Instead of being born again, why not just grow up? ~Author Unknown
1862 February 10–Battle of Elizabeth City. Destruction of the Confederate Mosquito Fleet by Union gunboats.
(Don’t forget to celebrate)
TODAY’S NEWS FROM THAILAND:
Little appears in the Thai news these past few days except for the fighting and political maneuvers regarding the disputed temple area between Thailand and Cambodia.
Superficially it appears that Abbisit the Unready has managed to gather criticism from all sides, while the specter of Thaksin the Terrible‘s possible return has the military on alert. In spite of the potential for new elections in April, the political interests aligned with the military have been proposing a national reconciliation government containing the “best” people as an alternative. Sort of like Burma. Even more commentators now seem to be suggesting that some type of military putsch is in the offing.
Meanwhile the world-wide rise in the cost of food caused in great part by the severe weather effects of climate change that is causing political upheaval in other countries has not adversely affected Thailand yet as it (like the US) is a net exporter of food.
It would be truly ironic that the US, the industrialized country that more that any other ushered in the climate crises that world currently faces, by the sheer genius of its stupidity in stumbling into the demise of its own industrial prominence causing its descent into a resource exporting third world economy, will be the prime benefactor of the environmental havoc it strives so mightily to deny.
A prediction: By about 2014 to 17 expect a sudden increase in social turmoil in the industrial cities and many of their suburbs as the realization and impact of permanent loss of industrial job growth bites into US society. We also can expect an increasing conflict between agribusiness and independent farm interests in the middle west (agribusiness wins).
As the central land area of the US and Canada warms, migration will increase from the East Coast and Deep South into the expanding and northward moving farm belt in the US and Canada. Canada will begin to experience a resistance to out of work immigrants from the US seeking employment in its suddenly flourishing agricultural/resource based economy. The increasing instability of the weather will continue to push up agricultural prices. The economies of rapidly industrializing states such as India and China will stall and social unrest will follow as food prices continue to escalate. Border wars are inevitable.
Increasingly disruptive weather events such as mega-storms, wet seasons and catastrophic snowfall in winters because of the atmosphere’s enhanced capacity to hold moisture can be expected to render much of the US East Coast, North-western Europe and eastern China even less desirable. Heat waves in Russia and floods and snow storms in the US Midwest and Canada will probably make food harvest from these agriculture exporting areas unreliable from year to year.
Political power will drift from the hands of the financial industry back in the direction of those controlling large agricultural and other resource based industries supported by military elites (sort of like a new feudalism). Migration across national boundaries will increase as people flee, climate, economic and social unrest with the resulting rise of even more nativist sentiment in opposition to the new immigrants. The real unknowns in all this is the impact of the increase in armed conflict that usually accompanies times of stress and the role and impact of control of the internet.
Modern representative governments are proving incapable of exerting effective control on the activities of the largest financial, industrial or religious corporations (Note: “A criminal is a person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation.” ~Howard Scott). They have won the battle for control of the resources and economy of the world. The public seems to have accepted the reality of a weakened national state, except in military or police matters. The concept of liberal democracy is withering. The liberal democracy, increasingly unable to deal with the political power of the religious and industrial corporate elites will slowly succumb to the control of these elites and in most cases be replaced with a version of the type of corporate state espoused by some in the 1920s and 30’s as a solution to the collapse of the Royal order and the seeming inability of the constitutional democracies that replaced them to deal with the climate and economic catastrophes that broke upon them following WWI.
It is almost prescient that the conflicting political forces in Thailand are tentatively coalescing around and alternative to representative democracy, the return to an appointed aristocracy if you will.
POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:
I have begun to settle in to my new surroundings. More or less my day goes as follows: 8:30 walk Hayden to school; 9:00 to gym to swim, exercise and take a sauna; at noon lunch in an inexpensive restaurant close to my apartment; 1 PM nap; 2-3 read or work on computer; 3 PM pick up Hayden from school and help him with his home work; 4 PM read or computer time while Hayden plays with the children down stairs; 7 PM dinner; 8:30 prepare for bed.
On weekends I go to my apartment in Paradise by the Sea and on Wednesday and Thursday I include my massage in my daily activities.
