KUALA LUMPUR, Mon.: When it comes to sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee's attitude towards their expose', the phrase 'taking it in their stride' is a gross understatement.
The duo, whose mercurial rise to infamy became the topic of frenzied online discussions and non-stop media coverage, have bulldozed their way through the harshest criticism with what appears to be confident, sarcastic rebukes.
Tan, an ASEAN scholar and law undergraduate at the National University of Singapore (NUS), took to his Facebook account to systematically rebut the highly publicised brickbats thrown at them, mostly through local news headlines.
Taken from his profile, these are his posts:
"I love these NUS Board of Discipline hearings, where the judge and the prosecutor are the same people" - [The NUS is conducting an internal disciplinary hearing into the sex blog].
"Psychologists who have clever things to say about our behaviour should tone it down. How credible is your "appraisal" if you haven't even met us, much less conducted a proper assessment on us?" - [In a recent report, a psychiatrist claimed that both Tan and Lee's sex blog was nothing more than a 'cry for attention']
"To those who say that we teach children the wrong things, look: those are your children. The world is bad and evil, and it is your job as parents to shield them or educate them about things like this. Ultimately, we don't owe more than an ounce of responsibility towards the young individuals whom you bring to this world. If your children get their hands on this so-called obscene material that we published, you only have yourselves to blame for not knowing how to control your kids. It's not our duty to make parenting and education easy for you, so go and learn how to be good parents instead of blaming others when it is you who failed." [ In a related report, parents labelled both Tan and Lee as 'stupid, disgraceful and selfish']
"Shame on me as a businessman. They're making a FORTUNE out of Vivian and me -- just look at the numbers! APPEARANCE FEE TIME. >.<" [on an article about him and Lee 'still hogging the limelight'].
"Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai's overly-kind words of me; I'm flattered 1,000%" [In response to The Star's Group Chief Editor Wong Chun Wai in which Wong observed and said : Tan seems to be your average boy next door. He is polite, plays the piano really well (his repertoire includes classical numbers) and is a gymnast. His body is well-toned with a six-pack to show off, as those who have seen his pictures on
the Net would know.
He speaks impeccable English and talks in measured tones, very controlled and yet very open. He would put many of our politicians to shame when it comes to fielding questions from the media, really.
He is after all a graduate from the prestigious Raffles Institution in Singapore, an Asean scholar, and is reading law at the National University of Singapore. He is obviously a very smart guy. I try to think that the smartest and cleverest ones have a certain streak of eccentricity in them."]
"I used to look up to (MCA president) Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, sexually. Funny how things turned out." [MCA Youth chief Datuk Wee Ka Siong blasted the pair for giving a 'free show']
"P.S. Given how sophisticated the level of discussion was... People with bad English, please stay out -- you might as well be listening to French. :D" [ On the 'tricky' interview with Capital FM and Red FM].
"Getting into the media limelight was never my intention. But now I have media attention knocking on my door, I have two choices: hide from it or learn to manage and use it to my advantage. The point is that a lot of people are focused on the wrong aspect; they are focusing on the nature of my publicity (sex, morality, ingratitude to certain institutions, etc.). That aspect, i.e. how I rose to fame, is immaterial. I, being the cunning and conniving character I've always been, am focusing on the magnitude and thus potential of that publicity."
More on Alvin and Vivian:
"Before they get the story, they will treat you like
a king or celebrity. That is the cold, hard truth that I know and accept."
Tan, who has never shied from the media spotlight (apart from taking down his blog) since his 'Sumptuous Erotica' sex blog exploded earlier last week, had this to say about reporters: I would personally send all those so-called journalists back to journalism school for forgetting the key legitimising characteristic that the media should have: objectivity.
"I also overwhelmingly prefer TV/radio interviews over newspaper interviews, because, with the former, there's much less latitude to twist and turn my words. They have to present my views and opinions in their original, sensory format, except maybe for some cutting and pasting and bleeping. Newspapers, conversely, are actually secondary sources, even with the use of quotes (here's the truth: newspaper quotes are almost never verbatim -- "(sic)" is an obsolete concept). Even the so-called credible newspapers, like The Straits Times and The Star, have the annoying tendency to take quotes out of context to print the story that they want to portray, not report the story as it is."
In his latest post (yesterday) Tan dedicated the following image to 'the 9GAG generation':