Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Delayed Response

I wanted to blog about this when the hoo-ha first erupted, but that didn't happen.

However, after receiving an email care of my alumnus' mass mailing list -- and exchanging a few mails with the person who sent it -- I'm compelled to pen a few thoughts.

With regards to the RJC girl ( whose name I shall leave out, but I'm sure you know who I mean ) whose venomous retort to a fellow blogger's entry caused a national uproar and also got her dad into hot soup, I have this to say:

I read the original post last night.

Considering my ample experience handling nasty people -- in person and on the Internet -- I was still shocked and dismayed by her tirade, which some might consider bordering on lunacy.

Such cruel and unnecessary insults are understandable in certain situations, but this was totally out of line.

I felt my heart sink lower with each new paragraph, and wondered how such a bright young lady who hails from an upper middle class family can make such a colossal mistake.

Narcissism? Arrogance? Looks like it.

Elitist self-righteousness? Hey, she said so herself.

I guess the most accurate description of her post is "disturbing", and on so many levels.

Such anger! Such malice! In one so young!

The email also included a list of her academic accolades, which are indeed impressive. But look how she's utilized her smarts -- to belittle someone so terribly, and show no remorse for her actions. She writes very well, but alas, has turned the beautiful English language into an ugly weapon of destruction.

And what of her father's initial defence? I don't grudge a parent's need to protect his kid, but doing so blindly -- there's absolutely no justification for that. You only end up conveying the wrong message and inculcating the wrong values. Whether he realized this himself or was pressured into retracting his statement -- I tend to favour the latter theory.

Sadly, this is now a common local trend. Parents think their offspring can do no wrong and let their kids run amok, wreaking havoc with wild abandon.

Just last week, my mom and I encountered such a set of errant parents during lunch at a neighbourhood shopping mall. The toddler scooted around like a rabid monkey, knocking into my chair multiple times, before deliberately shoving a wooden statue and toppling it over, missing our table by mere inches.

The parents' reaction? A gentle admonishment, ZERO apology.

My mother -- a retired teacher and ex-head of discipline -- then commented that the child was "very naughty". This obviously hit a nerve, since the boy's 30-something father proceeded to launch a screaming, vulgarity-infested rant.

I chose to speak up as well, but everything I said fell on deaf ears. The man's wife soon joined the fray, shocking me further by spewing Hokkien swear words while her son sat in her lap.

They clearly had no defence. For every objective criticism we provided, they replied with irrelevant insults. They showed no respect whatsoever despite my mother's revelation of both our professions, and only offered a reluctant apology to the restaurant's proprietor when I commented that they failed to do so.

Some of the disgusting remarks hurled at us include:

To my mother:

1. So what if you're a teacher? You're old! What do you know?

2. By the time my son starts going to school, you'll be dead.

3. Just watch out, next time your own grandson will be a failure.

To me:

1. Doctor? &^%%^*$!

2. Mind your own %^$&*@ business!

Sigh. This is why I prefer to stay home these days.

On A Happier Note

1. I survived yesterday's HORRIBLE night shift. Record number of NS men trolling for MCs, police cases brought in for medical exams, drunks, a freak accident at a fire station, and an endless line of fast atrial fibs ( thank goodness the cardiologist on is a veritable saint ).

2. Wish I could review the large number of CDs / DVDs I've recently purchased, but due to time constraints and exam / conference preparations, I have to shorten these to brief summaries.

Robbie Williams' Rudebox is his best since Sing When You're Winning. Best track by far: the psychedelic Lovelight, which MUST be blasted no matter what.

Other notable songs: Rudebox, Viva Life On Mars, She's Madonna, Never Touch That Switch, The 90's.

Great cover: Kiss Me - follows the grand tradition of Erasure, but a Google search didn't reveal any direct links. Very retro, I love it. :)

Patrizio Buanne's Forever Begins Tonight is his 2nd release following the successful debut The Italian. More covers of well-loved English classics ( Always On My Mind, You Don't Have To Say You Love Me ), with a couple of co-written originals, and the obligatory smattering of traditional Italian pieces.

Favourite tracks: Maledetta Primavera, Malefemmena, Bella Bella Signorina ( the last one's a superb big band swing fest ).

Noteworthy covers: Angels ( first done by Robbie Williams ) and Let's Make Love ( originally a duet between Faith Hill and Tim McGraw ).

This guy's versatile, no doubt about it.

Other recent buys:

Matt Dusk's Back In Town is a pleasant surprise, considering a rather lacklustre debut with Two Shots a couple of years back. He's found his forte in uptempo swing and big band numbers, and even does a few competent Broadway covers to boot.
Still getting through the CD, but Learnin' The Blues is really good.

The Ten Tenors' latest release is available in stores. Haven't played it yet. Review to follow.


Patrizio Buanne has a concert offering recorded at a Roman amphitheatre. Looks promising.

Chris Botti's massive performance with the likes of Sting, Gladys Knight, Jill Scott and Paula Cole has been added to my box. Will write more once I watch this.

And Barry Manilow has a Las Vegas show featuring performances of pieces from his 50's album.
( Yes, I adore Barry very much. It's okay 'cos I'm a woman. :))

TV News

The Apprentice has returned, better than ever.
Nothing beats seeing high flyers reduced to quivering mounds of jelly. But hey, that's life.
p.s. Tarek the Orlando Bloom lookalike is mighty appealing.

Survivor: Cook Islands got off to a good start with the Asian team winning the first challenge. Nowhere as controversial as most made it out to be, but it's nice to see more racial diversity this time round.

Whew. Enough for today. Have a good week ahead.

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