Monday, August 29, 2005

Kiddie Rides -- The Missing Rally Speech

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant
In housing estates, lying at the corners of old and decrepit coffee-shops or candy stores, are these ancient kiddie rides. Twenty cents for a ride. Children still clamour for them, it is the magical sensation of rocking and swaying, coupled with the blaring of invariably Chinese kiddie songs. The kid is transported into an alternate changed environment. When the machine stops, the sensation of change stops. The illusion of the ride fades and the machine is stationary again. The child will always scream for more. The parent will always say no. It is not the twenty cents. It is the discipline of the child that matter. The conditioning.
The missing in this year's NDP Rally Speech is the political. The fact that politics was silenced in the Rally is deliberate. Last year's Rally speech welcomed politics as a Logos in Singapore. The welcome spurred the production of the Political in Singapore to an extent which became highly problematic for the incumbent regime. A political film is produced which cannot be screened in a cinema but becomes screened in our homes. A gay festival for expression which cannot gain the expression and than re-invents itself as an indignation and expresses itself nonetheless. An anticipated election lapses into a tortuous re-definition of competition and selection rather than election. A protest that is not a protest but expressed as a protest. Small change, loose change but change still.
I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.
It is always problematic when oxymorons are translated into Fact. Last year's speech sought to produce a Fact of political participation in Singapore riddled with the contradictions of political conditioning. In so doing, the instruments of governing power became paralysed in response to political expression. When the forms of political expression lodged themselves in the interstitial crannies of juridico-legal power, adopting a political posture that escapes definition, a film that is not a film, a festival that is not a festival, a election that is not an election, a protest that is not a protest, the juridico-legal power of calibrated coercion (ref Cherian George) meets its match of elaborated expression.

The thermostat has not kicked into action. The degrees of expression remain. Remember that this year's speech is a silencing not a re-covering. Yet.

This year's Speech is calling for change without the Political. Change is good for the child. A calibrated and conditioned change of mindsets to alter Singapore. Embedded in this call for change is a contradiction of epic proportions. Singapore and the PAP are entwined inextricably. Hence, the change is a kiddie ride change. It is a change to train a child. The foundations of the machine remain, collecting your sense.

The Chinese epic novel, 'Romance of the Three Kingdoms', begins with the line "The empire long united must divide" and ends with the line :The empire long divided must unite". Nestled between division and unity is change. Massive political change. The Rally speech is envisioning change. Small change, loose change and still change.
Fight this.
I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.
Quote of the Day : "Saint Peter sat by the celestial gate: his keys were rusty, and the lock was dull, so little trouble had been given of late ... The angels were singing out of tune, and hoarse with having little else to do, except to wind up the sun and moon, or curb a runaway young star or two" -- Lord Byron, The Vision of Judgment


Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, this is one powerful essay. stay alive dude.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...



7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


from the movie coach carter, something to go with your entry. a poem by marianne williamson :

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same....

cheers n good stuff


10:16 PM  
Blogger Agagooga said...

You know, unless you're going to lead an elitist network of revolutionary cells, you've to make some attempt to reach out to the masses.

4:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

aggagooga : What a curious comment you make. If I am not mistaken, all revolutions do need to have an 'elitist network' for it to succeed. Came over to this blog from expat @ large's recommendation. This is serious and quite demagogic writing. Forgive me if I appear ignorant cos I am not from these parts.

St Mark's Place
Greenwich NY

5:04 AM  
Blogger clyde said...

Well, finally some true and certainly great journalism from the heart of Singapore. I particularly enjoyed your article on the un-Named bloggers of Singapore. I shall be exploring some of those blogs.

There is also an idea that's been floating up in the air, originally suggested by Kevin at, to create a "superblog" consisting of popular socio-economic-political bloggers, hopefully acting as a focal source of current affairs and political information; a cyber-front created by the People for the People. A rabbit hole for the blind man who chooses to see how deep it really goes. A "flipside" to Singapore's blogosphere in contrast with those of the MTV generation.

6:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey xenoboy!!!!!!!!!!! I am gonna forward your entry to the ST Forum online ... juz wanna yank their chains a lil bit.

I have this pumped feeling after going thru diz entry.

do not stop yah?

12:35 PM  
Blogger xenoboysg said...

Agagooga, my dear love-hate friend, I dislike produced categorisations and the fake masses-elite gap. Maybe there is no such gap? Maybe Singaporeans are mature and smart enough to understand? This entry is not designed to make people go out to reclaim the streets. Not yet. Awaken the consciousness first. Step by step. You have a vehicle,, use it too, but carefully please, because all of you are Named.

Clyde -- it is a good idea. I am seeking a blog marriage with Molly Meek, hahaha. Along the same lines.
Amassing this group you propose will definitely mean something in Sg blogosphere.

scouser -- Thanks, I do like the movie despite its failings, it is a MTV production after all. Hehe

12:49 PM  
Blogger akikonomu said...

Xenoboysg, I offer an alternative explanation.

What Minilee understands is that revolution from above has been attempted constantly by members of Singapore's elites - Chaim, Chee, Andrew Kuan, Ngiam, Caterine Lim - without success. When Papalee and Peanut Goh were afraid of the rebellious elites, their speeches were couched in all manner of (rough) theory and philosophy.

This year, Minilee's corporals have done their homework on the ground: they fear a revolution from below now, and that explains the kiddie ride speech.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After politicizing the country, the 40 year-old strategy of depoliticizing the citizenry kicks in full force again. Come, let's focus on how we can make our material lives better.

Now that the Kid has had a taste of the Kiddie Ride, the Kiddie Ride will now be useful when the parents need to extort the kids. "Do well in your exams and I will give you a Kiddie Ride." And hey, it's cost-effective too. 20 cents in excahnge for the Kid doing well in the exams huh.

Unfortunately, immature as Singaporeans might be, there are no longer as many Kids as there were in the seventies. Immature adolescents are not going to be as easily coaxed as kids. Last year's paradoxical politicization has turned many into adolescents.

And adolescents hate to be treated like Kids. Offer them a Kiddie Ride on a carousel and they might try to trample you with a real horse instead.

When will the MIW realize that the Mirror Stage is already over and there is no U-turn?

Yet, in any case, the Law of the Father will continue to loom over the sunny skies of Singapore, so it doesn't really hurt the MIW for the time being.

Yours Meekly and deliriously,

11:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... they are busy arguing about linking policies, 'precipitious plummets' in the number of subsmissionz and publishing willowy sweet nostalgic angzty cutezy stuff.

Tomorrow no free lah.

1:27 AM  

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