Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Finally, a comment on Amos I can agree with

From a FB comment:
I feel sorry for Amos because he was poorly advised, and poorly influenced, and was ultimately used by people. 
His lawyer (actually most lawyers) don't understand probation. Yes, for some offences, you would want to studiously avoid a criminal record - sex offences, violent crimes, and crimes that suggests a lack of personal integrity, or a weakness of character. Then yes, it makes sense to go through a year of more of probation to ensure those records never exist. For this "offence", his interests would have been best served by taking the few weeks jail and that would be the end of it.

Then he attracted supporters who used him and convinced him that he was an advocate for Freedom of Speech. They tell him that what he is doing is brave and courageous, and he is making a stand for Freedom of Speech, and that he is important. What 16 year old doesn't want to hear that he is important, that he is doing important things, especially when the "important thing" is spouting vulgarities because it attracts viewers to his Youtube video?
Was he standing up for Freedom of Speech? He just wanted to attract viewership to his video, and the best way to do so was to pick a contemporary issue with lots of interest and go to town with it. Make the most sensational video you can. Shock and Awe. If you can't Awe, you can at least shock.
Was there anything insightful in his video rant? Has anyone found anything thought-provoking? People who thought him intelligent and matured? Did they get that from his video rant? Evidence of this maturity or insight? I think "South Park" which is EXTREMELY vulgar, is also extremely funny, thought-provoking, insightful, and yes, intelligent. 
If you know the rules and know the reason for the rules and you break the rules, you're a revolutionary. (Maybe)
If you know the rules but don't know or (don't) understand the reasons for the rules and you break them, you're just a rebel. (Probably)
If you don't even know the rules you're breaking, you're just a punk. (Accidentally)
He was at best, just a rebel. Without a cause. Until his supporters gave him one. Or made him a cause celebre.

And so his HK supporters burned effigies of LHL and LKY. Meanwhile, in the ward in IMH, he was getting more despondent.

And his supporters here in SG had a rally in Hong Lim Park. Meanwhile, in IMH, his spirit was being broken.
The man who slapped him was probably more immature than him. But that man at least was honest and did not try to use Amos. 
But those that feted him, "supported" him, told him how brave and smart and intelligent he was, how he was important and how he stood for Freedom of Speech, for Civil Liberties and stood behind him when the hammer came - "deru kugi wa utareru" - the nail that sticks out will be hammered down.

Yes. They stood behind him. Far behind him. They sacrificed him in order to get a martyr for Freedom of Speech.

And I read some comment on this that Amos was engaging in "civil disobedience" a honourable tradition to protest unjust laws.

Sure. When Gandhi led his group in civil disobedience, when the police came to arrest them, he turned around and said to his followers, "stop! You do not need to come any further. I alone will let myself be arrested. Go on home to your wives and children. You need not suffer as I will. I will be the martyr for our cause." 
Civil disobedience? His supporters gathered in Hong Lim Park, the one place in SG you can LEGALLY gather... to support a rebel? That's... rather obedient for civil disobedience. That puts the "civil" but in "obedience". Not disobedience.

When protestors allow themselves to be arrested en masse for breaking a law they believe is unjust, that's civil disobedience. When armchair protestors allow a child to be sacrificed for their cause, they are slightly better than Kony, eh?
And so Amos faced the hammer alone. And he gets used one more time, by the authority as an example to others. 
I hope Amos learned the lesson in this. And the lesson is, "don't let people use you."

I would amend the definition of Revolutionary, Rebel, and Punk, thusly
If you know the rules, know the reasons for the rules, and disagree with the reasons and break the unjust or unreasonable rules, you're a revolutionary. (Maybe)
If you know the rules but don't know or (don't) understand the reasons for the rules, and you break them, you're just a rebel. (Probably, without a cause)
If you don't even know the rules you're breaking, you're just a punk (by accident).

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