I am Xenoboy. I am the Political Savant.
The fact that the Government is reviewing the PEA and factoring how to cope with political blogs is anticipated. In the last GE, it was the issue of political websites. The last review of the PEA caused the demise of Sintercom and severely circumscribed Think Centre. It is politically necessary and comes not as a surprise. It is a challenge and it must be faced.
The Channel News Asia article on the implications of political blogs in the coming GE is an exercise in poor journalism and perspectival contradiction. It spends half the time articulating that political blogs in Singapore are worthless and the other half talking about how the Government is figuring to restrict worthless political blogs.
Even more ironically, PM Lee in his Budget speech talks about empowering Singaporeans with a state-of-the-art broadband network with high connection speeds to keep abreast of world developments while simultaneously enacting regimes to restrict "local" content. What is the use of high speed broadband? Play WoW? Watch pornography?
Catherine Lim is clearly the most intuitive local political watcher. In a recent article, she commented that Government and people are engaged in a stylised dance. The affective gap between government and people is widening into a state of resigned despair. Both sides go through their motions. Just like how NUSSU negotiated with NUS administration in a rational way and results in an empty failure. And the disaffection widens.
A more consultative and open Government is equated as spending more time justifying policies. Whereas in the past, policies are jammed straight down people's throats, nowadays, it is rhetorically lubricated by the new and dynamic young Ministers. Think Casino.
The world has moved. The Government sees it. The people know it. My first experience reading a foreign newspaper coincided with my first trip abroad. Today, its no longer like that. The Government sees it. The people know it. But still the policy of depoliticisation is enforced as strongly as before.
Why fake it rather than face it? The average Singaporean today is much more politically aware than during the 70s, 80s and 90s. Singaporeans who leave are not quitters just as Singaporeans who stay are not fighters. More often than not, Singaporeans who leave are those who realised that there is nothing to fight for here and more importantly, they do not see the need to fight because there is no SIEGE. Why fake it rather than face it? Those who left are the paradoxically, the most politically aware, because they exercised the only political right remaining to them : leave.
The lost leafs.
I had mentioned previously, during an election period, there is an intensification of politics, creating a environment of unpredictability. Creating a chance for change. In Walter Benjamin's words, it is a monad, a moment pregnant with potentialities to rub history/reality against its grain.
But at the same time, it is during this period that we perceive the stark reality of the political system we are enmeshed in. For at a time when politics and change potential is at its zenith, our efficient system enacts regulatory measures of massive de-politicisation, de-political morphine hand-delivered by the mass media into our minds, into our hearts. And it hurts. This is a forgetting that hurts. An episteme of amnesia.
And we go through another four years of existence before the next period of potentiality arrives. A stylised tragic dance of a pantomime artist and his invisible audience, his invisible world.
To my readers. This political blog will not close. Just as my literary blog will not close. Because I see no reason why I as a Singaporean should close it. No reason why I should be de-politicised. No reason why I should forget.
Quotes of the Day --
"What then is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms -- in short, a sum of human relations, which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished poetically and rhetorically, and which after long use seem firm, canonical, and obligatory to a people: truths are illusions about which one has forgotten that is what they are; metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power; coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins." -- Friedrich Nietzsche, "On Truth And Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense"
"Truth.-- No one now dies of fatal truths: there are too many antidotes to them." -- Friedrich Nietzsche, "Human, all too Human"