by Nicole Tan Lee Koon
“Whom the God would destroy, they first make mad” -Euripides
BN’s latest “Bread and Circuses” RM 2 million PSY stunt in Penang is mad ! It shows that BN has completely lost the right to lead Malaysians.
In the tradition of Greek and Roman tragedies, BN shall be destroyed in GE 13. For whenever the anger of divine spirits harms someone, it first does this: it steals away his(their) mind and good sense, and turns his (their) thought(s) to foolishness, so that he (they) should know nothing of his (their) mistakes.
The term “Bread and Circuses” is a figure of speech for a fake sense of satisfaction or the “feel good” factor. To politicians, it connotes the winning formula for the survival of the Roman Republic for centuries.
Both the Roman Republic and China’s Han dynasty lasted for 500 years. The former was an oligarchic democracy which used “bread and circuses” whilst the latter was an absolute monarchy.
Instead of winning the citizens’ approval through excellent public service and policies, the Roman Republic gave cheap food and entertainment. The Roman Republic provided the bread and circuses in order to keep the Roman citizens from becoming too discontent with their lives.
The Roman government provided the citizens with enough food (bread) so they wouldn’t starve and enough entertainment (circuses) so they would be amused. Hence, the Romans elected them again and again.
BN’s bread and circuses stunt
BN’s breads are the 1Malaysia goodies and handouts (BR1M Part 1 & 2, free tyres for taxi drivers, smart phone allowances for young adults, FELDA’s RM15,000, pay rise for civil servants, 1.5-month bonus for the 1.4 million-strong civil service; RM250 to unmarried citizens above 21 years old and earning less than RM2,000; schoolchildren got RM100 each; etc.
BN’s circuses shows are the alphabet soup management (ETP, GTP, NKRA etc); not forgetting tarring the roads before any General elections. The latest great circus show is the performance by PSY in the Han Chiang school field on February 11th (second day of Chinese New Year) organised by BN.
In fiction, a tragedy is a morally significant struggle, ending in the destruction/downfall of something/someone of great value or importance. The tragic playwrights of ancient Greece such as Euripides (484 BC – 406 BC) invented the form, later developed by the Romans such as Seneca (4 BC – AD 65), accentuating the role of morality in the conflict.
These Greek and Roman playwrights also created the classic warnings that madness precedes, and causes, destruction. Most importantly, it is the essence of madness that those afflicted by it cannot see it, and scoff as mad those who do.
The divine powers that have made them mad, that have turned them against their own vital interests, against themselves, to bring about their own destruction through the agency of a self-destructive ideology, morality or system of beliefs and values prevent them from being aware of either their madness or the fate it brings upon them.
Fact is often stranger than fiction. I put it to you that this shall be the fate awaiting BN for their follies! -The Rocket
* Nicole Tan is DAP Seremban branch Secretary. She tweets at @loyarbaik