Wednesday, June 08, 2005


(The agreeing to disagree thing starts here:)

I don't quite understand what your point is Kevin, because

1. I never felt like some kinda solo crusader trying to save the world.

But its interesting that you see me as being one. Is anybody who raises criticism trying to be a matyr?

I know what I'm saying is nothing new at all, explored a million times in a million ways. But the point of all this discussion is to see hear what other people have to say, see if I'm looking at things wrongly, if there's a point-of-view that's better which I missed out on.

2. How do you intend to "save (yourself) from all this rubbish"?

I think you mean, just fuck care right? Distance yourself from politics because it'll never be perfect and there's always something to whine and gripe about. Or migrate lor.

But isn't this kind of rubbish kind of inescapable unless we migrate? I mean, we live right in the middle of it. I can't make myself blind/deaf.

But yeah sure, some people can live with the rubbish, and others can't. And here's where we agree to disagree.

3. Why should I only be allowed to talk politics if I'm in politics?

I never quite understood why GCT said that. It's just a way to hold critics accountable isn't it?

This all comes from an assumption that we have been assuming to be absolutely true and correct.

That is, you can only make a diff in politics if you are INVOLVED in politics. And thus, to quote Kev, "and if u r not going to [enter politics], juz fuck it, loosen up and try to make a difference to your own life."

I don't think it's supposed to be like that - but in Singapore it IS because the government has made it such that only politicians can dabble in politics, and they make the others look stupid and.. hmm.. self righteous? They say they've no guts, cowards etc ...

But erm, if I remember correctly, democratic nations are supposed to let its people have a say in the way the country is being run – right? Or do I remember wrongly? I think the D-word appears in our national pledge. I can't seem to find it in official govt pages, so maybe our pledge is out of date?

Why can't I complain or criticise as a common citizen? Am I not entitled to having my views heard and count for something? Why is politics a Out-of-Bounds topic?

It doesn’t make practical sense either. Wouldn't more criticism help them improve, and better serve the people? And make them more popular?

I really think we should stop believing the "politics are only for politicians" line, because their politics directly affect us.

And yes, I hope that if the opposition ever takes over, I will continue my “whining and griping” because that would mean at least that I’m being fair. And you seem to think I'm actively trying to look for things to be unhappy with.. complaining for the sake of complaining?

Well ok lor, but if that's true, then you're actively trying to look away. Apathy?

4. Save me!

Kev, it would be really useful for me if you pointed out how I've been acting self-righteous. I checked up the definition of the word, and it ain't pretty.


mangomaiden said...

oh dear what a mess...

keep it coming! haha

the prole said...

the queasy quasi civil servant says:

Well i guess these conversations run in circles, like an ouroboros.

Further elaboration:
1) We know the government/civil service makes changes slowly. I guess we should not wait for them to change to suit our tastes? If we have some bright ideas to change the system, I say go ahead and do it. Whatever it is, maybe some after-work bitching social support group, maybe a Roundtable.

So forget looking at the government for signals? Just do what you think is right so much bad for your own mental health.

Means no need to wait and see, no need to wait for new policies. Just do what you feel like doing lor.

What about political films?

If you really want your voice to be heard, there are many other oblique ways of presenting opinions. Don't gripe over one small tree and forget the forest. I am sure there are many local plays (nods to Joce) that critiqued the government and are not shut down. There are also talk shows on TV for you to voice your grievances.

My gut feel is that the Act is just there and nobody from the civil service has the balls to change it yet.

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?'

This I disagree. What kind of freedom do you want in the first place? Why is it rightfully yours?

Well, what you think is rightfully yours might not be the same to others. That is why we have a government.

I am afraid I have to quote LKY again: No one owes you a living.

No rights are rightfully yours if you never fought for it. If you really want your rights, you have to exercise it.

When you put your thoughts into ACTION and the government stops you from exercising your rights, you try another method, another avenue.