The maid has moved into the spare bedroom. I assume that now that the maid is in place to supervise Hayden, SWAC will find some pretext to encourage me to leave and return full-time to Paradise by the Sea. The apartment has maid’s quarters located off the kitchen with its own separate entry into the hall. The room is windowless and feels more like a dungeon. There is a small toilet, actually more a hole in the floor of a closet. The maid will not be relegated to these quarters but will have one of the three bedrooms for her own.
The results of my medical tests have revealed that although the CT scan of my abdomen shows my kidneys looking like road kill, my kidney functions are normal. I need to have an operation to clear up the remainder of my plumbing in the near future in order to avoid possibly living the rest of my life in dialysis. I will probably have the procedure done in the US as early as April.
The street on which we live in BKK begins (or ends if you prefer) at a gate to a huge parcel of land in the center of the city. The gate announces that beyond is “The Tobacco Monopoly if Thailand.” I have no idea what it is about. The property is filled with a great number of ramshackle low-rise wooden buildings and a few run down parks. From this gate Soi 4 travels generally north past my apartment building and a few other mid to lower class condominium building and hotels. Family restaurants and push carts line the street along this section of the road until it passes Hayden’s school where in begins to become progressively more populated with massage parlors, bars and budget hotels until it disgorge into the traffic nightmare known as Sukhumvit. Across Sukhumvit, Soi 4 becomes Soi Nana and passes through Arab(and Indian) town before going on to wherever.
On Soi 4 just before it meets Sukhumvit sits Nana Plaza, the first neighborhood one arrives at when one passes the gates into Hell. There, surrounding a small crowded plaza, rises three and four-story interconnected buildings where one can whatever perversions and titillation one desires from ordinary Go-Go bars, to ladyboy lounges to short time units.
Like in the US where urban private schools tend to locate in transition zones (the rent is cheaper), so it is with Hayden’s school. This morning as I walked Hayden up to the gate of the school across the street along an extended platform in front of some shops, a beefy fortyish bald farang, naked to the waist, reeled obviously stoned. He had scars on his head and body but was surprisingly bereft of tattoos. Accompanying him was a naked lady-boy clearly showing the major points of her conflicting sexes (known as “pre-op”) and another professional woman. It appeared that they had spent the night there and as the lady-boy put on what seemed to be the man’s shirt to cover the most conflicting parts of her, the man himself staggered across the street and tried to enter onto the school grounds.
Now like most private schools and important buildings in BKK, four or so regular BKK police are stationed by the gate in the morning and evening to direct traffic. The School also has its own set of uniformed security. One spiffy dressed cop (all BKK cops dress spiffy) held up one hand palm vertical to the ground in the universal sign of stop and with the other made a no-nonsense gesture that the farang should return to the other-side of the street.
Now it is important to understand that at no time did the Thai cop in any way indicate he would touch the farang nor did he evidence any demonstration of anger. That would cause him to appear less than human and lose face. Imagine what people from this culture must see when they view western entertainment that shows uncontrolled fury and violence as a manly virtue. John Wayne must appear to them to be like a circus clown (come to think of it…). American football with its glorification of anger and violence probably appears to be played by water buffalo rather than humans.
Anyway, the bald farang took the hint, returned to the other-side of the street and after a short period of slack-jawed milling about the trio ambled off in the general direction of the gates of hell.
After it was all over, I asked Hayden what he thought.
He said, “The girl was naked and the policeman had a gun.”
Just in case you may think that Hayden is too young to know the meaning of the word naked, I few nights ago while we were preparing for bed, he took off all of his clothing and put a paper bag on his head like a hat, pranced in to the bathroom where I was brushing my teeth and announced, “Look at me. I’m the Naked Chef.”
JOEY’S MYSTERY NOVEL:
Delayed pending inspiration.
a. Book World from Jason Fforde and Thursday Next or one thereafter:
“I opened the door to find three Dostoyevskivites staring at me from within a dense cloud of moral relativism.”
b. Poe’s law:
Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of fundamentalism that someone won’t mistake for the real thing.
When lip service to some mysterious deity permits bestiality on Wednesday and absolution on Sunday, cash me out.