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Friday, May 25, 2007

Culture of Blame

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Finger Pointing to the Right, hosting by PhotobucketWhen something goes wrong, blame usually has to be assigned. It's almost become second nature - assigning blame becoming more important, in many cases, than finding a real solution. Assigning blame has almost become a job requisite for ministers and some elected assembly-persons in this country.

Incidentally, there is a big difference between root-cause determination and blame-assignment. Root-cause looks at the real why. Blame assignment immediately zooms in on the who - real or imagined.

Lately, we've been seeing a lot of blame-storming. A different kind of blame stroming - assigning blame on the victims of things gone wrong.

Loan-shark menace? Blame the borrowers. A surge in snatch thief activity? Blame the snatch victims. Floods in Johor? Blame Singapore (they experienced flooding too, albeit not as severe as Johor).

Impropriety (or perceived impropriety) on the part of the government? Blame the bloggers, and call them liars - never mind that some of the allegations turned out to have shades of truth about them. Revealing agreements that clearly are lopsided and unnecessarily profiteering at the expense of the taxpayers? Blame the whistle-blower... "Off with His Head!" the Drama Queen of Blowhards proudly proclaimed.

It's become an entire sub-culture all to itself - find someone or something to blame first. Nevermind that real solutions to pressing problems are not sought. Blame must be assigned. It makes for better press, and snazzier headlines.

The most recent spate of blame-storming?

In the Penang State Assembly, as reported in The Star on Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007, two state assemblymen, Shabudin Yahaya (BN - Permatang Berangan) and Datuk Jasmin Mohamed (BN - Sungai Dua), lay the blame for sexual crimes on women's dressing. Not the first time we've heard this, though, blaming the behavior of lascivious men on the victim. In the process, the two have mooted a dress code for women. Easy, lazy, and comes no closer to solving anything.
(celebrating the Culture of Blame, in the full post)

“The women’s dressing menggoda (lures) and mencabar (challenges) men,” said Shabudin, who interjected during Tan’s speech when debating the motion of thanks on the Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abas’s opening address.

Finger Pointing to the Left, hosting by PhotobucketContrary to popular belief, these men have also insulted all men - believe it or not - by implying that men have no self-control, and are purely driven by senseless lust and pure stimulation. God, apparently, simply wired men up that way, we're led to believe. Well, speak for yourselves, you mindless twerps.

But the real agenda becomes clear, once shit-for-brains is allowed to dig a deeper hole for himself:

Shabudin, who is state Islamic Religious Council president, then asked Tan for her views on a dress code for women and Jasmin rose to support it.

And you wonder why Islam gets such a bad rep. So why impose a dress code for women - only?

Shabudin then interjected that men were sure to look when sexily attired women pass in front of them.

“This is because there is a daya tarikan (attraction),” he said.

Okay, it's one thing to look. It's another thing altogether to harass, and taking it a step further, assault. So, let's play Devil's Advocate for a bit - what if they had managed to push through a dress code for women, and women still get sexually assaulted. Then what do we do? Put women under house arrest for their own protection [sic]? And don't tell Walski that there aren't women who cover up, and have still become victims of rape. Because there have been.

Yeah, it's easy to lay blame on everything and everyone else, while enjoying the comfort and convenience of denial. It should be made a national pass-time, come to think of it. And perhaps even a public holiday, while we're at it. National Blame Day. Kinda has a nice ring to it, don't you think?

Meanwhile, who's to blame for electing these kinds of nitwits into office? God-forbid that we should ever blame ourselves, the electorate. Nope - that would be way too easy. Not to mention lacking the element of fun. Naah... we'll just blame the Electoral Commission - we won't tell then what we're blaming the for - just that it's their fault.

Wouldn't want anyone blaming Walski for not promoting this wonderful Culture of Blame, that has become so much a part of the Malaysian way of life. Just like corruption, leaky roofs, and leaky politicians...