It has really been a very long time, since I last wrote on this blog. Part of me has been busy with various matters, such as preparing necessary visa paperwork for a move, work, and also, travel. The other part was reflecting and writing on my more ‘light-hearted’ and somewhat more non-religious-themed blog about things going on.

Events of the last few months and the last half a year have richochetted to this extent of realizations about the way I am supposed to behave as a Christian versus the way the world expects us to. Often, you can expect many people to have pre-conceptions of Christians and the moment that they know you are a Christian, they will have certain expectations of you, such as that you “will be hateful” towards those who are not, that you oppose certain issues that are ongoing in this world as part of the culture wars.

I had gotten into a serious argument with someone, a homosexual friend, who overreacted to a blog entry which I had written about my personal experiences as a man with getting sexually harassed by gay men, and he instantly took issue with my blog entry. For those who are trying to understand the nature of how that conflict even got started, see the blog entry at http://haengbokgayo.blogspot.jp/#!/2013/03/compliment-or-insult-ill-let-you-decide.html. I guess that everything we write has that capacity to be received personally by people with social ideologies as part of their baggage, and I do not pretend any illusion of sanctimoniousness or superiority. Yet, one knows that when one was by far the person not treated rightly, because he was harassed even after he has stated that he is not interested in what he was propositioned with(basically various forms of homosexual sex and sexual offers in other areas), he cannot back down and apologize, because it is simply not right to condone evil or wrongdoing. Christ wants us all as Christians to live at peace with everyone else as far as it is possible (Romans 12:18). Note, the last clause of this admonishment in the verse is “as far as it is possible”(or something akin to that strength of statement), therefore implying that sometimes, it is not possible to, because we will run into conflicts with people on some necessary counts as a result of totally different and irreconciliable values.

What that homosexual friend had insisted as a wrongheaded accusation against me is that I am homophobic because I wrote a blog entry about homosexual men harassing me. I took serious issues with it because it implies that homosexual men are the “victims” all the time, and that they can do no wrong because they are gays. Society has really evolved a lot—whether for the better or worse—but homosexuals cannot simply just claim that they are the bullied minority anymore, at least not with the various gay rights advocacy groups fighting on their behalf. In some extreme cases, although not all gay rights groups are like that, some gay rights groups and gay rights activists work their cause for gay rights by attacking blatantly what they deem to be against them, such as calling Christians names, burning churches and even outrightly taking a few random cases of Christians who fall into some sin to attack the WHOLE religion. If one reads my paragraph carefully, one will know that I use “some”. On no occasion have I used “all”, but that homosexual friend was pushing his case too hard, and obviously, it was a siege mentality at work there. I got quite angry admittedly, which I might not have needed to, but in the end, told him to “get over [his] own sexuality” and also his siege mentality. I actually had no other means but to use the ‘broken record’ method on him, since he was the one painting me out to be ‘biased’. When, may I ask, has a confession of personal experiences with harassment by gay men ever became a discrimination against the WHOLE social group? It baffles me. The conversation obviously had to break in the end, since he became quite accusatory by saying mean things such as “Go ahead and be disappointed. The decibel of your expressions is deafening and telling” or “Your walls of denial are up”.  

I really cannot handle such confrontational behavior from people, especially when the conversation is simply triggered off by him misreading stuff and taking it all so personally. It is very much a common thing in North America, I guess, where if you say anything as much as related to issues involved in the culture wars, if you do not fall into the liberal camp, you get called names such as a member of a “hate group”, “hateful” and so on. Honestly, I probably should not even indulge him and his siege mentality one bit, and should have cut him off way way earlier with absolute silence, since that is what he is thinking of, that I am biased towards ALL gays, when it is none of the matter, and has nothing to do with the issue at all(which was about harassment).

In retrospect, perhaps being able to reflect upon the Beatitudes really will place all these in perspective. Christ was not technically a “nice guy” the way that many liberal gay rights group made him out to be. To begin with, He was a very firm guy, because which guy would actually challenge the malpractices of making God’s temple a place of buying and selling by driving the tax collectors and sellers out of the outer courts, unless He really was infuriated by the injustices going on right under God’s nose (pardon that rather physical metaphor on my part)? Just as it is wrong to portray Christians as evil, it is equally wrong to portray Christ as a ‘everything goes’ type of guy. It simply is not true.

