Mr Miyagi pissed that he didn’t qualify as an infantile blogger
The Infantile Blogosphere
After reading the comments left over the last few days I have re-read the article and it appears to me that Singapore hasn’t changed.
Yes I am aware of some very mature blogs written by anonymous bloggers, to name just two, the likes of Wannabe Lawyer, Singapore Commentator stand out but go read the likes of MrBrown, Xiaxue and other certain blogs that shall not be named, and it is full of infantile concerns or pulling silly faces.
I am planning on doing research into Singaporean attitudes on certain contemporary issues and I am starting to think that because of the high readership of the two blogs mentioned above, and the very small number of ‘mature’ blogs that my source of data is definitely skewed towards ‘infantilism’. So there is the possibilty that the ‘infantile’ label is simply my bias. I am aware of this ‘bias’, but currently have little empirical data to refute it.
Please point me towards blogs that are not infantile and currently do not appear on my Singapore Blog list.
Freedom blog award winner and senior lecturer in Sociology, Steven E. McDermott of Singabloodypore, took a critical stab at the Singapore’s blogosphere which he deemed as being made up of infantile (i.e. immature) bloggers. He argued that most blogs in Singapore appeared similar to that of popular bloggers Xiaxue and Mr Brown, which were “infantile”.
While he did note that there were matured Singaporean bloggers who directly engaged civic interests, he feared that the lack of interest in the more “serious matters” in majority of the Singapore blogs reaffirmed his earlier article on the “Happy-face fascism” in Singapore. The idea of Singaporeans obsessed with having childish fun was what Steven deemed as deluding Singaporeans into thinking that everything in their country was in good shape, when it was actually fraught with significant issues that needed to be immediately addressed.
Regardless of Steven’s self-crucifying mission, almost the entire Singapore blogosphere came crashing on Steven for his “shock-and-awe tactics”. Yi Fan made a valid statement by explaining how Steve had misunderstood the satirical atmosphere that is being portrayed in blogs and the powerful effect they result in. In effect Yi Fan justified the reason behind this appearance of infantilism to anyone critically analyzing Singapore blogs.
Expat@Large gave a sound counter-argument in which he explained how “there [were] not the number/ratio of political blogs about Singapore like those are exploding throughout the US, so Steve just happens to stand out”.
My official take
My views hinge around these points which I’m glad were made by fellow Singaporeans. In effect, I don’t think Steven failed in his mission… in fact he should be pleased to know through such comments that Singaporeans can be seen as having a deeper than visible understanding of how the media and political eco-system works. Combine this with their technical prowess in the art of blogging, Singaporean bloggers can be quite a formidable force (e.g. tomorrow.sg). Steven does stand out unfortunately, and we should commend him for taking this foolish yet strong stand in reawakening our senses to take responsibility for our lives, and our country.
Having personally started blogging from the United States, I can safely agree that the political representation in the US blogosphere literally runs by the thousands, much more than in Singapore, and in fact anywhere else. Perhaps this is a natural thing as the blogging scene in the US has had more time to mature than in Singapore. Blogging is still pretty young in Singapore, so I’d say just give it time.
In the mean time, where do we go from here?
How can Singaporeans be assured of a better tomorrow?
Emmy award winning TV host Jon Steward of The Daily Show can teach us a thing or two; he’s best at political satire. We should increase our responsibility to local issues, but my advice is not to force it out of yourself. Humor can be a powerful thing because in a way, we are “keeping it real”. It’s not realistic to preach your opinions directly onto others, as people won’t want to listen to harsh news. Instead, we need to bring it to the audience in the way they’d want it, cool and collected (e.g. MTV’s Choose or Lose young voters’ campaign).
Finally, I believe for bloggers to make political commentary work, they need to sell what they say and convince the people in a polite fashion. Only do the “McDermott” when you really have no choice.