Friday, 19 July 2013
Why I don't really care about local politics compared to what's going on overseas.
As a general rule, I do not care to follow local politics and issues. When it comes to considering whether I should follow complaints about dirty toilets, demands for more free shit and people complaining that free public transport in the morning still isn't enough - or whether I should follow a collapsing global economy, decay of the world from East to West and impending global calamity -
- I have the suspicion that a goodly number of Singaporeans are like my father, who somehow believe that if global finance and trade were to stop tomorrow, we would still be fine. Why? Because everything is so far away and out of sight. True, heaven is high and the Emperor far away, as the saying goes. But these days, the sky looks pretty damn close, and the Emperor's arm has grown ever-longer. Hey, the government kept us relatively safe and sheltered during the 1997 Asian currency crisis, didn't it? I'm sure it'll save us in the case of a dollar/financial collapse and trade coming to a total standstill, won't it?
While American cities file for bankruptcy, Europeans hang themselves at increasing rates out of sheer desperation and both China and Japan melt down financially, Singaporeans are enraged over how dirty the toilets at their favourite food courts are and demanding the government do something about it.
I'd make a joke about first world problems, but the problems I'm concerned about are happening in the first world.
Didact correctly points out that oddly enough, in a lot of ways, Singapore is considerably freer than the US. Recently, it seems that Old Barry has reasserted the right in his wonderful NDAA for indefinite detention without trial, and while Singapore has possessed that power (along with Malaysia) since the 1950s, it has been at least somewhat even-handed in exercising it, and we still don't do extra-judicial killings via drone.
Censorship of the media? Well, I'm no going to deny that there is certainly some governmental interference in what is said and not said in the Singaporean mass media. But compared to the massive self-censorship of the Western "free" media thanks to the Cathedral, one can only wonder if it's all as cracked up as it's supposed to be.
So for those who say one should keep one's house in order before going around criticising others': well, Singapore is already largely in order. Despite increasing decay of its own, what I'm looking out for is not so much the mildew (although it's fun to complain about), but the wrecking ball the neighbours are driving into our yard.