On the 4th floor of Golden Mile Tower along Beach Road, a made-up hotel room, a two-way mirror looking down onto a bathroom containing a bloodstained toilet bowl and a dustbin full of blood-soaked toilet paper, a wardrobe with louvered doors and a power socket through which you too had a ceiling view of the same hotel room with a half-unpacked suitcase, hand-cuffs, a knife. Vertical Submarine’s newest installation: John Martin, The Butcher and The Surgeon. All of us escape room veterans immediately started attempting to open doors and look into drawers and the mini-fridge and the kettle, and were duly disappointed.
“What are you trying to convey?”
“Oh, it’s up to each person to interpret.”
“…” We didn’t think it was abstract enough to be a visual Rorschach, and felt it might have been a bit of an artistic cop-out.
The ah-pek Golden Theatre’s two halls upstairs had been leased by The Projector, an indie venture showing a range of films, mostly, it seemed, of the cult or independent or Criterion Collection variety. Bookmarked!
Another exciting range of choice of the hoppy variety, few parallel streets away, on Tyrwhitt Road. Druggists (facebook), named for its previous occupiers – the Singapore Chinese Druggists Association, offered 23 craft beers on tap in 250ml or 500ml quaffing quantities. Amused by the consistent use of beer taps to dispense both drinking water and water for hand hygiene.
The sight of Mikkeller beers made me ache a little for Copenhagen. Had an American Dream (mmm, canned lychee on shaved ice on a hot summer’s day, crisp, pop-py), and then a lambic SpontanMandarin (sour strawberry, puckertastic) as digestif. That blackboard menu is such a tease: De Molen, Thornbridge, Magic Rock, To Øl, etc waiting to be tasted.
Ah, the famed subjectivity of taste. But most of the time, careful inquiry reveals that the spectrum of perception of the taste of the food/drink itself isn’t terribly wide, rather it is the description of its taste, or taste preferences that are the main variables in food or drink reviews.
In quite a similar way, where postmodernism has done humanity a great disservice is its confused assumption that just because one cannot understand things perfectly, no interpretation is valid. To diss an unequivocal interpretation of a text as a “privileged reading”, alleging that it suits the purposes of that interpreter, while boasting of one’s own authenticity in acknowledging one’s postmodern condition and admitting “the indistinguishable fictionality of all interpretive models”, seems, to me, a whole lot of academic pretension. Afterall, in teaching that very theory, one would have had intended to convey one message, that would not have been open to a plethora of interpretations.
I’d done a training session for the youth group leaders that morning, emphasising the need to be sure of the trustworthiness of the Bible interpretation in the Christian life. The Bible isn’t open to the dip-and-pick sort of reading; neither is the suggestion that “everyone has their own interpretation of Scripture” valid. It is a collection of truths written by one God through various human authors through the ages, to convey exactly what God wants us to know.
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (Ephesians 4:11-16)