2 events struck me recently. qlrs celebrated its 10th anniversary recently. When you looked at the profile of the group, they are mainly lawyers, journalists, freelance writers, etc. Then I attended the books actually zine party last Saturday. Most zine makers were undergrads, people doing their own little business of selling old stuff, vintage clothes, or promoting DIY culture, handmade notebooks, recycling, and so on. Most of them belong to the same demographics, SES.
Not to belittle their efforts and their causes, but it's precisely because they do have the time and the means to do such things. They do not have to worry about bills, or not that much anyway. If they have to do 2 jobs, OT, pull in an extra shift to make ends meet, the sole bread winner and supporting the family, then they would not have the time to do all these.
Must the quest for/production of knowledge tied to one's profession? It should be about having the natural curiosity to learn and create new things. (Patti Smith comes to mind - go read Just Kids and listen to Piss Factory) I can be a plumber and still read/write poetry. But in the case of Singapore, the arts are pretty much in the domain of professionals like lawyers, civil servants, teachers, journalists, and...artists.
I know this applies to me too. The reason why I can write this now is because I am not doing a low paying blue collar job for a living. Not romanticizing the working class here either. Just wondering if we will ever have a hawker centre cleaner who also reads and writes comics. (HK wuda comics are popular among Malaysian blue collar workers)
All is not lost. I read that members of the Malay Orchestra were taxi drivers.