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


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