Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Singapore Martyr Not Rebel

I am Xenoboy. I am the Political Savant.
In the recent furor over the political intimidation of Martyn See, maker of the political film, Singapore Rebel, nuances of political naivete emerges again from both ends of the spectrum.
First let me review the film. It is a political film. It is not that great a political film but it is a political film nonetheless. The soundtrack by the one of the greatest local Sg bands EVER (way before Singapore Idol and the softie Taufiks and Sylvesters), OPPOSITION PARTY, (salute to Lee Piau, Francis et al) saves the film from sure nauseum. The icon of the film, Chee Soon Juan, is a miscast. He simply lacks the subtle fire and the political savvy of a JBJ. Remember this : JBJ won Anson when no Opposition had ever won a seat in post independence Singapore. When JBJ lit up Parliament, the other political devil, Lee Kaun Yew was left fuming and venting. In sum, a film featuring the band OPPOSITION PARTY would have been more befitting the title.
I am Xenoboy. I am the Political Savant.
Turning to the circus around the film itself which would make a great film. Two camps arrayed against each other.
First, the State.
Stupidity is the order of the day. They use a bludgeon to squash a fly. It is a reflection of the ironic political state of the system in Singapore today. Political machinations as an art-form has been lost in the current generation of state automatons. The use of the Film Act and its inherent inbuilt draconian legal devices ensures another public relations failure for the State. The battle represented by the film Singapore Rebel is not in the realm of the Law. The battle is in the eyes and the mind. Allowing the film to fail the test of Singaporean cynicism (with helpful manipulation in the media) would have been a Machiavellian master stroke.
Second, Martyn and the SDP
The positioning of Martyn as a non partisan artist/film maker is weak. The film Singapore Rebel, as I have mentioned, is a political film. Rather than than be a sitting duck in one corner to gain sympathy, step forward and embrace the reality. Martyr yourself Martyn. Right now, you have the sympathy of Singaporeans and no more. You are marked for "death" by the State and you can go down blazing or go down forgotten. Up the ante and politicise and radicalise your injustice. Marshall the resources of the SDP and Chee behind you and get them to fight a real battle rather than issue forgotten statements. Make a film of yourself as the True Rebel and bittorrent your imminent "death" to the world. The moment of political action is around you. The hero is not Chee. The Hero is you right here, right now.
I am Xenoboy. I am the Political Savant.
But there is a crack in the State's political awareness now represents a moment. A monad when Singaporeans can seize to spark the real state of emergency in lieu of the chimeric state of emergency constantly drummed into the Singaporean psyche.
Quote of the Day --
"The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the 'state of emergency' in which we live is not the exception but the rule. We must attain to a conception of history that is in keeping with this insight. Then we shall clearly realize that it is our task to bring about a real state of emergency, and this will improve our position in the struggle" -- Walter Benjamin, Theses on the Philospohy of History

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Intoxication of Blogging & Redeeming Mr Brown

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.
The local media reports of the ENTIRE AcidFlask saga, including the latest by TODAY, as summarised in non mathematical form :
1) Bloggers are all young children who run to the wild cyberspace and spout all kinds of nonsense.
2) When bloggers get empowered by the freedom to publish, they go crazy. They get INTOXICATED. They start behaving like Golding children in Lord of the Flies.
3)These young and childish bloggers are irresonsible and do not know the legal consequences of their actions.
4) Responsible adult "VETERAN" bloggers like Mr Brown, Mr Miyagi and XiaXue are upheld by the media as the paragons of blogging. They represent common sense, responsibility, non intoxication. (Note : No disrespect to the former two)
The underlying messages of the media reports :
1) Blog like the veterans.
2) Media reports are so much more well-researched and more factually correct. More responsible than bloggers.
3) AcidFlask's apology rules him as Guilty. He is an intoxicated blogger who in his childish exuberance in finding a brave new world acts irresponsibly and desecrates Eden.
I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.
The latest article by TODAY renders, with a final flourish, the entire spectrum of local media reports unreserved in its deification of the utter wrongness of bloggers who touch on socio-political issues in Singapore. Among the media organisations who had reported on the affair, TODAY was always a little bit more vacillatory, a little bit more reserved than its colleagues in the production of news in Singapore. This article makes up for it. Reserved has been rendered unreserved. The traditional media will report no more on this issue.

