Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Temper, Temper

I have a temper.

No suprises there - I had just yesterday vented it on some hapless Straits Times Reporter whose name I will not deign to repeat. I do not regret it, considering the "buay hiao bai" behaviour he roguishly displayed to Linda.

That is not to say I do not regret displays of temper. In fact, this is one of the rare occassions I do not regret losing my temper.

Hence, when Huichieh describes my writing style as being "ever measured", I feel it is my obligation to let my readers know that I am not, in fact, even-tempered. Far from it. I've just learnt over the years to keep my temper on a short leash.

There -are- still a couple of things that can set it off - most of them to do with my upbringing. One of the things that -will- set me off are bullies. Growing up a geeky, overweight teenager in an all-boys school priding itself for producing jocks has left it's mark on me.

What does this have to do with poor hapless Mr. Au Yong? Simply that I have a very short temper for perceived injustices, especially when said injustices are perpetuated from half-truths or misleading "common wisdom" - the meat and drink of bullies to exert social power. -ESPECIALLY- when someone should know better.

For someone who prides himself on his self-control, coolness of mind and ability to rationalise argument, it is with some shame that I look back on my writings yesterday. Not that Mr. Au Yong didn't deserve my harshest language, but because I did what I did for improper motives - and received much positive feedback from it.

No one should have to deal with ungentlemanly behaviour because of someone else's hangup. No one.

This is not an apology to Mr. Au Yong. This is a statement to the Singapore Blogging Community - you guys did great. Don't let the ravings of one biased ignorant reporter and one foaming-mad writer ever take that from you.


Huichieh said...

Now it's coming back to me: it was the excellent impression you made in the very post I ever read by you, the one were you talked about being gentlemen...

Anthony said...


Exactly. Wasn't quite being a gentlemen there was I?

Huichieh said...

Haha...not in those terms, probably. But you did write the post "as an appeal to the good sense of Singaporeans", and you closed by presenting the choice: "We can be a gang. Or we can be a gentlemen's club" with the implied thought being that you would prefer the latter option to the former... That was what struck me then.

In any case, you did say things like "it is with a great deal of annoyance...probably in the strongest language I've used on this blog..." But if this is the strongest language, I have to say that you controlled your temper pretty well. I'm sure you would know better about yourself, but at least the "venting" and "griping" came by way of arguments, sans references to anyone's mother too.

And please, be more modest will you: I'll reserve "foaming-mad" to some other bloggers I sometimes read. :)

Anthony said...


You should hear me in real life then. I cuss like a sailor when I get mad.

Thanks for the charity, Huichieh, but I do know myself - I'd like to hold myself out as a gentlemen, so in that sense I've let myself down.

Strong language notwithstanding, it was also the loss of cool that I find a let-down.

Or perhaps I'm just too hard on myself. :D