Archive for Teacher Tim

Tastes Like Chicken

Posted in สะพานลอย with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2012 by สะพานลอย

Saphan Loy has harped in the past on the gross violations of good faith that the Big Fat Baby Kenny Ng has exhibited on his ill-fated website bigbabykenny.com. He has eschewed all rational ethics (such as they are) and generally-accepted behavioural norms of self-publishing, and has demonstrated an extraordinarily rudimentary kind of schoolyard monkey-mind in his absurd treatment of other writers and bloggers (Saphan Loy included) that calls into question a few puzzling riddles about the kind of man Kenneth Ng really is. What we can glean from his sex tourism blog is that he is quite seriously mentally ill and certainly sex-addicted, with far-reaching fetishes that most likely include coprophagia, a behaviour he shares with dogs.

Generally speaking, most college professors are borderline deranged anyway, but usually in a harmless or quirky way. Perhaps they like crossword puzzles, for example. Or maybe they collect stamps, tea cozies, or antique bottles.  Not Ng. His perversions must certainly poison every classroom he enters, and he likely repels unsuspecting undergraduates with his pornographic avocation worn proudly on his sleeve without shame. Not to put too fine of a point on it, but professors, like any authority figure, should be held accountable to a standard that is elevated. For example, when Jimmy Smithers underwent a colonoscopy recently (see the article and the many interesting comments here), he would not expect that the doctor (were he a male) would be a deranged sex tourist. Indeed, were you or I to find out this information on the operating table, we would likely be dismayed and attempt to halt the procedure by abruptly pulling the IV from our veins and putting on our trousers.

Similarly, were you or I to sit down in a classroom, and the authority figure (the professor) had the reputation of an eager third world prostitute john which preceded him internationally, it would immediately colour our expectations and our feelings of comfort, which may, in turn, compel us to leave (unless of course his course were required). That the California State University of Northridge seems to be heading in the direction of purging their classrooms of deviants is an encouraging sign. In addition, the state’s impoverished university system has far too many other problems to worry about. And when the day comes when Big Baby Kenny Ng is called to the carpet, he will find his worst fears realized: directionless, he will go to Thailand, his head hanging low, where he will be forced to eke out a living there as a teacher in a mediocre university, working like a dog for a pittance of a salary, and having to deal with the indignity of “visa runs” and empty bank accounts for the rest of his natural days.

Which brings us to Ng’s latest salvo in a long campaign of misinformation: the origins of Saphan Loy. We (Lek and I) will not address Big Baby Kenny Ng’s retarded speculations regarding the ownership structure of Saphan Loy. We trust that our readers are capable of informed critical analysis and educated opinion, unlike the fat man’s bogus readership of the criminally insane.

In other news from the blogosphere, there are rumours circulating that Big Baby Kenny is now in Bangkok (see here and here), and it is our hope that he enjoys his sex holiday. After a whole semester spent looking at his unattainable and tantalizing coeds in his unendurable lectures, he needs one of two things: a cold shower or a trip to Bangkok. Teacher Tim Torkildson the Clown has returned to Stickman after a very brief hiatus. He wrote a piece last week that announced his return, and the take-down notice was removed by TEFL International. Due to the highly volatile discussions around his contract with TEFL International and the tense negotiations around his salary, it is nice to see that the details have been ironed out and we can once again enjoy Tim the Clown’s quirky take on life in a Thai classroom, and his musings on having romantic liaisons with Thai women.

On a much more serious note, Mobi over at Mobithailand.com is having open-heart surgery in Bangkok early next week. We at Saphan Loy wish him the best and a speedy recovery, and look forward to his return. I have to admit that having open-heart surgery in Thailand (or anywhere for that matter) is a courageous act of healthcare, which requires a lot of support and well-wishes. Take a moment to drop him a line.

