Singapore — After writer Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh aired his views on blogger Michael Petraeus (aka Critical Spectator) on social media, things turned interesting, as the blogger decided to return volley for volley.

In a post on Tuesday night (May 19), Vadaketh had said he’d been asked to comment on the blogger, which he has been reluctant to do.

“I generally avoid Michael’s baiting on social media, and have been disinclined to write anything about Critical Spectator. The reason is simple: It’s just not very good. Why promote mediocrity?”

Oof. Strong words, but the writer kept his arguments relatively civil, although he did point out that Petraeus “has poisoned Singapore’s social media discourse”. And for him, the solution to this is to simply stop engaging with the blogger and sharing his posts, thereby preventing a further fuelling of “anger and rage in our society”.

Some have asked for my views on Critical Spectator, run by Michael Petraeus, a new visitor to Singapore from Poland. I…

Posted by Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh on Tuesday, May 19, 2020

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Three hours after Vadaketh put up his post, Petraeus shared it on Critical Spectator’s wall, with this seemingly jubilant comment: “What an amazing day, Singapore! At least one person from the forever whining crowd has found one testicle and tried to rebuke me online (I say one, because when I challenged him directly under one of Cherian’s posts he deflected and failed to respond).”

Under his own name, he also came out swinging on Vadaketh’s post.

In another, and very lengthy comment, he called “commentators/intellectuals/writers” the “least productive group in the society and yet one the most convinced of their intellectual superiority”, in comparison with himself, who’s a business owner, has worked as a designer and marketing strategist, and has “wide array of practical skills that I’ve been selling to happy clients all over the world for the past decade”.

Petraeus made his low opinion of writers very clear indeed.

“It takes doing something practical to understand how difficult taking any meaningful action is.
But you? You’re just a writer, you operate a keyboard to voice opinions based on no experience whatsoever. You dare to comment on how a country of several million people should be run, when all you can operate is a laptop with a word processor. No lives depend on you, no jobs, you have no role in any supply chain.”

It was obvious that Vadaketh had stirred the blogger’s ire, as he spared no words in belittling the writer. “You can’t argue your way out of a disagreement, you have nothing meaningful to say — not even in this post which has zero substance whatsoever, since you bring up no actual examples, no facts, just your vague impressions of me — which I’m not sure how you came to acquire since you likely barely ever read anything I write.”

Petraeus then went on to boast some more of his own achievements.

“And guess what, without being a paid hack for big name companies I have built something on my very own. I traveled 10,000 km to Southeast Asia and got noticed simply on the basis of the merit of my articles. Nobody knew me, I have no illustrious CV, I’m an Eastern European climbing the ladder. English isn’t even my first language and writing isn’t my primary occupation — and yet here I am.
My posts on the dorm situation in Singapore have gained me more followers than the total that you have here — in a week. My articles have been read over a million times since December 2018 — quite equally in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.”

And as if that 1,000-word long tirade wasn’t enough, Petraeus posted yet another lengthy post about Vadaketh on Wednesday morning.

What I find so interesting about all the outspoken left-wing snowflakes is how they tend to behave like clones. It’s…

Posted by Critical Spectator on Tuesday, May 19, 2020

We’re going to give this round to the writer, who said what he said and was done. By going full-on on the defensive, we feel that Petraeus protested a little too much, suggesting that beyond his posture of swagger and bluster, the writer’s critiques hit a sore spot. As of the writing of this article, Petraeus was still at it, posting comments on the writer’s original post, while Vadaketh had moved on to other topics. /TISG

Read also: Writer Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh examines the recent increase in South Asian prejudice

Writer Sudhir Thomas Vadaketh examines the recent increase in South Asian prejudice

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