Friday, 27 February 2009
Monday, 23 February 2009
I was made aware of this in a very excited phonecall from my mother in Bangkok.
Mum: "You know the bridge we cross home every day from town? Rama VIII Bridge?"
Me: "Yes mum?" (what now??- my mum always gets overexcited abou the most random, inconsequent gossip in the news)
Mum: "Someones gone and found a severed head of a farang (white foreigner) hanging from the bridge!!! It was on the front page of Thirath yesterday: picture and all, big news here! saw it when I was going downstairs to call for the gardener."
This is a point I haven been observing throughout my childhood in Bangkok: Thairath is a daily newspaper circulated nationwide in Thailand with a readership of about 45 million people. It might be equivalent to the Daily Mirror of the UK: tabloid as opposed to broadsheet, and due to lack of cenorship laws against the printing of this particular genre of objectionable material (photographs of accident and/or murder scenes) the said newspaper has had at least a decade-long reputation for harbouring the most heinous, stomach-turning photos on its front page. It is delivered every morning right to your breakfast table. Good read indeed.
-- TNA 2009-02-22 "
Apparently, the police suspect gang-related motives. The police have now found the headless body of the victim in the river.
What does sincerely creep me out, besides the fact that I used to be driven over that bridge daily, was the lack of control over the publication and transmission of grotesque images in the Thai media. There is even a locally distributed magazine titled (interp) Crime Scene that shows non-censored pictures. It seems to have been the traditional front-page marketing strategy for Thairath for years and does not look like there will be much change in the future.
-Oh, the human fascination with others' suffering.
On the other hand, there are strict laws against criticising the monarchy in Thailand. So badly it was death penalty for seven generations up and down the family tree. It is still a VERY sensitive matter to date. There is a public lecture today at SOAS by Giles Ungpakorn on this matter , room G2 730PM
On a semi-related note, the article next to it on the website is about the winners of the National Fil Awards. The actress was my class mate (Rajinibon school 95-98?). She was, back in the day, popular, attention-seeking, and a faboulous singer. Kindof proud of her, another one to add to my list of childhood friends who've done well in life. (Others include Miss Thailand 05?, a few local singers and actresses) Now the question is, which one of these two articles make me more depressed: the severed head? or the fact that my life has turned out to be, well, devoid of fame and glamour! Ah well, still not sure if I want to go to that public lecture this evening though. (I cannot express my views on the subject matter here, for fear of death or retalliation.) Maybe ill make the headlines someday by getting exiled from Thailand!
Its been a HECTIC weekend for me, to say the least
and I wasn't able to stay up and watch the Oscars (not that I actually owned a TV)
But it looks like Slumdog Millionaire has scooped up most of the prizes this year
text from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/oscars/7842438.stm
Best picture: Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Frost/Nixon; Milk; The Reader
(I was routing for Milk)
st director: Danny Boyle - Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: Stephen Daldry - The Reader; David Fincher - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Ron Howard - Frost/Nixon; Gus Van Sant - Milk
Best actor: Sean Penn - Milk
Also nominated: Richard Jenkins - The Visitor; Frank Langella - Frost/Nixon; Brad Pitt - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Mickey Rourke - The Wrestler
Best supporting actor: Heath Ledger - The Dark Knight
Also nominated: Josh Brolin - Milk; Robert Downey Jr - Tropic Thunder; Philip Seymour Hoffman - Doubt; Michael Shannon - Revolutionary Road
Best supporting actress: Penelope Cruz - Vicky Cristina Barcelona
Also nominated: Amy Adams - Doubt; Viola Davis - Doubt; Taraji P Henson - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Marisa Tomei - The Wrestler
(This one I thought was very well-deserved; I did get to see Amy Adam's part in Doubt, but as it was such a small amount of time she appeared onscreen I hardly thought she deserved it over Cruz)
Best original screenplay: Milk
Also nominated: Happy-Go-Lucky; Wall-E; In Bruges; Frozen River
Best adapted screenplay: Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Doubt; Frost/Nixon; The Reader
Best animated feature film: Wall-E
Also nominated: Bolt; Kung Fu Panda
Best animated short film: La Maison en Petits Cubes
Also nominated: Lavatory - Lovestory; Oktapodi; Presto; This Way Up
Best foreign language film: Departures - Japan
Also nominated: Revanche - Austria; The Class - France; The Baader Meinhof Complex - Germany; Waltz With Bashir - Israel
(Was routing for Bashir)
Best documentary feature: Man on Wire
