do we really need a party properly campaign?
I got an interesting email today. It was from a guy called Julius Ethan Chua, whom according to the email is the "advocate and champion" of the Party Properly Campaign. Like most of the emails directed to this blog, the purpose was to seek publicity for the campaign he was running. However, one thing that made this email stand out was the cause it was championing and how the email was worded itself. I've attached the screenshot below:
|well at least he called me a "media elite"|
I read through the letter to see what was the fuss all about, checked out the Facebook page and even did a Google search on the campaign, but I couldn't just seem to grasp the full extent of why Mr Chua would want to start a campaign like this, much less understand the repercussions that he will feel from the online community should he choose to continue on with this campaign of his.
|some of the pictures he used and excerpt from the letter he sent us|
In addition to that, he even made an educational fort of video aimed at educating the public how to party properly at the upcoming Siloso Beach party. Honestly, after watching the video, I am not sure whether the whole campaign is just a hoax that is part of a publicity stunt or whether Mr Chua really believes in what he is fighting for. I more for the second though, looking at the words he used in the email, but then again, he could just be trying to be sarcastic.
Now, I am not trying to belittle the campaign or whatsoever, provided that it is an authentic movement, but I am seriously doubtful on whether it is a right move to achieve this so called "moral probity" that Julius wants. Besides, looking at how he describe view this issue as a threat kinda reminds me of how PAS, the Islamic party in Malaysia, loves to oppose events such as concerts on the grounds that it is leading the youth astray and immoral. The tone adopted by PAS and Julius is hauntingly similar to me.
Besides, I really doubt that Julius really wants to uphold the moral pillars of the Singapore society and maintain the national image through his efforts. As Freud would put it, it is a classic case of reaction formation, where an individual adopts a reaction that is the direct opposite of what he wants to do, like someone who loves watching porn in private but vehemently opposes it in public, for various reasons we might not know. Or hypocrisy, in simpler terms.
|to be honest, i seldom trust people who advocates actions in the name of morality|
I used to be someone similar to Julius. When I first came to Singapore and got to know of the clubbing culture here, where people get drunk, lose all sense of inhibition and be the worst possible self they can be, I was thoroughly appalled. To me, the people who indulge in activities like this end end up puking all over are just uneducated people with no future or whatsoever. The girls are also sluts and the guys are nothing but horny wolves. In short, very bad stereotypes were used. I hated and loathed people who goes to clubbing and parties such as Zouk out. I even wrote about why I hated clubbing.
But then I started to question my hate. I asked myself, if given a chance, would I want to be on the dance floor with pretty girls around me? Would I be happier out there partying rather than sitting in my room watching cartoons alone? The answer was surprisingly a yes.
You see, part of the reason why I was so against activities such as these was because I was at conflict. While I was raised to think that getting drunk and dancing intimately with the opposite gender is immoral, a part of me really wanted to be there, because I foresee that I would have fun. Therefore, to quash the uneasiness I feel, I chose to instead paint all the party goers in a negative light so I can feel better myself and to give me a reason not to join in.
The jealousy also helped too. I mean, when you see a guy dancing together with hot girls, how many straight guys can actually not feel a pang of envy? Unless your girlfriend is way much hotter, that is. If given a chance, many forever alone guys would gladly swap their computers for a chance to party out. But most of the time, we couldn't. It may be because we're shy or what but instead of admitting our own weaknesses, it would be much better to act as if we're on a higher ground, that we are superior than the people partying, in a moralistic way perhaps, so we can feel better.
I remember a quote somewhere saying that the reason why we sometimes hate people is not because they are totally different than us, but because in them we see the reflection of who we secretly want to be.
|quick survey to my male readers: would you want to be the middle guy, if given the chance?|
Besides, it's not like starting a moralistic campaign or writing a blog post about this would get people to change overnight to adopt your cause. People would not just walk by your protest or stumble across your page and go like, "Wow, I think Luke really has a point here, I think I better stop partying and and stay at home more often because it's the right thing to do". More often than not, the reaction would be more like, "Nah, this guy is just jealous. Let's not care about him. And more girls for us!"
The people who actually adopts your cause are the ones who are in the same boat as you, probably deprived as well. And in the end, by solidifying your group, you'll just end up creating more animosity amongst the two group of people. The hate against homosexuals and those who are different, for example, starts from a small spark like this. Were there was no line previously, you created a boundary that separates those who are "right" from those who are "wrong".
|what a lot of us are. the "holier than thou" person|
Of course, I would need to clarify that puking or dancing wildly in public is not an act that should be encouraged, by the way. All I am saying that instead of trying to frame everything up in a hostile manner where it is a do or die thing, perhaps we could try a softer way to address the issue rather than going so hard on. Condemning others is never an effective solution to any problems. Merely asking people to "party right" is not going to make them sympathetic all of a sudden.
Perhaps there is a need to understand why there is such a strong emphasis on alcohol in the Singaporean culture. Is it a practice that is perpetuated by the society? Is it because there is a lack of alternative activities for youths to indulge in? Or is it because alcohol and clubs are just simply too accessible?
Or perhaps we can try to understand what the real harm behind this whole issue are. Will partying "wrong" result in a more depressed population? Will enforcing this boundary result in more moral policing? Or is there any harm to begin with in the first place?
I could go on and on to talk about the issue, but I guess I should stop here, lest you fall asleep from all the words I'm throwing at you. It would be interesting to see whether this movement would pick up steam or whether it would cough, splutter and die.
On another note, it is alarming to note how judgmental the Singapore society has become. From the Michael Palmer case to this, I can't help but notice that everyone is eager to become the moral police on the web. But then again, I guess the keyboard gives us a whole new image that we can never feel in real life, hence the eagerness to be someone different.
EDIT: Okay, my bad. The campaign was just part of a publicity stunt to promote the Siloso Beach Party. So much for getting so worked out, huh? Guess the joke's on me! :p