Friday, November 26, 2004

The Ad-Min Service -- Dancing With Dumbos

I am Xenoboy. I am the Political Savant.

I made a mistake last weekend. I am still recovering from the mistake. I attended a Singaporean student get-together in London. My instincts told me that I should have been smoking a joint at home. I ignored my instincts and made a mistake.

The gathering comprised some scholars. The majority from Hwa Chong and Raffles. The majority are majoring in PPE. POLITICS, PHILOSOPHY AND ECONOMICS.

I am the Political Savant. So I asked them about politics.

So what do they think about politics in Singapore. Their dream is to go back and make a difference in the Singapore Civil Service. (They took the money and the prestige anyway) I said "Define difference." They replied that they have to be in the Administrative Service. The elite echelon to make a difference. I asked "what if you do not make it to the elite". They replied that they than have to re-consider moving into the private sector when they have paid their bonds.

I asked "define difference". They talked about how nice the fucked-up laksa tasted.

I asked "what is the administrative service". They said, that it was the track which ensured that you can succeed in the civil service. Than you can make a difference because you are up there at the top. The corridors of power which can make and break policy.

I asked "define difference". The chicken rice would have been perfect if the chilli had more zing.

I think : Differ(a)nce -- to differ or to defer. Differ(a)nce and the Administrative Service. Brilliant Derrida.

I do not look like Tan Wah Piow. But I feel like him. Rendered transparent.

I cornered a female. I asked her, so what does politics mean in Singapore? She said that politics in Singapore is "inextricably" tied up with economics. To make a difference, the Ministry of Trade and Industry would be ideal as it blends economics with politics. I see.

One of these people will end up at the top echelons of the Singapore Civil Service. I can see it. The Civil Service and the Administrative Service. There is a Lacanian moment. Administering minimum service. Admin Service. It was a whispering mantra poppping up at the gathering like a ghost.

What is politics? when Lee Kuan Yew smoked and spoke for hours to an enraptured audience caught in the fire of a demagogue. What is politics? When he consolidated the accrued power and built the system which blended the political with governance. Civil servants and Admin servants.

It is politics that made the system and it requires politics to break it.

I am Xenoboy. I am the Political Savant.

Quote of the Day

"I will speak, therefore, of the letter a, this initial letter which it has apparently been necessary to insinuate, here and there, into the writing of the word difference? and to do so in the course of a writing on writing, and also of a writing within writing whose different trajectories thereby find themselves, at certain very determined points, intersecting with a kind of gross spelling mistake, a lapse in the discipline and law which regulate writing and keep it seemly ... Doubtless. But, from this point of view, that the difference marked in the differ( )nce between the e and the a eludes both vision and hearing perhaps happily suggests that here we must be permitted to refer to an order which no longer belongs to sensibility. But neither can it belong to intelligibility, to the ideality which is not fortuitously affiliated with the objectivity of theorein or understanding. Here, therefore, we must let ourselves refer to an order that resists the opposition, one of the founding oppositions of philosophy, between the sensible and the intelligible."

Derrida -- Differance

Thursday, November 11, 2004

A Singapore Political Report -- 2058

The People's Action Party (PAP) has steered the country of Singapore from one success to another. The transition of political power in the country remains smooth as silk. Following the retirement of PM Lee Hsien Loong, in 2040, the reins of power was handed to #nameless digit# and in the year 2055, Singapore welcomes its third PM Lee.

In his farewell speech to the nation, MM Lee Hsien Loong said: " I am proud to have served Singapore. And I am sure that even if PM Lee was not my son, he would have been PM anyway. Indeed, I delayed his ascension because it was not right yet."

The economy of Singapore continues to register erratic growth. Rather than relying on an econometric model of analysis, the economy of Singapore appears to follow its own Election patterns, prompting the introduction of electionmetrics as a compulsory module for the study of the Singapore economy. Whenever a GE is slated to happen, the national newspaper, Straits Times, will have numerous headlines proclaiming economic recovery. This will be followed by prophecies of doom after elections in Singapore.

