"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

I love the chair-throwing we get on YR.

If you have a short attention span, click here to go to part 2, which is both short and delicious.

A: If she's smart, the only two lessons she can draw from this debacle are:

a) Keep your mouth shut in the public domain, because people can't handle the truth
b) Who cares about public castigation? Populus me sibilat, at mihi plaudo/Ipse domi simul ac nummos contemplor in arca.

If she's got what it takes to achieve the success owing to her as part of the educated/pampered elite (which is by no means a guaranteed factor as a result of inherited endowments - see ACS(B)) I say more power to her. The world has its privileged elites who have more freedom and opportunity to do what they want; boo-fucking-hoo, what are you going to do about it, ESPECIALLY SINCE MOST PEOPLE ON THIS LIST ARE IN THAT POSITION? Make whining value judgments about how the current state of economc injustice isn't a demonstrably provable a priori moral axiom or name-droppingly cite abstruse disertations on the ontological imperative to do good? This kind of intellectual masturbation does little to change the facts on the ground, and its even more sickeningly hypocritical coming from people who are already by and large on the winning side of the current social equation, benefiting the most from the status quo. It's like the aristocrat who patronishingly applies a band-aid on a leper's sore, making sure that his ermine cloak doesn't get stained with pus, while the leper is dying in the gutter.

To compare; I'm a career failure because I didn't apply myself; I went to a lousy uni where I ended up an alcholic and a bipolar depressive; all this even though I came from a middle-class, private-condo dwelling family that could afford tuition and assessment books and an overseas education for me. Do you hear me clamouring to be added on the welfare list? Should I be going to claim mental disability payments for being a victim of extenuating circumstances?

I got what I deserved for my own indolence and ineptitude and wasting my "initial endowments" - and now I live in penury supporting my family and working like a dog in a pittance-paying, no-future job - THAT'S reality, THAT's the economic truth, like the law of gravity, and I take full personal responsibility for not being capable of bettering my condition, as opposed to laying blame at the foot of "social conditions" or "privileged endowments". I'd rather you Ivy Leaguers/Oxbridge people with your six-figure salaries spat on me for being a failure - which I'd unflinchingly accept as my just due - than endure your patronising, condescending platitudes about how i'm a victim of social inequality and economic disenfranchisement and globalization's ill-effects and Gini coefficients.

I don't blame share-holder accountable MNCs for refusing to hire me instead of some workaholic CV-buffed Oxford/Columbia grad with a scholarship buyout (whether that person is certainly best for the job in the long run is another issue, but the signalling logic holds true in the short-medium term given today's economic conditions) and I certainly do not insist on pillaging by coercive redistribution the fruits of another man's labour.

Frankly, the population of this list, despite their avowed commitment to open debate, appear incapable or unwilling to face fucking facts when it goes against your liberal groupthink - it's far easier to remain discreet to avoid the mob when someone says something that raises the rabble's collective hackles. I suppose this is because most of you immature vermin have not even begun to enter the workforce (whether gov't sinecure or private sector) or have experienced anything about the real working world beyond pallid internships or career cocktails; I think time - and market forces - will demonstrate to your satisfaction that no one owes anyone else a fucking living, and that the sickening intellectual justifications for bleeding-heartism seen on this list is just a hypocritical expression of privilege and pampered elitism.

You can only look down your noses in pity at the injustices of the world and postulate elaborate models of social egalitarianism with the luxury of scholarship/education/lapidary middle-class prosperity - and most of you will end up working for hedge funds, investment banks, law firms or high-paying civil service jobs serving the same kind of systematic social oppression that you're castigating now. (Of course the females - and you know who you are - can always end up sleeping with high-achieving alpha males as a proxy for achievement; that way with self-sustainability out of the way you have the luxury for guilt-free philanthropy, teaching, or social work)

People like us out in the real world who have real jobs, real concerns, families, bills, dying parents, hospital costs, inflation, spiralling property prices, etc etc simply don't have the luxury you spoiled, pampered pack of scions do to feel your detached, nauseating, debate-society, mouth-clucking pity for our fellow human beings. We're too busy paying the taxes and bills that bankroll your scholarships (FMS-ers of course excluded).

People who are whining about the world as they think it should be when they will end up perpetuating the world as it is shouldn't have the fucking gall to PREACH about it. To the few of you on the list deserving of an iota of respect (mad propz to tha P-Dawg); excuse the frothily hysterical and repetitively rabid quality of the above poorly-little rant, but I simply haven't got the sangfroid to avoid venting B-class bitchy outrage at the attitude of some people here.

B: This is the most ridiculous post I've read on the list in a long time. My name is bandied around, so I suppose that I shall reply to this particular piece of dross.

1) Bitter much? The vehemence with which you speak of 'hypocrisy' is certainly vituperative and vicious. Just because someone accepts a scholarship does not mean that he or she is buying into the system, or going to perpetuate the shittiness that is inherent in the current system. I believe that XXX has already clarified that this girl's stance breaks her heart, and that is why she would like to join the education service - to dispel such idiotic notions. Many of us take scholarships for various other personal reasons. To say that we benefit from the system but are not blind to its weaknesses and excesses therefore we are hypocritical does not make sense. Like most of your post.

