Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Philosophy of Dawn Yang 101

My wife and I were talking about Dawn Yang last night. Of course most of us know who she is (roughly).

A friend told me of one Dawn Yeo (I've no idea why she's now known as Dawn Yang) about 4 years ago and she showed me what she looked like. "Quite hot", I thought to myself. I guess praise, based on individual taste, is deserved, so I said that and thought that.

Fast-forward to a few months back, Wendy Cheng of Xiaxue caused a storm (as usual) and posted somethings which made Dawn's camp irate enough to serve her some lawyer's letters.

Concurrently, there had been expose and gossip websites out there, which expose Dawn to be a lot more than meets the eye. Of course, in between, there has been a lot of mean-spirited and scathing comments hurled at Dawn.

But if the gossip and expose articles are true, it is going to be really interesting (if it already has not). There are allegations that she lies about her heritage, her cosmetic surgery and also pose as different persons under different pseudonyms, perhaps for the sake of image control.

In my conversation with my wife, we discussed if these allegations were true, our opinion of Dawn would probably contain the following terms: "gone bonkers", "mentally ill", "BDD", "mad", "crazy", "schizo", you get the psychiatric drift, but of course, we are not experts in that field.

I've come across people whose peers have labelled them as pathological liars, but to merely reduce lying to pathology is rather limiting. Perhaps they lie to maintain their morale, esteem and self-image.

After all, we are socialised into believing that lying is bad. But we could consider lying as transcending society, rather than transgressing it. Unfortunately, being imbued with deontological ethic/reasoning, we do not like lying and treat it rather seriously with punishment.

Perhaps such disgruntled persons exist in cyberspace to enact their perceived moral right(eousness) and do what they have done to Dawn, believing they could bring justice to this whole thing. We often want to see blood being drawn for people who manage to "get away with it".

The whole thing about Dawn is no longer about Dawn, but with people's obsession with Dawn and her antics. Maybe she is eccentric, or tortured, or detached from society, requiring some form of escape, yada yada psychological-reductionist schtick.

I suggested to my wife, that make she is happy to create a persona and live it, something that can be used to engage people (but of course, people are more willing to engage the creator rather than the created). I used Brian Warner and his creation of Marilyn Manson, but my wife said, "Yes, but he is in control, but I don't think Dawn is..." I cannot say much lest her camp sends me a letter.

Maybe it feels good to be part of a persona you have created for yourself, as a resistance to dominant social norms and values. Why can't we all do that? Perhaps Dawn is here to remind us that we too could have other means of expressing ourselves, but we might be too inflexible to accommodate stuff like that.

If Dawn were to claim she's natural or of mix ancestry, just play along and take it from her as it is not as if she has caused pain or harm to your person. What is the obsession with the pursuit of truth any way, when the idea of truth still remains subjective? A lot of people pursue the truth with expectations, but once you harbour expectations, you end up shaping the way you want truth to unravel.

Why can't we engage the fantasies created by others, instead of ruin it with fantasies of our own? We do not really need to be fighters of freedom or of the truth, as how we define these two terms. No one who is responsible to you is obliged to tell you what you want to hear.

I think things are compounded by the fact that Dawn appears to come from a privileged household, so that stokes the fire. The educated and lesser privileged (but still privileged enough to access the internet and argue fairly logically) are and will forever hold a grudge against those on the upper rungs of the socio-economic ladder, although the latter's position would often be a common desired destination for most.

Every time there is a witch-hunt (or something of that sort), one wonders who is the witch-hunt hunter? My gaze is usually on those who participate on the witch-hunt because they create the drama, not the "witch". I guess that is the disciplinary mechanism for society, if the government wasn't involved. That is people's way of dealing with what they think as "wrong" or "deviant".

Maybe Dawn has transcended the madness we put ourselves into, but maybe she could have transcended the sanity we are comfortable with (which explains why my wife and I think she could be of the unsound mind). In the end, drama is better than no drama for the most of us meaning-seeking creatures.

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