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


Blogger Mr Wang Says So said...

Martyn needs to win a prestigious international film award in a big hurry and place Singapore (if only briefly) on the world map for movies.

In other words, he needs to make it too embarrassing for the Singapore government to silence him.

Alas, much more easily said than done.

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alternatively. what Xeno suggests about upping the ante is a viable option .. anyway gonna mati liao, might as well die a la Chow Yuen Fatt in A Better Tomorrow ...

Mr Wang : I suspect that he can only win a major award AFTER the state incarcerates him ... makes up for the deficiencies in his film

sigh and knn

dj puborkia

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another piece of madness from the delusional clown.


2:20 AM  
Blogger xenoboysg said...

Mr Wang -- Having seen the film twice, I seriously doubt it has enough finesse to win a really major award. The film is a bit too jerky and does not really have a strong enough punch.

To embarass the State is not enough, remember, embarassment can be forgotten.

I am puzzled however, why Martyn wishes to distance himself from the obvious, that it is indeed a political film. It is clear that the State already deems it a political film, hence, to fight effectively, he has to accept the reality and mobilise his political resources based on this assessment.

Dj == Glad to hear from you. You seem to have MIA-ed from Void Deck? Will contact you when I come back for a holiday.

Stan -- My beloved fan. I hope you are well and not bursting too many veins. Chill dude.

6:39 AM  
Blogger akikonomu said...

I have seen the film. I will kick the heel of the next Singaporean who compares says Martyn is our Michael Moore.

Michael Moore - drunk, blindfolded, one arm tied behind his back - would've made a more balanced film than this.

That said... mr wang and xenoboy need to know that there are many film competitions around the world. No matter how poor you think of Singapore Rebel, there is a chance. If you've seen Tzaintes, you'll know what I mean.

What WILL win a prestigious international film award, though, is a documentary on Martyn See.

8:42 AM  
Blogger xenoboysg said...


Hahaha, thanks for the link, very entertaining trailer. A masterpiece it is not, but award it did win indeed.

No way Martyn is Moore. The only half decent film-maker in Singapore is Royston Tan, though I think he can be overly self-indulgent a la Wong Kar Wai.

If Martyn takes the bold step and bit-torrentizes himself and spectaclize his impending demise into a real-time film, yes, it will be a political master stroke, and a artistic master stroke. And yes, it will win more prestigious awards.

9:03 AM  
Blogger Mr Wang Says So said...

Personally, Mr Wang does not watch films very often;

he has not watched "The Singapore Rebel" and does not plan to;

and he thinks that Chee Soon Juan is a bit of an absurd character (Hunger strike with a glucose drip? No, you definitely won't die from hunger).

Mr Wang just thinks that the Films Act is intolerably vague, and wishes there was more freedom of expression in Singapore.

Film-makers in Singapore should have more room to make movies, good OR bad, and regardless of who the central movie character may be.

8:31 PM  
Blogger John Lim the-one-who-splits-PAP-apart said...

Hey, just want to say that I (may I be persumptuous and represent other people as well?) will be appreciative if you can write in simpler english in future?

I enjoy reading your postings. However if you share in this belief that politics is not solely owned by people in white uniform, I think it will be good that you can write simpler for your future postings. It is all too easy to use all the jargon/cheem language to illustrate things, what is more valuable is to know the idea of Shen1 Ru4 Qian3 Chu1. (I make the assumption that you are chinese.)

Won't it make the discussion of politics much more accessible to the laymen outt here (like me?)

Dun mind my offence,but the bombastic language which you are using in your postings dun do justice to your belief in hoping to "demystify" politics.

I want to say that language not only has the ability to bring ideas across, It also has the similar ability to ALIENATE people.

But keep up the good work nonetheless!



11:18 PM  
Blogger Beach-yi said...

Hehe, you got it there Mr John Lim.But this is his blog after all, he can be as self indulgent as he likes just that don't expect the redership to extend beyond those who can understand him (maybe those with a penchant for pontification, yes, no? hmmm).

6:52 PM  
Blogger WhiteOut said...

i thought xenoboy's rhetoric is really good ... it's hard to not to treat someone seriously if one doesn't write seriously.

i'd figure that martyn'll win an award only because of the strong, real irony of the movie title and the fate of the director.

11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto WhiteOut's comment.

As a regular follower of X-boy's earratically paced blog, I thought he has changed stylistically, at least in the last few entries, there is much less need to google some terms.

To John, actually it is not easy to use jargon and cheem stuff, I agree X-boy is excessive sometimes but if you do google some terms he uses, they can be explained and at the same time, I learn some stuff too.

As for beachy, well there are definitely some bloggers in Sg whose sole aim is to win awards, get wide readership, become popular, but I really do not think x-boy is into that shit. He certainly links nobody and his replies to comments are erratic as well.


11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see you like jargon as well. I hate jargon. Why do we have to tollerate it. I have made a jargon web site that seeks to bust all jargon on the web but we need contributors. So if you feel that you could add a section to our Jargon Buster Directory then please fee free. Keep up the good work with your blog and lets bust the jargon that seeks to keep us all in our place.

4:27 AM  

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