Christ’s words about being a Christian and accused of various things as one would be called to my mind as I think about it (Matthew 5:3-12):

3Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

4Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

5Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness,

for they will be filled.

7Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.

8Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

9Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the sons of God.

10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you

I came across this other verse which puts forth this need to live our lives righteously regardless of accusations by non-believers against us. This makes perfect sense in the light of what happened:

 “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.” (I Peter 2:12)

 

The main point is this probably: sometimes, trying to prove a point or to try explaining to people who have already deemed us to be ‘wrong’ or ‘hateful’ when it is not the case might not actually work out, and we might even get accused of things which are not true. But as much as we want to maintain blamelessness, the greater focus should be on living our lives to be good Christians, so that people will have nothing to say against God.

 

When I have wounds that I need to deal with from my past, I know that it is important for me to face them, even should the need to cauterize them be painful and harsh to the point that it brings back a lot of old memories. I am now in the process of sorting out some of these wounds, processing so that I can move on and become a better person, able to find my foothold in a new life and future, because without saying goodbye completely to the past, I cannot say hi to my future. But this is beginning and already halfway. As it is, I realized how much I have progressed, and I am thankful that this healing process has not stopped. But I will write more in a longer entry during one of these other days.

 

In the midst of the various events in my life going on right now, including some degree of heartbreak over an inability to move back to Canada for the time being, uncertainty as to where I could go after the contract here in Japan ends, and the need to make critical decisions about how to get back to Canada or maintain my stay out of Singapore(the country which I have left permanently for reasons of being a prisoner of conscience), the breaking news of City Harvest Church’s Pastor Kong Hee and his impeachment by the law for alleged embezzlement of over 50 million dollars to finance his wife’s secular career as a pop music singer–alongside 4 others in that church–was released to me via my friends’ tags and posts on Facebook.

It does appear that we are indeed in the cyber-age of Facebook and social network media which allows us to know the news faster than anyone who does not go online and relies on traditional print media or even broadcast media. The news has been covered in the USA even in local LA-based papers, owing to that infamous wife of Kong’s having lived near other Hollywood stars like Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, and singers of the ilk of Leona Lewis and so on.

There have been so many responses, most of which are polarized ones. One type of response is “blame it on the church and ALSO the pastor himself”, and suggests that any potential punishment extended to the culprit should be extended to the church, which foolishly gives him the money without thinking and behaves like some proto-cult group to believe in him mindlessly even till now. Another type of response however elides the very issue of blame, by suggesting that all the good done by that pastor and his church can wash over and atone for the sins committed at this point. In this case, it was labelled in secular legal vocabulary as “criminal breach of trust” and “embezzlement of church funds” (for a church which is registered legally as a charity organization so as to guarantee tax exemption).

My response will not steer towards either one, but in fact considers other possibilities. Granted that I do not agree theologically with City Harvest Church, and have a theological standpoint that the church itself has been promulgating heresy over the decades, and that I do not agree either with their hardline practices of soliciting members(done through poaching from other churches, or harassing people through aggressive follow-ups) or church donations(such as alleged membership opt-in projects and funds to ‘aid the cause of God’s kingdom’), I will deal with the matter at hand, and state what the real import of this legal impeachment of Kong Hee amounts to as a Christian.

The model for a pastor has been laid out very clearly in 1 Timothy 3:2: “Now the overseer is to be above reproach,   faithful to his wife,   temperate,   self-controlled, respectable, hospitable,   able to teach …” Being above reproach literally means that there is no valid ground by which the pastor can be charged with and subject to moral reproach, including crimes such as the current ones which Kong Hee has been charged for, which in Christian, theological vocabulary amounts to nothing less than simony(engaging in the buying and selling of the power of God). On this very count, Kong Hee cannot be allowed to be a pastor of a church.

The claim that his crimes can be weighed out by the former good he might have done over the years in the name of God and in the cause of charity or the Christian gospel is largely a red herring argument,because it is based on a calculus approach towards sin and wrongdoing. We do not try to do a good act or two good acts (or any other number of it) so as to hope that it can “write off” that sin. Sin and redemption do not work out that way in the eyes of God. While grace is unwarranted and unmerited and given freely by God, in the person of Christ, any sin is sin. There might be the case of a major sin such as killing and taking another life in cold blood, or a petty sin such as stealing from your neighbour who is rich and well-to-do, but having a varying degree of gravity or seriousness to that sin does not make that sin any less a sin. The Bible is very clear that the wages of sin is death(Romans 6:23), and that any sin has the capacity to cause alienation from God.