Finally, in Stickman’s latest and greatest (a boring description of Siam Square), one of his deranged readers submitted a letter that is even more insulting than the feces that emanates from Big Baby Kenny Ng’s keyboard. In essence, the letter (reproduced below) is a horribly disrespectful analogy between fast food and Thai bar girls. It reveals a sickened mind and a non-existent moral conscience. By reproducing it here, it is Saphan Loy’s hope that it will draw appropriate levels of outrage. Who is so callous as to compare a young woman to fried chicken? I put this question to my office assistant, Lek, and she replied with a colourful expression of her own, a derogatory term that combines the words “farang” and bird-shit. In short, we were both stunned by this abortion of a letter penned by some Pattaya vagrant who prefers shirts without sleeves, his beer in tin cans, and his “fried chicken” in plastic buckets. A word of advice for this highly-evolved specimen of humanity: in future restrict the audience of your tortured similes to yourself, your psychotherapist, or your local clergyman only.

Reprinted in its entirety here:

Visiting Nana Plaza or Soi Cowboy compared to visiting McDonalds, you have a hunger, you go there for convenience, it’s gaudy, bright and trashy inside, you see what you think you want, you order it and take it away, but when you get outside you realise that what you really have is a bag in your hand that’s full of shit, you know it’s wrong and that you shouldn’t, but you have it anyway.  Temporarily you feel satisfied, you walk away leaving your trash behind!  Comparing the pay for play experience to KFC, nothing at all intellectual about the experience, once you’re done with the breast and thigh all that you’re left with is a useless greasy box to put your bone in!

As ever, we suppose it is of no surprise that there are those who think like this miscreant and who frequent Big Baby Kenny Ng’s site regularly. That Stickman, however, published this “gem” speaks to his complicity in the degradation of prostitutes (who should nonetheless be afforded some dignity and the most basic of human respect) in his adopted city. In our minds, what is far worse than the typing of this atrocity is the publishing it for the general public.

The View from Above

Tears of a Clown

Posted in สะพานลอย with tags , , , , , , on April 22, 2012 by สะพานลอย

Recently, when not torturing my office staff (Lek) by briefly subjecting her to the words over at autocoprophagist and plagiarist, Professor Big Baby Kenny Ng’s site, we have discovered something quite interesting in the bowels of YouTube. Teacher Tim, the clown-in-chief at TEFL International Thailand, has begun posting rather long and intimate (albeit one-sided) conversations about his life, his regrets, and his thoughts, all while consuming rather interesting if not completely inedible breakfasts. Now, Teacher Tim, you may recall, is the shill in residence for TEFL International over on stickmanbangkok.com. His brief, goofy pieces there are meant to encourage pipe-dreamers and sex-drifters, who believe they have what it takes to teach English to Asians, to enroll in a “certificate” course that will inadequately prepare them for an adventure-filled and exciting life of ESL pedagogy as a means to prolong their sexcapades in the lovely Kingdom of Thailand.

That said, Saphan Loy must admit that these new videos from Teacher Tim are quite interesting. If nothing else, they provide an audio-visual record of one man’s experience as a career clown. And for those of you who enjoy oral history from an anthropological perspective, they provide insights into what is likely a disappearing tradition. Sure, there may be circus clowns who are still performing actively with travelling circuses (ask the Ringling Brothers about this one), but I would wager they are few and far between. And frankly, here at Saphan Loy, the consensus between me and my lovely assistant, Lek, is that circuses are just plain creepy. Perform a search on YouTube for “animals attacking humans”, and you are likely to be directed to a grainy home-video (shot at a circus in Russia) where drugged-up lions or elephants are mauling their mildly-retarded or intoxicated trainers. Or, you may be treated to a spectacular and deadly fall from a trapeeze shot during a circus in some European backwater. YouTube also allows you to watch in horror when a motorcycle stunt goes terribly awry with the rider nearly garroted by a low-hanging rope during some other fly-by-night circus exhibition.  And while few viewers have actually seen Teacher Tim’s breakfast videos, we would heartily recommend them. They are honest, without artifice of any kind, and deeply personal. So, why is this important? Like Mobi over at mobithailand.com, Teacher Tim is revealing by example what a retirement in Thailand really looks like when the pleasures of the place have ebbed, or have become too taxing on the body and on the spirit. Or, worse, what happens when one runs out of cash, or begins to lose the plot.

