Update: The Singapore Kindness Movement has responded directly to The Blogfather (as well as some other alt-media outlets) with a letter posted on their Kindness.sg blog. You can read it here.
I first saw the resignation letter being floated around on Facebook, and I thought it was a spoof… until I saw where it came from.
Whoever thought this up, I salute you, because this has to be the most genius maneouvre in our 34-year-old, “did-it-ever-really-work?” Courtesy Campaign yet. The Blogfather will try to explain why.
Singa’s been keeping a low profile for a while now. He knows he’s an outdated mode of positive reinforcement (let’s face it, the dude’s an 80’s line drawing) facing an increasingly bitter nation of cynics. The simple lines and flat solid colours just can’t hack it any more in the world of YouTubers and 9GAGers. The powers that be know full well it was time for him to go; but how should they send him off?
“Singa’s resignation was part of the movement’s efforts to draw attention to the state of kindness in Singapore.”
– Statement by the Singapore Kindness Movement, quoted off AsiaOne
And oh, how it drew that attention; Singa’s resignation letter is a true reflection of the voice of our society today – one of dejection, disappointment and disgruntlement, and the exact kind of thing that, coming from a government sanctioned icon, will make dejected, disappointed and disgruntled folk like us vehemently disagree with him.
If you don’t see the beauty yet, give me one more paragraph (and bear with me, because the most beautiful irony tends to be a bit repetitive).
Here we have a national icon of courtesy, kindness and general flower-scented orange wholesomeness, basically saying he’s had it with us being “angry and disagreeable” all the time. Ironically, that in itself carries such an angry and disagreeable tone. Coupled with the 34-year-old ideal that Singa has always stood against anger and disagreement, the entire letter goes so completely against his principles, that the angry and disagreeable – us – will inevitably get angry and disagree.
Pure genius, I tell you. Pure genius.
Put all the criticisms of Singa’s resignation together – the ensuing comments in the original article (from naysayers ironically refusing to accept that Singa’s resignation is real, to voices of disappointment and acknowledgement that our society is truly going to shit), the discussions going around on the social networks (“CHIU MEAN SINGA LION IS REAL?!”;?the EDMW bulletin board never disappoints), the bloggers coming up with their own missives (Daniel Food Dairy fired one at Singa for being a quitter when his father wasn’t, Mr Brown tried to come to terms with the news with a Twitter hashtag game, and then The Void Decker decides to write a reply letter to reject the resignation) – and you start to see what is really happening. In all the disagreeing about being disagreeable, we’re actually (and super-subliminally, I might add) saying, “We don’t like your tone, Singa. You can do better than this”, which translates to “We don’t like our tone. We want to be better than this.”
By resigning, Singa has ensured the survival of his message, just by simply stooping to our level. And by becoming one of us, he has turned us all off of being the angry and disagreeable society we are, because we’ve suddenly become so turned off by him. Oh, wow, the irony is still blowing my mind.
I just have one request for Singa (and the Singapore Kindness Movement). Please, do not think about coming back after this. You’ll only negate all the good you have done by leaving in the first place.