Monday, August 06, 2007

none people, no nation, not singapore

The flags are fluttering again. Unfurling a fabric of society, ravelling a fabrication of unity. National Day it is, a day of the nation, of its citizens as one people, one nation, one Singapore. The citizens become a collectivized imagination, riding the fires of the independence struggle, striding through the splinters of a communalist, communist past. To emerge as one people, one nation, one Singapore.

Picture from Dansong’s intriguing Moments in Heartland series

One people, like these puppets, gracing the many celebratory carnivals across the weekend. Carnivalesque manifestations of the Chinese, the Malay, the Indian/Sikh. But not the Other. Where is the Other in the CMIO category found in all our little hi-tech pink identity cards binding us as one people? Carnivalesque mimics of one people, exaggerated cutesy China doll hairbuns, ambling down the roads, A delight to one and to all. Delight at their aura of un-reality. Laughter at their comic excess of racial features. Laughter at their distance from us, from us one people.

One people consisting of the family unit, the basic building blocks of our social fabrication. One husband, one wife, two children or three or four to grab that tax carrot. To build our fabrication of one nation, one people, one Singapore. The unit is the family. The family is the building block. Not you, not the individual. The individual is an aberration. A defective gene to ruin the fabrication of Singapore. To unravel the ravelled illusion. What more two individuals who do not make a family unit, a gay couple perchance? They do not, they cannot, they must not, they shall not, exist in the fabrication of our social fabric. Their existence rends the fabric. Breaks the fabrication. Despoils the beauty imagined in the heads of the despotic fabricateurs. Despoils the nation. These are the none people. They are not one people, one nation, one Singapore.

A carnival of puppets, to represent you, me, everybody. Grotesque harmony. Unreal reality jaunting down the streets of Punggol. While there is another series of photographs representing the Other, the gay, shunted like the insane fey. See no Evil and Evil does not exist. Invisibilise the none people, and they are none. Nothing. Empty. Replace the space. with unreal faces. of puppets. of you and me and everybody, walking fearlessly along the road of Punggol to inspire a fabrication of a social fabric. One people, one nation, one Singapore.

One people always given a Choice between a Devil or a deep Red Sea. Choose a partner of a different gender, the other choice is none. Choose to accept another round of public transport fare increase, the other choice is none. Choose to accept a GST hike, the other choice is none. Choose foreign talent to sustain our economy, the other choice is none. One people or none people? So many choices, choose your choice silent voice.

Ready to roll the die in 2009? Marina, Sentosa spoilt for choice. What fabric one people? What fabric but the survival fabric. To survive in a high-rolling world, we must fold the fabric, re-fabricate the fabric, flaggellate our little flag, just a little bit. Roll the die or we die? Despoilt of choice in our little social fabrication. Walk on by, little puppets, its our National Day, one people, one nation, one Singapore.

WHAT DO YOU WANT? perhaps just a little bit more freedom, a little bit more space. WORK FOR IT. UNTIL 65 NOW. PERHAPS MORE. DON"T GROW OLD. WORK WORK. WURK WURK.

The illusion of grammar in the Singapore wordscape drummed into us since young. Neither past perfect nor present tense. Neither present perfect nor past tense. That is too simple a rule for Singapore's grammar. It is Perfect Tense: the fundamentals of Singapore cannot be threatened. The media has a responsibility to nation-building. The conservative Singaporean is not ready for _____. If you want to talk about politics, join a political party. You cannot cross the OB markers. No need to strike when we have a Tripartite union. Offer solutions not criticism. Workfare not welfare. The welfare state threatens the fundamentals of Singapore. One people, one nation, one Singapore. The Perfect Tense consists of that golden rule ______. hush hush.

One people, one nation, one Singapore. Choose your category, Chinese, Malay, Indian or .... Others? What are the Others? It is a racial categorisation. You cannot choose Other, if you think differently. You cannot choose Other if you disagree with the policies of the State. You cannot choose Other if you are gay or lesbian. You cannot choose such Others, otherwise the social fabric rips. You are Chinese, Malay, Indian or another racial Other only. To be any other Other, any other unfabricated Singaporean is not possible. You do not exist. You disappear. You are nothing. Swept under the fabric if you are lucky, smothered to death by the social fabric if the despotic fabricateurs get their way. In their eyes, you are nothing, just vermin. One people, one nation, one Singapore.

One people, one nation, one Singapore, just like them.

Or maybe none people, no nation, not Singapore. Happy national day to you too.

Addendum -- A coincidence(?) over at Molly the Pureless. Contesting nations. Consternations.

Quote of the Day -

"This is a chronicle from the planet of Auschwitz ... time there was different from what it is here on earth. Every split second ran on a different cycle of time. And the inhabitants of the planet had no names. they had neither parents nor children. They did not dress as we dress here. They were not born there nor did anyone give birth. Even their breathing were regulated by the laws of another nature. They did not live nor did they die, according to the laws of this world ..." -- K-Zetnik, testimony during the Eichmann trial


Anonymous Desmond Lim said...

Thank you for this wonderful post.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As usual, one of the most insightful bloggers in the singapore blogosphere. Thank you.

5:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One could get drunk in your writing.

6:10 AM  
Anonymous One Soul said...

Its just great, Xeno. Always delighted to read your posts. Refreshing, entertaining, educational, insightful and intriguing. Please keep them coming.

Just one thing, One People, One Nation, One Singapore, what about?

One PAP, One Dynasty, One Empire?

Happy National Day!

10:02 AM  
Anonymous Molly said...

Are the figures meant to be used for/together with figures we see in the seventh-month rituals?

5:22 PM  
Blogger visceral said...

Not all paper figures can be thrown into the fire

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Nailed it again!

Excellent piece.

Take conscription for example. Our choices are:

1) Enlist
2) Go detention barracks for 3 years (ala Jehovah Witness)
3) Emigrate (before 11 or 13 when your passport expiry gets shortened and you need exit permit)

Majullah Singapura indeed.

Lunatic Fringe

1:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey !
Nice to see someone daring to write this in this none nation :D
Keep it up !

2:30 AM  
Anonymous trich said...

This is absolutely great writing. Happie National Day to you. :P

3:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only happy thing about ND is I don't have to work.

4:30 AM  
Blogger visceral said...

It is all too easy to mistake a fief for a kingdom

7:27 PM  
Blogger Mr Man said...

you are stupid

11:56 PM  
Blogger dansong said...

when the fireworks went off today, I recalled the words and called out in my mind: "O Zarathustra, don't crack your whip so frightfully! After all, you know that noise murders thought ..."

happy 'n'-day, xenoboy

7:39 AM  
Anonymous "Ghost" said...

So awesome I want to pee in my shorts.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Edwin said...

With people like you, there is still hope. Make this your dream home.

Here are 2 quotes back:

"Singaporeans must dare to dream!"


"The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle."

A Hougang resident. :)

8:58 AM  
Blogger Singapore said...

Hi, in an interview conducted by SG Review with Goh Meng Seng, he made special mention of this blog. Feel free to link the interview on your blog!

7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does xenoboy still blog?

4:14 PM  
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10:54 PM  

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