2) Lovely to know that most of us are ivory-towered scholars. Where were you, for example, when I asked for assistance with Mission Angkor? I have a friend called Smriti. Both her parents are doctors, her sister is an Oxford medic, she's training to be a lawyer at Durham. Last year she raised $300,000 to renovate the operating theatre of a hospital in Cambodia. I am sure that I have bored you by regaling you with such tales. But surely this is proof to the contrary that "bleeding-heartism" is expression of some form of deep-seated hypocrisy.

3) At any rate, Miss Wee's comments are an example of how the "elite" has so totally divorced itself from the "underclass". Surely the answer to this is not less debate, but more. The reason why we post on this list, surely, is that we actually care about the issues at hand. Why else would we waste our time on this?

4) I am sure that I am a posterboy/girl for such divorced-from-reality bleeding-heart noblesse-oblige pampered-elitist hypocrisy. Not that this has anything to do with the debate at hand, but my family is painfully middle class at most. Most of my uncles and aunties remind me of the Derek person at whom Ms Wee so verbosely hurled abuse. Therefore I took offence. And I take offence now, especially. Loved your sob story though.

the point of this, in response to A's dumbass rant about how the more intelligent/haves/fortunate side of the normal curve/etc etc are all secretly hypocritical when they benefit from the system and at the same time complain about it blah blahblahiamsoincoherentpropztoP-dawg is that some who have benefited from the system actually use their brains to help. i could go on about responsible charity but this is irrelevant to the point at hand, which is whether debate is hypocritical (firstly, it is not. secondly, it is irrelevant). but it is suffice to say that those who have benefitted from the system do not subconsciously buy into it and support it. i realise i have used the term 'the system' as one would say 'the matrix' or 'the great outdoors' and i will try to stop.

C: I'm not even sure what kind of altruism would satisfy your non-hypocrisy criterion? Perhaps you think that egalitarians should give away their money to the point that their wealth reaches a marginal equilibrium with that of the poorest person in the world? Or until they reach working class status? Or? Really I'd like to know what kind of action would entitle someone to 'preach' egalitarianism?

D: That was some WMD barrage. For all that, I personally find it amusing because a real pittance-paying no-future job definitely does not exist in the technical finance specialist line that you're in.

The argument you put forward for your own life situation is therefore ... rich. Even if you (as in yourself personally) wanted to be added on welfare there is this little thing called means testing. And there isn't really a link between means testing and extenuating social inequality circumstances except in a fuzzy-wuzzy armchair-theoretical way. The link in means testing is direct - if one is poor, one needs money to buy food, and if money is available due to redistribution of the fruits of another man's labour, then so be it man, joy to all.

If you really hate coercive redistribution that much, don't pay taxes. No one owes anyone else a fucking living after all. Walk your talk too.

But I am curious: where are "the sickening intellectual justifications for bleeding-heartism seen on this list"?

> People who are whining about the world as they think it should be
> when they will end up perpetuating the world as it is shouldn't
> have
> the fucking gall to PREACH about it.

Certainly they can - illustrative example, if I have joy or something in giving away $100 in my billion-USD fortune to someone who desperately needs the $100 to fulfil some immediate essential life-or-death need, this is a win-win situation. Though I could be considered a Cock(TM) for being happy at giving away a mere pittance of my fortune for good thereby perpetuating my billion-USD-wealth world as it still is, it's still a win-win situation. Mutually beneficial situations are highly desirable, and thus worth crowing about from the Highest Rooftops. Where my views differ from yours and the P-Dawg's is that "elaborate models of social egalitarianism" are built to better identify and serve these mutually beneficial situations in efficient double-quick time. What is social policy if not these elaborate models?

But I really have no idea what you're trying to say. :)

E: You can't have your cake and eat it, A -- is it OK to wallow uncaringly in the luxury of one's privilege or is it not? If it's OK, what's the material difference between condemning the underprivileged as failures without helping them, and cooing patronisingly at them without helping them? If it's not OK, surely both are problems. Is hypocrisy the only sin one can commit? Or is it just the easiest to score points on in a mailing list debate-society kind of way?

Me: A's argument has several basic points:

1) If you are fortunate and you care for others who are less fortunate than you without doing anything, you are a hypocrite. It's not the thought that counts.

2) A is a sad failure and it's his fault. He doesn't complain or ask for anything, so neither should anyone else.

3) People in the real world do not have the luxury of having a heart.

4) Talk alone is useless.

In response:

1) Opinions stand on their own merits, regardless of who holds them.

Playing the hypocrisy card is a cheap trick. Instead of seeking to build yourself up so you dominate the other side, you tear the other side down.

It's like mutually assured destruction. Technically you may win, but it's a pyrrhic victory. It's like Lawrence Ellison overtaking Bill Gates as the richest man in the world by, say, blowing up his house and sending a suicide bomber to bomb his car so Microsoft stocks plunge in value.