The Straits Times boasts the longest running back-to-back awards for great graphics. It was won this award for 54 years running and experts deem that it will continue to bag this prestigious artwork award for years to come. The paper now boasts a circulation of 80,000, a figure that corresponds roughly with the number of civil servants in Singapore.

In terms of labour force. The Singapore workforce is generally recognised again as a model workforce. They continue to endure numerous pay-cuts,the most recent being the slashing of employer CPF contributions to 0.25% per annum. At the same time, because of good medical care in Singapore which is leading to longer lives for Singaporeans, as proclaimed by the Straits Times, CPF withdrawal is now extended to 80.

It is projected that Singapore will continue to post similar performances for the next millenia. Significant changes will primarily be focussed on numbers such as CPF contributions, salaries, GDP figures. Structurally, Singapore remains very very sound.

-------- end report -----

My fellow Singaporeans, choose wisely. We have now a President electing an woman who turns the wheel in Wheel of Fortune as a MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT. Jesus Fucking Christ. I am Xeno Boy. I am the Political Savant.

Quote of the Day

"The essence of the matter is that the generals were so surrounded by the general democratic practices of the Greeks, the ordinary Greek was so vigilant against what he called “tyranny”, that it was impossible for generals to use their positions as they might have been able to do in an ordinary bureaucratic or representative form of government ... History is a living thing. It is not a body of facts. We today who are faced with the inability of representative government and parliamentary democracy to handle effectively the urgent problems of the day"

CLR James
Every Cook Can Govern :A Study of Democracy in Ancient Greece, Its Meaning for Today

Friday, November 05, 2004

Line Dancing and the Death of Politics

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.

I went for a backpacking trip starting from Singapore through to Laos. There were no blogs because I was thinking.

In my short holiday back in my homeland. I was happy because I did not read the newspapers. I sat in my favourite coffeeshops, met up with my subversive friends, hung out and smoked some ganja.

There was this sight that assaulted me every other day in my two weeks home. It was the sight of Singaporeans lined up and performing some kind of country mass dance. I have no personal grudges against line dancers. They are fine except for blaring bad music. But at a deeper cognitive angle, the phenomenon illustrates the in-group herd mentality that is so much ingrained in Singaporeans. The person who steps out of line in a line dance is deemed an outkast. The beauty of the line dance is the synchronised movements of a group. The death of beauty is paradoxically tied up in the line dance as well.

The phenomenon is popular in Singapore because there is a certain tuning of the Sg psyche to such coordinated mass obedience activities. I am not talking subliminal shit. It is representative of a larger scale acceptance of order at the expense of "creative" disorder. The beauty of politics is its variance. The movement of ideas, often at conflict, within an arena of bloody etiquette. A beauty of politics which is lacking in Singapore.

There is a new version of politics forced upon us by technological advances in the world. The beauty of the Net lies in its open codes and free ware. It is the ultimate challenge: i compete a free ware with other free ware. This is the form of network politics I refer and allude to. Rhizomes of change.
This form of ingenuity remains lacking in our Opposition. Break the line dancing syndrome and resurrect the beauty of politics from its death.


"Any point of a rhizome can be connected to any other, and must be. This is very different from the tree or root, which plots a point, fixes an order. The rhizome is an anti-genealogy. The rhizome is not amenable to any structural or generative model. It is a stranger to any idea of genetic axis or deep structure. The rhizome is an acentered, nonhierarchical, nonsignifying system without a General and without an organizing memory or central automaton, defined solely by the circulation of states

To be rhizomorphous is to produce stems and filaments that seem to be roots, or better yet connect with them by penetrating the trunk, but put them to strange new uses. Form a rhizome, increase your territory by deterritorialization, extend the line of flight to the point where it becomes an abstract machine covering the entire plane of consistency"

Deleuze and Guattari
A Thousand Plateaus