Friday, 12 February 2010

1Republic/1Nation

Whatever brickbats come One Republic's way, I can't deny that a number of their songs are the bomb. Lately though, there seem to be a One Republic song for any occasion, never mind if the lyrics might suggest something else.

Occasions such as our country's political turmoil, and the silencing of the masses, even those that are appealing for reason. And unless a blogger makes a career of sticking it to the government (you know who you are), it's unfair to hang him or her out to dry over several postings that "might disrupt public order".

While I'm prone to tut-tutting at the antics of our Generation Z, there's a small part of me (that will disappear when I turn 35) that still has something to say.

Hello world, hope you're listening
Forgive me if I’m young, for speaking out of turn


I don't criticise for fun, and I don't think many of us do that. If an injustice is the result of possibly questionable, less-than-transparent machinations of a corporation, political party or government, speaking out against it is perhaps the least damaging thing we can do. To criminalise responsible dissent for the sake of a few fragile egos is damn irresponsible, and the kinds of messages that sends flies in the face of all we have been taught all these years.

A generation struggling to know themselves and find their place in this world shouldn't be bogged down by these ethno-religious games these old-timers are playing. After all, how much currency does colour and creed really carry nowadays? Being more white or less black doesn't make one less of an idiot when one's stupidity is in full flower.

There’s someone I’ve been missing
I think that they could be, the better half of me...


So a high-ranking Malayan commie is still loose. So there was a race-related riot in that summer of '69. For me, it's water under the bridge. My concerns: racial and religious extremism; the economy; global pandemics; the climate; and an increasingly unstable, and perhaps violent world that's becoming less friendly, and less human.

We may be obliged to inherit certain things from our forefathers, but for myself, I would rather not inherit their emotional baggage. Not when it keeps me from living my life and fulfilling my dreams.

It speaks a lot of our civilisation when there are leaders who burnish their credentials by teaching its flock to fear and hate The Other, simply because of who they are. Worst of all, is how some of them are getting away with it - as if they have someone's tacit support.

It's no different back home, where our elders appear to be digging their heels with regards to politics, governance and administration, too obsessed with numbers to care about the rabid ideologues poisoning our straining socio-economic fabric.

What of the young, who have to inherit, grow up in, and cope with such a toxic environment? How will their dreams take root and grow?

...I get lost in the beauty of everything I see
The world ain’t as half as bad as they paint it to be


But I see some hope in the way Perak turned out. If the Opposition is serious about working with the ruling state government for the state's sake, and if the government reciprocates, perhaps old dogs can learn new tricks, as they might say. Who knows? A new brand of politics to replace the old might be born out of what many see as an unfair judgement, if it all turns out right...

...If all the sons, if all the daughters stopped to take it in
Well hopefully the hate subsides and the love can begin...


I'm also encouraged by the show of support for Daphne Ling with regards to this case. Why should charity be kept within one's communal or religious circle? And what better way to break down barriers than to disregard them and just reach out to help a fellow human being?

It might start now... Well, maybe I’m just dreaming out loud...

It must be a relief for everyone that whole communities didn't go berserk when houses of worship were attacked. However, we've been treated with the sight of the extremist fringe's collective assholery - perfect examples of the kind of leadership we don't want. The kind of leadership I don't want.

Who wants your special privileges, your sacred spaces and your tax-payer-sponsored hand-outs? If this is what you've become after 30-plus years of that, I'm not sure I would want them, either. As if they would save you from flu pandemics, recessions and climate change.

So hear this now, Come home, come home
Cause I’ve been waiting for you for so long, for so long


So stop this nonsense. This country is bigger than "us", than "The Other". It's bigger than Chin Peng, May 13, PKFZ, Anwar and Zulkifli Noordin. Definitely bigger than Dr M.

We don't need to join that squabble in the sand-box to "give a damn". There must be another way.

There's got to be.

...right now there's a war between the vanities
But all I see is you and me
The fight for you is all I’ve ever known... ever known...
So come home...

____________________

"Come Home" by One Republic
Dreaming Out Loud (2007)
Mosley Music Group, Interscope

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