The perils of living in a society obsessed by money – cheaping at it’s best

April 21, 2012

Man is a very strange creature, we look down on prostitutes and despise their lack of moral turpitude. Yet we all search out for coconut fresh cheebai’s at $400 and a bit per pop (with those prices, I am even considering dressing up my trees in mini skirts. If only I could figure out how to sell it those 44 itchy monkeys). That’s to say, by virtue of our unmitigated urges, we end up creating the very industry with the type of sex workers that we usually regard as sub humans. Some people don’t seem to have any hang up’s about going to prostitutes – to them variety is probably the spice of life. This I can understand, as who the hell in their right frame of mind can keep on eating roti prata for breakfast – from time to time, its only natural for our taste buds (along with other unmentionable body parts) to crave for other things, which may be fresher and younger than what we usually have to put with. But it is only when we are conscious of how many of the benign decisions we make daily can actually affect people and planet that we can begin to say ourselves – “hang on. This ain’t right.” Making the connection is particularly difficult in a society that is really just interested in chasing money 24/7 or trying to reduce everything into money and cents terms – there is nothing wrong with pursuing this idea to its logical end in order to be more efficient and productive. Only when everything goes through this sort of reductionism – then what will invariably happen is life will just become binary. We are all either for sale or we are stupid not to sell the things that others wish to buy from us, connected or switch off, functional or dysfunctional, with you or against you – the reason why this usually occurs is because when you ascribe money to anything valuable and honorable. Then it can only lose its intrinsic value. This is why this whole idea of paying ministers in Singapore salaries pegged to the private sector along with creamy bonuses can only lead to a terminal cheapening of the whole idea of public services. And that may well account for why the ruling hegemony finds it so difficult these days to connect with an increasingly cynical public. As since the whole idea of public service in Singapore is NOW equatable with the private sector – it simply means the electorate can only come to see the government of the day as a service provider. Not so different from a food court manager who is responsible for the proper day to day running of an operations to provide diners with meals on the go. The problem is you can’t run a country like a food court – and the only way to do this is to recruit the entire public to do so. But how can this level of sacrifice be successfully solicited when leaders themselves dont seem to be sacrificing anything without insisting that they should be paid private sector rates just to do their job. Now you understand why a sort of leaching called cheapening occurs. This time to the whole idea of government’s and why they will continue to bleed credibility along with cultural authority in the eyes of the public.

The same sort of cheapening occurs – when governments become so mesmerized with the whole idea of privatization. Bear in mind, I do not have anything against privatization per se. I happen to believe it is the next fab thing since sliced bread. ONLY I don’t believe certain public services can possibly be privatized without making a bloody fool out of government along with cheapening itself in the eyes of the public. As when lets say trains are privatized, then what happens is the electorate senses that governments are moving further and further away from them – instead of ministers being stewards they are now relegated to a role that’s slightly higher than a glorified postman or mata-mata. Where when it comes to trains, it seems, they can always deflect blame to the service provider while always managing to absolve themselves of all responsibility and in certain cases knowledge to take a meatier role. This accounts for why so many these days are confused about the whole idea of governments – and what they are actually supposed to do.

When we transpose this idea of how things and people are regularly cheapened whenever money comes into the picture – it’s not too difficult to make out why, it’s so hard for us these days to hold on to the idea of REAL VALUE. Since everything is up for sale or should be put up for sale, it simply means everything has a price. Not only coconut young and fresh cheebai’s – even lucrative IT contracts can be bought with cheebai’s – we are living in an age where nothing is sacred anymore. We don’t really feel the need to draw connections with what we think, do and regularly say and how this or that might affect or end up creating either dystopia or a living hell for others – why should we, after all in a society where only money matters and very little else – we could probably just pay for someone to think on our behalf – and there you have it, in the palm of your hands why increasingly whenever we socialize with our friends or go out. We are all slowly being assaulted by that, “this can’t be happening in Singapore,” sensation. But if we remain mindful of the corrosive effects of money and what it can do to us – then and only then can we begin to exercise control over our actions, words and thoughts so that we don’t end up making the empire of bones in a place called Singapore.”

Darkness 2012


“A wise farmer is always mindful of never cheapening himself and others with money – if for instance, boys come to his plantation seeking for odd jobs during the school holidays – he will never give these kiddies money. They wouldn’t even see it – instead he will make it a point to only give it to the Uztaz who is the headmaster and custodian of the youths. If the headman or any of the villagers render the farmer any form of assistance. Again he may not use money to pay them, but instead pay in kind with tokens of gifts of the equivalent value. As he knows that whenever money features, people can get greedy and the wise farmer is always mindful of not tempting others – and the reason is simple, if you pay a man $5.00 for just loading two bags of fertilizer into the back of your car. He will probably say to him, “see how that big landowner looks down on me – I am just worth $5 to him!” But if you see him the next time and give him a quarter of pur err tea, then the man will probably make a pot of tea and sit down and that person can only say, “he is such a considerate man as I really do not deserve this for doing so little.” The same sternness regarding money applies whenever the farmer deals with tribesmen – he never ever gives them money for the game that they deliver to his kitchen servants as he knows bootleggers will be first to sell them mind bending liquor, so the farmer gives them farm implements and at times even provisions but never ever money – as in the tribal customs, money is never as strong a cement as relationship.

That is why if you want to impress a girl. You should never use the power of money to try to impress her – if you do this, then you will probably get that girl. But the chances are she will probably marry you for all the wrong reasons. So this is how a man loses out by attracting cobra’s instead of decent women – but who is to blame for all this? If you are blowing a flute in a reed field and cobra’s appear left, right and center – then who is to blame? This is what happens whenever money crops up, usually people get sidetracked, they lose their focus or worst still the focused blurs and gets focused again on the wrong thing. The only way to get the right girl is to be very honest with her and to tell her, you are saving up money to go into business, that is why you cannot even take her out to Long John Silver for a combo meal. There is no shame to it. But please don’t expect her to pay. You can always have option No.2, that is to cook for her. Now please understand based on extensive field experiments, 90% of the women will probably drop off the radar when you share this with them – but for the dearly unfortunate or very fortunate 10% who decide to remain and even ask, “tell me what sort of business you are planning to go into.” There is a real opportunity to find lasting friendship and a life partner. Cast your eye on the valuable and never allow money to cheapen you or others.”

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