Trawling tomorrow.sg is like my way of remaining connected to the 'real' Singapore.
As I scan through and read the posts, I'll start to plug-in to the real world angst and misery that my fellow citizens put up with on a daily basis. After a while you'll get a general impression that the actions of rude Permanent Residents, offensive Singaporeans, perceived personal slights and unjust behaviour of People in Power (i.e. corporate Singapore, government, etc.) takes up a lot of our cerebral processes. We sound like really angry people.
For the record, I do read xiaxue.blogspot.com. I get a real kick out of reading her blogs. Its so bad, its actually quite good. I am an apologist by nature, so pardon me if I defend the attention seeking tart. But xiaxue has succeeded in carving out a niche for herself as a shock (schlock?)/celebrity blogger. Her online persona is her brand. The cost is that for better or for worse, I can never take her seriously. Its a choice that xiaxue's going to have to live with for the rest of her life.
Sometimes I ask myself, why do Singaporeans whine so much? Is Life really that bad?
Are we blind to the fact that Singaporeans today enjoy the highest levels of healthcare, one of the world's most admired social security networks, easy and readily accessible education and training centres in South East Asia. A committed, cohesive government. Not to mention, a GDP per capita which is on par with some European cities.
Singapore's problems aren't life threatening. Our neighbours don't threaten with missile strikes or rail against us. They are envious of our wealth and good fortune however, but in general, we're not that bad. Most of our real problems are caused by affluence - rising cost of living, unequal distribution of wealth, falling birth rates, etc.
So where's the beef, Singaporean? Or is it all bull?
Maybe Singaporeans whine so much is because in general we're disappointed with the way life turned out for us. And so we fixate on our problems so much so that all we see are our miseries.
Perhaps, we're a society so addicted to stimuli, we nitpick and tear ourselves and others apart for a problem to solve, some dilemma to resolve.
I would like to think that the overall noise we get in blogs, media and newspaper is a sign of people actively seeking channels of communication. The real signal is that Singaporean bloggers represent the people who want to talk but want to do it without attracting too much real-world attention to ourselves. (If we entertain or approach random strangers and talk about this or that problem, they would probably think you mad or at least delusional; but its ok online cause really, you read it cos you wanted to.)
Whenever Singaporeans such as myself 'blog', we're actually throwing a carefully crafted and opinionated message in a bottle in the hopes of reaching the ears of some distant and faraway reader. That's the intention - what the message is, and the form it takes is dependent on the writer's taste, preferences and indulgences. Thus, we get two extremes in blog posts - high quality, well crafted posts from erudite, mature bloggers (which are kinda hard to appreciate, and even harder to find) and big shock, high entertainment value, mass market oriented, attention seeking harlots.
Which leads me to believe that Singaporeans are in fact lonely people with too much time. You write because you are bored and that you want to communicate but no one's listening at 3 am in the morning. When viewed as such, for all our wealth and good fortune, we're actually quite sad. Next time you read xiaxue, or find some revolting piece of blogging material, see past the anger and bile and rage and recognize the fact that its just someone in a lot of pain.