A little something something from this part of the world to build on my previous thoughts on the subject. It's always nice to be vindicated.
Seems like this fellow has got the idea. Well, at least some, if not all of it.
SINGAPORE: The Singapore Kindness Movement’s mascot, Singa the lion, has resigned.You can read the full letter off the linked article. I'll admit it actually manages to convey the weary tone of the mascot as if he'd been a real person, whether intentional or not, and the confusion as to why his long labours are fruitless in the end.
In open letter, the lion mascot that was previously the Courtesy Lion, said it was "just too tired to continue facing an increasingly angry and disagreeable society.”
Having done the job for over 30 years, Singa noted that kindness should not be a campaign, but a part of values education, adding that “people in authority - at work, in school, at home and in government - should lead by example”.
"I suppose it's time for real people to step up, and for the mascot to step aside."
I sort of pity him, really.
What's missing here, of course, is the admission that real, lasting social change has to come from the ground up and has to be in accordance with reality. The fake glue that currently holds Singaporean society together from the top-down is inherently unstable, and once the coercive force ceases to be applied - or even if the people become resistant to it - things will unravel with alarming speed, like what we're seeing now. Since the bonds between people have been dissolved and replaced with consumerism, entropy instantly sets in once things start heating up.
But to go back would be to admit they were wrong, so there's no course left but to double down on modernity and all its trappings.
Think Japan. Post-World War 2, Bushido et al was rapidly jettisoned in favour of the glorification of the worker and a culture that was all about being an economic powerhouse. Now that they've lost their economic powerhouse title, they have no more roots to return to as a people, and I don't think it's hard to argue that they're fucked up as a society.
Now that the days of double-digit GDP growth are over, we Singaporeans are at best a decade behind them socially. Our men are disillusioned with our women. Our women are contemptuous of our men, even those who are bound to defend them in a time of danger. The elderly line the streets hawing tissues and collecting recyclables to live, while the young are shut up in brainwashing prisons from infancy.
I've been noticing homeless people sleeping on discarded furniture in void decks lately. Not many, but ten years ago this sort of thing would have been unthinkable. I remember once hearing a foreign student remark on how there was a conspicuous lack of hobos in abandoned buildings and on the streets here.
And you expect this sort of society to breed civil, courteous people when most don't even know their neighbours? If I were a courtesy mascot, I'd have drunk myself to death long ago; kudos to Singa for hanging onto his pipe dream as long as he did. The more I look at what's going on out in the world, the more I'm convinced that civilisation and what we commonly know as modernity with its attendant host of problems are quite incompatible. Comfort creates cravenness creates collapse.
For real people to step up, they'd have to be real to begin with, as opposed to these degenerate caricatures we have today.
But hey, Rome's going to burn anyway, so we might as well fiddle.