January 13, 2010
I chanced upon an episode of blogTV.sg last week, and found myself seriously harrumphing at the notion that the recent Singapore Idol final result had”polarised” the nation. Puh-lease, a few loud and insistent internet voices do not by any stretch represent majority opinion in Singapore.
Anyone who’s participated in forums for a length of time will realise that internet very often distorts rather than illuminates what people out there are thinking. The thing is, more attention is given to those taking provocative extreme positions. And the media of course are quick to latch on to these “polar” views — makes for better TV or news. They conveniently don’t ask if these people represent the fringe rather than the majority. Which is probably why I’m really sceptical of the veracity of stuff I see, hear and read in the media these days. And you should be too!
May 1, 2009
If you live in Singapore, you can’t help but read about the ruckus going on in AWARE over a leadership “takeover” by members who just recently joined the organisation, voted in by other members who also just joined the organisation within the last few months. Following on from that, we had accusations, counter-accusations, resignations, termination of staff, etc. In short, the kind of drama we don’t often see in Singapore, spiced up by the addition of elements like religion and gay issues.
My main thought is for AWARE. How will it affect the organisation to have leaders who were motivated to contest not because they were passionate about women’s issues, rights for the downtrodden, justice for the abused, but because they were against what they saw as the promotion of homosexuality in certain AWARE activities and programmes? Given their driving motivation, can they summon up the commitment and doggedness to stand up for more day-to-day issues, for standing up for women who are in need of people to speak up for them?
My other thought is that this is not reflecting well on Christians. What happened to loving your neighbour, to humility, to having an attitude of serving from the heart – key elements of Jesus’ teaching? The way that the leadership change was effected and the subsequent actions smack instead of arrogance, and something approaching contempt, perhaps even hatred, for homosexuality and homosexuals. That’s sad, because the Jesus I know from the bible stood with the outcasts in Jewish society – the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the lepers. He showed love, and drew these people closer to God, and farther from sin, by doing so.
This move on the part of these church members may represent something I’ve been noticing — an increasing discomfort with liberalism within the Christian church itself. Seems to me that this kind of reaction is at least driven in part by fear. But why the need for such fear? Why feel threatened that children will be influenced or contaminated by homosexuality being labelled a neutral word? Why fear that the gay lifestyle will be increasingly regarded as normal, that gays will have recognised rights? Surely, the only fear Christians should have is fear of God?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Sometimes it’s easier to believe in God, and to love God, than to be a member of a church. The drawing of lines in the sand, with “us” on one side and “them” on the other, simply does not feel right to me. I don’t hear Jesus calling us to be God’s police force. In fact, he cautioned against judging others before looking at the faults in ourselves. And he showed it in his actions — when he was asked whether a prostitute should be punished, he challenged those without sin to cast the first stone.
July 19, 2008
A scifi short story I read a long time ago keeps intruding into my mind recently. Basically, the story explores the idea that we human beings are part of an experiment by aliens, who are curious to see how we adapt to this planet, and to changes here.
How would it change our view of ourselves if we knew our reason for existence is to be, in essence, lab rats? That, instead of being observers of the world around us, we are the observed? That our actions are being recorded, analysed, categorised according to some alien view of the world? We’d be appalled, right?
Yet, that’s what we do to other cultures and nations. We go their countries and label them and their lifestyles based on our own value systems. And we do the same to people who are not of the same race as us, or who are different in some way from us. It seems natural to us to measure others according to some personal mental yardstick we’ve constructed over the years, and to identify with our group (‘us’), and to classify others as ‘them’. Doesn’t hold out much hope that we’d ever live in a cooperative, conflict-free world.
Am I right? Or am I too pessimistic?
June 12, 2008
My thought for the day — if you’ve read some of my other posts where I mention my thought of the day, you’ll know that my thoughts usually involve questions about things which interest me.
I was looking at the stats for this blog this morning, and you know what? “Jaymes Foster” has featured as a search term leading readers here for the last week or so (because her name is mentioned in the RCA piece on Clay Aiken’s ‘On My Way Here’ I posted some time ago). Not a bad thing in the case of this blog, of course, since the search leads straight to info on Clay’s CD.
But it led me to thinking about the popular fascination with celebrity lives. It’s like we expect their real lives to be available to us 24/7. Remember The Truman Show, anyone? What does that say about our culture? And about the ability of the public to be discerning when it comes to the media? Are we content to see a situation where to satisfy this demand, the media is sensationalising ‘news’, sacrificing editorial integrity and vigilance in quite a few cases? These questions are running around in my head at the moment, together with lots of half-formed thoughts.
I shall probably have more to say after I think about this some more, because this is another area I’ve always been enthusiastic about — how we deal with the images presented to us, and how we relate to the media.