Saturday, October 8, 2011

Are Singaporeans who are easily offended more equal than others?

(unpublished - Oct 1, 2011)

I follow with concern the recent hoo-hah surrounding the Abercrombie and Fitch advertisement.

I am concerned about our private and public governance pertaining to censorship and selective interpretations of what constitutes moral, decent or vulgar.

Does this episode, along with many other similar issues we have witnessed, mean that individuals and communities that are more sensitive and easily offended exert a stronger influence over government policy and industry governance?

I also observe that when it comes to issues of allegedly contentious morality or objectionable content, many of us are quick to incite accusations against corruptive western influence. This is ironic considering the wave of puritanism that has empowered some of us as prudish self-righteous trigger-happy censors did in fact originate from the West.

I plead for a more moderate coexistence of views and ideologies, populated by diverse and well-adjusted Singaporean communities.

It is vulgar in its own right that some have taken it upon themselves to determine what is good for everyone else, thus threatening the plurality many of us fight so hard to upkeep.

Coexistence and open dialogue beats complaining and having a bunker mentality that our society is headed for damnation.

There should be spaces for creative advertising and art in Singapore, as well as education and awareness of the intangible value these bring to our society.

If we can teach the values of plurality and coexistence, we are capable of raising our children as information-literate and world-savvy citizens.

How well-adjusted we are is displayed through our reactions towards what we may believe to be provocative. There is a difference between making a swift moral judgement and appreciating how content invokes one's imagination.

So do Singaporeans who are not very well-adjusted have a bigger say in things around here? When they make suggestions or protestations, are they more equal than others?

Ho Chi Sam


Gary said...

Good point.

But, isn't Singapore a society which is dominated by the will of the minority. all this while?

A huge majority cannot 'hack' it bilingually, yet we are forced-fed Mandarin and held hostage by it if we have any aspirations for higher studies.

The govt refused to allow more to train as doctors and lawyers and we ended up with a huge importation of such talents, some dubious, on our shores?

The govt opened the floodgate to cheap labour in order to help the economy but virtually ignore and neglect all the socio-economic and other downstream obnoxious consequences that the Singaporeans on the ground have to deal with, to bear with - exploitation by labour suppliers, crowded public facilities and amenities, more modern day labour ghettos, more crime, unfair competition for jobs, depressed wages, etc etc.

At one time citizens were penalised for having more than 2 children when it suited govt policy to do so, including forced sterilization. At another time, you are being told having 'three is better'! So citizen couple are expected to literally 'couple up' once more to satisfy latest govt whims and edit? Even when it seems sometimes policies are decided by somebody with a hole in his head? But it is always our problem, your fault or more precisely, we are the 'cause' of it all, NEVER the govt's. Never the govt's fault when the standard of English is low even when the competing demand of having to learn another language is clearly beyond the average students? When it feels like it the govt would think we are all supermen and supergirls, never mind if only a HANDFUL would fit the bill. If it takes trashing a thousand other human's future to find a rough diamond, it would be done. It is worth it based on the govt's abacus!

It is indeed a very sad day FOR Singaporeans when we someone who looks like a walking dehydrated mummy still taking centre stage to prognosticate, to pontificate and even attempt to stir shit between the strongest powers in the world.

You bet we are in trouble. You bet we have little standard or consistency in public policy in even little things. And it is in how well the little things are done that provides the biggest give away of a govt's calibre or it's lack of it.
Will God not save this country from our moribund national leadership?

Alan Wan said...

Frankly those people who were offended must have an obscene mind to begin with because the ad did not even display any pubic hair upon viewing at close range. Any obscenity was only imaginary to say the least.

And when compared to much more obscene ads offered by their peers who the self regulators are supposed to represent, what does this say about this bunch of of self regulators ?

Another bunch of hypocrites ?