The Mother/Son/Holy-Spirit Trinity of Fallacies: an anatomy of the Amos asylum debacle
Amos Yee himself alone is far from being responsible for his current asylum quagmire. Two other principals from central casting are equally if not more responsible, i.e., his mother Mary Toh and his U.S. mentor-facilitator, fellow compatriot Melissa Chen. As March 7 approaches — the day of the anticipated court ruling on his asylum bid — I’m predicting a total defeat of his application; the reasons for it were given in my first post on Melissa Chen’s Facebook in early Jan. See link … https://lester978.wordpress.com/2017/01/03/why-amos-yee-asylum-bid-would-fail-a-retrospective-prediction/ And in a recent post in late Feb. I coin the term ‘amosization’ in due recognition of the mind-boggling screwup by Amos and company from the get-go in his asylum quest. [ https://lester978.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/the-coinage-of-amosization-in-amos-yees-honor/ ] Here now is a further look at the trinity of fallacies consisted in each of these 3 individuals, fallacies predicated on a farrago of chaos, confusion, denial, outright contradiction and not least egotism cum arrogance that have all conspired to bring about Amos’ imminent state of implosion.
The Mother: Mary Toh the mother (and adult in the family) should bear the lion’s share of responsibility for her son’s current plight. Her abject failure early on to recognize the difference between critical discourse and religious blasphemy committed by her son will haunt her forever. She has publicly remonstrated that her son should never be imprisoned for criticizing religion. But clearly, she knew it a fallacy to treat her son’s mischief as worthy religious critique. I was perturbed even as a non-Muslim by his outrageous shenanigans in profaning the Quran on YouTube. The outrage generated by his simulated act of ravishing and boffing the Quran culminating in orgasmic gasps, evokes memory of a public controversy happened back in 1987 in the U.S. It involved the art exhibition of American artist-photographer Andres Serrano featuring his blasphemous artistic masterpiece called Piss Christ. Piss Christ was a photographic display of a crucifix dipped in a jar of the artist’s own urine. While even such sacrilegious expression is protected under the Constitution of free speech in America, mother Mary knows full well there is none such in Singapore but quite the contrary are in effect so-called ‘harmony laws’. Her willful turning a blind eye to her teenage son’s prior misconduct has now redounded to his current woes big time.
The Son: enough cannot be said of the egotism, narcissism and hubris of Amos Yee; they have indeed become his own worst nemeses. His mother in late Feb. revealed that Amos has been in solitary confinement in the McHenry County Jail for 2 weeks now for ‘criticizing’ Islam, according to her account on Facebook. http://mothership.sg/2017/02/amos-yees-mother-confirms-amos-yee-in-solitary-confinement-in-us-for-2-weeks/ Apparently, even the jailhouse authority in the States is now finding Amos’ arrogance and impudence insufferable that warranted sanction against it — his current penalty issued from his participation in an inmate group study of the Quran conducted by an imam, during which Amos’ arrogance got the better of him that led him launch into a torrent of F-bombs. http://www.theindependent.sg/amos-yee-allegedly-in-solitary-confinement-in-the-usa-for-insulting-muslims-in-jail/ Interestingly, in a Dec. 12 interview with New Lens 4 days prior to his absconding to America, this was what Amos reportedly said: ‘“I could even go as far as to say that my kind of video that humps the Quran, and was overly rude to religious people. I’d probably want my videos and maybe even my account to be taken down too,” he says. “It is just not a good way to communicate information to people.”’ End quote. https://international.thenewslens.com/article/56605 And now just 2 months on, he has reverted to Amos redux — the vintage expletive-laden Amos coupled with a complex fallacy of superiority. Indeed, somewhere earlier I wrote: ‘His problem is he is not so much unreformed as unreformable at this juncture of his life’; granted, he is but still a teenager. In fact, in a recent response to Melissa Chen’s desperate attempt at shielding Amos from possible comparison with other Internet trolls like the recently disgraced and cashiered Milo Yiannopoulous, I did argue that Amos is at bottom a Milo wannabe. [ https://lester978.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/is-amos-yee-a-milo-yiannopoulos-wannabe-the-parallels-are-striking/ ] So Singapore being Singapore, will brook no such acting up in the guise of so-called freedom of expression by any disruptive character at the expense of communal harmony at home. Amos’ seeming denial of such ground realities and his knowingly throwing caution to the wind, bespeak his streak of ornery recalcitrance, as we now witness this tape of his being rerun again in America.