Mr Gilbert Koh, from the now defunct SLMJD, commented in one of my entries that he had spoken to ST journalists of HIS views on the issue. His comments are lost in space. Given his views as evidenced in the pre-defunct SLMJD days, it is safe to assume the reason why his comments to ST will never see the light of day. His comments would have made the media reports reserved in its denunciation of the Guilt of the Intoxicated bloggers.

The little Lacanian ghosts keep whispering : blog responsibly, blogging is bad, bloggers are all liars, they break the laws, evil evil evil.

There once was an ST article. Published on 3 Nov 2004. The report touched on political blogging in Singapore. AcidFlask was mentioned as with a few other bloggers. That was a media who had not yet grappled with the potential of a blog.

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.

Quote of the Day

"If I don't call you back your head spins
If I told you what I think
you'd shit your linens
"It's just another interview, nothing new"
But they don't even know my name." -- Hey Mr Brown, Wheatus
"One popular blog is Mr Brown, who pokes fun at policies in addition to providing updates on his family. Other lesser-known blogs include 'Acidflask', by a Singaporean graduate student in the United States who discusses science and the fallacy of meritocracy ... Still, their reach is limited as Web traffic to individual blogs tends to be low given the vastness of cyberspace and the millions of other websites vying for attention ... But the so-named Lee Kin Mun of Mr Brown's blog believes it is no longer possible to ignore online views. 'I think the Government knows that, and has become more transparent as a result. If it does not address the facts directly, the online discussions will decide (on issues) for it,'" -- Straits Times 3 Nov 2004

Sunday, May 08, 2005


I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.

The thresher scything through blogosphere continues. The chilling effect is in evidence. One of my visitors, Mr. Gilbert Koh has ceased his blog, Singapore Legal Mumbo Jumbo Demystified. The blog and he, has my Respect still.

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.

I summarise all the past few days’ newspaper reports into the following scientific formulas :

CORE = A*Star = Phillip Yeo = Singapore

A*Star – Phillip Yeo = null

Phillip Yeo – A*Star = Singapore = CORE


Blogosphere = Irresponsible = Chaos = Untrustworthy

Quote of the Day --

“Whatever the next stage of her plan, she had exposed her presence in her website. The original owners became aware of her. She abandoned her site. They pursued her. She was forced to discard her persona.” -- Idoru, William Gibson

Saturday, May 07, 2005

The Poet and The Liar

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.

The AcidFlask affair spins in a widening gyre. Today, the national newspaper Straits Times publishes a report on it. I have no access to my national newspaper online anymore so I have not read the article. Go to A Singapore Angle for comprehensive coverage of the affair.

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.

What is apparent now is the concerted use of the traditional media force to foment an opinion, an opinion that pre-judges the case. From the quotes and drabs which have appeared in the mainstream media, it is clear that while there is stunning accuracy in highlighting the faults of AcidFlask, there is an equally stunning inaccuracy in any merits AcidFlask have whatsoever. Even the most partial of the reports, a column by Lim Boon Hee in TODAY fails to fully understand the injustice apparent here.

The politics of this is certain. First, extend legal control into blogosphere and cyberspace. No one is beyond the nomos empsuchon. Strike the fear and mute the others. Second, mobilise the mainstream via the traditional media and influence a pre-judging, a pre-determination of the wrong-doer. Third, extend an "olive branch", a spin doctor flourish move, of solving the matter amicably by having "tea". Fourth, hijack a precedent of Convex Set to divide what is good and what is not good.

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.

I list below the reasons why A*star is politicking this way:

1) The pre-judging and pre-determination of AcidFlask as having committed a moral wrong is necessary because the "threat" of defamation never reached the court. In this case, it has not been tested as being defamatory in the legal sense. Hence, the pre-judging.

2) Note that A*Star refuses to address the exact "defamatory" contents issue. Its stated reason for refusing is because it cannot utter something defamatory and hence, open themselves to litigation by themselves (?) Utterly illogical. It is in A*Star's interest to remain silent on the "defamatory" contents because having it in the open, creates a greater vulnerability that they could be in the wrong, that it was potentially NOT defamatory in the eyes of the many.

