08 October 2006

When hip hop is scary

Twelve members of parliament, in an attempt to shed the stuffy, authoritarian image of the People's Action Party and "connect" with younger voters, are going to do a little hip hop dancing next February during the Chingay Parade. It sends shudders down my spine. Full essay.


Anonymous said...

Most political historians will tell the reader, that entertaining the crowds with side shows, gladiators fighting with lions, chingay shows with dancing puppets, and all other crowd pleasing shows, are carefully orchestrated by governments to sidetrack the people from main political issues that loom within a country. The ruling force throws the people entertainment, while the slide of hand continues on the side.
Political History is a wonderful. It often repeats itself.

gamabunta said...

it was a brave decision to admit your mistake and withdraw sylvia's satirical article, good fun though it was to read. integrity 100%!

Anonymous said...

The word 'cockamanie' was certainly justified; I can't imagine the Ruling Party becoming so withdrawn into believing superficial acts of entertainment will give them continued mandate.

This reminds me of a quote uppermost in my mind: Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change.

~Robert F. Kennedy, 1966 speech

Maqua' said...

I just read your article.
Singapore is going to have 12 grown Asian men, young PAP members, doing hip hop for a parade?
I apologize, but that is the most ridiculous idea I have ever heard of.
If the govt wants 'to attempt to ditch its stuffy, authoritarian image, and connect better with younger voters', it would serve them better with forums, and changes in the rule of law and constitution of the govt.
This is an insult to the intelligence of the young people of Singapore.
Who comes up with these loony ideas where 12 MPs are going to dance hip hop?
I apologize, but whoever made this decision, is totally 'out of touch with the real world'.
I am embarrassed for the young Singaporeans who I think have the brains to see thru' this ridicule.

Anonymous said...

To gamabunta -
'it was a brave decision to admit your mistake and withdraw sylvia's satirical article...'
What do u mean 'a brave decision'?
The Blogger doesn't have to apologize for anything. I can't believe u wrote this 'gamabunta'//
You would think YB had to 'commit harakiri n slit his throat at the same time'??? This is the 21 Century we are living in.
Unbelievable????...and what is wrong with a satire?
Singaporeans don't understand the previous article?
Geez... let me bring in my idiot savant brother. He is better at this than me.

Anonymous said...

I don't believe what I am even reading? Are the power people 'regressing' or making fun of the young Singaporeans?
It's just like having the school prefects putting on clown suits, and dancing to the school kids while the school management team look on, smiling n clapping. Major problem of idiocy here. Sorry!
all those in favor of this sad state of affairs don't have much of a brain,they and the school management really 'deserve each other'.

Anonymous said...

Please! It's absolutely untrue Singaporeans don't get satire but such articles need to be on a site like Talkingcock -- not serious websites like YB or mainstream newspapers like TODAY. *Tsk

boon said...

to anon 14:53:

nothing wrong with a satire, but that article was poorly written.

And yet again, YB (yes I know it's a guest article, but he's the editor) tries too hard to link topical issues to their gay rights movement.

This one on groupthink is much better.

Anonymous said...

At least MM Lee's generation was brutally honest as much as they were honestly brutal. As the pioneers of Hip hop, Public Enemy once said: Don't believe the hype!

Anonymous said...

"Yet, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said a number of times that he does not want yes-men in his party. He has said that PAP MPs are free to voice alternative, even dissenting opinions and that the party is big enough to accommodate them. This claim is usually made to buttress the argument that Singaporeans do not need to vote for opposition parties for alternative voices to be heard."

Ok, I don't just want an alternative voice anymore. I want an alternative vote. Abolish the party whip. What? A nominally anonymous coward on the net can dream, right?

YB, your website, your call. I hope your friend will find another site more amenable to her style of writing. Or she could start her own! May I throw in a good word for the Wordpress template?

Anonymous said...

just like in the movie xiao hai bu ben 2 where jack neo tries unsuccessfully to connect with his son by using words like lame and whatever.

Nihilist said...

I do not know what would be a more appropriate term - delusional, or escapist - to describe the current move. After all, given what the MSM has said about Taiwan's apolitical youths, it should be quite clear even to a general audience that the solution lies more in delivering its promises of opening up, or to empower the youths, rather than to tune to their (supposed) frequency and tell them, hey y'all, we're actually the same man! Let's connect!

On an unrelated note, to the anonymous person responding to gamabunta:

1)I cannot see where in gamabunta's comments were the implications that YawningBread should make a public apology, bid farewell to his close friends and commit suicide as a final act of penance.

2)There is nothing inherently wrong with satire. Though one might draw a parallel between the deleted article and the Mr Brown incident, there is an important distinction: For as far as I have been reading Yawning Bread, at least, the style and the editorial policies seems to suggest to me that of an informed and objective criticism of social and political issues. Satire might or might not be a good way of delivering the message in this manner; the decision is left to the author to decide.

The real problem was that by resorting to name-calling, the credibility of the article is affected, as well as, possibly, other articles by Alex himself, regardless of whether it was satirical or not. This was why I posted a comment in that article, hoping it was just an editorial oversight. If anything, satire generally do not have to depend on name-calling for potency.

Anonymous said...