The Holy Spirit: from early on, the ubiquitous presence and influence of Melissa’s aura on the young man cannot be understated. She has nostalgically recounted her personal visitation to the kid’s residence as he became a cause célèbre. Melissa Chen herself is quite a remarkably protean social activist in the States. A brief scan of her Facebook page affords a whiff of what she does so well on the Internet — the stuff of a fellow citizen activist that her teen protégé would doubtless cherish and aspire to that which he couldn’t pull off at home. Melissa would no doubt deny her major complicity in Amos’ asylum maneuver. But her mea culpa in spurring him on to seek asylum abroad is writ large in her answer to my first post of Jan. 3rd on her site: “If I didn’t feel a sense of responsibility toward this case and toward Amos himself, I wouldn’t be spending time/effort on it right now. So if things don’t work out I will absolutely shoulder the blame.” End quote. But for all her activist savvy, it has now become increasingly clear, what egregious absence of due diligence, how abysmally ill-prepared was the Amos party in their asylum bid that resulted in the unwitting ensnaring of her mentee. [ Read about their incredibly mindless goof-ups in this link –https://lester978.wordpress.com/2017/02/27/the-coinage-of-amosization-in-amos-yees-honor/ ]
It is however Melissa’s fallacy of hailing the justness of Amos’ so-called free speech cause and having wrongheadedly equated his condign prosecution with invidious persecution at home that she eventually became wise up to. Sometime last month past mid January, Melissa got cold feet in her mentee’s asylum cause and appeared to be abandoning ship after realizing how poorly the public response was to the two pro-Amos campaigns she helped initiated in early January. To date Amos’ crowdfunding has gleaned only about $4K in donation (a mere fifth of what he had managed in 2015 at home at the time of his first offense) and just only 400 names have bothered to sign on to the call for his release from DHS detention. A salient note needs be highlighted concerning the Janus-faced contradiction of Melissa’s conviction as a self-styled free speech ‘absolutist’. Namely, while Melissa deems Singapore’s authority regulating speech (as in Amos’ case) undemocratic on the one hand, she was nothing loath to preclude on the other, any ‘alt-right’ wingnut like Richard Spencer from speaking in open forum as was the case in the recent Washington D.C. conference (Feb. 17-19) she partook in — a confrontation involving Richard Spencer she proudly recounted on her Facebook. It stands to reason to deduce all that libertarian clamor of hers against speech regulation of any form to be totally cant, a load of mere hot air.
Finally, I would be remiss here if I left out mentioning one other not so incidental character from central casting who I believe did have a significant role in bringing about Amos’ current sorry state of affairs. The dysfunctional relationship with his uncommunicative and unrelatable father will perhaps someday be the stuff of psychoanalysis for Amos in behavior management therapy.
Ang Chuan Heng posted the following on Todayonline, March 8, 2017
You wrote such a long article to vilify Amos and his mom and even willing to take the trouble to repost it here. Your effort is commendable.
Yet you have misplaced your talent in writing on sich a small fly like Amos. Why not write on someone that is really big:
The baba/Sonan plate/Tiger rider of Fallacies: an anatomy of LKY’s Maylaysia debacle.
Please remember to repost it here. Thanks.
Lester Kok responded:
To: Ang Chuan Heng
Re: ‘The Amos Yee Challenge’
First off, you may save your future thank you as I’m not contemplating in the least on ‘misplacing my talent’ on phantom issues of your suggestion. Nice try, dude.
Now, are you ready for ‘The Amos Yee Challenge’: if I ended up being wrong about my prediction on the eventual declination of Amos’ claim of asylum, I shall never live and breathe another negative word about Amos and company but that would require you to do contrariwise, i.e., never ever to lionize him again for as long as you shall live. Are you game for the Challenge?
Ruefully, your infelicitous use of the word ‘vilify’ on my account goes to demonstrate the scale of your bemused AY fandom. I dare you to name one last single individual iota of my numerous posted criticisms of Amos and gang that isn’t on point, being off-base or untrue — you can’t, else you would have done so already. The truth hurts doesn’t it but heck, that far outstrips the alternative. Still someone has to spell it out and why not me. Every word I write on the subject comes from my heart, not for effect or intended as ‘vilification’. And that is good enough for me.