We cannot judge the motivations of Kong Hee and his accomplices exactly because human hearts are impervious to human assessment, but we can judge the theology and the actions because we have been given the Bible to judge what is of God and what is not. In other words, two wrongs do not a right make. This proverbial wisdom bears itself out in the example of what Kong Hee and his accomplices did. While they claimed to have paid back that lacking amount of 23 million dollars with another amount of 26 million dollars, this other amount was in itself culled from other church funds again, including “love gifts” (donation) from a Malaysian donor, and other cash endowments given by members and church affiliates outside in branches like those in Malaysia and Indonesia. What they did was basically taking more from church funds to cover up the church funds which they embezzled in the first place, in other words amounting to no better act than that of using more credit to cover up credit(or should I say, using robbery to cover up robbery?).

I know that my claims will not sit down well with those who argue for clemency for Kong Hee, or with those who think that he is innocent or started out with good intentions, but the degree of secrecy and silence with which they conspired to hide such things from the church amounts to nothing more than what Ananias and Sapphira did to hide the facts concerning their use of money originally meant for the extension of God’s kingdom for their own end (Act 5). In the times of the New Testament, God struck this couple dead right on the spot before everyone else to make a public example, but in our days, it just amounts to nothing more than a legal impeachment process(and an earlier investigation process) which might turn out to be protracted and even convoluted to the point of siding with these frauds. Justice must be, and needs to be served out expediently in the cause of God’s kingdom, so that we can expunge the very disease which will eventually eat away at the body of Christ–the Church-at-large or Christendom–if left unchecked. In doing so too, by punishing those involved, it gives them a chance for them to reflect on their crimes and to turn away from them in contrition. It goes back to the admonishment given to us to surrender the man (in this case, men and women) to Satan, so that their souls can subsequently be saved (I Corinthians 5:5). In this case, the secular law can in fact serve as the very hand of God’s justice to restore things to true order.

This essentially can be distilled to these Bible verses uttered by Christ Himself: But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven”(Matthew 19:14); “But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6). Contextually, Jesus was probably referring to little children (biologically), but if we extrapolate this to the case of ‘spiritual children’, a case often made by Paul the Apostle who addressed the Christians at Corinth as spiritual children in need of milk (basic doctrine) rather than real meat (deeper theology and theopraxis), such actions like Kong and his accomplices’ are by far capable of stumbling new Christians  and steering them away from the basics of the faith. Justice must be served for their sake. The albatross of guilt must be tied around the necks of Kong Hee and his accomplices, and they must be made to realize this for the sake of young Christians.

I have been somewhat amused by this term, ever since I heard about it from a good friend back in 2009 when I returned to Singapore for the winter term in 2009 then. He told me about this term, which refers to friends who are actually enemies, as he explains. But the term seemingly also points to the other potential meaning, of enemies who are actually friends–who maintain a semblance of public enmity for some reason, but are actually friends in reality, such as what we would normally associate with the likes of Lauren Conrad and Heidi Montag in “The Hills”, and Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston(who was Brad Pitt’s former wife, before he later divorced and then married Jolie). The term is rather ambiguous as a portmanteau of “friend” and “enemy”, and implies the coexistence of these two states on different terms.

Of course, a lot of the good friends whom I have known for years, or those whom I am on good terms with and have benefited a lot and been blessed with the friendship of do not exactly agree with the need to keep such frenemies around them, because they find it tiring to maintain appearances. Personally speaking though, I think that frenmity relationships are a part of what some of us will live through, especially if we are going through a learning curve in life with regards to knowing whom we can allow into our inner circle of trust, and whom we cannot. I actually believe that some of us will be “burnt”–hurt and betrayed–by such people in the process. I am not always good at vibe-ing everyone or detecting a bad vibe everytime, especially if the person is always good or adept at hiding his or her inner machinations and flaws, and even more so, if the person is a master manipulator who is skilled at playing mind games. I can count on my hand at least 3 to 4 of them throughout the process of my life up till now.