Or, as A might sympathise more with, like how Raistlin "conquered" the world, but found that there was nothing worth ruling over.

Besides which, is it really hypocrisy? The supposed analogy is an aristocrat patronishingly applying a band-aid on a leper's sore, making sure that his ermine cloak doesn't get stained with pus, while the leper is dying in the gutter. But surely that is better than not applying a band-aid at all. And much better than what wt would do, which would be to kick the leper, spit on him and walk off laughing.

And what about the other things us as "elites" would do?

- Taking time out to care for less fortunate (Helping the leper to the roadside and binding his wounds)
- Donating money to charity (Giving the leper money for anti-leprosy medication)
- Using your career (or at least 6 years of your bond) trying to make a difference (Dedicating your life to caring for the leper)
- Not being contemptuous towards the less fortunate (Smiling at the leper instead of freaking out and running away)
- Buying dolphin-friendly tuna (buying Leper(TM) brand tissue paper)
- Picking up starfish by the seashore (Cleaning one of the leper's sores)

You just have to wonder, wth is A smoking?!

2) wt is not a sad failure (see below).

If someone were a sad failure, it were his fault and they complained or asked for anything, we'd all justly bitchslap him. But the concern expressed is not for these people, but for those for whom it's not their fault. For example:

- Locals who work more and yet earn less and have less prestige than expatriates
- Ugly girls
- Kids born with nipples on their foreheads

Derek Wee is not complaining or asking for anything (at least nothing explicit explicitly), and it's not his fault companies don't want to hire old, yet talented people. What do you expect him and his friends to do? Drink from David Copperfield's Fountain of Youth?!

Furthermore, just because A does something does not mean we should all do it.

"I tell you to eat shit, then you go eat shit ah?"

Just because priests don't use condoms when they have affairs with nuns doesn't mean we should all go bareback!

Once again, wth is A smoking?!

3) People in the real world do have a heart. How else do charities survive? Or progressive tax systems?

4) Words have power. 2 words: "Communist Manifesto". Or maybe a sentence: "I did not have sex with that woman".

Next, one or two points to make:

>I certainly do not insist on pillaging by coercive redistribution the
>fruits of another man's labour.

If the progressive tax system did not exist, the masses would rise up and violently redistribute wealth. Would you deny them the fruits of their revolution?

Also, as the saying goes: "Better a bleeding heart than none at all"

Finally, some factual matters:

>I'm a career failure because I didn't apply myself;

Debatable, but not all those who study medicine become top-class surgeons. If you study medicine and end up running a private-GP practice instead of specialising, are you a failure?

>I went to a lousy uni

>I came from a middle-class, private-condo dwelling family

"There are three social classes in America: upper middle class, middle class, and lower middle class." - Judith Martin

This is like how the Economist described someone with a private yacht as being middle class.

>now I live in penury supporting my family and working like a dog in a
>pittance-paying, no-future job

This is about as true as my saying that I'm anorexic and need to gain weight.

In conclusion, A is spouting a pack of lies and verging on being Lying and Psychotic, and possibly Deluded too. I have this advice for him:

"He who deals with lying, deluded, psychotic, vindictive, treacherous bitches might take care lest he thereby become a lying, deluded, psychotic, vindictive, treacherous bitch. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."

F: To be fair there will be a slight lag-time before the wastrel sons squander their inheritances and drive their towkay grandfather's trishaw manufacturing empire into the ground after paying for all the mckinsey
fees to robustify their strong-form learnings... and the creditors come banging on the door to LBO their pound of flesh carve it up auction off the pieces to the highest bidder and suddenly there will be no more 'tea partays' at the american club in their preppy closest-to-oxford-they'll-ever-get shirts anymore. Market justice is slow but inevitable, like Edmond Dantes's revenge in the Count of Monte Cristo, and will bring them to the mediocrity they celebrate so much.

E: Not sure this analogy is the greatest advertisement ever for the market fundamentalist cause, a large part of the point of the story of Edmond Dantes' revenge being to illustrate the emptiness of the dispensations of so-called justice from Providence or its self-appointed human agents, and to suggest that we should pursue forgiveness and forward-looking happiness. Y'know, the small matter of, oh, only the entire denouement -- Villefort's unnecessarily murdered (though highly irritating) son, Dantes running off with Haydee, and all that. And personally I feel Mercedes gets a bit of a rubbish lot as well -- I mean, she couldn't possibly pine for her dead chappie forever.

C: I find it interesting that your definition of mediocrity = not top 1% in wealth. And I note no actual refutation of the egalitarian arguments have been put forward. I wonder why that is.

Me: Ooh, touche. I'd just like to add that this (Monte Cristo) is what happens when you follow the "altar man" philosophy.

"Altar man" philosophy: "It ultimately comes down to one question: Are you kneeling at the altar, or are you on the altar watching the others kneel to you?"

Those who adopt the "altar man" philosophy find that either they're kneeling at the altar when there's no need to do so and other people are doing better things with their lives, or they're on the altar and finding that no one gives a shit.

Either way they die bitter and empty.

"No matter how hard you hug your money, it never hugs back." - Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
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