Firstly, sorry for the lack of posts. I’ve been absorbed in Skyrim. But then again, I only have 2 followers on the blog so I didn’t really hurt anybody. Hohoho. Anyway, to the post.
In the last week or so, I’ve had my other half, my other half’s dad, and my own dad telling me it’s not really advisable to talk and post about sensitive topics online, and that I may not fully understand the consequences of posting such stuff on the Internet. My dad cited the dangers of me being misquoted, having what I say taken out of context, being sued for what I talk about amongst others. Take Alex Au ( of Yawning Bread) for example.
So I’ve been thinking about that quite a bit the past week, mostly asking myself a question posed by my other half: “Why do you post?” And so this post is really just about my thought processes as I considered the question this past week. And when I say thought processes, I mean the following is an actual conversation I had with myself inside my head.
Firstly, I know I’d like to practice writing and expressing my thoughts.
Considering my dismal grades for General Paper(GP) in JC, I thought this would be a good way to exercise that writing, researching and arguing. I always have a lot of thoughts regarding politics, religion and life in general as I read both online and offline, but that’s all they remain, thoughts. For the past few years I’ve been living with them in my head and contented myself with just having them. But I found I couldn’t really argue them out properly when put into a debate with classmates/friends etc. So this is actually just my way of practising expressing them, so I don’t seem like an blabbering idiot if someone actually talks to me about it.
But then again, this answer isn’t really satisfactory because I could have just kept a private blog, or wrote this in a notebook, why do I post stuff online and actually like to have people reading it? And honestly, I don’t have an answer for this. I actually asked myself if this is just some ego boost I get when I see people actually read my blog, and maybe it’s partly so, although I wouldn’t call it ego. I mean, I like having debates with people, and I actually look forward to people commenting and talking about these issues (although the number of comments are quite sparse), but I don’t go around thinking “Hoho look at me being smart and writing about politics and stuff”. So I don’t think it’s ego.
So… An interest for debate?
Probably so, I do like talking about such stuff, and posting online allows me to talk about it to more people.
But is my love for arguing so strong that I’d ignore the possible consequences of getting sued, or into trouble with school? Not really.
So why post?
Most probably because I hate this culture of fear in Singapore, where everything I want to say has to be said with the shadow of a lawsuit (or a talk with my school Principal, if my school ever finds this) over my head. I hate that everybody knows this climate of fear is wrong, and yet accept it, and go along by censoring their own thoughts. Previously, when I said I dislike the PAP, people didn’t go “why?”, they went “shh”. And I really don’t like how people think we can’t talk about such matters at all.
Yes, we should have to watch what we say, because the reputations can be ruined by false assertions or slanderous statements. One shouldn’t be able to say “Oh this MP once murdered a dog” or “Oh that MP is a werewolf” because those are false. But people should understand that if I say I think the ministers are grossly overpaid, even with the recent pay-cut, I shouldn’t get into trouble for having such an opinion. There’s nothing wrong with an opinion.
So maybe my posting is just this, an act of defiance, if you want to call it that. Yes, I’m scared I’ll receive a lawyer’s letter one day, I’m scared people will threaten my family and/or I, I have absolutely no idea what can happen to my posts after I put them out. But I refuse to relegate my thoughts, and that of other people who (-hopefully will start to-) comment and debate on this blog, to the recesses of a private blog or diary because of this fear.
I guess I just want people to know that it’s not wrong to have an opinion that goes against that of the Government. It’s not wrong to voice out, provided what you say aren’t baseless accusations.
As the header on my blog says: “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.” I read this quote in a book about corruption, and to me, it’s a calling. This blog is my way of supporting this freedom we enjoy, it’s my way of making sense of reality living in a country which, as a “benevolent authoritarian” state, is as confusing as it can be. And through this, I hope that maybe, just maybe, more like me will start talking too.