Sunday, April 8, 2007

Deconstructing Thanong: The Nation's Number One Right-Wing Reactionary Gets Hystertical


Disrespect for monarchy a direct attack on heart of nation

The Nation

The Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Ministry had no choice but to block access to YouTube after its owner, Google, refused to remove a video clip that insulted His Majesty the King. The ICT Ministry approached Google to protest about the film clip, but strangely enough, they were told that the company had no policy about content deemed offensive in this country.

The ICT had no choice? The choice could have been to do nothing and simply ignore it. By making a fuss, it just made the issue more well-known and widespread.

Why the hell should a private foreign company have policies about what is offensive in Thailand? That is just stupid.

Julie Supun, head of global communications for YouTube, was quoted in the International Herald Tribune as saying that the Internet presented "new and unique challenges". She added that the company was "disappointed" that the site had been blocked in Thailand.

"We are currently looking into the matter," Supun said in a statement on Wednesday. "YouTube reaches a wide global audience and strives to provide a community where people from around the world can express themselves by sharing videos in a safe and lawful manner."

Excuse me, what law is YouTube referring to - its own? Or that of Thailand? Instead of removing the controversial clip, YouTube acted as if it has every right to carry any clip sent in without any regard for laws or issues culturally sensitive to people in other countries.

F---ing unbelievable! Thanong actually thinks the entire world should roll over for him and his belief system. King Bumibol is not a God. He is a man. He is a head of state. In liberal democracies and other free societies, heads of state can be criticized and reported on, even mocked. Thanong actually believes that liberal democracies show bow down before ancient feudalism in the name of cultural sensitivity and Thai political correctness.

As bilingual blogger Tom has pointed out, the Thai media and Thai academia have no problems criticizing and mocking the sacred cows in the West. Also, the Thai media has no problems reporting on and lampooning the happenings of the royal families of other countries.

YouTube understands that freedom of expression has its limits, and a cost. It is quick to remove any pornographic videos submitted by users, but when it comes to a video clip insulting His Majesty, it allows the freedom to run wild without any respect for Thai law or the feelings of the Thai people.

Again, typical Thai double standards and hypocrisy. Youtube has always banned porn. On the other hand, it encourages lampooning and political speech. And why the hell should Youtube care about the feelings of Thai people when the entire Thai entertainment industry, especially on TV, makes a mockery of Thai culture with its horrible soap operas and idiotic game shows.

Plus, central Thais and the Thai-Chinese who own and control the entertainment industry have no problems mocking people from Isaan, transsexuals, gays, hill tribe people, poor people, mentally retarded and physically disfigured people. What about their feelings?

Hypocrites like Thanong have sympathy for the richest and most powerful in our society, yet has never said a word about the feelings of the poor and powerless.

I have now come to believe that we can't avoid World War III. That's because we have so many arrogant people in this world - like the people at YouTube - who like to see things through their own glasses. How many wars or killings have happened in the past because people insulted the values and religious beliefs of others?

Why doesn't this idiot Thanong ask this question of his own government?

World War III over a stupid video? Give me a break. The British Royal Family has survived a thousand years from endless lampooning.

And you don't see the Catholic Church waging world-wide jihad against those who wrote and produced the movie, The DaVinci Code.

It is only Thanong and crazy Al Qaeda terrorists who believe in going to war over stupid shit like this.

However, it was reported yesterday that the anonymous user who posted the video clip has withdrawn it from YouTube. But the damage has been done.

The Thai people worship the Lord Buddha and revere His Majesty. This is an established fact. Wherever you travel in this country, you'll confront these two lasting images, intertwined with each other as ultimate symbols of virtue. You can't imagine a Thailand without Buddhism and the monarchy. Without these two pillars, Thailand would be reduced to ashes.

Not all Thais worship Buddha and not all revere the king. It is not an established fact. If it was a fact, there would be no need to have lese majeste laws in the first place. As for the Buddha, he was not a God. He was a man. He made it clear not to worship him as a God. So Thanong basically says that Thais should worship the Buddha as God which was against his own wishes. Now you tell me, who is disrespecting the Buddha, when you ignore his own request?

Thailand reduced to ashes without worshiping the Buddha and feudalism/monarchy? Thanong really is a fanatic on the level of Osama Bin Laden.

A Swiss man has recently been sentenced to 10 years in prison because he was caught vandalising images of His Majesty the King while drunk. He knew about the lese majeste law, however he might have been under the influence of alcohol when he took the risk to break it.