3) A*Star's peace call is nothing but "spin", again to mitigate its Goliath perspective. From what Convex has mentioned, he was not threatened with a legal suit first before going for tea. He was invited for tea and "persuaded" thence. The precedent cited by A*Star is than contextually wrong. Hence, it is developed as a spin to soften A*Star's image.

4) The softening is not for blogosphere. The softening is for the traditional media. Note, that A*Star initially declined comment and subsequently developed its spin story only in latter reports. It is commandeering the fight in traditional media.

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.

I dare the traditional media to go to their computers and pick any one blogger in local cyberspace and ask them what they think. Singapore Angle, Mr Brown, Ivan's Chimera, Shianux and Convex Set.

The story is here. Come if you dare.

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.

Quote of the Day --

"The world condemns liars who do nothing but lie, even about the most trivial things, and it rewards poets, who lie only about the greatest things." -- Umberto Eco, Baudalino

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Sue Responsibly, Report Responsibly, Blog Responsibly

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.
Today, I weigh in for my closest confidant in blogosphere, Molly of the Meek. In her latest entry, she cries out for simpler language, a cry oft heard among my many anonymous friends. The CNA report on blogo sacer AcidFlask is cited.
In one line, AcidFlask is said to have criticised A*Star, and by default nomos empsuchon, Phillip Yeo, in his "blogs". I know not AcidFlask has two blogs. A slippage of terms.

Than lawyers are mentioned. Lawyers say to blogosphere : blog "responsibly" or you can be sued. Than Mr Gilbert Leong exerts his stupidity with a hyperbolically symbolic statement peppered with the following conjunctions : "i think ... indeed defamatory ... can actually take ... in other words ... can be sued".

In other words, the CNA article justifies what Phillip Yeo has done. It supports the silencing of a blog. It lays a moral judgement on blogosphere to "blog responsibly". (Note : This summary is for Molly of the Meek)

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.

I say to the lawyers/defendants in the article. Sue responsibly. You have a Stupid Dumbass Party opposition politician who is sued for defamation. I XenoBoy, understand the politics behind this. You have a "ex-scholar" (read : bond breaker) who is threatened with legal action, I Xenoboy, understand not the politics.

A responsible defamation legal action suit in this general genre of political silencing is one that involves bankrupting opposition politicians. The concomitant irresponsible defamation legal action suit is one that involves bankrupting a cyber-individual's ideas.

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.

I say to the reporter. Report responsibly. Your report has two phrases which repeat that bloggers "need to understand" and "need to be aware". What I need is for you to report responsibly. A responsible report is one which explains that a blog has a most important other dissimilarity to a pen-paper diary. It allows comments. Feedback.

A responsbile report notes that in blogosphere, the comment function acts as a self regulating mechanism. If Phillip Yeo is fucked in a blog entry, he can defend himself. The entire army of A*Star scholars and staff can defend him. This is the notion of discourse.

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.

"They're gonna inform the police chief, who'll breathe a sigh of relief .. He'll say I was a malanderer, a badlander, and a thief ... When I go .. They'll bang a big old gong ... the motorcade will be ten miles long .. The world will join together for a farewell song, when they put me down below ... they'll sound a fluegelhorn ... And the sea will rage, and the sky will storm ... all man and beast will mourn ... When I go" -- Nick Cave

Tuesday, May 03, 2005


I am Xenoboy. I am the Political Savant.
Last week, nomos empsuchon Philip Yeo executed blogo sacer Acidflask. Silenced.
In two days, a Singaporean will die by the death penalty for peddling drugs. Silenced.
On 15 May 1525, in the German town of Frankenhausen, bastion of the first peasant movement against the feudal lords, the Princes, the clergy of Europe, a massacre of the peasants begins. This was the true Reformation.
I am Xenoboy. I am the Political Savant.
I leave you with the receipt of Augustin, known as Awe, the Executioner of the rebel peasants of Frankenhausen :
So the sum total is 80 beheaded, 69 of whom had their eyes put out and their fingers cut off, which comes to 114 florins and two cents. From this should be deducted: 10 florins, received from the citizens of Rothenburg; 2 florins received by Ludwig von Hutten; leaving: 102 florins. To this should be added 2 months' pay; for each month 8 florins = 16 florins, which makes: 118 florins and two cents.
I am Xenoboy. I am Acidflask. I am He who will be hanged tomorrow.
Are there no survivors?