Wednesday, July 12, 2006

What Makes Me, Me?

It is only the Singaporean politician who can launch a campaign asking Singaporeans to define their identity and at the same time utter words which deny you your identity. Simultaneously without flinching. Without shame.

What makes you, You?

"It aims to get Singaporeans discussing, and to decide for themselves what the Singapore identity is."

What makes me, Me? The answer is simple Minister Lee. It is you. Its you and what you represent. What you represent defines us utterly and totally. The decisions have already been made. What makes me, Me? It is you. You made me. You forged a me which is a shell, an illusory individuation of the larger whole of PAP=Singapore. What makes me, Me? It is you who taught me, who educated me to understand that being open, being participatory is how You define it. It is You who teaches me to bow, to keep my silence, to sacrifice me for You. It is You who teaches me to accept dualism without flinching, without shame. It is You who tell me what is right and what is wrong. It is You who teaches me what is responsible and what is not. It is You who defines what I see, what I hear and what I read. It is You who determines whether I speak. It is You who shines the light on the path I must tread. It is You who decides me. What makes me, Me? It is You.

"And that's always been my position, or the position of this Government - that the mainstream newspaper must report accurately, objectively and responsibly. And that they must adopt this model that they are part of this nation-building effort, rather than go out and purvey views that would mislead people, confuse people, which will in fact undermine our national strategy!"

What makes me, Me? You made me Minister Lee.

And You made me wrong. I am wrongly made.

In your making, I lost me. I lost myself. Without a self identity, without a me, how can I know what is the Singapore identity? You shine the light on the path I must tread but the darkness shines brighter. You define what I read, see, hear but I read, see and hear more than You allow me to. And so it is You who confuse me. It is you who is misleading me. I see rising costs of living, I hear a Singaporean hard done by means testing, I read about Opposition wards being ugraded last. But in your making, I must deny what I see, hear and read. I must deny myself. Deny me. Accept only a me made by you.

When can I be me?

How can I be me?

These are the questions which are more important than what made me, Me? Because as these questions remain unanswered, ignored, there will be no one left in Singapore to discuss the Singapore identity. What remains are only the Yous. The army of Yous, indistinguishable from one another, an indivisible whole of shiny happy people in a white paradise who have no Me but are just a Hive known as Singapore to service the rest of the world.

What makes me, Me? It is not You. It cannot be You. It must not be You. And if you do not accept that Minister, then we are doomed to paradise.

Quote of the Day --

"Thy heaven doors are my Hell Gates.
Socrates taught what Meletus loath'd
as a Nation's bitterest curse,
And Caiaphas was in his own Mind
A benefactor to Mankind.
Both read the Bible day and night,
But thou read'st black where I read white" -- William Blake, The Everlasting Gospel


Anonymous spamme said...

Wow.... partisan and poetic...
All hail Xenoboy!

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful, just beautiful and deep, and touches the core of my being! Makes me cry a river for my fellow Singaporeans and the country that is Singapore.

I'm considerably older than most of your readers. I was born in the late 1950's & went through Singapore's first phase of nation building and oh, was I so proud to be called a Singaporean! I did not know I was brainwashed until I met my other half who is from the land of the free and home of the brave who had worked in Singapore in the early 1980's and commented about all the pap propaganda, especially in the ST. Boy, was I indignant when he said that, its not true, the pap is good. But of course he was correct in his observation then.

Keep on writing. I'm just sad that the only way to read good works is only in the blogosphere.

Thanks you, xenoboy, for such insighful and beautiful writings.

9:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

[When can I be me?

How can I be me?

These are the questions which are more important than what made me, Me? Because as these questions remain unanswered, ignored, there will be no one left in Singapore to discuss the Singapore identity.]

Precisely, these are far more impt questions to find answers to....

9:06 PM  
Blogger sei-ji rakugaki said...

excellent writing!

9:11 PM  
Anonymous isitjustme said...


9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Xenoboy for encapsulating in your lyrical prose the sad condition of being a Singaporean.

Our individual and societal identity has been built on superficial economic indicators:
[1] Where do you live?
- how big/expensive is your house

[2] What do you do for a living?
- what is your pecking order in the economical ladder

[3] What do you do for leisure?
- what country club/safra/kopi-tiam crowd do you hang out with

So far, the most tangible badge remotely resembling an identity is our food, but I do not think I would sacrifice and die for my country no matter how good the char kway teow is.

Keep on helping us to have a voice against the tyranny of dictatorial thought by the powers-in-white-who-tell-allows-

1:29 AM  
Blogger KiWeTO said...

*Shssssh* - you're upsetting the hamster.

A self-reflecting hamster will not be 100% productive. In fact, it might even stop running and start to wonder why its running. That is Baaaaaaad for

Hamsters are only needed to run on the wheel. Not to build society. Leave that to the experts.


1:41 AM  
Anonymous OrnateGhost said...

It is so uncannily ...


2:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are me.
I am you.


"Did I ask too much, more than a lot
You gave me nothing, now it's all I got. We're one, but we're not the same. Well, we hurt each other, then we do it again." -- U2, One.

Brilliant. XB.

2:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"what made you, You?"