This case was widely covered by the international press, which mostly had sympathy toward the Swiss man and criticised Thailand for keeping the most draconian lese majeste law on earth. Thais, however, looked at this case differently - most believed that the man was lucky not to have been trampled to death on the spot for his wild acts. I now have sympathy for the Swiss man and believe he will receive a pardon - after serving a brief time in prison for a crime he has confessed to.

The Swiss man should have been punished, but only for being a public nuisance and for vandalism. Also, how many Thai politicians who have taken the oath of loyalty from the king have gone on to rob the country and kill political opponents?

Did any of these crooks serve time for dissing the king and violating their sacred oaths? Of course not.

It is only when you do something stupid like get drunk and destroy a picture is when you get punished for disrespecting the king.

Some time in May of last year, several months before the coup, a middle-level government official told me he was shocked by an underlying force at work to undermine the monarchy.

"In the past, whenever Interior Ministry officials or the police learnt about even the slightest activity to undermine the monarchy, they would get their act together and act fast. But now nobody is doing anything. They know that the monarchy is being undermined, but they are more interested to keeping their positions," he said.

What does it mean to "undermine the monarchy?" Having an illegal coup undermines the monarchy and Thanong was all for that.

Thaksin Shinawatra, then prime minister, had already used improper language on a number of occasions when referring to His Majesty. Then, he accused a "charismatic person beyond the constitution" as playing a behind-the-scenes role to undermine his electoral mandate. It was no secret that the "charismatic person" Thaksin referred to was General Prem Tinsulanonda, president of the Privy Council. The institution of the monarchy was drawn into this conflict with Prem by implication. One of the reasons that General Sonthi Boonyaratglin staged a coup to boot Thaksin out of office was because the former premier had been disrespectful to the monarchy. The matter has not ended.

There is no law against attacking Prem. Also, there hasn't been a case filed against Thaksin for lese majeste yet, so how could there be a coup in the name of protecting the king when after six months no charges have been filed against Thaksin for lese majeste.

Now, remnants of the previous regime still openly challenge the monarchy. They have set up to mobilise a signature campaign appealing to His Majesty to dismiss Prem, who they allege to be the mastermind behind the coup. This campaign clearly shows disrespect toward His Majesty. Again, the police have been slow to react.

More BS from Thanong. I don't recall Prem ever becoming a member of the royal family or becoming king. Attacking Prem and attacking the king are not the same thing. In fact, I think it is disrespectful to both Prem and the king by making the connection.

It is a tit-for-tat game. Last year, a campaign was launched to garner signatures to oust Thaksin. Now it is the turn of General Prem to face a similar campaign, aimed at confusing the political situation and dividing the country further.

I feel sorry about the present state of Thailand. I want the country to maintain its status as a Buddhist state and a Kingdom forever. Unfortunately, there are forces, from the outside and some from elements inside the country, trying to - intentionally or unintentionally - reduce us to a pagan, republic state.

I feel sorry for the present state of Thailand also, because a jamook like Thanong actually has a job as a journalist.

What is Thanong going to do if Thailand ever has a monarch who is a complete screw up? He just going to sit back and allow it?

I think it is interesting that Thanong and many right-wing royalists believe in the sanctity of an unelected monarchy and state religion, yet have no respect for a diversity of view points, democracy, free expression and political freedom.

If they really believe in absolutism, why don't they just have the courage to advocate going back to sakdina and an absolute monarchy because that is obviously what they want, and Thanong's last sentence seems to support this point.


Anonymous said...

Even if all Thais revere the King, one could fairly ask why. There are actions to take. Firstly, the government must ensure that most Thais remain poor, ignorant and stupid. Then it must keep telling them what it wants them to think, that they are not 'Thai' if they dont worship the King. That th King is a God. That you must burst into tears whenever you see him on the telly because that is what real Thais do. It is sickening. Almost as sickening as seeing people crawl to him on their bellies. God I hate these stupid brainwashed fucking people.

David said...

Very well said. I expect better from ,i.The Nation,/i. though.

Charles Edward Frith said...

Also, how many Thai politicians who have taken the oath of loyalty from the king have gone on to rob the country and kill political opponents?

... Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Hey, whoever you are, go back to suck up to your master Thaksin in London!!! The Thai king is not God, but he is beloved by millions. What if your father was painted as a donkey with three dicks on YouTube, freedom fighter?