Also nominated: The Betrayal; Encounters at the End of the World; The Garden; Trouble The Water
Best documentary short subject: Smile Pinki
Also nominated: The Conscience of Nhem En; The Final Inch; The Witness - From the Balcony of Room 306
Art direction: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Also nominated: Changeling; The Dark Knight; The Duchess; Revolutionary Road
(Saw this on the plane: who else shouldve won? 2 foot-tall-wig on fire and all)
Make-up: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Also nominated: The Dark Knight; Hellboy II: The Golden Army
Cinematography: Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Changeling; The Dark Knight; The Reader
Best live action short film: Spielzeugland (Toyland)
Also nominated: Auf der Strecke (On The Line); Manon on the Asphalt; New Boy; The Pig
Visual effects: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Also nominated: The Dark Knight; Iron Man
Sound editing: The Dark Knight
Also nominated: Iron Man; Wanted; Slumdog Millionaire; Wall-E
Sound mixing: Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; The Dark Knight; Wanted; Wall-E
Film editing:Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; The Dark Knight; Frost/Nixon; Milk
(very dissappointed with this as well: I really thougt again, Milk shouldve won: great snippets of 60's-70's style fade-in and fade-outs
Best original score: Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: The Curious Case of Benjamin Button; Defiance; Milk; Slumdog Millionaire; Wall-E
Best original song: Jai Ho - Slumdog Millionaire
Also nominated: Down To Earth - Wall-E; O Saya - Slumdog Millionaire
Sure, Slumdog Millionaire was a great feel-good movie, spectacular soundtrack and a good mix bwtween traditional/cultural elements and the materialistic- westernised influences in society and all, but call me a b*tch for even having this thought in my head:
Was the Miss World title of 2007 not awarded to Miss China immediately pursant to its committment under the WTO agreement to open its services sectors to foreign companies?
and Thailand won Miss Universe in 1988 after scandalous pardons were signed between USA and Thailand over minefields placed during the Vietnam War.
Even the Eurovision song contests votes seem to be casted in the economic/political interest of neighbours:
(this guy says otherwise: http://www.ewanspence.com/blog/2008/05/25/the-myth-of-political-voting-at-eurovision/)
I am a spitelful, overjudgemental b*tch for noting that India is an influential member of the G77 :-s
Friday, 20 February 2009
At least that was how I though it'd be...
I'd had a day at work with tears, tantrums and a bastard server that will require me to work on Sunday morning. I was clueless as to what was going to happen next-
All I knew was, it was Shinchan's 23rd and we were due to go to an Anti-Folk concert at Bar Tweleve on Denmark St. for the said auspicious occasion.
I'd had a rough one at work, and only managed to leave after 7pm- (bad, on a friday for this job, though nothing compared to my other posts) (but then again i practically made a fortune from OT at my other jobs)
After I finish off a pasta salad (carbs= soaks alcohol) infront of my university, I find out that the Anti-Folk concert plan was cancelled, as "there were only dodgy people about". We head instead, out to Jerusalem Bar& Kitchen. Not a bad turnout, about a dozen of us started out in the establishment's secret garden, great little outdoor seating area and were ushered in by 11pm. By then the DJ had started and on to the dance floor we went.
It was amidst the seventies' disco-funk tunes that I was singing and dancing along to, while sober, when I had my epiphany. Only a handful among our group seemed to be engaging in what was meant to be dancing. A little while later, Tranny proclaimed that the crowd was "too old" for him and left. I was still having the time of my life.
T is my age. I questioned myself for thinking that it was "my crowd"- office people in their late 20's and early 30's letting it loose on a friday night. Isn't that where I am supposed to be in life at this moment?
I looked around to see that the better part of the Thai party guests didnt seem to be enjoying themselves that much either, they were about the same age as the birthday boy- 23. I spent the rest of the night singing and dancing wildly to Sweet Dreams, Groove is in the Heart and Prince in the company of a new friend, the Architect. She was my age and certainly seemed to be enjoying the music. The night ended with a few casualties being sent home in some bargain, possibly unlicensed cabs home, me walking back, alone while almost sober.
Was there really a large difference between Tranny's crowd and mine? One possible thought might be that the two guys at home were still very much in their student lives when I am now a regular nine-to fiver. Maybe it was my being partial to 80's cheese and disco. Then again, I know the lyrics because most have been remixed and re-released into some funky house or dance genre. Still didnt excuse me from singing along to Jackson Five's Want You Back: maybe I AM getting old...
