Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Presence of Absence -- Political Singapore

I am Xenoboy. I am the Political Savant.

Today we edify politics in Singapore and name its absence. The usurpation of politics as a signifier in Singapore occurred through the depoliticisation process of the PAP's consolidation of regime sustenance. The irony is this. The process was itself an exercise of the political.

Politics = PAP = economics = security

The slippage has occurred. The absence of political meaning and the silencing of the political. A meaning slipped away through the course of Singapore's development but yet like all silencing in history, the silenced resists this. In the absence, there remains the presence of the political. The ghost of the political in Singapore whispers in the enactment of ficciones, in the pracitioners of the ficciones (one meaning : a narrative about writing a narrative which is not intended to be written), Catherine Lim, Kuo Pao Kun, Alfian. It was one of these who struck an arrow straight in the heart of the political. The process of usurping the signification of politics "suddenly" reared its hydra head in the notion of OB markers. The fear of the usurpers was apparent. The silenced spoke. The absence materialized. Learn well, the practitioners of the non-ficciones in Singapore politics. The Opposition fails because it grasps not that which was usurped. The Opposition flounders for its inability to see the silenced. The opponents of the Casino, as I have noted earlier suffers the same malaise. It grasps not what was usurped.

I am Xenoboy. I am the Political Savant.

The practioners of ficciones have multiplied rhizomatically in current Singapore. If the whole truth of political Singapore cannot be uttered, than lets mesh with the fiction. Hence, ficcione. The silenced articulates for representation in an effective form. The ficcione offers this form.

I am Xenoboy. I am the Political Savant.

Quote of the Day --
"And when those immense structures go down, no one hears ... a flash and then its gone leaving behind a feeling that something happened there once like wind tearing at the current, but no memory and no crying either ... there was no one to tell us what it meant when it meant what it did" -- John Ashberry, Flow Chart


Anonymous Anonymous said...

You’re kidding, right? Best not to open yourself up to ridicule from your readers with gratuitous displays of
pretentiousness such as this. (Cui bono?)

2:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the previous Anonymous:
Please don't take your Professor's comment on YOUR Writing module essay and post it here =p

2:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the first Anonymous:


3:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the first anonymous : sometimes in criticizing others, you kinda hang yourself. In this case, you have added nothing to the discourse.

I challenge xeno thus : who are the "practitioners" which you mentioned have multiplied?

4:40 AM  
Blogger Agagooga said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:09 AM  
Blogger Agagooga said...

4th anonymous: Perhaps not, but I hope Mr Xeno Boy will realise that high flown style obscures his message rather than enhances it.

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gosh, Molly clicked on "post anonymously" and is in danger of being named 5th Anonymous. But Molly is not anonymous because Molly is Molly or 5th Anonymous. But this is the presence of absence too, no?

Molly has her 2 cents of post-midnight gibberish. To add on to Xeno Boy's point (which is to risk unfairly accusing him of making a point), depoliticisation is not only an exercise of the political. It is hyperpoliticisation. Massive depoliticisation is to get everyone embroiled in the politics of depoliticisation: which also constitutes a coercion of the non-political into the realm of the political. That's like destroying a nest of ants but neglecting its vengeful pregnant queen.

As for who the practitioners of ficciones are, Molly thought Xeno Boy has already given examples. (Yet, would Molly be going to far to extrapolate that, dialectically speaking, ficciones and non-ficciones actually have the same origins).

Instead of uncovering the marginal(ized), "the" opposition has indeed been drawn into dominant discourse--even if this might not be the main reason for their failure.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Walao eh ... i find it amazing that some people can ask some people to chane their style of writing in a blog ... if do not understand just diam diam and act blur like me lah ..

dj puborkia (the hacked void deck)

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

very beautiful quote.

11:16 PM  
Blogger Skaris said...


Ran into this blog by searching for Singapore political blogs. I noticed you refering in earlier posts to the SSID (Sweden-Singapore Initiative for Democracy). I feel compelled to tell you that i am the person behind that. Naturally, i share your interest for S'pore politics and current affairs. Why? That is a long story. i hope to continue commenting S'pore politics on my recently started blog. On the SSID, it is a good and relevant initiative that i also plan to continue. I would answer any questions you or other Singaporeans have about it.

Johan Skarendahl, Stockholm

3:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

xeno boy is a clown

9:19 AM  
Blogger Mock Turtle said...

The medium is also the message. The style is also the substance.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

TT : you got it! hehe


10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes i agree... xeno boy is a clown

6:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not everyone with a sense of humour is a clown.


8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, but if you use big words that mean nothing and make it obvious that you don't know what you're talking about, it's clear that you are a clown.

10:06 AM  
Blogger a.x+(1-a).y \in S; for all x, y \in S; a \in [0,1] said...

.... difficult post.... difficult to read.....
it was painful.....

but yes, what is the point of it all.

politics is, after all, not literary analysis nor philosphical discourse. recourse to such things charts a course that the typical singaporean and voter, of course, would not bother about, as a matter of course.

