22 May 2008

The unnatural afterlife of the Section 377A debate

In August last year, Prof Douglas Sanders was banned from giving a public lecture in Singapore about anti-gay laws throughout former British colonies. This week, he is here, giving the exact same talk at the National University of Singapore. Full essay.


HanSolo said...

Hi, I agree that the government is being hypocritical on this law.

But your sentence:

"All because some lonely gay men knew no other way of finding a moment of intimacy."

just reinforces people's perceptions (be they right or wrong) that gays are sex-crazed.

After all, they want it so desperately that they are prepared to have sex with strangers in a park!

Anonymous said...

Dear Alex - very interesting indeed, I was laughing my butt off on "rapped by MDA", and on the last para of you article where you conclude that banning simply doesnt work anymore, even on this level. Brilliant!

Similarly, the whole world is now watching this movie "A Nation Under Lee" on youtube after a particular political party tried to screen it as a "private function", and as expected promptly the MDA comes and walks away with the DVD (yes really, no joke). My guess is that that they carefully planned this foreseeable sequence of events... I would have never known about this movie, and although I personally find it not too interesting, great that everyone can see it on the internet.

Cencorship in the year 2008 in a wired nation is just laughable. Anything you censor, people want to see it. Its like a ****** qualification as "must be interesting to see lor!"

COincidently, on ST online just now I read under the headline "Online comments welcomed but line drawn at religious, racial-sensitive issues"..: "He (Vivian B.) explained that thanks to new media, governments no longer have a MONOPOLY on information, and cannot simply decide and act AS THEY PREVIOULSY COULD." (Emphasis by me)

So something might change in the long run...


yuen said...

so the government flip-flops a bit on a touchy issue; how many people are still paying attention today?

I doubt it actually cares that much about the content of the lecture, more about how allowing the talk might affect political temperature; something that might have raised the temperature then may have little impact today

Yawning Bread Sampler said...

Yuen -

The govt didn't flip flop. It's just that nobody asked them for permission this time. My point is not whether this was a good decision or bad decision but how things in this world carry on in their own way with no decision required.

Wisdom (which this govt is terribly short of) would tell you don't go around slamming doors shut when the room has no walls. You only end up looking silly.

Anonymous said...

Not to forget our beloved Ms Ellen DeGeneres who has been responding to gay related current events in her show of late. Such as calling for tolerance and acceptance of LGBT people following the murder of 14-year-old Larry King and Hillary Clinton talking about her parents being close friends with an middle-aged/elderly gay male couple who were their neighbours and the disrcimination they faced because of laws that didn't protect them as a couple. All this censored by Ch 5...

Anonymous said...

The reason why Channel 5 ratings has dropped is simple cos the majority of us TV addicts have gone online here in Singapore to watch the latest episode of TV series from the States.

For those who do not know, you can watch CBS live in Singapore if you download from tvunetworks.com. It was even much better way back in 2006 when all 4 networks were available ABC, NBC & Fox. Due to lawsuits from the TV networks against TVU in late 2006 and early 2007, the channels were discontinued. Strangely, CBS is still there and LIVE.

Also, mainland Chinese students based in USA have been very busy over the last 2 years downloading the latest American TV series from US networks websites onto China's main video sharing sites: tudou.com. 56.com, youku.com. These sites are then aggregated by enterprising Europeans notably 2 aggregators: surfthechannel.com & alluc.org. China is immune to lawsuits from the American TV networks & the motion picture association of america. Even Iron Man, the latest movie, is available for viewing for the last 2 weeks.

So you see, TV addicts have been having the most enjoyable time ever. Channel 5, is a distant memory.