Romancing the gangsters
The front page of Today paper has a full page advert on a HBO movie, ‘Boardwalk Empire’. Words like Dazzling, Rich & Cinematic, Golden Globe Nominations, Best Television Series etc etc. The movie is all about politicians and gangsters with infamous names like Nucky Thompson, Jimmy Darmody, Al Capone, Lucky Luciano etc etc. These were the ‘great men’ of the day, controlling money and all things illegal. Even without looking at the movie, one can easily guess that it will be about the glorification of the gangsters of days gone by. And they will be well dressed, well mannered, even ill mannered will be in a style of its own, and they called the shot. They make the lives of the people around them sweet or painful. And they could do it by wielding power and money, plentiful of money. Today such gangsters are probably still around in China, India, Japan, Taiwan and Korea. Maybe some still exist in Asean countries. In Singapore, if we allow the neighbourhood kids to grow up unhindered, and carrying their parangs around, we will have some golden days to come, especially with the two IRs acting as the backdrop. They will graduate from burning cars, painting doors of O$P$ and slashing kids in shopping malls to greater things. In ten or twenty years’ time, we could also produce great gangster movies of our own. But the names will be different. It is cool to be gangsters. The moral of the story is that crooks can be turned into legends.