Readers' Submissions

Brokenman Busted – The Self-Righteous Always Knows Best



I have two problems with this post. The first, of course, is contained in my title and the second is a question to Stick. Yes, it is your web site and you can post anything you please, but why would you let someone unfairly criticize one of your best contributors under an anonymous signature? You did indicate it was a “harsh” reply but this guy actually enjoyed Brokenman’s pain; “I take a particular delight in his decline and fall”. Also, his charge of “lecturing the rest of us” just because this bloke took the time to write about his experiences is just silly. So, in Mr Anonymous’s world, anyone who writes anything is lecturing and therefore sets “himself up for criticism”. Funny that; Brokenman posts his email address and yet when Mr. Anonymous decides to “lecture” the rest of us, his is missing for some reason. I wonder why?

We have all met guys like Mr. Anonymous in Thailand and on Thai web sites. “Oh, I live here” or “I have been coming here for so many years” so they are the experts and anyone that doesn’t listen to them is fair game for any criticism, or as in Brokenman’s case, personal attacks. Who hasn’t been in Brokenman’s shoes trying to bounce-back from a setback in life? Recovering from a broken marriage, he turns to Thailand to restore his manhood. Unlike others, he knows it is a dream and that marriage to a TBG will never work. Then he meets someone he assumes is a real person looking for real love. He is cautious; he gets to know her over many years before he takes the plunge. Yes, there are warning signs but who meets Miss Perfect anymore? Also, unlike others, he doesn’t sign over all his possessions to her. When she wants money he doesn’t think she deserves (or he has) he pushes back. Now they are apart but at least he has his dignity and few resources intact and can start to put his life together again. Why does Mr. Anonymous think this an opportunity for derision? Actually, I think Mr. Anonymous should hire himself out as a consultant to government agencies who determine which wives are allowed in. Let’s see, based on my extensive knowledge of Thailand, I will hold her visa application to my forehead like the Great Carnac (for those of you who did not end their day with The Johnny Carson Show: http://www.joke-archives.com/oddsends/carnac.html) and I predict she will leave her husband when he refuses to pay for her son’s college education.

One of Mr. Anonymous’s claims is that relationships are impossible unless you know the culture of their partner. Mr. Anonymous claims Brokenman knew “nothing” about Thai culture yet his writings show distinct sensitivity for entering into a relationship with a native Thai woman. I wish Mr. Anonymous would please tell me how much cross-culture knowledge we should all have before we are allowed to marry someone from another country. Maybe governments (another consulting gig for Mr. Anonymous) could make this part of the foreign wife visa application; a one hundred question, multiple choice test on Thai culture. Sorry tee-ruk, we have to wait another month to bring you in because I only scored 75% on the exam and I needed an 80%. Those damn long Chakri king names, I always get them confused!

Ah, but Mr. Anonymous doesn’t stop there. One of his claims is that she left him because life in Midlands is so boring. I wonder if he has ever considered the lives of most native Thais, especially those who live outside of Bangkok. Midlands is Disney World by comparison, especially the parts where there is a stable family nearby, a stable job, and food on the table. Does Mr. Anonymous also hail from Midlands and now justifies his own boring life in Thailand by criticizing those that still do? Again, as Mr. Anonymous is big on rules, especially his, let’s make this part of the visa process as well. Sweetie, we are going to start our new life together in San Francisco. Unfortunately, my job is in Fresno and it is on the State Department’s “too boring for Thai people” list. No worries, I can see you on weekends, so we can still be in love together separately.

I wonder what makes people write posts like this. Laughing at other’s misfortune just so they can say I told you so. What special thrill do they derive from that? Have they been victims themselves and now to purge the shame and embarrassment they felt, do they spend their time looking for people like Brokenman, grappling to start a new life and trying to stay employed, so they can transfer their own shame to someone else. In this guy’s case, I am reminded of the story of Les Misérables. Jean Valjean, dealt a bad life from the start, is pursued by Inspector Javert who always seems to have the upper hand. Javert, born inside a prison, the son of a fortune-teller and galley slave, tries to purge his past by enforcing the letter of the law on others. In the end, Javert sees how empty his life has been and commits suicide. Not by becoming a member of the PFC, but by drowning himself. Oh wait, isn’t that what Mr. Anonymous suggested to Brokenman in a sideways kind of way? In fine print at the bottom of the visa form; “If this marriage doesn’t work, your life is worthless so please check out.” I wonder how much your life is worth, Mr. Anonymous.

I certainly do not wish this fate on Mr. Anonymous. I do wish that when writers who take delight in the pain of others have the balls to post their email address. At the very least, they will be informed what other readers think of their twisted logic and Javertian pursuit of purging past mistakes. By the way, with pride, mine is clearly printed at the bottom of this post. I dare say the email I receive from this will be much better than the email you would have received had you offered yours up.

Stickman's thoughts:

To your first point of why I chose to publish the submission in the first place. It could be argued that the writer of that submission made himself look like an ass with his self-righteous attitude. I didn't necessarily agree with what he said and might have even felt that it was all unnecessarily coarse – but that is no reason not to publish a submission. This site is NOT fluffy PC.

Sadly, the problem of Westerners gleefully regaling in the misfortune of other Westerners, or in worst case scenarios, even orchestrating or attempting to orchestrate the downfall or misfortune of others, is widespread. It may not be exclusive to Westerners living in Thailand, but it is not just prevalent, but prolific. It is a sad indictment on the quality of people who choose to move to the Kingdom.