Seditious Quote Of The Day
"To criticize a person for their race is manifestly irrational and ridiculous, but to criticize their religion, that is a right. That is a freedom. The freedom to criticize ideas, any ideas -- even if they are sincerely held beliefs -- is one of the fundamental freedoms of society. A law which attempts to say you can criticize and ridicule ideas as long as they are not religious ideas is a very peculiar law indeed."
-- Rowan Atkinson
Unfortunately, in Singapore this could constitute sedition. The phrase "classes of the population" in the Sedition Act is generally (i.e. by me) taken to mean religion and gender.
The definition is suitably hazy for a chronically paranoid government - it actually ends up saying "anything we think is seditious IS seditious, merely because we think it is seditious." I am reading a lot about Stalin and the Great Terror and its dumbfounded, innocent victims (Journey into the Whirlwind) at the moment. The act would fit nicely into such a context.
Of course me mentioning this opinion is in itself seditious because I am not attempting a change of the act through legal means, merely pointing out its faults - or benefits if you see it from the Gahmen's POV.
This is the sort of thing that got famous (a whole page of the Strait Times yesterday!) ex-blogger, now podcaster, mrbrown in trouble in his final (as he found out) column in Today a few years ago. A government offical Ms Bhavani, replied to the article in the next edition of the paper...
It is not the role of journalists or newspapers in Singapore to champion issues, or campaign for or against the Government. If a columnist presents himself as a non-political observer, while exploiting his access to the mass media to undermine the Government's standing with the electorate, then he is no longer a constructive critic, but a partisan player in politics.
Or the role of bloggers... Criticizing is illegal -- without offering a POLITICALLY LEGAL way of changing what you are complaining about, you are technically being seditious.
For example, in a comment on Indy's blog, I referred to an incident 37 years ago when a Christian Brother gave me 6 "cuts" on the hand with a leather strap even though in fact he knew I was innocent of the particular misdemeanor in question -- I was no doubt guilty of something else was his reasoning...
Catholicism and guilt. Original sin and unoriginal punishment... How many boys like me were embittered by such Joycean mistreatment?
Could that comment of mine be seen as "promoting feeling of ill-will" against the Catholic "classes of the population" - or merely against the Rev J. A. Barr, who was the bastard teacher in question?
Am I being seditious? Or libelous? Or just plain naughty?
OTHER MONKEYS SAID
I think you are being ALL three.
But if something good came from your punishment, then it was to inspire you to write this, which in turn has inspired me to start writing about the "ills" I see in Singapore...but I am not going to be seditious, I am going to offer suggestions and solutions. So I will actually be helpful ~grin~
The canary in the coalmine helps others by merely dropping dead... If only more people would emulate his worthy example.
Hey, you got off easy with a leather strap to the hand. You could have been sodomized.
Creepy: that happened to a few other boys in my school - not always the by Christian Brothers either.
Once it was a lay teacher, our science master and football coach - name of Alan J Swindler, may you rot in hell (if there was one) you filthy pederast cunt. It's OK to be gay, but to use your power and pseudo-authority as a teacher to fuck over the svelte young bodies and malleable minds of otherwise normal hetersosexual boys, and then to have the matter swept under carpet by the local Bishop... I saw the best bodies of my generation destroyed... [Vents steam...] Exterminate the brutes, I say... Otherwise, no opinion.
And hey, why wasn't *I* molested? Not pretty enough or something? Meanwhile I'm still bitching hard about those unfair 6 cuts!
If you ever wish to relive being whipped with a leather strap, my dear, you have all my numbers.
exVPS: RowR! Look mid October, keep it free.
Witnessing the current stupidity here in the United States-I think that more and more the US is trying to get its laws to reflect those of Singapore.
Witness the reactions to Sarah Palin. If you criticize her you are slime-but its OK to criticize the Obama camp somehow that's OK.
I need to get back to Asia.