 Bon appetite.

The View from Above

TEFL International Clown Advocates Animal Cruelty, Genocide

Posted in สะพานลอย with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2011 by สะพานลอย

A casual perusal of the Stickman Bangkok site while we wait for his latest and greatest on Thailand’s red light districts shockingly reveals that the TEFL International Clown and Spokesman, Tim Torkildson, is still labouring away at the keyboard, flogging the benefits of teaching English in that sweatshop-like industry in Thailand with a TEFL International “certificate”, but this time with an alarming perspective on how to deal with the challenges of life in a Buddhist country.

In his most recent column called “Dog Daze”, Teacher Tim endorses the rather anti-Buddhist position that stray dogs, and indeed large swaths of the population of his adopted country should be exterminated. Citing the views of his “fiancé”, Joom, Teacher Tim believes that Thais should “collect and kill the tens of thousands of stray dogs” that make living in the kingdom treacherous for the circus clown, but that reflect the country’s Buddhist principles as they relate to population control. He goes on to suggest that Joom would make an excellent “Dog Executioner” given her innate desire to “destroy stray dogs.”

Further, as if the gross intolerance reflected here is not enough to send a Buddhist into several months of extended meditation in the nearest forest temple, Teacher Tim suggests that the disappearance of one particular dog resembled the political progroms that affected Argentine politics in the 20th century so notoriously. He hopes the dog in question was handled, in Teacher Tim’s words, “in much the same way, I hope, Argentine dissidents used to ‘disappear’.”

Teacher Tim, for all of his Thai students and prospective TEFL certificate clients not quite paying attention to this particular classroom and history lesson, is referring here to Argentina’s “Dirty War” whereby an estimated 9,000 to 30,000 left-wing dissidents were disposed of in secretive and inhumane ways. The victims, which included university professors, artists, writers and the like, were reportedly dropped alive out of helicopters or naval vessels into the Atlantic Ocean, or otherwise tortured and killed. Their “disappearance”, as Teacher Tim hopes of stray dogs and others he finds objectionable, is a euphemism for a politically orchestrated brutality and a certain death sentence. For more on Argentina’s “Dirty War’, Wiki, of course, provides an excellent article here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dirty_War.

While Teacher Tim describes his Thai girlfriend Joom as “half serious”, one wonders what other kinds of depravity the two of them are capable of imagining. Leaving aside the repellant effects this article would surely have on an aspiring TEFL certificate student intereseted in coming to Thailand (although, because of his way with words, we have recommended that Jimmy Smithers consider pursuing a TEFL certificate in Thailand: we believe he would make an excellent ESL teacher), and given the sensitive political conditions in Thailand at the moment, one would have to question both the apparent psychiatric instability of Teacher Tim and his bride-to-be, Joom, and the editorial discretion on the part of his publisher, Stickman Bangkok. All told, Saphan Loy believes that these are excellent vocabulary words to introduce into the ESL classroom in Thailand, or anywhere else in the world for that matter: “genocide”, “euthanasia”, “political disappearance” and “pogrom.”

The sign reads: Ex centro clandestino de detención, tortura y desaparición de personas, 1976–1979 (in English, "Former illegal center of detention, torture and disappearance of persons, 1976–1979"). It is placed on the former site of the headquarters of the police.

The View from Above

Big Top Bangkok: Stickman’s Circus of Teaching Clowns

Posted in สะพานลอย with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2011 by สะพานลอย

Pausing from the arduous task of transcribing notes from my meetings with “Mike”, and the secret history of the red light districts of Southeast Asia, we turn this week to an obscure corner of the Stickman website, which is probably overlooked every Sunday in favour of the latest salacious news and pointers from the red light districts. The series of articles, introduced last summer, is called “Teacher Tim.”

