Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Soothing Brute

The stoic Singaporean is valued by the State. That strong, suffering Singaporean who looks at injustice and lives through it, abiding by his own principles of self-determination, of personal perseverance. He looks askance at the complexities of the environment in front of him. He forges through the environment. That stoic Singaporean. Even when he fails, he picks himself up, complains to none, and presses forward. Never questioning the without. Only believing that his failings are from within. It is his fault. That stoic Singaporean.

Unlike the sayers of sooth, the stoic Singaporean never foretells the sooths of the future. He deals only with the sooths of now. It is more practical, more realistic to focus on your immediate needs. Let those who can vision worry about the future. The stoic Singaporean never complains. He accepts the environment as it is. He seeks solutions from the available options as presented in front of him. There is no need to hope for, to wish for something when it is not there. The stoic Singaporean does not waste energies there. He sees changes in the environment and he adjusts to them. He asks for nothing from no one. He seeks no favours. He is self sufficient. That stoic Singaporean.

He does not foretell. That stoic Singaporean. But he knows things. He knows for example, that after the GE, prices for everything will go up. He knows too that the State will never lift its hand to take a dominant role in the provision of welfare to its citizens. He knows that the 2% GST increase, ostensibly to help the needy, is a sham. Simply because three days previous, the State just reiterated that the failed approach to helping the needy will not change even though it is failed. He knows things. He can see sooth. But he utters nothing. That stoic Singaporean. Because he accepts his place. In society. He looks only at what is in front of him. If it is too expensive to take a feeder bus, he walks. If it is too expensive to eat in a restaurant, he eats in a coffeeshop. If it is too expensive to buy smokes, he rolls his own cigarette. If it is too expensive to buy foodstuffs, he does not marry. If married, do not have children. If it is too expensive to live, than die. That stoic Singaporean.

From cradle to grave, that stoic Singaporean takes what is given and gives back what he can give. He asks no questions. He reacts according to what the environment presents to him. Life is life. It is neither good nor bad. There are good times and there are bad. That stoic Singaporean. He takes it all. All the cards that are dealt him. He asks for nothing and utters not. Ridiculed by the children of those he put in power. Betrayed by those he put in power. He accepts these stabs without wavering. He works on and on. That stoic Singaporean. He is educated than he works than he retires and then, he dies. He lives his life and he adjusts to changes. He asks not for changes. He reacts. If there are foreigners, he competes. If he fails, he fails. If he is asked to re-train, he retrains.

That stoic Singaporean. He performs his role. He sees not the vision. He sees not his place in the cogwheel of the great Singapore Masterplan, the Singapore Dream. But he does not want to see that vision. Because he sees only what is ahead of him. He works so to be able to live. Driven only to live and not to dream. That stoic Singaporean. So valuable to the State. The priceless citizen. The great Singaporean Worker.

That stoic Singaporean. His life cut constantly, cut infinimestially. Just enough to breathe, just enough to live. Bleeding but never dried. Breaking but never broken. That priceless stoic Singaporean. Living to live and dying without a dream.

Quotes of the Day --

""O Crito, if it thus pleases the gods, thus let it be." -- Epictetus

"No, not by silence, but by being softer than a feather. Nore fragile than an egg ... This will be a different kind of war. Long and arduous. And for weapons we will use stubborn patience and infinite weakness. They will not be able to bear it." -- David Grossman, The Smile of the Lamb

15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The irony being that the gahmen thinks Singaporeans are wimps.

6:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent piece!!

7:08 AM  
Anonymous ben said...

Power. It will not have mattered if this piece was dishonest. It will not have pierce as deep if I could not see myself as sharing some of those values. It will not be as sad if I did not know friends like this whose very despair shakes your convictions about our society, our 'values'.

"but what to do?"

12:58 PM  
Blogger family man said...

Oh Man - sounds like Derek Wee. But I think this is true anywhere in the world! Good post on the ordinary man.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Rowen said...

Life is in one's hands and decisions are made due to this.

The Stotic singaporeans are like rabbits which are breeded by farmers. They know that there is a brave new world out there. They know there are great things one can accomplish out in the world.
Yet they accept the price of giving up their freedom and staying in captivity. Giving up their all unquestioningly to the farmers. See watership Down by Richard Adams. His words are more portent than mine.

George Orwells' animal farm is another good example drawing comparison of governace.

As a leader, it is essential to be generous to the community and be frugal to oneself. Sun zhong Shan and Mohd Gandi.

Just my 2 cents worth.

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The ugly truth, so beautifully written. You really struck a chord with this one.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Whispers from the heart said...

My old man died the stoic singaporean.

I was but will not be, forever.

My son will never be. I will ensure he has the power to follow his own dreams.

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nicely put.

For the uncouth me however, it's not stoic. It's the stupid/dumb/moronic Singaporean who does not fight for the alternative, or even make a stand for what he believes in.

And each year, he votes not with his heart and conscience, but with a 'kayu' and fearful judgement - thinking it might just get a litte better the next GE.

He deludes himself.

Each time he thinks someone from the other wards will vote alternatively.

And he deludes himself again.

So finally, he says 'I've had enough'. And he packs up and leave. For good.

Kaffein.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't want to depress you xenoboy, but this country of yours is the image of the man who created it.
Shrewd, nasty, and very conservative.
At the same time most of it's population is still very ignorant with an antiquated mentality, who like to be told what to do. After all Singapore is a success story in Asia and uncle lee has so far been quite good in steering it in the right direction.
So I don't agree with you. No stoicism here. Just a lot of ignorance, superficiality and love of money....

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah anonymous, conservative government increasing taxes..

10:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The pulse of the nation is slowly drained by the MIW.

Those among us who have been unplugged from the matrix can see how the MIW(Machines) are harvesting our life energies, teasing out every kilojoule from the very fibre of our being, leaving an empty husk that only subsists to feed this Machine World where the MIW rule and the rest rot.

Does the stoic Singaporean continue to take the blue pill? And do the rest of the less stoic Singaporeans take the red pill and start fighting the Machines using their own matrix against them?

The very soulessness of the MIW scares us. Do not the P65 MPs know that they have swallowed the blue pill.

Let them continue to walk in their catatonic state?

We must resist the MIW. GE2011. Never forget the brutal rape of Singaporeans by the MIW.

Screwed Singaporean
(Who knows how to aim and fire an M16)

10:19 PM  
Blogger sei-ji rakugaki said...

there is something romantically tragic of the stoic singaporean;(

12:19 AM  
Blogger nofearSingapore said...

Hi X,
All of us who chooses to remain are STOICS!
I confess! Mea culpa!

Dr. Huang the Stoic Singaporean

3:32 AM  
Blogger prettyplace said...

good post buddy....

got to agree with one of them who said singaporeans are ignorant...and just do what they do...being stoic...

but...soon...

the economic world is ruthless....MIW will never be able to stand against that machine....and in time..we will know their uselessness....

funny how so many had tried...and have failed.....
that's why i say...life is pretty....and just....soon...

8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

very romantic, very true.
Stoic, I am not; warrior, I am neither. Not for beauty that I bear, nay for gain that I resist. But to keep the soul alive and the sinews resilient.
So thus we blog and blog in the manner that is of utter defiance to the powers that be. That like the stoic, we still know and like him, we can go on doing the necessary.

4:32 AM  

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