Is Bertha Henson overacting? Or maybe….just maybe…

November 13, 2012

Since you have come to me to ask for my opinion. I shall speak plainly. Only understand this! Just as it is not possible for a man to make an omelette without breaking eggs. There is no way in which I can advise you without speaking frankly. Please bear this in mind always.

I think, you are jumping to Bertha Henson’s defense too hastily without really examining the facts. Tell me, how intelligent is that? Besides you must never forget she was once part of the state controlled propaganda apparatus for the better part of her entire working career. She was an editor, so she was in the business of rendering kosher and acceptable what many younger journalist often wordsmithed – to put it plainly, she once belonged to the equivalent of the Einsatzgruppen in that hierachy of wordsmithing. Her role was to ensure “purity” of thought and purpose. Even if that role was wholly misconceived. No one can deny editors are hardly chosen for their independent streak. But rather their metier to assassinate the truth. But let us leave that as it is.

Perhaps we should all ask ourselves how probable is it that this was not staged managed? After all, these days, we get all sorts of happy and sugary narratives – train drivers who blog and a who are feted by the establishment, ex journalist who blog and expect us all to magically forget what they once stood for, for the better part of their careers, ex appartchiks who now seem to have seen the light and are calling for many intellectuals to speak out without fear and favor. All that is probably missing now is a for a talking horse to make spellbinding appearance in blogoland.

We are living in a heady age. Are we not? An age where nothing is what it ever seems. An age with lashings of kitsch and make belief, it seems. I think it is fair to conclude nothing can ever be taken for granted any longer. Not even the “truth,” it seems. Everything must always be interrogated, probed and sieved. At least ten times over. Twenty would better. Thirty or forty times even better!

Besides even you cannot deny, all the fuss is really ONLY about an anonymous letter. Even she concedes to this. So is it deniable. This should prompt the perceptive reader to ask, who then is she really responding to when she responds to an anonymous letter? This is what you all have to ask? Or are we somehow supposed to make that perceptive leap of faith to assume this is simply another case of goliath taking on a Davidian blogger? I really don’t think it pays for us all to take the path of least resistance.

What we need to do is ask ourselves who benefits from all this? What is actually gained from this great diffusion of nervous energy? Coming to think of it, how can you, I or even the broader society that makes up blogoland be really certain that this letter even represents anyone in SPH? Maybe it is personal. After all do you see organized crime getting worked up over two drunks slugging it out in the back alley over how a mafia movie should rightly end? And if they don’t. How intelligent is it for us to get worked up, over an anonymous letter? Let me put it this way, if I, you and perhaps 99.9% of blogoland don’t even bother about anonymous post and letters that regularly emerge from the digital wilderness. Then I wonder why is Madam Henson so determined on kick up a fuss over apparently nothing? Maybe she feels the need to dissociated herself from SPH to enhance her credibility online? Perhaps she needs to differentiate herself from her previous life thereby allowing her to be reincarnated as a being of light in blogoland. A light that can even manage to beacon out the murk?

But even if she felt justified in responding in the manner which she did- I think she should have some respect for the dead along with giving SPH the benefit of fair light and not launch out on a siaow Charbor tirade. Who after all ressurects a SMS once send by the dearly departed? RIP means rest in peace, not rise if possible! I am not exactly a fan of Mr Fernandez & Co. But I really must insist on the idea of a giving my opponent the benefit of the doubt and the first right to a level playing field. Please bear in mind, we have not even heard their side of the story yet. I would have it no other way just as perhaps the classical duellist would always insist on keeping to Queensbury rules. Unless you can tell me conclusively that this letter was sanctioned by the management of SPH. But then it would signed off by the public relations officer or maybe the CEO himself. Yes? That was even endorsed with by the entire SPH press corps. In which case, it would probably be signed off en masse a la petition style. But as it is, it remains inconclusive. So it must be treated as an anonymous letter. As procedurally it is so wrong in so many ways that no sane person can even take it seriously. For all we know a kacang puteh man snuck it and wrote this when one of the journalist went for a toilet break. Hence where is the prima facie case to answer? Except maybe in the derranged mind of Madam Henson. Gentlemen, it is really as simple as that. So what is the point of jumping up and down and getting worked up over nothing? Coming to think of it what exactly is under seige? What really is the fuss over?

Perhaps all of you would do well to reacquiant yourself with the challenges that we are all presented with. My friends when you consider what is really at stake in the digital battlefield these days – nothing can ever be taken at face value any longer. Absolutely nothing at all. Besides you all seem to be forgetting Mr Liao. And how we have had to move to measured response mode. Need I say gentlemen. I was not here. I did not say this. This conversation never ever took place.

Now you must all excuse me. I need to log out from the virtual and return back to the field. I really don’t have time to waste on splicing the deranged thoughts of very batty woman fighting imaginary enemies. And I really don’t think any of you should either. Think about it gentlemen – what will people say of us?

Res ipsa loquitor.

Darkness 2012

(An excerpt of a conversation captured somewhere in the grande hall of mirrors in the east wing of the Temple of Reason in Primus Aldentes Prime – relayed by the Interspacing mercantile Guild.)

“One of the travesties of modern life is the demise of the gentle art of dueling. I realize this may sound rather passé these days in the computer age. But I actually believe reviving dueling may actually improve manners and decorum immeasurably. Fortunately plantation life is still stuck circa 1800’s. High ceiling mansions. Man servants. String quartets after dinner. Ladies who can still be relied to experience fainting spells are all very much alive in modern day plantation society. Along with dueling. So it is not unusual from time to time to hear of instances where two gentlemen may come together at the break of dawn in some clearing in an estate to settle scores. It is really a hushed affair. No one speaks of it openly, only perhaps obliquely. And if I were to recount my experience. I really don’t think it is such a bad thing. For one it compels a man to take responsibility for his words and actions. These days with courts and lawyers, everything is really like a circus. There is no finesse. No élan. And above all there is no honor these days and as people no longer see the need to take responsibility for what they write, say or do. That is why it is so difficult these days to be a gentlemen. Impossibly difficult it seems. How sad.”

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