Saturday, December 27, 2008

Khi Kwai On Power, Culture and Thai Exceptionalism

Khi Kwai:

It's Power, Not Culture

Culture, we should have learned by now, is the first refuge of vulgar propagandists a world over. In this sense, the counteroffensive launched by a veritable army of sycophants, useful idiots, third-rate academics, and serial Kool-Aid drinkers in the Thai media - brain-dead buffoons like Thanong Kranthong, Vasit Dejkunchorn, and Surakiart Sathirathai - in the face of the increased scrutiny Thai politics has received in the foreign press was entirely predictable. Save for the fact that these writers have taken to new heights the laziness, intellectual dishonesty, and crass disregard of the facts that has long defined their brand of opium-pipe reporting, there was little new in their unreadable pronouncements. To reasoned (albeit much less than unassailable) analyses they respond with blind professions of faith. And to even the most circumspect, carefully worded of criticisms they respond by retreating behind the thick smokescreen of cultural distinctiveness.

Foreigners - especially Westerners - simply do not understand Thailand. They don't have the slightest respect for its time-honored traditions, which they would be eager to trample in their long-standing quest to remake the country in the image of the West. Of course, they may well be accomplished journalists, respected academics, or otherwise serious professionals. Unlike most Thais, their studies have taken them well beyond the comic-book version of Thai history taught in schools throughout the country. But their training (not to mention their race) has tainted them. It's a shame, too, that the Thai people can read English in increasingly large numbers. Heavens forbid they would seek out any information other than the stupor-inducing propaganda disseminated by the Thai press.

I just found this excellent blog. The more the merrier. I am not really aware of new blogs that are out there on Thai politics. I usually only follow what is on my blog role. If you have a blog or know of a blog I should be following, I am more than happy to list it and link to it.

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