Applaudable?

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For more information, please go to MDA or www.bookcouncil.sg

P.S.: Someone read the fine print and highlighted that there are these conditions to follow:

The following depictions and/or written descriptions are not allowed:

  • Scenes involving explicit love-making and full frontal nudity
  • Portrayals of homosexuality, bi-sexualism, paedophilia, incest and depictions which justify, promote or glamourise such habits and lifestyles;
  • Excessive violence such as brutal killings, torture, cruelty, rape and prolonged gory and bloody fight sequences;
  • Drug abuse presented in favourable light;
  • Stories that denigrate or satirise the sensitivities of any racial or religious group; inaccurate portrayal of beliefs or are proselytic in nature; and
  • Words and gestures with obscene and vulgar connotations.
  • Now Point #5 about satire is really really irritating. Satire does not merely provoke the sensitivities of any group. No it does not do such a simple job. Rather, by using satire, one aims (generally) to raise/bring to light certain ideological issues that are wrong in a sense but since they are ideological they are accepted to be the truth. And like what mordecai said,

    For graphic novel writers these are absolutely ridiculous conditions.

    Now before I digress, one always views such initiatives with skepticism, especially in the sunny little island. I have told my discussion group before: that such initiatives are merely attempts to maintain the “world-class” status of the small little red dot.

    No doubt these initiatives are meant to be applauded. At least they give aspiring writers a chance to publish their work with a fraction of the cost subsidized. I’m sure some authors have managed to bring their publishing costs to only a few thousand so the $8000 should be more than enough.

    But writing is a form of Art/form of expression. And all the above rules are aimed at curbing the freedom of expression. Considering the past history of the little red dot, these rules do not come as surprising though.

    On a whole it seems sad that we need “initiatives” for everything. To encourage Singapore in its gold medal blitz everywhere and anywhere we have the Sports School. For aspiring artists, we have the Art School (granted I’m not really sure what the Art School teaches). To groom researchers/scientists we have a certain agency as well that chooses the elite of A’ Level students. One must also not forget our roots: certain early initiatives that promoted engineering in the early years for the sake of the country.

    And now, we have the Writers’ Initiative.

    “O wonder!
    How many goodly creatures are there here!
    How beauteous mankind is!
    O brave new world,
    That has such people in’t!”


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    2 thoughts on “Applaudable?

    1. Hi,

      I think the short little limerick (is that what its called?) at the end should read:

      “O wonder!
      How many goodly creatures are there here!
      How beauteous mankind is!
      O brave new world,
      That has such people in’t!”

      The word ‘beauteous’ (as far as I know) came from the wonderful poem by Robert Bridges (I love all beauteous things).

      Seasons Greetings and Happy Holidays

    2. Greetings passer-by.

      From that familiar email address, one gathers that you are Melancholic? That aside, one has to admit there was a typo. I shall immediately amend it but all the same, it is not a limerick. That is a quote from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” as spoken by Miranda, Prospero’s daughter who chanced upon the landing of noblemen on their deserted island.

      In short it was the first time she had seen other men beside her father on the island and she was awestruck by it. Ironically these same men were the ones who plotted Prospero’s exile from Naples to the deserted island.

      A Happy Holidays to you too…

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