Wednesday, June 08, 2005

10 days: More verbal diarrhoea

You all damn one kind. So long never say anything, then now suddenly when I'm about to go home already then come out of the woodwork. WHERE WERE YOU when i needed conversation three months ago?????????

Anyway, where's the Anonymous person. Had a one-night stand with my blog then never come back *tsk*

1. Alvin

Alvin, why do you think that the promise of "whoever wants to be heard will be heard" is not as wonderful as it's often made out to be? Explain lah.

Sure, there are the obvious cons, people will say mean things, wrong things, piss other people off, cause misunderstandings and etc etc.. and of course not forgetting that we will be hearing a lot of nonsense at the same time.

So i guess this is a difference of likes and dislikes, kinda like with icecream flavours. If you can't stand having to hear irrelevant and ridiculous statements in the press or from wherever, of course you'll like the way the system is now. But if you're willing (like me) to take the shit that comes along with the good, then you'd be fine.

But it appears to me that former is actively involved in a form of restriction, and that's something I'm very cautious about advocating. On the other hand, it can also be argued that with a million voices out there trying to get your attention, no one will get heard at all.

So, in a very very funny way - repression and restriction allows people be heard better, because the moment a voice wriggles out of the woodwork and manages to scream a word out - everyone hears and remembers it.


2. Red or Blue pill?

So it all comes back to choice doesn't it? What do you want?

Fear-induced silence, as Joce puts it, but with the occasional scream OR a barrage of noises where everyone who is anyone can speak?

I'm sorry for the simplification of things, I usually hate this bipolarisation thing, but... well you can see what i titled this page.

I think we would have to look in the long term - which one is good in the long run? Which is the one that would enable us to progress further both as individuals AND as a country (since we can't shake off the country bit). I mean, for me at least, its the big picture that counts. PAP believes in this also.

Well, here's what I think:

I think the barrage of noises scenario - initially will be terrible. There will be so many people trying to speak, trying to be heard, we will have a information overload, a flood of irresponsible media and the what not... the government will lament and say "see? this is worse than before! we told you so!"

But, after the initial novelty of having a voice wears out - then the good party will start.

And as for the other scenario - there will be order, and all that, which is basically what you have now. You'll have the great opinions and voices - few and possibly rare, but well and loudly heard.

But in the long run? Well, the majority of the people would be too lazy to try and have their voices heard, even if they felt something should be voiced out against - its so difficult to be heard, and you've to be either really rich or really smart to be heard. So, the entire society laxes into this "can't be bothered" attitude and it becomes the norm. As joce says, "it's really hard to kick the instinct of repressed silence sometimes...".

And in this scenario, what happens when the "veil of repression" is lifted? Will the society suddnely turn around and start speaking out? Nope.

(all hypothetical and all my own beliefs)

3. Pong Pong

Well I say cut the ole uncles and aunties in power some slack.

What for? I don't feel like doing that. It's tough to lead a country, and I don't think they should expect any favours. I'm working with the idealistic assumption of what a democracy means - you offer to 'serve' us, we elected you in, and you damn well better do your job properly because.. it's your job.. not some burden placed upon your shoulders by God that you didn't ask for, and we the tax payers are paying for your big houses and cars and chauffeurs.

Well okay, i'm not a tax payer yet, so i speak on behalf of my parents.

We will be able to accept the government committing mistakes here and there, giving wrong signals/mixed cues and making abrupt U-turns...etc etc if we see that the country is progressing generally. Well, I personally believe that we are indeed moving forward - just that 'the vast bureaucracy is hampered by its own bureaucracy'.

Explain further please? Well, yes we are moving forward, in small steps, but this means all the more than we should NOT cut the slack, we should push even further. Because if we let up, and let go, I'm worried all this movement will stop.

Because on the one hand, while some of what they're doing is because they're tired of handholding us, and they genuinely want us to start doing our own stuff - other things they're doing because of the pressure to do so. And if you remove that pressure, then this progress will slow down till it reaches that equilibrium where the govt is comfortable with, and it'll just stay right there.

This much is true. I have colleagues absolutely petrified at changing the laws at ministry level. 'Takes about six months of endless pushing', they say. But generally speaking, things are good. I see exciting opportunities for local budding filmmakers."

So you're saying, things are changing and moving behind the scenes, but we just haven't been able to see it yet? Do you mean.. wait and see?

And well yes, exciting opportunities. As long as it's not a political video, right? haha you got inside info is it?

I suppose the thing now is that, things are much more liberal than before, and we really should be happy with that, and cut the guys up there some slack, because they're moving and progressing, albeit slowly.

I am glad to see things "progressing" and yes it's much better than before. But there's two ways of looking at it:

1. Being grateful for this new freedom.
2. Seeing this freedom as something that we rightfully should have and thus, why feel grateful for something we're supposed to have in the first place?

I'm more inclined towards No. 2, it's like the Speaker's Corner. All that fan fare behind it seemed like bullshit to me, because it was like the govt bestowing some great gift upon us, when seriously, it was something we originally had in the first place (how u think LKY give speeches last time right), they took it, repackaged it, and then give it back and say "ta da! be grateful and happy!"

4. Admission

I know i've always been some sorta back seat driver/whiner, always talk big then chicken out at the big show. Let's see whether I have more guts to do stuff now when I get back ok? I is also testing myself. Even at stupid NTUSU AGM i also keep quiet. *sigh*

and i know i'm starting to sound very angsty and anti-govt right now... but hiyah i'm just participating in discussion ok?

5. Question

I remember in Year 1, Cenite's class, there was some discussion over whether or not open dialogue and no censorship helped in eradicating misunderstandings.

The argument kind of went something like :

"If you allow people to say whatever they want to say, they will bash it out and argue and fight till they reach some sort of equlibrium and balance and coexist, even if they still don't agree."

The fear of allowing free speech and the what not, in Singapore anyway, is that it would upset our "fragile" multiracial/religious/cultural/ethnic community.

*CUE: Race Riots in 1960s*

So, my question remains the same: Do you think our society can handle it? If tomorrow a film comes out with racist comments about how Indians smell and Malays are lazy - what will happen?


from Mr Brown, Journalistic cliches... Very funny.


War-torn: We can't find it on a map

Knowledgable observer: The reporter

Knowledgable observers: The reporter and the person at the next desk

According to published reports: We got scooped