LKY fought for his right to speak, his right to rule. You expect him to grant it to you because you asked? That almost never happens. Not in any country that I know of.

That's why the government always asks 'dissidents' to enter politics. It is too easy to sit back and critique critique critique. No doubt our concerns are valid, but the government has no obligation to listen to our demands.

That's why I have to agree with Alvin on this point la...griping online really not much point.

Better do something in the real world if you really feel so strongly.

BEnny said...

Good to know there are hot-blooded youths who love politics.
Oh yeah keep it up and also if any of you get into politics or MICA or MDA, remember push for more feature film projects and support high res acquisition formats.

hows the curry??? said...

yup.. its futile to bullshit abt these online... but when u are counting down the hours to 17 june 6 pm (its about 200 hours till then as of now)... u tend to do bo liao stuff...

anyway... wat rights should be rightfully urs? maybe jess might want to use this to argue i'm too lazy to form a coherent arguement.

benny... eh you another lazy one lor... at least add something to the fire mah...

hows the curry??? said...

anyway... the old man earned his right to rule... i'm not asking him to grant tat to me lor... just want a right to say.. "hey tat was a pretty fucked-up thing u did then" (for some stuff lar not all.. damn i hate having make so many disclaimers)

when one takes up a public position, one should be able to take criticisms lor. Otherwise just run a law firm lar. Can still make lots of money one mah.

panaphobic said...

Benny i is no catch ball what aquisition what res waaaaaat?? haha you always make these smackable comments.

And pong i is no understand what is ouroboros.. sounds like some Australian marsupial.

Anyway, I agree with what PH said.

And pong let me just address your points okay:

1. I agree with you about going ahead and doing it.. Astrid from Holland was telling me about how neighbourhoods organised their own huge town meetings after religious trouble broke out.. and they met to talk and discuss about how to deal with it. Something like that.. at grassroots level.

And I'm not really looking for signals to be able to do something, but I saw the signal when they said that I COULDN't do something.. it kinda just adds to the overal fear atmosphere, and i think it spoils the progress.. all these while pple who think hey maybe i can do this or that.. now they are having second thoughts.

Griping is good for my mental health haha cos at least it keeps me alert lah! and being able to hear different points of views, such as yours. I never assume that i'm definately right, especially with these matters.

I also agree about the one tree and forest thing.. I don't know how come this topic kenna blown up like that, but I guess I was ticked off by what Anonymous said previously, and wanted to address it fully.

Right now, my main problem is not having a concise line of argument, or a point of contention, so I don't know what to say officially. Will have to think more about that.

It's just you know, there are so few "trees".. that when one kenna chop down, I get upset. Few trees in the sense that few people try to publically do something, like creating a film, already so rare, kenna chop down.. hiyah wasted.

You know regarding this supposed opening up of rules and all that to do with the Act and other similar things, those rumours been floating around for awhile, but I remember some top guy in ST scoffing in disbelief when I told him about it, because he felt the pressure and it was real, and still there, and he said it was all bullshit.

2. As for the freedom bit, I just wanna turn it around and ask, if it's not rightfully mine, then why is it rightfully the govt's to control?

I don't want to use the UN HR declaration, because I don't agree with all of it, but to talk in very real terms, I would like the freedom to criticise and not feel fear of repurcussions. What's wrong with open dialogue?

You say that it's still possible, the film thing is just one small tree, but I've no idea where the OB markers are, and who knows where and how you will step on them.

And I understand what you mean by LKY saying no one owes me a living.

I don't believe that "no rights are rightfully [mine] if i never fought for it". I look at it the other way round, they were rightfully mine, and yes I have to fight for it, not because that's the only way to have them, but because that's the only way to get them back.

Does this mean that every generation will have to end up fighting for these rights? LKY fought, got it. Now we have to fight too to get it. Then when our generation gets into power, we'll do the same thing and have to face others fighting for the same thing we fought for?

