Happy Birthday, Bloggers United. We’re 3 months old today. There will be mee rebus session at the usual place with the usual suspects, Rocky et.al. While you are gulping down your mee rebus and teh tarik, think of me.
For those who want some history lessons on Bloggers United and how it all started, go here. We’ve come together on various issues – like this. Now with Nila Tanzil’s debut from Indonesia, we hope to expand Bloggers United to our sister country as well. What about Singapore, anyone interested?
Now that we’ve been banned by the main stream media (request by the ministry), more readers will turn directly to our blogs. It’s natural, human nature being basically rebellious. So, we should thank the government for this cheap publicity. And we should keep on blogging!
Meanwhile, here’s and Ode to Bloggers by Dr Azly Rahman, first published in Malaysiakini. I had written to Azly to thank him for his poem.
He replied promptly: “I have all the sympathies for the common man/woman victimized by the state and corporations. I will continue to write on all these“.
“It is always the individual that will make the radical changes. Truth reigns supreme — the cybercast voice of the individual over doctored reports produced by the print-media controlled by the greedy and the powerful“.
“We will deconstruct these, as Derrida would suggest“.
Here’s his poem:
Men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.
Denis Diderot, French Enlightenment thinker
There was non among the myriads of men that existed who would pity or assist me; and should I feel kindness towards my enemies? No: from that moment I declared everlasting war against the species, and, more than all, against him who had formed me and sent me forth to this insupportable misery.
‘Frankenstein’ by Mary Shelley-Wollstonecraft
Sometime ago, after reading Plato’s narration of a conversation between King Thamus and the inventor Theuth concerning the impact of new technologies on society, after reading media guru Neil Postman’s work Technopoly, and after deep reflection on the idea of the Luddites (a movement that “raged against the machine” during the Industrial Revolution), I penned verses which I find suitable to honour Malaysian bloggers in their onward march towards creating a spectre that will haunt the state-owned print media.
Here it goes:
P H A E D R U S II
Background notes: They say that there dwelt at Naucratis in Egypt one of the old gods of that country, to whom the bird they call Ibis was sacred, and the name of the god himself was Theuth. Among his inventions were number and calculation . . . and, above all, writing. . . . To [the king, Thamus] came Theuth and exhibited his inventions . . . when it came to writing, Theuth declared: “There is an accomplishment, my lord the kind, which will improve both the wisdom and the mentory of the Egyptians. I have discovered a sure receipt for memory and wisdom.” “Theuth, my paragon of inventors,” replied the king, “the discoverer of an art is not the best judge of the good or harm which will accrue to those who practise it. . . . Those who acquire [writing] will cease to exercise their memory and become forgetful. . . . What you have discovered is a receipt for recollection, not for memory . . . ( Phaedrus, 95-96)
And it was in the year 2020
And Theuth my inventor par excellence
O’ Thamus, Wise King of Cyberjaya
This invention called blogging
O’ wise King Thamus
They will be Renaissance men and women
O’ Thamus wise ruler of Cyberjaya
And Plato’s academy will be history
For the sage Mandelbrott did once spoke
Wise King Thamus,
A further elaboration concerning the death of authority:
O’ Theuth Master Inventor
My greatest apologies Wisest of all Kings
You and your kingdom destroyed by technologies of Virtuality?