Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hobby sees Red

I'm starting to wonder if idealism & common sense have any place in Thailand?

It saddens me, but I now think the way foreigners have to 'lower the bar' and accept everyday things in Thailand (like most Thai's do, or have had to), also extends to politics & democracy in Thailand.

I hope it does not come as a shock to my vast readership, but I am close to the realization that my 'song mai ow' stance is just too idealistic for Thailand (I know - I'm a slow learner!)

I have had to learn to accept the water running in the wrong direction in the bathroom floor of my Thai holiday accommodation, in which the rooms also have no on/off switches on the powerpoints which put out a visible spark every time an appliance is plugged in.

I also have had to learn to live with the soi dogs roaming amongst the tables and in the kitchen of the local outdoor restaurant, which is also right next door to a mechanical workshop with associated noise & pollution, not to mention the local boy racers blowing exhaust fumes into the restaurant to 'enhance' my dining experience.

Like I have had to learn to accept those, and many other things in Thailand that simply would not be tolerated where I come from, I now think I have to accept that joining the Reds, and 'holding my nose' regarding Thaksin is probably as good as it gets in relation to the Thai political situation.

I dont like the way she said it, nor the tone of her voice (which hurts my ears:), but I basically agree with "Da Torpedo".
I also think if the repression continues there will be more like her, as there is only so much pressure a pressure cooker can take before some steam has to be let off.
I fear in future it will not just be hateful words.

Those in 'power' have had plenty of time to change, but rather than heed the warnings they continue to turn the screws tighter - like Thaksin refused to moderate his excesses, the old guard are doing the same, and it is easy to understand why otherwise smart people like "Da Torpedo" do such brave(dumb) things, when there is no sign of any concession after years of struggle.

The old guard will deserve their fate when the inevitable happens, but does Da Torpedo deserve hers?

btw, Before I fully sign up as a Red, I'd like to know if I will still be able to criticize Thaksin, or am I being too idealistic again?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Violation of privacy, and safety valves

Warangkana Chomchuen has an interesting piece in msnbc contrasting the way the Thai press covers things like David Carradine's death with the way it covers matters regarding the Thai monarchy.

I like that article, she makes some good points and it is refereshing to see it come from a Thai journalist (even though the 2006 Fullbright grantee seems to be based outside Thailand), however I found some of the comments even more interesting, including these gems:

  • "One should probably think a bit before putting themselves into a situation that could bring them unwanted attention, even after death.Who are we as Americans that should enforce OUR laws and customs on the Thai people?"

I wonder how 'K-Dub of Oklahoma' would feel if it was his/her family's privacy being violated in the thai press?

  • "The king of Thailand acts as a safety valve; when politics here reach a point of explosive imbalance he acts to stabilize the situation. If you doubt this, look around SE Asia at the countries who have lacked such safe guards. No Thai, red shirts included, would want to live in *those* countries. They have suffered terrible hardships (ex: Cambodia). That safety valve *must* be outside the influence of political control and be free to operate, therefore attacks on the monarchy can not be tolerated.It is sad to see someone compare the proper functioning of a political system to the questionable actions of an actor".
Interesting (read: non-sensical) argument that stifling discussion (not even dissent), is seen as the 'proper functioning of a political system'.

  • "The negative comments on Thailand are very improper and likely based on little personal experience in the nation. Thailand is a beautiful nation with an amazingly sophisticated and proud culture. The King is a great man who's done many things to help the poor in his nation and to allow democracy to flourish. I've lived in Thailand and found it to be a majestic place with a very bright future. Long live the King of Thailand!"

It's hard for me to believe that 'James of Forth Worth, TX' has ever been to Thailand, let alone ever lived there. Perhaps he is one of those Three Wise Monkeys - did not hear or see any evil, and cannot speak of it?

Monday, June 8, 2009

More (sorry, no not really:)

Bring it On
Nick Cave 24 years after he was singing Shivers (with Boys Next Door), this time with the Bad Seeds, and Chris Bailey from legendary Brisbane punk band The Saints.
Make sure you watch to the end as the song builds nicely and those performers have a definite talent:)

I like the way some bands can really build a song, another example is The Drones version of Kev Carmody's River of Tears.

Both 'Shivers' and 'River of Tears' were posted here.