Saturday, May 02, 2009

To hope till Hope creates

The story began when a group of parochialists, under the cloak of noblesse, stole an organisation. Disguised, stealthy, hidden, were hearts of misplaced religious zeal. An ilk of the self righteous. In power, they were proud, arrogant, aloof. With almost casual disregard to the organisation's history, traditions and heritage, they began work by dismantling years of work, building illusory walls, reconstructing the organisation into a prideful image of their narrow religious visions.
'
"Have you come here to play Jesus. To the lepers in your head"

Than the voices spoke. Voices that refused silence. The truly pure and radiant hearts. First, the pioneers who built the organisation from nothing. Then, the marginalised who felt most threatened. Then you. Then me. And finally everybody. Old Guard, LGBT, bloggers, netizens, muslims, buddhists, christians, Singaporeans. The voices rejected the temptation of silence, rejected the opium of de-consciousness. They voices spoke to reclaim a precious space in secular society. To decry this robbery of a common space. An imaginary space undoubtedly, but real, tangible enough to unite all these different voices. To reject an organisation based on principles of exclusion, on a basis of hurt, from creating boundaries in this common space.

"And I can't be holding on to what you got, when all you got is hurt."

At the Town Hall meeting, the last chance. One by one by one they stood up. Testimony. Witness. Transmission. One story after another. Different stories but one common line. No. We will not shut up. No. We will not sit down. No. We will not accept injustice. The stories piled up, one after another. I am a teacher .. I am a Muslim .. I am a Christian .. I am gay .. I am a Singaporean .. I am a woman .. all different, but all one.

"We're one but we're not the same, so we get to carry each other, carry other"

How they smashed themselves against the walled stony silence, carrying each other, caring for each other. And the parochialists were stunned. Their legal counsel was stunned. Their crafty ploy to stay in power even in the face of no confidence crumbled. Their arrogant faith shaken, their cowardice exposed, their small hearts revealed to all to see. For all to judge. For all to despise. And ultimately, for all to feel sorry. And for all to forgive them.

"Too late tonight, to drag the past out into the light. We're one, but we're not the same. We get to carry each other, carry each other."

And so the different stories, spoken with truly pure and radiant hearts, put an end to this injustice. Restored the meaning of democracy. Recovered a space common to all, open to all. And so the different stories ended this story which began so iniquitously when a group of parochialists, under the cloak of noblesse, stole an organisation.

But we must not forget. We must continue telling this story as testimony, as witness, as transmission so that another iniquitous story cannot be allowed to begin. This is the debt we are obliged to return, for the stories that ended this iniquitous story today.

"And to hope, till Hope creates, from its wreck the thing it contemplates"

V

Quote of the Day --

'To suffer woes that Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy Power, which seems omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;
Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent;
This . . . is to be good,
great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory.'

-- Percy Bysshe Shelley, Prometheus Unbound

13 Comments:

Anonymous passerby said...

nicely written!

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great comment! For once the nuisance that is called civil society has saved Singapore from both the jihadists from the caves of Margaret Drive as well as from the guards at the Whitley detention centre.

Alas Singapore's political culture filters down to civil society in a rather amazing way with not just self proclaimed mentors, and highly paid mirco-managing middle managers who are helpless without the script (or scripture), silent audiences bused into elections. But, there is also the firmly held belief in the secular space, one that adheres more to Singapore pledge penned by Rajaratnam rather than the spectre of racial and religious riots conjured by the one and only minister mentor.

Kai Khiun

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some really good writing here, lucky you writing for the Old Guard heh.

9:32 PM  
Blogger thats me in the corner said...

great writing.

and apt choice of U2's One.

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

delicious piece of writing. keep us salivating with more of your yummy opinions...

11:35 PM  
Anonymous wheregotfree said...

moment of reflection.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Regular Reader said...

Simply beautiful! Irresistible!

Please write more often. Thanks.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The story continues!

1:56 AM  
OpenID sprachvoll said...

Dear Xeno Boy,

Thanks very much for your interesting blog. It's always nice to see how people on the other side of the globe live, how they share the same joys and sorrows, what they do in their free time, etc.

