Friday, February 22, 2008

The rhetoric of the Youth Olympics

I don't normally make two posts in one day. This is neither an indicator of the amount of free time I have on my hands.

Singapore have won the bid for the Youth Olympics in 2010.

It can on the last day of Chinese New Year, the day the $10 million dollar Toto draw was announced and the day I got a miserable queue number (8000+ out of 10,000) for my HDB bi-monthly application for a flat. (well, if I got a good queue number, I'll be celebrating as hard as the people at the Padang, and I will believe that dreams do come true in Singapore. I'm just a bit sore and sour at the moment.)

One blogger has already greeted it with cynism.
http://utopia8787.blogspot.com/2008/02/youth-olympics.html

Now, here comes more rhetoric. The "small size" rhetoric. The "heart/pride of Southeast Asia rhetoric". The "anything can happen in Singapore"/"dreams can come true in Singapore" rhetoric. When you spend lots of money on something at the national scale, there's bound to be a lot of rhetoric to divert attention away from it.

I was thinking I should start a content analysis of the mainstream media and see how the rhetoric was built up, and how the agenda was set. Maybe I can do something about it and write a paper on it.
Do Singaporeans really care, or even know or want to know about this games bid?
What about news of recession, high cost of living and all that? Is this merely a distraction? Hopefully I can get the paper done by June and share my findings here.

3 comments:

george said...

The propaganda has become self serving in the sense that they need to pat themselves on the back. Also, they need to fill the pages of the state's times with the right stuff!

You are right, probably 90% of the population is indifferent to the whole 'achievement'.

Sam Ho said...

well, i don't exactly see it as propaganda (yet), but rather want to ask a different set of questions.

i'm very intrigued by the rhetoric:
1) small size
2) young (asian) nation
3) cultural, religious and ethnic diversity
4) first world(-liness)

the media do play a large part in rallying and mobilising singaporeans to feeling a certain way about certain things.

think about the use of pragmatism rhetoric:
1) "let's be pragmatic and leave it as it is"
2) "let's be pragmatic and choose option A"

or for that matter, size:
1) "we are small, so we are not ready"
2) "we may be small, but we are ready"

Ah Tiong said...

2010 Youth Olympics..

simi lan lai? eh sai jia bo???