presumably, their early-warning loudhailers for the Zombie Apocalypse, always an event far scarier than any financial crisis.

By the way, it seems that they went pitch black so abruptly and ruthlessly without any time for a goodbye group hug or an exit interview that even their newscasters were apparently cut off in mid- sentence. So, it could have been: "Breaking news! Greece has just declared war on ?" and nothing.

I know, I know.

It sounds like us watching a "live" Premier League football match on television here but hey, at least their shutdown didn't happen during a see-or-die title decider.

Now, the Greeks call their broadcast system ERT. Quite close to our ERP, but I guess without the gantries.

I'd never heard of it until now because I've never eaten olives in Athens, skinny-dipped in the Mediterranean Sea, sneaked onto Aristotle Onassis' private island or scribbled my name on the Parthenon like a Chinese tourist.

Just a sidetrack - can anybody tell me if that naughty kid from China who scrawled his name on the sacred wall of a 3,500-year-old temple in Egypt a couple of weeks ago is to be considered a "cross- cultural artistic facilitator"?

Man, I've never seen ancient cultures coming together in this manner since Aerosmith played at Gardens by the Bay here during the inaugural Social Star Awards.

Saw the photo of the epic vandalism plastered on the Internet?

"Ding Jinhao was here" in Chinese was written on the stone sculpture of somebody who looked like an extra in a Cleopatra movie. You know, like "Kilroy was here" was popularised by Americans in World War II, "Mourinho is here" painted in the Chelsea locker room and "Singa has left the building" being debated right here.

By the way, this year is coincidentally the 50th anniversary of the late, great Elizabeth Taylor's costumed classic, Cleopatra, which showcased a very opulent procession going, I estimated, one mile down the Nile.

I'm dying to make jokes.

But until I get permission from Her Royal Taitai-ness in a bejeweled seance, I won't dare say anything remotely funny at Liz's expense since she seemed so intimidating, she frightens me even as a dead person.

Anyway, back to that Chinese vandal.

His un-commissioned artwork in Egypt, I tell you, was so world-crass spectacular that he made our Sticker Lady look like a choirgirl pasting Post-it reminders. Nevertheless, I seriously think Ding The Ink should at least be thanking his lucky stars that he went to Egypt to deface historical heritage instead of to fiercer Greece.

I mean, did you see the 2011 action-fantasy film Immortals, starring Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto and Mickey Rourke?

A very fearsome Zeus, the head honcho, descended from the heavens to lead a bunch of Greek gods so pi**ed off against their enemies, the Titans, that even renowned Greek singer Nana Mouskouri would have been too scared to yelp a sound.

Believe me, you wouldn't want to be caught writing a postcard or even a tweet in a Greek temple then.

I love those fables, but now, the glorious Greeks have suddenly, very ingloriously cancelled TV.

Just like us suddenly, very unusually cancelling and delaying the opening of a shopping mall in Jurong East called Jam, sorry, Jem. Funny, isn't it? How news seem to pop up often in similar pairs?

Like two cabs coming to you after you've waited for eternity for just one. Or two cops chasing you on your first day at work as a trainee loan shark.

Seriously, I really don't know what to do. No, not the loan shark, but if the cancellation of television or a shopping centre were to happen to me. I can't take the end of visions, particularly both tele and shopping visions. Because it threatens my own beautiful vision of an ultimate paradise.

You are in Singapore: You don't need me to tell you how vital to human existence shopping is. Especially if there's a shop selling fire permits.

To complete my perfect world, the TV is also always turned on somewhere.

I need television the way an elevator needs muzak and a dog needs a fire hydrant - I'd feel uneasy without it.

A TV programme has to be running in the background - I don't care even if it's the lousy rerun of a lousy rerun, VR Man: Revisited or Masters Of The Sea: The Reunion Episode - for me to function properly.

I have a TV set in every room in my home except my bathroom. That doesn't hold one only because both my doctor and electrician insist that it'd be quite fatal to my health if wires got crossed with water.

Look, being a TV addict and a shopping addict is better, safer and more fun than being a real addict.

Cancel TV? With all due respect to the Hellenic Republic, I just have to say: Hell no.