24 Sep 2003

HARDtalk - CAN'Ttalk


Well I am not one who usually likes to gloat. But I think I will make an exception this time.

If you have access to cable or satallite TV. You have got to watch HARDtalk with Tim Sebastian and Goh Can't-talk Tong, (Prime minister of Singabloodypore). The local papers in Singabloodypore are saying that he did well in putting himself through such a tough grilling. My thoughts on the matter are that the squirming of the PM highlights the pathetic journalism that takes place here in Singabloodypore. The PM has never been questioned by a local journalist in such a manner and therefore has very weak debating skills.

The interview almost became a farce with the PM, having to begin answers repeatedly with, "That's not a problem." A means of gaining a few seconds to contemplate and rebound from the shock of being asked questions on the 'out-of-bounds' topics.

The programme aired yesterday by the BBC should be a wake-up call to local journalists. Local journalism has for too long been hand-in-hand with the PAP. Out of fear and a general lack of real passion, published journalism in Singabloodypore is a joke.

Singabloodypore's journalists usually publish every burp and expulsion of wind emitted by the PM and other dynastic leaders.

Where are the detailed point-by-point regurgitations that usually follow from the local media? The PM looks bad as a result of this interview. But even more concerning, so does Singabloodyporean journalism.

18 Sep 2003

State Censorship, Channeling and Self-Censorship in Singapore


Well I have decided to undertake a little research project of my own. Assuming I can find the time I intend to study how Singaporeans write on the net. This will involve reading a lot of blogs by Singaporeans and pouring through them to see signs of self-censorship. It will involve categorizing the many blogs by Singaporeans into various categories. The ones I am primarily concerned with are those that may from time to time contain political ranting or be about issues that are 'out of bounds' in the PAP sense, whatever the hell they mean by that.

The title above refers to censorship, which on my part will involve collecting the names and addresses of sites that are banned in Singapore and making them public. Also assessing whether they are banned because of sexual or political content. Are bans on sexually orientated websites being used as a smoke screen for a crack-down on political sites or increased monitoring of website activity by Singaporeans?

Now channeling is not such a commonly known means of control. To put it simply, it will be an attempt to uncover the mechanisms that the government employs to ensure that debates or 'out of bounds ' issues are not discussed. An example of this type of 'discussion-suppression' could be the use of laws in order to suppress dissent. In the more concrete sphere of every day life this would involve applying for a permit to hold a rally or demonstration, or applying to the police to speak at 'speakers corner'.

The final stage will be the long trawl through blogs by Singaporeans at home or abroad.

As you can probably tell the initial phase will be a long and arduous search of many different websites, trying to get the magic ‘Access Denied’ to appear. As they do I will place the address on the links section of this site. So first port of call MDA Singapore.

11 Sep 2003

The slaves of money - and our rebellion


A rather extreme take on globalisation and the current world trade negotiations...enjoy the old rhetoric of Marxism and Communism. It really always seems to undermine the entire arguement but it is extremely easy to understand.

Subcomandante Marcos
Thursday September 11, 2003
The Guardian

Brothers and sisters of Mexico and the world, who are gathered in Cancun in a mobilisation against neo-liberalism, greetings from the men, women, children and elderly of the Zapatista National Liberation Army. It is an honour for us that, amid your meetings, agreements and mobilisations, you have found time and place to hear our words.

The world movement against the globalisation of death and destruction is experiencing one of its brightest moments in Cancun today. Not far from where you are meeting, a handful of slaves to money are negotiating the ways and means of continuing the crime of globalisation.

The difference between them and all of us is not in the pockets of one or the other, although their pockets overflow with money while ours overflow with hope.

No, the difference is not in the wallet, but in the heart. You and we have in our hearts a future to build. They only have the past which they want to repeat eternally. We have hope. They have death. We have liberty. They want to enslave us.

This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that the people who think themselves the owners of the planet have had to hide behind high walls and their pathetic security forces in order to put their plans in place.

As if at war, the high command of the multinational army that wants to conquer the world in the only way possible, that is to say, to destroy it, meets behind a system of security that is as large as their fear.

Before, the powerful met behind the backs of the world to scheme their future wars and displacements. Today they have to do it in front of thousands in Cancun and millions around the world.

That is what this is all about. It is war. A war against humanity. The globalisation of those who are above us is nothing more than a global machine that feeds on blood and defecates in dollars.

In the complex equation that turns death into money, there is a group of humans who command a very low price in the global slaughterhouse. We are the indigenous, the young, the women, the children, the elderly, the homosexuals, the migrants, all those who are different. That is to say, the immense majority of humanity.

This is a world war of the powerful who want to turn the planet into a private club that reserves the right to refuse admission. The exclusive luxury zone where they meet is a microcosm of their project for the planet, a complex of hotels, restaurants, and recreation zones protected by armies and police forces.

All of us are given the option of being inside this zone, but only as servants. Or we can remain outside of the world, outside life. But we have no reason to obey and accept this choice between living as servants or dying. We can build a new path, one where living means life with dignity and freedom. To build this alternative is possible and necessary. It is necessary because on it depends the future of humanity.

This future is up for grabs in every corner of each of the five continents. This alternative is possible because around the world people know that liberty is a word which is often used as an excuse for cynicism.

Brothers and sisters, there is dissent over the projects of globalisation all over the world. Those above, who globalise conformism, cynicism, stupidity, war, destruction and death. And those below who globalise rebellion, hope, creativity, intelligence, imagination, life, memory and the construction of a world that we can all fit in, a world with democracy, liberty and justice.

We hope the death train of the World Trade Organisation will be derailed in Cancun and everywhere else.

· Subcomandante Marcos is the leading voice of the Zapatista movement, which fights for the rights of Mexico's 10 million indigenous people. This is the transcript of a message - Marcos's first international communiqué for four years - delivered on Wednesday to the anti-globalisation conference taking place alongside the WTO global trade negotiations in Cancun