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First cut in Action City

“Daddy, I’m bored,” Pangzi lamented as exams drew to a close. “Should I start a TikTok channel?”

“What’s TikTok?” I feigned ignorance.

“It’s an action movie theatre. I need some action!”

“Is that so? Thought you wouldn’t ask,” I said opportunistically. “Come, let’s go to Action City.”

“Which country is that city in?” he asked hopefully.

“Sillypore of course,” I said. “We’re still in a pandemic. Stop dreaming of flying anywhere.”

“Oh, can we at least go to a different city?”

“Certainly.” Off we went to the new Action City at Raffles City.

I found Action City to be actually a contemporary art gallery in disguise. On display were no fewer than 50 giant teddy bears in different outlandish designs, except that they were not exactly teddy bears but more like sculptures.

A quick search online revealed a name for these art pieces: Brickbears. Probably a thing for collectors interested in something a little funkier.

“Look, daddy. That’s a Mona Lisa bear!”

It did put a smile on my face, although not on hers.

“Each of them has a story,” I said. “But I have a question for you. Why would you say TikTok is a movie theatre? When I grew up that meant another thing.”

“You wouldn’t understand, not your era,” Pangzi said dismissively. “I need to video all this down for my channel.”

“Take your time to browse. There’re more in the rooms,” I added, feeling a little hurt.

It’s true though. This generation of kids that grow up in masks are literally in a world of their own.

“Tell me more about this action theatre of yours,” I probed. “Is there a theme to it?”

“If you need to ask, you’re missing the point,” he said. “Shhhhh… I’m still shooting.”

I decided to distract him all day, if not photobomb him.

“How do you intend to market your channel?”

“Hashtags! Didn’t you learn this in school?”

No, I really never did.

“How are you commercialising it? Who are your audiences? What’s your business model?”

“You’re in my way. Can you step aside?”

“Are you joining an influencer platform? Are you linking this channel to other social media? Are you cross publishing content? Are you planning on co-branding activities?”

“Daddy, you’re just irritating me. My first post shall be named ‘My clueless dad in Action City’.”

Then he turned around and tried to film ME!

“Okay, okay. Can you delete those videos of me. I’m only wondering why you suddenly want a TikTok presence.”

“Dunno, really,” Pangzi shrugged.

Maybe that’s the answer. This generation is just bored.


We were here:



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