What is exactly a frenemy? How do we know the difference between a friend who is an enemy and a real friend? I am sure that the Bible gives us a lot of indications. Proverbs 27:6 has an exact description of this, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” If we look at the latter half especially, friends tell you the truth which might hurt, but that will in fact build you up, but enemies will not and in fact, they might even engage in empty or excessive flattery to make you feel good for a while but they thrive on these techniques of weaselling into your favor. There are also signs that someone is a frenemy, if he or she praises you for the first part of a sentence or speech, but at the very very end concludes it with a statement or phrase which sarcastically cancels out everything almost like a tight slap at the end of a sentence. Frenemies also thrive on your misery and lack of personal growth, insofar as they enjoy seeing you not advance in life to become a better person, and will often bog you down with negativity or self-inadequacy, feeding off it so that they feel better–at your expense. Their techniques might not always include rumor-mongering or threatening subtly, but at times, they can do that behind your back, and then mix these techniques with an apparent veneer of friendliness to you.

Some people have claimed that the frenemy is uniquely a female phenomenon, and it is not without reason that we see frenemies portrayed in our reality TV and social media age with shows like “The Jersey Shore”, “Gossip Girl” and so on. We even have movies like “Mean Girls”, “Frenemies”, and a slate of novels in popular culture including Megan Crane’s novel of the same title! Arguably, women are more emotional creatures by stereotype and hence, they are more likely to harbour animosity towards someone of their same sex or even a man they might dislike subtly without wanting to be direct about it. But taking the stereotypes of women as emotional and subtle creatures aside, men can probably be worse(or better, depending on one’s point of views) frenemies because as a friend of mine in church, Zane, said himself, when men are frenemies to someone, they do so with a calculating aspect, plotting with machinations an agenda such as the downfall of someone in the workplace, the tricking or seducing of a woman–and sometimes, even man, if they are homosexual or bisexual–into bed, or manipulation of someone for his own ends, whether for money or something else. Frenemies can exist in either sex.

To be fair, and since I seriously desire the end of badly written blogs like Gilbert Goh’s blog, www.transitioning.org, which has flouted both the rules of proper grammar in English(other than spelling rules) and sound logical rules, I will post the transcript of what I wrote as a rejection of his questionnaire, and his rather painfully ungrammatical email message.

______________________________________

Hi Gilbert,

I have read some of your blog posts recently, and although I am too busy to try to respond owing to a new life here in Japan and the need to do other stuff, I find a few disturbing things which will actually be of detriment to your blog and any noble political goals you might hold, even if you have good intentions. Take this as a piece of advice from someone who has worked as an editor before, and has a PhD in English and has read thousands of articles throughout the course of his undergraduate and graduate studies prior to his final graduation. I think thatyour blog suffers from a serious debilitating problem of bad grammar and spelling, which, when applied to the various articles written by others, have led to problems of misunderstanding in an audience which reads it. For example, the way you edited my post on the Malaysians who came into Singapore, and discredited me for migrating as a “traitor” has led to a problem of grammar or logic in the writing which did not exist hitherto. Granted that the person who reacted negatively to make personal attacks on me as undeserving of the PhD title (well, he should grow from love and try taking a PhD if he is really that smart, but most are not) is in himself emotionally unstable and rabid as a commentator on your blog entries, I think that your editing has led to a case of my writing being misunderstood partially too. You might want to get a Singaporean who is still in SIngapore to help you proofread your writing style, especially since I noticed that this is a prevalent problem throughout most of your entries. I showed your blog to a Spanish friend back in Canada, and she noticed numerous punctuation errors on top of the grammar too, so that means a lot of fixing of errors.