[btw, sorry abt that.... i was bored]

the government may have previosuly feared a change in the tune of singapore politics with strains of political elements represented implicitly in the process of artistic presentation. people might just start questioning things.... the horror of it.... i guess it was something new at the time. they've probably dealt with it and moved on.

i think people in singapore recognize that life is permeated with politics. many things are attributed to "the gahmen".... (often the bad because no one takes the time to appreciate what's good.)

but unless i have completely misundersood.... Xenoboy, you're writing this a few years too late.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too late? It isn't too late if the situation hasn't changed. And if there is something oppositional politicians need to be sensitive to.

Put in another way, the population is depoliticized because they are relegated to political inactivity. But it is also this inactivity that makes them political. No one really goes out to the streets to stage protests, few people campaign for whatever causes there are to campaign for, etc. However, it is the extend of state control that renders people political: the way people speak English, what people study in school are all state regulated and are thus politicized. As the ad for Jack Neo's film shows, some guy says that his friend's marriage is the country's business and not his personal business.

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is Xenoboy. He is the Clown.

if he thinks that with his fancy-language-bad-style-no-substance writing he is gonna spark off some tangible changes, then he's just delusional.

i'm not one of those psc scholars he attacked in an earlier post so this isn't some personal vendetta. i just surfed on by, read his bullshit and went... wtf?!

He is Xenoboy. He is the Clown.

3:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Xeno Boy,

"I don't know what you are talking about, therefore you have no substance.

No, no, don't use psychoanalytical theory on me to say that I'm projecting my lack onto you..."


8:00 AM  
Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

I am a bit surprised that up till now, there are some of you who still cannot understand why Xeno Boy writes the way he writes.

It is a kind of defence, dear people. He has things that he really wants to say; he is a little afraid to say them (can you blame him - this is Singapore); and so he needs some defences:

the first level of defence, obviously, is that he must remain anonymous;

and the second level of defence is that he must regularly preface his commentary with half-silly, wonky statements like "I am Xenoboy. I am the Political Savant".

Why is that a defence? Well, it is a defence in the same way that Alfian Saat's opinions in the form of poetry are a defence; or in the same way that a talkingcock article uses comedy to defend its author.

That is to say - the authorities run the risk of looking utterly SILLY if they sought to take action against him. Can you imagine headlines like these:

"Political Savant Called Xenoboy Detained Under ISA"

"High Court Judge Unsure if Line 3 of Alfian's Poetic Metaphor is Defamatory - Court Calls for Expert Evidence"

"Talkingcock Writer Raises Defence Against PAP: "I Was Only Joking".

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think X is cool, it does not take much to get to the allusions in his posts, perhaps its cuz i haf a literature b/g and i bother to google some of the difficult terms used. In fact, i surmise that he is very intelligent.

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

when was the last time u saw a newspaper headline about so and so's detention under ISA? if they don't report such things then xenoboy's "defenses" beyond remaining anonymous wun really work, would it?

if we can see that xenoboy is fundamentally subversive then surely so can ISD or any other enforcers. and they wun ignore him just because he writes in a silly style, they would just chuck him away anyway.

if writing in that silly stlye is gonna be a defence it would be coz style gets in the way of the msg and he's never gonna make a difference. i figure the ISD wun really care about one man's chest thumping and ranting.

1:40 AM  
Blogger Gilbert Koh said...

Well, of course you cannot have a perfect, foolproof defence. This is Singapore, you know.

And of course, only those who actually read Xeno Boy's posts in some detail, with some level of perceptiveness, will know that Xeno is raising a defence.

If ever Xeno Boy is hauled up by the authorities, most of the public will never have read his posts enough to know he had been steadily endeavouring to build a defence all along.

Most of the public will merely think:

"My goodness, there was this eccentric weirdo, and apparently on his blog, he kept writing nonsense "I AM THE POLITICAL SAVANT, I AM A XENO BOY" again and again. He was obviously just a crackpot, and the PAP actually cracked down on him! They're just terrible, these PAP people!"

That kind of reaction from the public is exactly what will deter the PAP from going after Xeno Boy. Or so the Xeno Boy hopes.

1:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The last time i saw "so and so" detained under the isa headline was like 2 years ago and also last year when they pasted 20 over mugshots of malays detained under the isa on the front page of propaganda times and tv. cheers

4:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow... this is becoming entertaining.


8:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is apparent that there is a concerted effort to denounce X by certain quarters. the funny thing is the criticisms lack a lot of insight.

3:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok... we lose. we the anonymous denouncing xeno boy are actually the ISD. seems like we can't hide our lack of intelligence. time for plan B: scrutinise xeno boy's income tax returns!


7:06 AM  
Blogger xenoboysg said...

All the fury ends with silence.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Earlier anon.: "i find it amazing that some people can ask some people to chane their style of writing in a blog ..."

Response: What's wrong with asking someone who proclaims himself as a 'PS' to communicate more clearly? That implies that there is at least an audience group that wants to know what exactly he is saying, that despite the obscurity there MAY well be some worthy insights, that despite sounding weird it may not be 100% BS. Why are you (the earlier anonymous) so uncreative as to be UNable to see things from an EAGER audience's perspective?

- Detester of rubbish (Note: I'm not saying Xenoboy writes rubbish)

8:22 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home