Singapore needs Amos Yee. We need him so that we can channel our grievances, we need him so that we have a target for any pent up vitriol, we need him to express our political agendas.
Poster child and martyr for liberal, free-speech advocates. National punching bag for the rest.
Now we have someone hitting him, mocking him and running away – and people condoning this behavior. (Classy move, by the way.)
Yee’s case is unique to say the least. Pseudo-intellectual leftist rambling is not a new thing in Singapore, and edgy hardcore anti-authoritarianism has been the mainstay of teenagers for decades now. What Yee has that is an unprecedented attention on social media, and an audience keenly watching for him to make his next mistake. The people have something to talk about at dinner, the papers have something to write about, Yee gets his 15 minutes of fame – everybody wins!
The only people who seems to have lost out here are his parents – who certainly do not look like they need or want the attention.
By merely talking about Yee and getting our collective sensibilities saddlesore, we have validated this kid. We have made him out to be more important than he should be. Cameras flashing in his grinning mug and endless articles (Irony alert: feel free to point this out in the comments) written about him. We have turned Yee into a celebrity by arguing about him in comments sections everywhere. Everyone wants their opinions to be heard, everyone thinks their opinions are the right ones.
Where does Yee go from here? T-shirts, book deals and a sensationalized biopic if we’re lucky. Like any 15-minute famer worth their salt, Yee should be cashing in at the height of his infamy. No one wants to watch him make rambling YouTube videos – we want to hear his life story, all 16 years of it.
Honestly? I’m bored with this whole spectacle, and you should be too.
Photo credits: Ernest Phua