On the other end of things as a friend, I think I have to refrain from participating in this “fray” and bustle of your blog concerning the interviews from now on. As much as I believe that your blog started with a good intention of showing things as they are in Singapore, I think that it is gradually buying into a sensationalist character, especially in the way that you posted in response to the Yaw Shin Leong scandal. The article made numerous assumptions about men, such as that we naturally would gallivant and flirt around or find girls to be with, even should we be single or without a good wife who is visually appealing. Granted that I am single, I have not been fulfilling the criterion of the Singaporean man that you mentioned, and none of the friends I know–straight, gay, married or single–actually fit in with your claims. You should seriously steer clear of such sensationalism which is reducing the impact of your article, not to mention that the article itself fleets from idea to idea such as the Yaw Shin Leong case, the Singaporean men’s “typical mindset” towards sex, and also, Singaporean women’s appearances before and after marriage, and the survey on sexual satisfaction amongst Singaporeans. My fear for you as a friend is not so much over the rabid reactions against you that will ensue,as much as that you are yourself buying into a very negative assessment of Singaporeans in general which in itself can be a double-edged sword. You wrote the blog obviously with the aim of addressing key social issues such as unemployment in Singapore, and the government’s blind spots in handling such problems which have escalated the problems, but I believe that your blog is quickly losing its origial intent and becoming as rabid as those people whom you did not want to be associated with–in other words, the writers of the Temasek Review. This can potentially cut against the opposition cause if you are not careful, and I believe that in many ways, it already has by conforming to this idea that the “opposition” or people attached to it in Singapore oppose for the sake of opposing.

I think that this is pretty much what I have observed in the course of reading your posts. As a friend and also, as a professional who is looking to move somewhere else to find another career once my contract ends, I am speaking with both professional interests and interests in looking out for you as a person. Negativity can draw in negativity, and someone like Fadil whom I noticed is actually very negative too from the rather rude and uninformed messages which he sent to me recently over the last week or so when I asked after him. I understand that most Singaporeans who are critical of the government are disappointed, but instead of thriving on spreading such negative energy, perhaps we should do something more concrete instead of just talking.

Best,

Kevin

____________________________________________________

The transcript of his bad response is included here WORD FOR WORD without amendments.  I will highlight all his errors one by one.

Thanks Kevin for your feedback – appreciated much your frank assessment.

As I am the only person doing it, its a challenege to write, edit and proof read before posting.

In fact, I try to write once a week nowadays but sometimes I fail and it creeps up to once a fortnight.

Answering all the emails already took me two hours daily.

Each blog has its ups and downs and of course readership.

Some like it some dont some return whereas many others dont so its not an easy task to maintain a blog.

In fact, throughout these fours years, I have seen good wonderful blogs gone to the dust as the bloggers decided to call it a day.

I must also add – without malice here  – that as a PhD English holder the way you write is rather horrendous.

There are a few negative feedback on your writing style when we posted your article some time back but of course I didn’t faulted you as it didn’t mean anything.

I have seen peole with O level write wonderfully well so it is not the educational achievement that determine whether you can write  well or not.

Maybe you tend to write with a free spirit leaving out all thoughts of whether the readers can follow you or not.

In fact, I tend not to read your mails too much  as it is rather lengthy and long winded.

You rambled on and on and on…hope you don’t mind the feedback but I have never faulted you for not writing well despite the difficulty in reading your writings.

Its ok that you do not want to write for us again – we all have a choice.

We are going rather political here – with protest events and all – of course all this is done deliberately.

There is only so much you can blog and support online – sometimes you have to show your face and walk the talk.

I also apologise that the current article offended you – its meant to be frank and deliberately done to  stir up  discussion on this very serious but taboo subject here.

Many divorces occurred because there is a serious lack of sex in our marriages here.

I know as I counselled many coupels who are divorcing right now but no one or agency is really opening the subject up for discussion.

I wish you the best in Japan – let me know if you are back in Singapore.

We can talk more face to face.

Cheers!

We are here for you.

Thanks & Warmest Regards,

Gilbert Goh

Supporting you while you are in transition

Support site for the unemployed www.transitioning.org

Support site for the divorced www.steadymarriages.com

Support site for the cyberbullied www.dontcyberbully.com

Support site for the depressed & suicidal www.beyondsurvive.com

_________________________________________________________

Normally, I would have been gracious to ignore such people like him, since he first had the temerity to assume things such as that I was in Osaka or Tokyo, saying how he envies me for being in Japan when he is suffering in Singapore(character assassination on himself), and that I should get a Japanese girl because they “are good in bed and submissive”, and the list goes on. But because he made it so personal by attacking English PhDs and suggested that he writes better than any English PhD, I can only say that GILBERT GOH of www.transitioning.org is a pathetic person. Obviously, when someone tries to be kind to him by refusing his agenda privately in a quietly explained email, his reaction which was basically an insult on a person’s abilities without any apology about it basically means that he has driven me away from his agenda and I have seen him for who he is. In fact, my father had always warned me about people like him, because of a ragtag association to him, in which he has near to little experience in law, or social policymaking, and yet wants to enter politics and then quit once he did not win an election! I should seriously have believed my father’s assessment of his character, although I deeply wanted to believe then that some opposition politicians still wanted something good for Singapore beyond what the currently inept government does.