It looks like Sg politicians are starting to imitate their Philippine counterparts who are famous for turning their campaign rallies into entertainment shows.

Anonymous said...

The government is 'out of touch' with singaporeans, and here is the result- 12 govt PAP men all agreeing to do...of all things- Hip Hop.
What happened to communications between the government and its people?
Has it come to this now?

Anonymous said...

Is Dr Vivian B going to do hip hop too?

Anonymous said...

Singapore has hip hop? I didn't know that.

recruit ong said...

I watched the news footage. Truly a freak show. None of them seem to be enjoying it, so stiff and uber cringe.. and those MPs interviewed didn't sound convincing themselves.

Snoopdowg said...

to Nihilist'scomment:
'I cannot see where in gamabunta's comments were the implications that YawningBread should make a public apology, bid farewell to his close friends and commit suicide as a final act of penance.'
YB does not have to apologize for anything.' gamabunta' used the phrase 'brave decision', and I used my analogy 'harakiri' of what a brave decision should amount to...
I hope u get the drift?

To YB's message on the side bar, of 'great embarrassment'/
YB, this is your site, and you do not have to apologize to anyone.
If u feel u have to, I am disappointed in you.

Really, let's put everything in perspective. It is not like someone murdered another, got caught, and now has to say "I sorry!'
Have we become a nation of "sorrys and great embarrassment'now?

Snoopdowg said...

These two music video hip hop clips are fine examples of what real American Black music culture is all about.



Singapore's own musical talent should evolve from its own individual culture. That would be 'shiok'.
Maybe we can learn all learn from Hip Hop?

Baker's Dozen said...

Alex - you are giving the 13th man (or woman) too much credit for being the Judas. It could simply be due to the fact that there is no place for this person. For hip hop, you need a partner. So, only even number will do. They could always persuade a pre-1965er to take part, but 14 isn't quite as handy as 12. Let the dirty dozen trot their stuff.

Anonymous said...

to be blunt, the p65 is plain clueless about being 'hip and happening'.

well, being cool is not:

1. to agree with your master to do something when the idea is already dumb to begin with.

2. to be dishonest to your true self and then justified the act with a weak case when faced with criticisms.

3. to 'claim' the idea actually came from a third party - chairman of a particular organisation, when you had not only taken up the offer but had also arranged for media publicity.

4. to take up a lucrative court case and help your master silent dissent by bankrupting them.

5. to dress down and start doning brighter colours other than the typical black, blue, grey or all white.

6. about evading political questions in your blogs because the latter is YOUR business and the reason why you are being elected to office. you DO have the obligations to fulfil the expectation.

Kris said...

Being a P65 myself, I really don't see how hip-hopping and pseudo-blogging is going to help them in their cause in any way.

It is more practical to find out what matters to the youth of today, what they are concerned about, communicate with them and treat them with respect, instead of talking down to and patronising them!

Anonymous said...

Read all of the comments.

Singapore Govt is OUT OF TOUCH with young Singaporeans.
The govt must think we are truly stupid, by getting their 'yes men' to perform a hip hop sketch.
I am sure it will be acrowd pleaser for those in their 8oes, who would think the Chingay show next year is funny and odd.

lmt said...

It could be worse --

they could have choosen to do a multi-cultural racial harmony dance.

*cough cough*

Anonymous said...

This hip-hip thinggy will truly help connect the PAP with the post 65ers. This group of Singaporeans must all be undying fans of high American culture. If only they'd include "gangsta rap" and breakdancing then everybody would be covered and the next election would be sown up by Christmas.

The braniac who thought this up should also include the older members of the PAP. Maybe they can perform disco dancing with the regulatory pelvic thrusts on the same stage as their hip and happening younger colleagues. I am confident that this would truly connect with Singaporeans and guarantee a landslide election victory come voting time.

Meanwhile, I am going to blow my head off from the sheer embarassment of it all.

Now where is that 12-gauge, pump action shotgun when you need it?

Well I guess I'll just have to look for that barf bag and puke violently into it from the very thought of all these strait-laced politicians hip-hopping, gyrating and boogeying their way into Singaporean hearts.

Chin Low Kwee.

Anonymous said...

Hey but this is the next best thing to do if they really do not have any substance.

But then, it's better if they had done nothing at all if that's the case.

Anonymous said...

It will be reported as a great sucess and youth connected well with the MP Thanks to the HipHop stunt.
If you toe the line, Any one can be a editor in ST.

Paul said...


"Gauche" has made my day.

It may mean "left" in French, but in this case, it's so...right.

Many thanks,


Anonymous said...

Reading this article is embarrassing to me, a Singaporean living abroad.
I do not know who is more stupid here? The govt? or its people?
To have 12 MPs dancing hip hop?
Frankly, I have never heard of such imbecile behavior?
One would think that an exchange of dialog between the young generations of Singaporeans and the ruling elite would bring forward some changes, but to present young Singaporeans with 12 hip hopping MPs is an insult to our intelligence.

Anonymous said...

There are only 12 faces in the P65 blog too.

So is there a 13th P65 MP?

Anonymous said...

What happened to forums and discussions of what the young singaporeans want- you know? a laundry list of suggestions for improvement?
This scenerio of 12 MP dancing is funny, silly n serves no purpose.