It is important to remember (or at least easy to forget) that the Stickman site even has a secondary objective: to help foreign English teachers who have questions and concerns about teaching in the kingdom. After a closer inspection of the Teacher Tim column on the site, and thanks to the clown-like magic of Google, it becomes evident that the thinly veiled advertorials for TEFL International are written by a circus clown. Quite literally. Tim Torkildson, aka Dusty the Clown. See here for his blog.

Tim Torkildson, TEFL International Spokesman in Thailand and Circus Clown

One of the aspects of living in Thailand and being an integral part of the “naughty nightlife” is that one gets used to an odd assortment of characters who were simply never properly socialized in their own countries, or are addicted to whatever vices found most appealing and readily available in a developing world country. What is particularly unnerving about the selection of a former circus clown as a nominal ringleader of ESL teachers in Bangkok and who, in turn, contributes articles for Bangkok’s most popular red light and adult entertainment website, is that the whole project is simply too creepy to fathom. To enumerate here the variety of reasons why clowns are inherently creepy is to indulge in a psychological exercise largely based on the primal fears and appropriate repulsion of children, and the difficult to articulate anxieties of parents everywhere.  But to use a circus clown as a shill for the ESL teaching profession is a bizarre stunt even for the sordid cast of characters who regularly inhabit the red light districts of Thailand, and the blogs and websites that feature them.

Posting as “Torkythai” on YouTube, here are the commercial pitches (unmitigated by a quirky little weekly column) for the TEFL International program. In this pitch, Tim promises to potential TEFL participants that all the “beautiful women will kiss all the handsome men”, and vice versa.  And if that isn’t incentive enough to take a TEFL International course, Tim the Clown promises “candy and cake and cookies” and “lemonade” to potential teachers who select the Thai-based programs. Here, he also throws in a balloon animal. If that wasn’t enough to entice the prospective student, Tim the Clown takes a creampie in the face. Hard to resist. Unless, of course, you are an actual adult.

Although all of the Torkythai posts are painful to watch and are extremely cringe-worthy, they all tend to engender in the viewer a profound sympathy for unwitting Thai students who have to endure poorly paid ESL teachers recruited in this fashion. In this endorsement from the series of videos, Tim the Clown bizarrely simulates the drinking of “poison” if the viewer does not immediately fork over (in US dollars) from upwards of $1,390 for a TEFL International course in Thailand.

Further review of TEFL International on the Internet reveals that many of its former students actually consider it a kind of “scam” and that its programs in China were, at one point, raided by the police. While Saphan Loy cannot support this claim with any evidence or testimony directly, and reviews on the Internet are notoriously suspect, the fact that the word “scam” appears in a Google pull-down menu to facilitate the search term is, in itself, a kind of supporting evidence by design of the search engine. Try the terms “TEFL International” and “Scam”, and more stories appear about the company.   

TEFL International is a business predicated upon the assumption that anyone can obtain the qualifications necessary to teach English as a Second Language (ESL, or sometimes rendered English as a Foreign Language EFL) in a few weeks. That there are prestigious universities that dedicate the resources necessary to confer master’s and doctoral degrees in the subject (as applied linguistics, or as second language pedagogy) in the United States and Great Britain seems to Saphan Loy to suggest that receiving the equivalent expertise in a few week’s time is extraordinarily dubious. That said, what can be surmised from the TEFL clown’s tactics is that they are disturbed reminders that mixing teaching and frequenting red light districts (like the Stickman does, and like Big Baby Kenny, also a teacher, does too), can cause some interesting dilemmas for the teachers responsible for the content of the brothel websites. See TEFL Clown Tim choke his own chicken here.

Anyway, what’s an honest red light writer (and non-teacher) to do? Send in the Clowns. Naturally.

The View from Above