What happens when the social divide in Singapore reaches a tipping point

January 13, 2018

It’s a bit like climate change. We talk as if the social divide in Singapore is far ahead of us in the distant future. If you care to observe very few leaders and even journalist speak about this subject with a presentist mindset that even suggest it is a clear and present problem and that has to be a form of denial. But I am not so sure about that…as it could already be well on top of Singapore.

You know in Japan there’s this social phenomenon known as ‘grass eating’ or herbivore man – it’s the idea where men no longer show any interest in girls. Now you ask what has this got to do with tipping point in Singapore!

I say a lot. Because this herbivore man phenomenon is actually what can happen when traditional roles are broken down by economic seismic shifts – when we speak about social divide, what we are actually talking about is the same thing…economic seismic shifts…like the whole idea how the rich get richer and poor can only get poorer. Or the idea where socieity is divided between have’s and have not’s…which in turn can only exacerbate the divide into sub divisions of schools of thoughts and states of minds.

Now you need to understand, it’s not as if there is some kind of Will Smith, I am legend virus that is transforming red blooded Japanese men into grass eating men…it might appear so on the surface at least. Because herbivore men tend to be genderless…they don’t like to go out into the sun…they take immaculate care of their skin…they take exceptional pride in the way they dress and carry themselves. But and it’s a very big but….but they don’t want to get involved with girls. I mean they don’t mind being their friends…but it seems fucking is not on their menu.

This is where Singapore will ultimately go when the divide sharpens…and I referring to not only the social, but economic, cultural along with intellectual divide. Because at the crux of the whole herbivore man phenomenon is idea that men cannot be men any longer without a social economic structure or symmetry. This counter culture is not specific to Japan. In fact research has been done on rats that show the same thing…I can’t remember what study it is, but I know it’s called the elegant and beautiful ones…as all the rats that survived at the end were really an embodiment of the herbivore man culture…that is to say. As a man I cannot earn enough to buy a house, get married or even buy insurance or set up an endowment plan for my kids to go to university….and this is the perceptive shift or tipping point….BUT…again it’s a very big but…but I can control my hair with very affordable cream or whatever young people style their hair with these days…I can well afford to dress like a hipster and make a fashion statement…etc etc. These things I can do well!

So when we speak about what is at the end of the road when it comes to a social economic divide…it’s essentially about people who dare and do not dare to dream. People who don’t dare to dream, don’t make long term plans…you can’t speak to them about the whole idea of intercepting the future today, because that indirectly involves the idea of financial emancipation that can only come from having hope for a better tomorrow…the problem with the beautiful ones…the herbivore man…like that experimental community rats that eventually died out is not that they don’t want to dream…the tragedy is it’s too painful to dream i.e Why bother dreaming when it will never come true.

So when we see the social divide in Singapore thru this vantage that I,ve constructed…it’s much more than what the Politicians say it is…and it’s a much serious problem than just whether you go to ACS or a neighborhood school or whether your parents can afford to pay for your monthly SingTel broadband bill or you have make do with surfing the net in the library….my point is it’s not a divide as it is the idea of living in parallel universes, where it is conceivable we may all live in one country, but because the opportunities and more inmportantly the means to make sense of reality is not homogenous nor is it common…we might actually be living in one of many Singapore’s within Singapore.

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