I will say one thing for sure: Gilbert Goh cannot put together a proper sentence in English to save his life, even if he needed to, and he should seriously consider enrolling in grade school English to re-learn the rules of correct grammar once again. This is not coming from me alone, but all my friends who majored in English, and even an Architecture major whom I knew as a friend in Singapore but has now relocated to Australia also thinks the same way about Gilbert Goh’s blog. What can I say? His blog is an EPIC FAILURE!

I am going to draw readers’ attention here to a very badly written blog, more so because I believe after having come across its entries, as far as it started out with good intentions, to bring readers’ attention to the dire employment or unemployment situation in Singapore, and the way this situation is affected by politics in that country which is nothing but a political red dot on the globe or map, it has strayed from its original intentions and meandered into a Dantesque wood of boggling sensationalisms and mangled English. Rather, should I say, Singlish? Granted that I was educated in the USA and Canada(most of my graduate school education was in Canada), I believe that it is a valid criticism of that person’s blog to note that he writes extremely poorly with numerous grammatical errors and is pathetically appealing to a vaunted logic of “oppose the government for the sake of opposing”. If we look at his blog, www.transitioning.org, the truth is, he does not only write very badly with grammatical errors and logical fallacies at work there, but in addition, he has a tendency to edit articles and interviews written by others such that they read badly as a result of his failure to even edit them well.

I realized a need to actually publicize this, because the writer of that blog, Gilbert Goh, was uncivil to me, and tried using an insulting stance at me in a bid to act defensive. When you unmask someone like him for who he really is, simply someone who is tapping into the negativity in Singapore, to use it to his political advantage and often without much of a real measure to want to improve any of the situations beyond complaining and petitioning, you will realize how pathetic and shallow that the logic of his writings are. I was very cordial initially to grant him a few interviews and filled in the 2 articles while I was still unemployed and searching for a job in Singapore, but he had on a few occasions added in statements which I did not write into the interviews, and indirectly, that had added to the rabid character of his blog posts, in which a Malaysian reader attacked me personally and said that I am not deserving of my English PhD. As far as it goes, bad editing leads to poor understanding, coupled with a bunch of rabid readers who have no tolerance for reading and just want instant gratification by reading articles that can stroke their negativity.

Let me fill the readers in on the story. I decided against writing a 3rd interview for him, because on one occasion of a Facebook chat while I am now in Japan, he constantly badgered me with tiring statements such as that I am in Tokyo or Osaka, that he envies me for being there(when ironically, I am in Nagoya), and he constantly assumed that I would live forever in Japan although he knew my contract does not allow me to stay in the job forever, and then he even threw in silly statements such as that I should get a Japanese wife because (quote and unquote from him here…) “they are good in bed and submissive”. Any decent self-respecting person, whatever his or her nationality or ethnicity, would know that no self-respecting person will make such stereotypical statements about Japanese women, because they sound insulting and misinformed. Maybe he seriously should tell that directly to Japanese men and women for his own sake, and see how they will react to that statement of his, as to whether they will feel complimented or insulted. In addition to all these, I figured out that his negativity would be contagious and hence, I had to refrain from adding fuel to the fire which was already voraciously spreading around to begin with. We have had too many Singaporeans complaining nonstop about things, and while I grant that it is alright to vent, it is not fine to actually continue to complain without putting forth real measures which will be implemented.

I had on 2 fronts rejected writing the 3rd interview for him: firstly, he writes very ungrammatical entries and has a tendency to edit articles haphazardly, which reduces the dignity of what its original posters intended; secondly, his blog promotes a blatant rabid negativity which will not restore things to the situation as they could be (for the better) in Singapore, and in fact, potentially drives away the more critical-minded Singaporeans away from the opposition. But his reaction inside an email was not only insulting but sounded as if he had in fact been defensive to the point of wanting to make me look bad for himself to look good. He had stated that “for an English PhD holder, you write horrendously” and went onto stating that I frame my thoughts in a rambling fashion and so on, and that some primary Four students can probably even write better than me.

