Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Playing Fields of Aphorisms and Witticisms and Temporal Abnormalities

1) I have lots of toys in my political playing field, including toy guns, Barbie dolls, and phallic light sabres. Others have real guns, human marionettes and bullet-proof metal jackets.

I love it because my water pistols cause the metal jackets to rust.

I'm lovin' it!

2)(a) "Why should the Government do that? It is the business of any government in the world to make it difficult for the opposition, just as it is the business of any opposition to make it difficult for the government. In politics, there is no such thing as a level playing field."

Anthony Oei, "No such thing as a level playing field in politics" (Letter to The Straits Times, January 14 2006).

(b) "It really shouldn't come as a surprise that, on the one hand, I claim that something is fair and equal while, on the other hand, I also justify any high-handed tactic to uneven a playing field" (The Real Molly Meek, January 15 2006).

(c) "The ground is always level; but some people get to wear nine-inch high-heel shoes and trample on the naked toes of others'" (My, myself and Molly, 2006).

3) (a) "Suppose Dr Chee Soon Juan of the Singapore Democratic Party wins the forthcoming general election and forms the government; do you think he will make it easy for the opposition in the next election?"

Anthony Oei, "No such thing as a level playing field in politics" (Letter to The Straits Times, January 14 2006).

(b) Suppose Dr. Chee Soon Juan of the Singapore Democratic Party wins (a seat) in the forthcoming general elections, his party won't form the government.

(c) "If you claim to be democratic, then you ought to follow the principles of democratic elections and create an uneven field within the limits of these principles" (The Unborn Molly Meek III, January 2046).

4) (a) "General elections are not a vaudeville, where the more performers there are, the merrier the show. It is serious business. The type of candidates we elect can make the difference between prosperity and ruination."

Anthony Oei, "No such thing as a level playing field in politics" (Letter to The Straits Times, January 14 2006).

(b) Although (or perhaps because) the statement in 4(a) is incongruous to its context, it does sound sensible.

(c) "Indeed, the people's choices at the ballot box is serious business. For the past 40 years or so, people have voted and have borne the consequences (whether or not these are desirable) of their votes, one of which might seem to be their continuing to have the right to vote while not always having the chance to do so" (Mr. Molly Meek, April 2006).

5) (a) "[T]hose who want to topple the Government must do so on their own merits. That means they must be people of calibre who can convince the electorate that they can build a better Singapore. That was how the People's Action Party (PAP) won its first general election in May 1959 and formed the government."

Anthony Oei, "No such thing as a level playing field in politics" (Letter to The Straits Times, January 14 2006).

(b) "Success is determined by how effectively you disseminate your historical narrative" (The semi-real Molly Meek, 8 August 1958).

6) (a) "Our grandfathers will tell us that it was extremely rough then. Apart from fighting the mighty British, the PAP had other strong contenders to deal with, including the communists who wanted to create a communist Singapore, and the communalists bent on causing racial disunity. Those were days of thunder."

Anthony Oei, "No such thing as a level playing field in politics" (Letter to The Straits Times, January 14 2006).

(b) "Success is when you narrate a historical epic and make yourself the protagonist. Preferrably, you should behead all the James Joyces in the world or at least make them the loudest storytellers of your epic" (Molly the Meek, 31 April 2006).

7)(a) "The PAP won the day because it had outstanding, serious-minded and committed men and women. They produced a credible manifesto and a comprehensive socio-economic development programme which no other contenders could match. These appealed to the masses struggling for economic survival. The PAP is still in power today because it has continued to deliver the goods."

Anthony Oei, "No such thing as a level playing field in politics" (Letter to The Straits Times, January 14 2006).

(b) A old cliché goes, "Seeing is believing." The postmodernist laments, "Believing is everything so much so that disbelief would be (mis)construed as a sin" (Molly Meek, 2006). Continue to believe.

8) (a) "The present opposition parties are weak, to say the least. They don't have the candidates or the agenda that would appeal to the people. They may win a few more seats in the forthcoming general election, but that would be about all."

Anthony Oei, "No such thing as a level playing field in politics" (Letter to The Straits Times, January 14 2006).

(b) We live in an age in which the desiring self has died; implanted in zombies are synthetic desire that are conditioned reflexes.

9) (a) "Don't blame the Group Representation Constituencies and all that for the lack of contest and the opposition's failure to win general elections time and again."

(b) Then blame what?

(c) The blaming game, though a popular hobby, is a grossly overrated game. Most players don't even know how to play it.

10) (a) "In my opinion, the PAP can be toppled only when it fails to deliver the goods, and there are people qualified to take over. At the moment, the crystal ball shows a blank."

Anthony Oei, "No such thing as a level playing field in politics" (Letter to The Straits Times, January 14 2006).

(b) "But, Anthony, why do you have the idea of toppling the PAP? It's not healthy to have such thoughts" (Molly, January 15 2006).

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Forty-year-old Virgin

It appears to me that there is great deal of political masturbation going on in some parts of the world; allow me to indulge in a moment of self-generated pleasure in this piece. The usual disclaimers apply.

1. The Tapestry

The land, when compared to the virgin, is unlikely to be the motherland since virgins are very seldom mothers. We could talk, of course, about the virgins who benevolently simulate motherhood via adoption, the children of whom are born into the simulation. Perhaps the virgin's simulation is the simulation of a myth, she is borrowing from the strength of the myth.

Could we veer into the realm of adoptive motherhood when we are imagining something as woven into our consciousness as the motherland? Absent father figures and absent mother figures have been the interest of many a thinker. What about the absent center of the motherland?

The modern consciousness is doomed to a world of single parenthood, the motherland, a maternal figure who is sometimes also infused with paternalism. Yet, what happens when the mother is not a mother, but a virgin?

The "virginal motherland," to employ a paradox for the sake of convenience and efficiency, wraps the orphaned subjects it adopts with an exotic tapestry woven by her very fingers. Sometimes the virgin's needles prick her skin, but it is the blood of her adoptive children that flows. Perhaps this is the simulation of blood ties.

It appears that the virgin weaves the tapestry into the bodies of her children with the finest but strongest golden threads, decorating them with the essence of her artistry. The mother-child bonds thus forged. To forge is to make; to forge is also to fake.

The snug tapestry ensures that the errant child, if he were to run away, would have to bite away each strand of the golden bonds. If he were to do that though, the tapestry would disintegrate for he is part of the tapestry itself.

The virgin would not weep because of the loss of one child though. This is not an age of sentimentality. Her fingers would deftly repair the tapestry and restore it to its former gradeur. Rather than wash away the bloodstains of the runaway, she uses them to fabricate beautiful motifs. The residues of the actual (the runaway, the virginity of the mother) make quality fabric for the virginal mother.

2. A Runaway's Scintillating Narrative

The terror! I was taken in.

I was to give. Altruism was woven into my flesh as it dissolved my skin. Anything less than the altruistic disavowal of myself in the name of patriotism, anything less, was seditious and tantamount to the high treason committed by an outlawed Rebel.

I was to gaze. I watched the scintilating star of the north, I watched benevolence charitably dancing like a crazy horse till I turned away in tears.

I was to serve. I was a maid abused by the stories of my bliss. If I was anything less that blissful, I had to be hanged like a drug abuser.

I was to say. As the mother feeds me with pasteurized and sterilized milk for my health, there was to be feedback to, I suppose, improve the milking process. When the political roulette aims itself at me, I was to talk, to debate, to contribute. It's part of my altruism, my mission.

I watch my own performance. And I laugh. If laughter were cutting, may it cut through the tapestries of travesties.