what’s wrong with the picture?

July 21, 2005

We all know, of course, that Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the swing voter on many crucial issues decided by the US supreme court, has announced her retirement. We all know, of course, that George W. Bush has announced her successor, D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John G. Roberts. We all know, of course, that this could have a potentially revolutionary impact on the state of the United States in the coming years.

Or, if one reads the Straits Times, one wouldn’t know. The National Kidney Foundation kerfuffle, unfortunately, continues to haunt the headlines, even though we all know where that will conveniently end up. Other incidents like a girl falling from the 11th storey of a building scream for our attention, but not once have we had a proper critical review of O’Connor’s legacy and the incipient war between the polarised Republicans and Democrats.

This is rubbish. No wonder Singaporeans have no critical perspective and think that they are the centre of the universe. No wonder Singaporeans have no inkling of what a power the Chinese are, choosing to dismiss them as backwater and primitive – not knowing that this is exactly what they think of us and our lack of facility in the Chinese language. No wonder Singaporeans are arrogant, rude and supremacist.

Because, you know, this nation is nothing more than a little red dot. And its citizens should stop deluding themselves into thinking that we have the same foreign-policy clout as, say, the US, China or Britain. Furthermore, the country’s newspaper(s) is/are obliged to disabuse Singaporeans of their petty illusions – which is hard to do with the press’s self-delusions, considering the fact that this nation’s newspaper is conducting a colossal celebration of its 160th anniversary, far too extravagant for 160 years of increasingly shoddy reporting in a tiny island state.


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