As far as it concerns me, such negativity and insulting language from someone who does not even write any good English at all, speaks Singlish(which is basically pidgin English), and has no trace of thoughts about self-reflection, probably deserves more than just a reminder to him to go and re-learn his English in grade school. Since I have absolutely no intention of stooping to his level to call him names, and see him as a rabidly negative pro-opposition politician wannabe, who posts for the sake of ‘verbal masturbation'(basically, obtaining a high from spitting off whatever he can about Singapore and the government, without first framing his language carefully), I told him to try taking an English PhD first before he makes such remarks. For someone in his 50’s who behaves that negatively, I think this is that much he can deserve, although I am sure that my other friends would be meaner to him. He even tried on and on to email me to tell me to stop the damaging exchange when all I did was to point out that he is basically just being insulting, reading what I wrote as a means of honestly assessing what his website needs to improve on for greater readership as antagonism, when it was far from the matter. I basically just deleted him off my Facebook and blocked him from my emails, since I figure out that it is healthiest for me and my mental health. One thing is for sure, when I wrote in a short and curt reply(ONE short and curt reply), I really meant it when I said, “I do not befriend negative people. I will say this nicely and politely: GET LOST.” He obviously would not take a ‘No’ for an answer, and still went onto emailing something which was to the effect of “I cannot have kopi alone.” “Kopi” is the Malay word in Singapore for “coffee”. So, as a reader, all I can say is this, if this blatant, unapologetic use of Singlish as ‘good English’ is not ‘bad English,” then I must be speaking in angelic tongues which are not interpreted well by him the ‘ unreclaimed pagan’.

Be warned of such a man, Gilbert Goh, and his site, on the fronts of bad writing, and beware of his negative political ploys. He who deals in a Faustian deal with such people will only bring consternation upon himself when that person shows his true colours, basically a man who is impervious to constructive criticism and would still choose to thrive on rabid sensationalism and emotionalism. I have henceforth deleted him from Facebook and chosen not to have any dealings even in the form of interactions with him henceforth.

I read a phrase by John Piper once (or some other evangelical Christian preacher) who calls social networking like Facebook and myspace “relational porn”(as in,pornography). What he claims in this is simply that because the relationships online are mostly not real and not face-to-face and can bring you away sometimes from the real and actual world, when you interact with people whom you rarely or might never see, it becomes a relationship with an image or an idea. That kind of connection is in itself a relationship with a ‘fantasy’. I posted a simple tag post about me needing a haircut, and then the next moment, this one acquaintance whom I barely know except as a friend’s friend responded with a great deal of less-than-ideal curtness that seemed inappropriate, reading what was not inside my tag into it. (My friend Pamela back in Calgary, whom I always attend the same church with and then get out with to do shopping or to have lunch sometimes, introduced her to me, since she knew that I wanted to work in Japan and Korea, and thought that knowing more friends would be good. ). As it turns out though, the response was totally out of proportion and sounded as if she had totally read something which had not existed at all. For example, she said, “Kevin, I think you should not waste your time and energy on wishing for things which you do not have , and should enjoy what you can have in here. From what I understand you like Korea very much and are proud of it. But you came here to Aichi to work for money. You should stop complaining and enjoy what you have here.” See, isn’t this relational porn, insofar as she is projecting an image of me which was not the case, of someone who was unhappy in Japan and hated it, when it was far from the matter, and when I was merely planning a holiday (possibly) with friends whom I have known a long time from former travels who want to go to Korea in March?

As far as it concerns me, I deleted that post and her response, since it seemed more inappropriately silly and bizarre. I do not even want to figure out why she is talking like that. Maybe she has had a bad day today, or maybe she assumed things which were not there. Either way, the truth is, it has always been my dream to go to Korea. There is nothing wrong with wishing for something which has been a dream since my 20’s, and I have always wanted to marry a Korean wife too, and make handsome and beautiful little Korean babies…sorry to be rather explicit in all these details, but seriously, what is wrong with working towards a dream? Before someone online whom I barely know beyond a few chats says anything, which I have however relegated to the realm of a “restricted profile” access, I guess my dreams are still what I am working towards! Hwaiting! You know that a dream is a dream, when no matter what people say of them, you are even more fired up to achieve it against all odds.