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Saturday, July 12, 2014

There something called "Choice"

Our little red dot is making it to the international media circuit again. Probably apart from Brazil, we are getting the most laugh internationally for all the things that are coming out from our shore. And I am not talking about the STPB made in Philippines' video or the National Council on Problem Gambling.anti gambling during World Cup 2014 advertisement.

The National Library's decision to withdraw 3 children books in response to public feedback that they are not "pro-family" is getting a lot of flaks from angry citizen and a lot of ridicule from the rest of the world. And in what must be a first for the government and the NLB, some writers are withdrawing their support and co-operation with the NLB in protest against the actions by the NLB.

Of course as in everything, there are 2 camps for this saga. One side is the so called "pro-family" camp who I suspect are actually not so much pro family but anti LGBT. The other  camp surprisingly is not the LGBT camp but the anti censorship camp. There have been arguments thrown back and fro - in the main steam media, social media and debate in companies and coffee shop. The gahmen has weighed in that the NLB was only responding to "community noms" whatever that mean.

Personally, I haven't read the 3 books and probably never will. But I am pissed that the NLB is allowing a few individuals to dictate what the rest of society can read. To me its not about the content of the books. It not about the LGBT movement. In fact I am very much anti-gay because I think the gay community is predatory and engage in sexual grooming of the young kids. But I don't care which hole they want to poke and what they want to suck. Its their lives after all.

But when some individuals hiding under the disguise of  "pro family" try to dictate what the larger community can read or watch, then it is not right. Just what exactly is pro family anyway? Isn't a single mum with 2 kids, 2 parents living together a family? How about 2 orphaned brothers staying together? They not family? So I find this demand by these people very silly and disgusting.

There will be always something that we don't agree with. Some of them are pure illegal - like porno, drugs and bomb making - these are things that should be banned for the greater good of the society. But where do you draw the line when it comes to other things that are not so clear cut? This is where there is something called "Choice". Yes even in dictatorial Singapore where the gahmen dictates most of what we can or cannot do, we still can make a lot of choice.

So we can choose to read a book or choose not to read it if we don't like its contents. We can choose not to watch a movie if we don't like the subject, the actors or the plot. We can choose what radio program to listen to and so on. Singapore is already stifling enough. We don't need any moral policeman running around telling us what we can or cannot read. If this continue, we end up like some Middle Eastern countries where there are characters going around telling women what they can or cannot wear.

So to those morons who keep writing to this agency or that to complain, you have a choice. If you don't like the naughty deejays on the radio channels, there are at last count at least 6 other radio channels to switch over to. Don't write in to complain every time you hear one of them made a dirty joke. If you don't like a particular movies because there are scenes of people doing things that you do not like to do to your partners, don't ask for it to be banned. Just don't go and watch it. And if there are any books with contents that offends you or may "corrupt" your children, pick another book. The NLB has millions of  books. 

And talking about corrupting the children, some of these people have argued that their children may pick up the books themselves, read it and get the wrong idea. Therefore they must be protected. Get real people. Children especially those who goes to the Children section are too innocent to understand the contents fully. Using the Tango book as a example, the children will be thinking what wonderful penguins the 2 male penguins are to take in an orphan. I am very certain that they are not going to wonder whether they will become gay just by reading the book. 

But the other thing is, as parents, it is our responsibility to teach our children the right values. We cannot protect them from all the evils in the world. Our job is to teach them how to discern what is right and wrong. And if they innocently stumble on something that is undesirable, rather than try to brush, use the opportunity to discuss the situation with the child. Don't try to will it away because it will never work.

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