Astroturf this!

March 29, 2010

Pssst! Are you hip and happening?

Of course I am. I used to be a Young PAP member.

Erm, let me rephrase. Are you familiar with the lexicon of contemporary urban resistance in a late-capitalist world embedded in the flows and sites of cyberscape?

You lost me at “rephrase”.

Ok, again then. Are you plugged into the vocabulary of the politics of power democratization in society-state relations?

Stop showing off. Speak heartlander please.

Does the term “astroturfing” mean anything to you, you Sheng Siong-shopping heartlander?

Is it what Astro Boy does when he seeks a mate?

Sigh. It’s the mimicking of grassroots activism where a person or small group of people uses emails, petitions, phone calls, blogs and so on, to give the impression that there is a large grassroots movement behind a specific cause.

Yawn. Tell me why this is important?

PM Lee spoke of it last weekend. He says it’s a growing trend to pressure the government into doing what it does not want.

PM Lee is familar with the lexicon of late-capitalist contemporary urban resistance?

Why not? He’s hip and happening. Wears a red polo shirt from time to time.

Is that a problem?

Red polo shirts? Well, its very late 1990s, and speaks of unfulfilled yuppie desires that…

I meant astroturfing.

Oh! Well, there was evidence of astroturfing during the AWARE saga and over the hike in HDB prices.

Hmmm, I see.

Its only going to get more common as citizens find themselves increasingly alienated from the decision-making process of the state, and is perfectly in keeping with the Singaporean non-confrontational petition-obsessed middle class.

Wait a minute, is astroturfing also like bringing in busloads of uncles and aunties from Resident Committee, CCCs and so on to events like Nomination Day or PAP election rally speeches to give the impression of widespread PAP support?


And is it also the same as selecting only happy residents to meet PAP MPs during their walkabout sessions?


And did not the great post-structuralist French philosopher Guy Debord observe that power was not only in its exercise but also in the spectacle?

Oh stop it, you had me at “post-structuralist”.


4 Responses to “Astroturf this!”

  1. ivan Says:

    good to see you back

  2. Singaporean Says:

    The masters of astroturfing are those guys at REACH.

    Straits Times forum would be a close second.

  3. Tecky Says:

    Yah, missed you!

  4. lyngz Says:

    oh, more please! missed you lots!!

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