The Latest Singaporean Past time, Let’s Schadenfreude! – Part 2

August 20, 2010

(To increase the font size of this essay – hold down the Ctrl key and keep pressing +) Yes, I know, YOG is just unlovable. But have you really wondered what actually lies behind this wave of schadenfreuding YOG?

How true is the assertion? – most people are simply peeved off by the games – as YOG and the PAP is seen as one of the same reality? Or does it have something to do with how so many people seem to perceive (real or imagined) an open contradiction between how the government doesn’t seem to have any problems spending on YOG; but when it comes to bread and butter issues; they just can’t seem to find the same enthusiasm to do the same? I wonder why?

This question of what really lies behind this mood of schadenfreude is devilishly hard to pin down –because as we begin to peel away the layers of consciousness; what we immediately begin to discover is this subject comes enmeshed with so many other facets of the love & hate relationship that many of us have with Singapore that it’s almost impossible to single out one dominant cause as the main reason why most of us can’t seem to love YOG.

At one level, it’s conceivable, much of the negative public reaction towards YOG  stems partly from our own fears and anxieties concerning the whole idea of authenticity or the lack of it.

In this topsy turvy account you may probably be asking yourself what the fuck does this all have to do with authenticity Darkness!

Well just bear with me – while I try to explain further.

Now consider this: we share alot with roaches – as time and again, the government via the apparatus of mass assimilation ST and Mediacorpse regularly crop spray us with ever more inventive concoctions to engineer our consent – the truth is most of what they regularly use of us has long past it’s sell by date, it no longer works, it fools nobody – as after a while, we just develop immunity to the endlessly bouts of spin doctoring. And that’s true of special effects, pyrotechnics, double speak, contrived reality et al – like roaches we learn to deal with this surreal reality by wordsmithing our own manifesto for the disillusioned – we develop special powers to filter out the hype and spin along with probably developing really nifty skills like learning, how to read between the lines – my point is up to a certain threshold; we will all rebel against a system that attempts to supplant our version of reality with theirs on the higher ground of consciousness.

This sort of conflict is inevitable; it was bound to happen sooner or later.

That’s one reason why every attempt by the state to blur the lines between real and fake invariably fails – as what it actually provokes is the opposite reaction that forces many of us to cling to what’s real with more enthusiasm than ever before.

Wonder no more why despite the endless surreal projection of theme park contrived reality of YOG pumped out by both ST and Mediacorpse; many of us are responding in equal measure by reasserting our own version of reality to challenge the spin doctors in earnest.

This countereaction may well take the form of featuring Youtube clips of Fandi Ahmad belting goal after goal as the lead striker of Singapore or some other homily sugary narrative that we keep replaying in our mind’s eye.

My point is what we may be witnessing here is a genuine craving for depth and  real experiences. And not the chemically enhanced surreal reality that is so often forwarded in the kitsch version of a la YOGland. Most netizens especially don’t want anything whatsoever to do with the branded reality that is so often served up by both ST and mediacorpse –  they know it’s fake – they know it taste like McDonald’s cardboard chicken – and most already realize, its not real.

IMHO what really undergrids this crie de couer is the simple feeling, the sense that my life and much of the life around me is no longer ‘real.’ That leads one to ask: what does it mean to be “real,” and why should so many netizens even we care about it so much, that they are trying to reclaim back their version of what it means to be passionate about something?

The answer to that question may well suggest – people are genuinely anxious that their sense of who they are and where they’re heading may be slowly frittering away like camphor to the atmosphere – worst they live in perpetual fear their sense of authenticity is somehow slipping from them giving way to a new dystopian nightmarish world controlled by the spins doctors in ST and Mediacorpse – that it’s silently been co-opted and vatted away.

What’s beginning to emerge for me: when I sink deeper and deeper down this rabbit’s hole to search for the underlying reasons accounting for this mood of schadenfreude is the realization – much of our fears and anxieties that we feel towards YOG has a lot to do with power and politics. And more importantly how it relates to our definition of who were are and where are we heading?

My point is it’s just conceivable the roots of this new demand for authenticity lie snuggly somewhere between the no man’s land of fear and fascination – the former relates to our innate fear that reality itself is up for sale to the highest bidder. And the other is the tragic realization we can’t do anything about it, not when the actors of this anti-thesis happen to media giants like ST and Mediacorpse.

Yes, I understand. I understand you completely Singapore.

Darkness 2010 – The Brotherhood

“There is no right or wrong way to play Desafilnado Dotty – just as there is no right or wrong way to make a Magarita. Someone lied to you and you bought into into his version of the lie….that’s why you have so much trouble trying to make out the shapes and forms in your head…you’re trying to fit a square peg into a round hole….let me tell you that person sold you a lie – and right now, you are somewhere in that lie playing snakes & ladders – and if you go on like this you will end up in a big knot. And I will have to sent you home in an ambulance. You don’t believe me! Then just see how I stretch the F major in one straight line like a rubberband till it snaps. Like so… do you explain that? My point is this -talking about structure in Jazz, is like talking about snakes in Scotland – the thing doesn’t exist Dotty!…you just go by gut feel…..cha..cha…cha..cha..cha…chiaroscuro…so there will always be a lot of room for improvisation in Jazz. All you need is a melody in your head and you’re good to go.

There is no need to get all red like a lobster just because you can’t seem to find the line – let me tell you a secret Dotty. There is no line….you just go by feel and make it all up, as you go along….I can’t tell you what is real Jazz, you need to feel it….take my hand, hold on to my hips and hold this tight..I want you to feel it past right through you and let it come through the other side..just go with the flow..don’t fight it….I will guide you through the keys….it doesn’t get realer than this…..once you reach the other side, you never ever want to go back again.”

Darkness 2009

A Conversation.



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