Thursday, September 22, 2005

Reflections on Rebel Associations

I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Svant.
The State has spoken on criminality in cyberspace. The example of the racist bloggers serves as the Signal. For once, perhaps, the paralysis of the State's instruments of power has been broken. Political sanction granted. Let the hunt begin. Buoyed by the victory of the Sedition Cases, law enforcement in Singapore proceeds along the next step of technological advancement and psychological finesse. Suspicion by association. Where association = your self stored in a sim card. Your self collected as a hyper-link.
To single out Omeka Na Huria (aka Jacob George) from the Singapore Rebel's handphone is evidently un-random. The Rebel's handphone cannot contain only one entry. Have all been called up? I doubt so. Will all be called up? I do not think so. Will the process proceed to the hyperlinks in Rebel's blog? Why not? (winks desperately at MollyMeek: flirting with death) For a historically documented example of such State strategy at work, the systematic investigation and ferreting of State dissent, please refer to Treason by the Book, Jonathan D Spence.
Enough rhetorical questions, after all,
I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.
This is a containment strategy against the Rebel. Fear employed tactically. First, isolate the Rebel, thresh the weak ones away, the fly-by-wire supporters. Second, test the resolve of his remaining associations. Third, reap the investigative benefits of instilled fear. Good cop Bad cop. In this instance, the bad cop is invisible. The Crawler sifting through the Rebel's digital self. Like the infamous LA Confidential interrogation scene, you break the weakest link. Which bird sings first? No. Which bird I think, sang.
No. There is no Mr Dumb Policeman here. The evidential imperatives override the public image imperatives. An investigative strategy and process is cranking up here. That this strategy follows close on the heels of the Sedition Cases is in and of itself illuminating. From ethical standpoints, the Sedition Cases and the Political Film case are different. It is plain to see, it is the crux of the divisive blogosphere debates over the Sedition Cases. But the Law is blind when it chooses to be. No more cheeky White Elephants.
This is Foucauldian Panopticism writ at State level. The mental uncertainty evoked by the Law's blind gaze assures discipline. Uncertainty is the crucial element to instil discipline. Vague Terror. Discipline. Responsibility. Does it see or is it blind?
Crippled by our fears, we are silenced in a mirror chamber.
Move the fear to happiness. Sing the song of capital. The Rally Speech promised change? A happier Singapore. Happy and good Singapore.
But why am I still oh-so-depressed?
I am XenoBoy. I am the Political Savant.
Quote of the Day : "Sometimes, home feels so much like a foreign country, I have to remind myself that it's all a mirage really. The country has got itself a brand new hip wardrobe ... but really, deep down inside, maybe it's not that different from when I left it to live somewhere else" -- Monica Gwee, taken from Gretchen Liu's, Singapore, a Pictorial History (1819 - 2000)

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Depression is a psychiatric condition, you know. You could be remanded to the IMH...

Molly

10:54 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home