Thursday, 19 February 2009
Thanks to Gorgeous Em's gorgeousness, I had the pleasure of meeting a legendary individual today. Thursdays: company lunch day, G.EM invites me to help carry the load of Italian from Da Marino's down the road. As we waited for the Garlic Bread to be prepared, a patron of a gentleman walks in, orders his pasta mariana? and very kindly offers to bring a 20-people serving of piping hot vegetarian pasta. On the way over, the chit-chat reveals that he is a former legend rockstar, Bruno Wizard, from The Rejects, and was part of the pioneeerors of the 1970's punk rock movement: his band has changed aliases since to The Homosexuals, "so as not to conform to the mainstream" he told me. I have yet a chance to listen to his music: respect to the masters though! a very kind and earthy gentleman indeed!!
Wednesday, 18 February 2009
Here is an interesting school of thought
Karl Polanyi, Bohemian economist wrote in The Great Transformation (1944) in dispute to mainstream economists:
It's all about the image, afterall...
I have a habit of having a desperately full bladder in the worst neighbourhoods. Public toilets have never really been an option for me, and this is a little trick I was recommending to my friends while out on that carzy Anti -Vday party last saturday;
As we got out of the black cab onto Thurlowe Place, looking for Mr, B's flat, there seemed to be some other lost souls looking for the same venue: they had been there for the past half hour looking up from door to door for the right bell to ring and have come up short.
I needed to pee
I walked into the nearest poshest looking hotel, with a broad smile on my face and asked for 'corporate rates of up to 50 patrons' They gave me a brochure, and of course I asked if I could nip into their bathroom. I also asked if they knew where the name of Mr.B's building was, they got the porter to walk me over (5 doors down, bless him) and I called out my friends
Lesson: dress well, talk the right talk, walk the right walk, and all is sorted. If i had gone in half slurring in a tracksuit I am pretty sure I'd be shown somewhere else.
Image and impression are everything;
Isnt that similar to the whole concept of 'credit' in the very first place?
In the past decade or so leading up to this economic mess,
you obtain 'credit' from what you own, the bigger the house, the higher the credit rating, and the larger the sum you will obtain upon remortgaging the place. repeat, and you end up with a long number in your bank account, enabling you to get more and more credit cards and so on.
So what happens when someone decides that house prices havent really increased in intrinsic value??- thats where we are now I suppose (along with other reasons of course)
So what will humans NOW do to protecet their social reputation and social assets?
Tuesday, 17 February 2009
While i totally understand the emotions of the die-hard football fan on a lost match ( Chelsea-United, Finals last year): walking towards Fulham Bdwy thinking about the missed opportunities- Czech; very nearly made me stomp on the empty cans of beer on the way home, only worthless pieces of human flesh would take it out on other people's property. It wasn't as if Graphix man's car was branded with the winning team's labels.
I only found out from Graphix man's status that at around 645pm, he was still at the police station. I frantically try to reach out- as I had just remembered that you could report certain crimes online- it works! I'd done it before; filled out a form online and a nice policeman rang back the next day-
SORRY GM! wish I'd thought of it sooner. Mind you, I was so absent-minded I'd left my entire grocery bag at work. dang! Too busy pondering about whether or not I should give Yatch Guy a call. I flaked out yesterday and today looks no different: there was a nice.. blue something from Paul et Joe Sister I had to grab. THAT, -and! a baby at home to feed!
I do feel very sorry for him, and wish him the best of luck claiming insurance...
the last time I've managed to keep a constant record of my daily activities and what is on my mind was during my undergraduate years.03-05: I've completely managed to misplace my old blog somewhere in cyberworld. Shame.
It is safe to say, the Quack may have been right that keeping track of things in such a way could very well preserve my sanity. While that is still questionable, I'm sure it helps...
So now I will recommence my ramblings, while I cannot promise to write every day, Ill try to leave bits and pieces as often as possible. Be it for the preservation of my sanity, to "practice my English" or just to prove that I existed in this world.
I don't wish to offend anyone (unless specifically directed and indicated towards public figures, who in any case warrant fair opinion) and while people are of different views, I am welcome and open to all of them! I will try not to reveal the true identities at the people mentioned, (the names will be fictional) again, unless otherwise expressed.