Another person has made the news recently. There’s this scholar called Alvin Tan, and he uploaded onto his own blog some sexually explicit pictures that made the news. There were a lot of people who called for his blood and asked him to be relieved of his scholarship.
Now Alvin Tan is not Sun Xu. I can understand the vitriol directed against Sun Xu. Sun Xu was simply contemptuous of Singaporeans. I can understand why Sun Xu got upset with a random uncle on the street, but to go beyond that and call all Singaporeans “dogs” is just pretty vile.
Alvin Tan basically just uploaded pictures of him and his fuck buddy. That’s all. I don’t know why people are so Victorian about “decency”. What’s the fuss all about? There are broadly two types of people in this world. I suppose that’s why the political categorisations of “liberal” and “conservative” exist. The conservatives are usually the ones who rail against “sexual decency”. When you ask a liberal what “decency” means, he would probably think that it means that you don’t have a lot of people who are extremely rich, and others who are extremely poor. A lot of psychological research shows that what really drives our values system is determined by what people are naturally disgusted about.
We are born without our clothes on. And young people want to fuck and take pictures of themselves, that’s their prerogative. When Bridget Bardot was young and beautiful, she took a lot of explicit pictures of herself. A lot of people then were more conservative, and wondered why she did it. Well fast forward to now and she looks like shit. So the thing is: do you want to take naked pictures of yourself when you’re young and reasonably good looking, or do you want to do the same when you’re past 60?
People are born with dicks and pussies – assuming no birth defects. That is natural. Why make a fuss about it?
A lot of parents in Singapore are lamenting the “degenerate values” of youngsters these days. They will always do the same, because this is a constant thorn in the flesh. But the question is, does it make sense? On the other hand, a lot of these people are the ones who will bow and scrape before their bosses, and they are the same people who have made Singapore a place where the balance of power is overwhelmingly tilted against the common man. Shouldn’t I be blaming them for a lot of what’s going wrong with life in general?
There was this other episode where people staged a flash mob where you had a lot of mothers breastfeeding babies in public. There was a hue and outcry about it. Then I got into an argument with somebody on Facebook about this incident. He thought that while it was important to facilitate lactating mothers and make it convenient for them to breastfeed in public places, the flash mob was wrong because it was “indecent”. On my part, I think that it is very immature of people to be so disturbed by natural bodily functions of human beings. On the other hand I know that I still have to respect the views of others. Or put it more accurately, I don’t respect their views. I respect them, and I accommodate their views because I respect them. But in truth I don’t agree with their views and I don’t respect their views.
I get really annoyed that for most of my life, I have been told what to think, to respect certain views that I was never ever going to respect. I know that to maintain social order, we do have to be sensitive to peoples’ feelings. But when are those sensitive people going to be sensitive to my feelings? I am getting tired of all this bullshit.
Like I said before, a lot of the time people made this very big mistake of thinking that I’m an extremely horny person because I didn’t care about saying things out loud that were sexually explicit. For a while I was pretty happy to play along. But every now and then I have to say that I’m not really that horny. Maybe a little above average. What it really is, is that I’m really uncomfortable about the way how people think that it’s morally wrong to be sexually explicit. I suppose when I talk about sex out loud, it’s just this passive aggressive part of me who just like to, for once, wind up those same people who have been annoying me for much of my life. Every single time a liberal view in Singapore doesn't agree with the conservative view in Singapore, the liberals have to give way. Every time people talk about respect for other people, when it comes to liberals accomodating the conservative views. When has it ever been the other way around?
When I was younger, I didn’t agree with those values. Now that I’m older, I still don’t agree with those values. I guess people don’t really change.
To be sure, I still believe that there is a line to be drawn. Some people have told me that there is a nude beach very near to where I’m staying. I’m not really that interested to go there. There are reasons why I think that what Alvin Tan did was not wrong. First, it’s his own personal blog. If people go there and see it, it’s a voluntary act. I want to compare this to one of my personal friends on Facebook who likes to post pictures of her son who has this habit of removing his own diapers. So I see a lot of nude pictures of babies with their pants off. And who knows whether he’s been shitting? Well I don’t really like that because it appears on my feed whether I want to see it or not. Then there are people like violentacrez who have consistently been putting up underage porn and a lot of violent sex or deviant sex or whatnot. Well that is not good either. That crosses the line.
A blog about two consenting adults does not cross the line. It is not that it is “mild”. It is that it does not cross the line AT ALL.
So what is this thing really about? It is really about people who don’t think that foreigners should be given scholarships to study in NUS. There are right reasons and there are wrong reasons to give out scholarships. One of them is that you should enable bright and able people to succeed in life. But sometimes I wonder if the aim is to make sure that a certain sort of people that you think should climb up the ladder gets to climb up the ladder. That you want to pick and choose people who have a certain set of values, and you want to make sure that only those people who have those values succeed in life. Or an even more stupid reason is that the Times ranking system for universities has this component that NUS scores very well in – the “international exposure”. So it was originally scored with the purpose of rewarding universities who have made themselves more open. And paradoxically in this instance you have rewarded NUS for being closeted.
And I don’t really have a very good impression of netizens in this particular instance. They’re just really against the idea of scholarships for foreigners. And they probably want all foreigners to be stripped of all their scholarships. If this is their motive, and they say that it is their motive, then I won’t necessarily denounce them for it. But they’re just being hypocrites in this case. Alvin Tan here has just provided them with an extremely flimsy excuse to say these ugly things.