Or is it an extremely shameless way to fish for accolades?

Am sure many Pro-Paps will take the cue on target.

MSM will be flooding with pourings of undying gratitude ad nauseum.

Life in Singapore is really one big wayang.

3:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No more Mr Brown, still got all these..........


6:28 AM  
Blogger Charissa said...

Wow... beautifully written as always. Somehow.... I feel less lonely after reading this post....

9:19 AM  
Blogger John Riemann Soong said...

You've summed up the paradox brilliantly.

1:08 PM  
Blogger nofearSingapore said...

Hi Xeno,
Don't ever mellow down!
We need your energy and idealism.
The tragedy of my generation ( born early 60's) is that we were blocked off from the idealism that was the rage in USA (Woodstock & anti-Vietnam protest) and Europe ( Student activism).
We were brain-washed to accept "Long hair (men) will be served last" ; there is no other "demi-god" other than PAP etc. and that idealism is "un-Asian"
The only way then to know about idealism and liberty/social justice was from self-reading and you know how (dis)-interested my generation was in learning about anything that does not help them make money.(also no internet then)
Hail Xenoboy!
Live long and prosper and may the Force be with you!
Dr. Huang Shoou Chyuan

5:12 PM  
Anonymous imp said...

i laugh and smile as i will.

am i still me if i have to be told to smile?

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You just defined the "Singaporean identity".

I love your posts.

11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Xenoboy writes beautifully.

The problem, however, remains unsolved. Singapore is in dire need of truly brave souls to counter the might of PAP.

2:51 AM  
Blogger Heavenly Sword said...

Hi Xenoboy, this reminds me of the film, A.I....

I sense sadness....

9:23 AM  
Blogger xenoboysg said...

HS : Not sad but actually a bit tired. The film A.I. if it was left to Kubrick he would have ended with the robot stuck in a terminal loop deep in the ocean. But Spielberg came and gave it a happy ending.

wonder what ending we have for Sg

The Rest : Thanks

11:14 AM  
Anonymous twofourseven said...

The singaporean identity indeed; poetically worded.

Heard of your 'great' blog but never had the chance to visit until today.

Well, you can add another regular reader to your already growing list.

You're probably one of the reasons why people come back and read - Good writing and pertinent analysis.

Keep up the good work. It seems to me that 66.6% of the populace enjoys being mired in a shithole.

7:17 AM  
Anonymous JayS said...

twofourseven :
"It seems to me that 66.6% of the populace enjoys being mired in a shithole." is prose in my books.

Xeno - I have not mentioned this before, but you do write beautifully and with a truth seldom seen. I have become a regular reader of yours. You are a rare individual.

Dr Huang,
You are a rare individual too, for you have retained your idealism where I had alost lost mine (being only a few years younger than you - mid-sixties). Thank you for reminding me that it does not necessarily have to die.

Thank you all for the re-awakening.

9:34 PM  
Anonymous sonya said...

"how can i be me"

did you watch I Heart Huckabees? The defining quote of this very funny, pseudophilosophically-intellectual movie was "how am i not myself?"

and i thought, what greater meanings wld existential investigators (as in the movie) discover abt the singaporean psyche just by observing how our politics mess with our heads.

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Tan said...

congratulation for another masterpiece.

Simply awesome.

2:44 AM  
Blogger il mango di Treviso said...

Xeno boy you have become my favourite morning read. It must not be easy to write on political issues in Singapore. What I take for granted, for you is a continuous battle of how far you can stretch the limit.....
I can say that my prime minister is a moron, which I actually do on a daily basis, without the risk of being sued. But for you in Singapore it is a continuous battle.
So keep on writing because you do it well, because Singapore needs more people like you to speak up and speak freely.
Thank you and well done.

4:22 AM  
Anonymous James said...

Did you really allow LKY to "make" you?
As a student, I joined the campus rallies in support of Tan Wah Piow (still have a set of those cyclostyled "newletters" covering his trial). I was away, travelling on business, when Teo Soh Lung crossed examined LKY in the Law Societies case. But I was around to watch the staged "confessions" of the young Christian helpers marked as Marxists. I never succumbed to the 4, then 5-Cs, actually I had to have it explained to me what they stood for. From my father's 3 room HDB flat to my landed property today, my walk was never influenced by the man or his party. I never stopped at two. I didn't fall for the "asset enhancement" spiel. Point is, you can survive, and make it comfortably, without the MIW. My guidance in life? Good books. My schooldays were spent with Martin Luther King Jr, John F Kennedy, even George Bernard Shaw when he was so upset he wrote "War Crimes In Vietnam" which wasn't a very accurate account anyway. It was a matter of time when they did away with Literature and Geography, replacing it with "Social Studies", so that even those enlightened by school books will be steered to their fold. So, teach your children young, tell them of the new world made possible by books, not the one made by the ruling party.

2:06 AM  
Blogger xenoboysg said...

James -- You are absolutely right. It is through reading and application that perhaps un-making can occur. will probably write on that soon.

Treviso, 247, jays -- mille grazie

sonya -- aha yes its a movie i managed to catch, another one of those quirky films in the league of waking life n dead man

12:31 PM  

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