So it's like a game lah? If I win, then I get to rule. If you want to rule, you must win the game.

And I'm also not asking, like PH, for the right to rule anyway. So why must I fight so hard? i don't want control or a say in what they do - just to be able to criticise. Is the right to criticise also something I have to fight for?

Or are you saying, that sure, can criticise, but don't gripe if nothing happens. If you still gripe, then join politics. This part, I agree.

3."No doubt our concerns are valid, but the government has no obligation to listen to our demands."

This part I have to absolutely disagree. You are assuming that they are not obliged to listen, because we don't fight hard for them to listen to us, and we don't fight hard enough and do something.

This would involve overruling their decisions, anarchy even, which is something I'm not looking for.

I believe they DO have an obligation to listen, because it's their job. They are not running a company, they are running a country with people as their key market.

It sounds sick to say this, but they're supposed to make us happy leh. And not just me, of course, but the general population.

Don't want to get into the argument over majority and minority rights.. so will just stereotype and generalise hor.

So if let's say tomorrow, they put it to a vote to singapore. and majority says they want to watch Singapore Rebel - they should allow it. How will you argue on their behalf, if they still decide to withhold it from us? Because they "know better"? And because they're not obliged to listen to our demands?

- idealistic, unintellectual jess.

Anonymous said...

my point is very simple.

there is no democracy in singapore, live with that.

there is no such such thing as politics for the citizens, live with that.

there is no freedom of speech, free press, free watever , live with that.

90% of the population are apathetic, but shiny happy people, live with that.

the very same 90% also cant stand the government but they dun gripe abt it the way u do, becoz there are more important bread and butter, relationship, family, health, watever issues to deal with, live with that.

if u want to make a difference, walk the talk. go make a film like martyn see,become the next CSJ or JBJ, but be prepared to be crushed like a cockroach, live with that.

to be frank, i hate the govt as much as u do. in fact, there are many others like u. its juz that pple need not show it the way u do. and like i mentioned earlier, who gives a fuck about politics anyway? not when there are a fuckin million other issues to worry about. yah, apathetic, so wat? all u (and so many other upright pplein skool) do is talk anyway. wats so un-apathetic about that?

talk isnt cheap, ITS FREE.

so very simply,my point is....walk the talk, if not u r juz tokking cock.

Anonymous said...

i forgot to add.....the previous comment was by kev

Anonymous said...

actually, i forgot to add my most important point.

There is absolutely nothing wrong wif being apathetic. And i absolutely fuckin hate it when pple make it seem like a cardinal sin for being so.

its sickens me to the core.


hows the curry??? said...

noe wats the diff between u and the rest of the 90%? they didnt bother to reply.

hows the curry??? said...

maybe wrong phrasing... should put it as.. they wouldnt bother to reply.. lest someone says this blog not tat well read.

mangomaiden said...

Hey Kev,

I do agree with a lot of what you say. It's tiresome to keep talking about the same issues without initiating change. Yet, isn't the process just as, if not more, important than, the destination? I see validity in Jess's point that seemingly futile argument is better than silence because at least, somebody is TRYING amidst the talking.

My contention is that one should not be so quick to accuse another of being self-righteous. The irony and danger being that the accuser may possibly be the one committing the very faults he/she laments upon the other. I feel that we should focus on opinions/actions, not on personalities/persons.

Criticising another does not mean that one believes one's own opinion is more well-informed, i.e. I may not agree with somebody's philosophy but it doesn't mean I'm imposing my own philosophy above his/hers.

And the bottom line is: this is a blog. It is entitled to all manners of speech, whiny or otherwise.

mangomaiden said...

Ah and another thing I forgot to mention... you're right Kev, there's nothing wrong with apathy. But I find it worrying when apathy gets to the point of hampering self-improvement and goes on to corrode the quality of one's life and potential. That is my fear: the CONSEQUENCES of apathy.