Saturday, May 05, 2007

I’m No Pessimist

I am greatly flattered that blogger Victor thinks that I am a ‘thinking blogger’; more so when I didn’t even know that he reads my articles. I feel even more flattered that he actually likens me to the famous blogger Mr Wang. I don’t think there is any other blogger who thinks that it is a worthy comparison. No need to elaborate.

Victor also thinks that I am probably a pessimist. Well he isn’t the first one. Some time ago, one reader expressed the same opinion when he read my article opposing the nomination of Mr S. R. Nathan as the next president of Singapore. I argued that it wasn’t pessimistic to speculate that an 80-over year old man like Mr Nathan may be forced to step down for health reasons mid-way through his term of office. It that happened, more tax payers’ money would be spent to hold another election to find a replacement. Anyway, once it became clear that Mr Nathan would win the election, I took down the article. I felt that it wasn’t helpful to keep that sort of argument on the internet any more. Now that we could all see that Mr Nathan is happily performing that role, I feel relieved and glad to be proven wrong.

And then it occurred to me that that reader, like Victor thought of me as a pessimist because of the title of my blog – Bad News on the Doorstep. I had never taken the trouble to explain why I chose such a ‘pessimistic’ name because there is a religious consideration behind my choice; and because I thought, since so few people read this blog, why bother. But out of respect for Victor, I think I should.

A very long time ago, at the dawn of earth’s history, there lived a man by the name of Lamech. He lived at a time when the society was full of violence and iniquity and moral decay. It so troubled him that when his son was born, he decided to name him ‘Rest’, or ‘Comfort’, saying; “This same shall comfort us.” The Hebrew name for it is Noah.

As I look at the world around me in 21st Century Singapore, and scan the news daily, I am convinced that we are living in times exactly like those of Lamech and Noah. (Just this morning I read the news of a man who raped his own daughter and posted the video on the internet. A couple of weeks ago, a young man, with a bright future ahead of him, took two guns and short dead 32 innocent bystanders before taking his own life). Since it is too late for me to go back and rename my son, I thought I would name my blog to reflect the times. And so I chose a line from the Don McLean classic, American Pie, to be the name of this blog.

Jesus Christ, before he left this earth warned us, through his disciples, to look out for the signs of the second coming. He specifically mentioned that the society at that time would “as in the days of Noah” – something I intend to blog about shortly. As I do not wish to mix religion with social and political commentaries, I have decided to blog about that topic (we call it Eschatology) in the separate blog called Parable of the Fig Tree. All bible-believing Christians look forward to a day when our saviour will return to this crippled earth to establish his millennial kingdom. Far from being pessimistic, we have a glorious hope.

You too can, if you will.


Victor said...

Thanks for taking the trouble to the explain how your blog name came about just for my sake. I think I got to know your blog (this one) quite early on but I must confess that I don't read it regularly.

My attention was drawn to your blog again lately by Chris, my good friend and colleague, who told me that you had a post mentioning about my bad experience with the bank officer.

Recently, I discovered how to find out who links my blog from This was how I discovered this response.

zen said...

Here are my views on selection of President Nathan. It is a political decison with reasons best known to the govt itself, and for paying him a high salary, it is not a problem, since it is from the tax-payers' money!.

For me being a optimist or pessimist, depend on prevailing conditions. If things turn up rosy, I become an optimist and if the reverse happen, I would become a pessimist, as simple as that. In conclusion, I like to view myself as a simpleton.