I actually have a question about your blog. Would you mind helping us with a linguistic research project? We're compiling data from various Singaporean weblogs. All it requires is checking a few boxes. If you want to take part and/or have more questions, drop me a note ( hack2301@uni-trier.de RE: Question ) so that I can then send you the 'official' project eMail. We'd really appreciate your help.

Thanks very much in advance!
Best regards,
- Fran

6:01 AM  
Blogger Carol Soon said...

Dear Xeno Boy,

Let me first apologise for leaving my request on your comments page, as I couldn't reach you through any other way. I am a PhD candidate from the Communications and New Media programme at the National University of Singapore, and my research examines blogging and collective action. "A Xeno Boy in Sg" came up in my sampling process and I am writing to you to seek your valued participation in a survey.

WHAT is this study about?
Without saying too much to bias your responses, my study concerns bloggers' online usage, their social networks and their participation/non-participation in activism. Whether you have participated or have not participated in any activism activity, your responses will be vital in helping me gather empirical evidence on blogging and its effects.

WHY should you help?
There has been much talk in the media and in the parliament on the rise of blogging and online discourse. But do blogging really impact civic participation? How does it do so? Your responses to the simple survey will go a long way in contributing to the nascent field of research on blogging in Singapore.

HOW can you help?
The survey involves easy-to-answer questions (e.g. Yes/No, ratings of “1” to “5”) and will take only about 20 minutes of your time. Based on your preference, I can conduct the survey via email (or any other ways you prefer). Just send me an email and I will forward you the survey form.

Please help!
Bearing in mind the potential difficulties in getting an adequate sample for such a study, I would like to stress that every single participation counts. In addition, this study has been approved by the NUS Ethical Review Committee. You have my complete assurance that all your responses will be kept strictly confidential and your identity anonymous.

Do visit http://www.fas.nus.edu.sg/cnm/research%20students/2006_grad_carol.htm for a brief write-up of my profile (please cut and paste if the link doesn't work). Being a student with no funding support, I am bearing all research costs and appealing to your goodwill (and hopefully curiosity?) to take part in this study.

I look forward to hearing positively from you soon. Thank you for reading this and giving my request your due consideration.

Best regards,

Carol Soon
Emails: wtsoon@nus.edu.sg and carol_soon@yahoo.com.sg)

12:21 AM  
Blogger confused said...

no more updates? Nice writings but I am still a bit confused...

10:17 PM  
Anonymous mode said...

Would have been most wonderful to read your insights on GE 2011, but what a pity.

3:04 AM  
Blogger SingaporeMemoryProject said...

Dear Sir,

On behalf of the National Library Board (NLB), we would like to invite you to pledge your blog to the Singapore Memory Project as part of efforts to collect memories that are already manifested in existing online channels.

The Singapore Memory Project (SMP) is a national initiative to collect, preserve and provide access to Singapore’s knowledge materials. Spearheaded by NLB, the SMP aims to build a national collection of content in diverse formats (including print, audio and video), to preserve them in digital form, and make them available for discovery and research.

By pledging your blog to SMP, you are affirming that every memory matters. Whether your posts are an account of your daily life, or an expression of your thoughts, the SMP hopes to find a home for your memories so that it can help build towards an understanding of Singapore. You will also receive a badge that you can display on your blog in recognition of your contributions.

Contributors to this blog pledging initiative will be listed on Singapore Memory portal’s blog pledging webpage. All blogs pledged to SMP will archived using NLB’s web harvesting software, in addition to images of each blog’s landing page.

If you are keen to pledge your blog to SMP, simply fill up our response form at this following URL: http://singaporememory.simulation.com.sg/Public/Pledge.

You may find out more about this initiative at http://www.iremember.sg/?page_id=2822.

We are looking forward to your contribution.

Simulation Software & Technology (S2T) Pte Ltd
583 Orchard Road #14-02 Forum The Shopping Mall S(238884), Singapore
|w: www.simulation.com.sg

12:04 AM  

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