Inflation? Do the math and you're really not so worse off. ERP? But there is your car, a dream Corolla, gleaming at the parking lot. What wants remain unfulfilled, how far the subsistence line when three billion dollars were pumped out to you and to me? Read the numbers, do your sums, what wants have not been met? The numbers don't lie, your mind tricks you. So the rally goes. Boring deep in our heads. Awaking our rational conscience, changing our minds, seeding change through a reinstatement of status quo, reinstating the state. The stubborn Singaporean, too greedy perhaps? Expectations maybe, just maybe a little too high? Forgetting the benevolence of the king? The ground shifts, the position changes, the angles are re-configured and dreams of a rainbow Singapore re-surface. First class education. Another brick in the wall.
A sensible seduction, a re-dressed opening up. Pushing the infamous "boundaries". Opening up, blooming, hundreds of flowers ... wait, a wrong memory, another rally, another time, the same message. Collapsing memory, collapsed rallies. Push the boundaries, when only You can see it while they remain always invisible, amorphous, sinously sinister to us, the un-productive citizens. Push the boundaries, but where are these spectres, these lines, these conditions, when only You can will their appearance, wield that axe that makes us yield?
Opening up? More freedom in cyberspace! More politics in cyberspace! Freedom during election time! Seductively re-dressed as opening up, as liberalisation. When it is already free. When it is already was. What opening up when it already exists? How to open this space when it was always already open, in spite of, despite of the porous legal barricades erected to ring-fence it?
Engage you. Engage me. Engage ad nauseum. Renege. Engage. Renege. Renege. Renege.
When all you have to do is listen. Forget engage. Listen. Listen to the voices in cyberspace. Listen hard in your facebooks, youtubes, flickrs, blogspots, wordpress. Listen to that sound, vaguely familar? Listen to all that text, all those pixels and you may remember a Singapore that has gone underground. Recall a vibrancy, a hope, a future, a discourse, long extinct in physical Singapore. Listen, forget engage, forget rally, forget speaking. Listen to this raucous slipstream, this digital babel of wired Singapore and you may re-discover the continuities of Singapore past, present and future.
The rally speech, an annual discursive masterpiece, piping us like little children merrily to wonderland. A textual orchestra of sensible cadence, reasonable rhythm, looping and re-looping like that hypnotic techno riff that is re-mastered, re-assembled, re-presented as new music this year, next year and next and the year after next. A rally like last year's rally, like last year, and last year and the year before last and that last year.
Inflation. Babies. Angbaos. FT. Economy. Opening up. New Media. Inspiration. Success story #1, #2 ... Economy, economy.
Our minds, conditioned again. A condition of nervous anticipation. We smell something in the air. Hint of change. Something different. Conditioning our senses, always expectant, always dissonant. Conditioning our anxieties, always compliant, always reliant.
A terminal prelapsarian loop in an event horizon imagined as Pax Singaporeana.
Quote of the Day –
“The Hinkypunk is a strange will-o’-wisp which stands on a single leg and consists of evanescent whorls of smoke. The Hinkypunk supposedly hops around with a lantern, which the creature uses to lure anyone walking nearby to fall in a ditch, stumble into a bog, and so on. While this creature may sound somewhat preposterous, genetic science has come up with a plausible explanation for its existence: The Hinkypunk could be a swarm of bacteria in a puddle of bog water. When this colony grows to a certain size, it can give off a flash of light to confuse any innocent passerby.” – The Science of Harry Potter, Roger Highfield