CSJ Book Club: A Culture Jamming Project

Posted: April 15, 2008 in Uncategorized

Culture jamming is a resistance movement to cultural hegemony and the homogenous nature of popular culture, executed by means of guerrilla communication.

On a more general level, culture jamming can serve as a vehicle for bringing awareness of various social movements.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Culture_jamming

Introducing the Chee Soon Juan Book Club! (CSJ Book Club)

Who can join?


How to join?

By declaring yourself a member and getting a copy of CSJ’s books. Pick a book . Any book. Hey, get all of ’em if you want.

What we do?

I have been promoting CSJ’s books since last year on both the sammyboy forum and here. So far, we have seen very limited success. I have no way of tracking exactly how many copies were sold since my ‘advertisements’ started appearing, but I can tell you that the last time I went to the Select Book Shop, I was informed CSJ’s books were all sold out.

That is good, but not good enough. We are still not reaching the larger part of the populace who:

a) do not shop at Select Book Shop or the Politics section of Kinokuniya.

b) do not visit this forum.

What to do?

Here’s what we as individuals can do (without getting into trouble with the police).

Buy CSJ’s books and disseminate it amongst the populace by leaving a copy or copies of the books in public places. You know. Restaurants, parks or bus-stops. Take your pick.

Leave a message with the book. Something along the lines of:

“You can either choose to read the Straits Times and believe in whatever the PAP wants you to believe, or you can read this book and we show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.

Help spread the message of democracy and pass this book on when you finish reading it.”

It will be helpful to leave a link to the SDP website so anyone picking up the book will know where to get more copies.

How helpful is this?

Well, not as helpful as putting an advertisement on TV or the Straits Times, but we know that is not going to happen. We just have to work with what’s available to us.

And it will not have as much impact as a full scale public protest, but we already debated this to death already. Many of us, for one reason or other, cannot or will not go out there and defy direct police orders. Fine. But that doesn’t mean we should just sit at home and do nothing!

This CSJ Book Club project enables us to:

a) spread the message of democracy. That’s a big deal, especially since we are bringing the message to the part of the populace out of reach of the forums. New demographic.

b) support the SDP.

… without risk of exposure or getting into trouble with the authorities. Some ‘critics’ may call it ‘pathetic’, but I say it beats doing nothing.

And sure, if I am the lone ranger doing this, it will not have any impact whatsoever. But if 50 people reading this go out there and get a book, that’s a good start to our project. Think about the ripple effect that will cause!

What we hope to achieve?

Ultimately, we hope to see a new batch of educated voters: people who understand the issues, can see through PAP propaganda and vote responsibly.

In the short term, we are just interested in getting the message of democracy across to those still untouched by the internet forums.

I am not going to be overly optimistic and say we can start a counter-culture movement just like that. Some times, the books we leave out might just get trashed or picked up by a Young PAP.

On the other hand, our books may get picked up by interested parties and cause a ripple effect! We will never know unless we give it a shot.

To those ‘critics’ who ask: Why?

My answer is: Why not?



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