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TODAY FROM THAILAND:
A. POOKIE’S ADVENTURES IN THAILAND:
1. A Day in the Life:
a. Pookie contemplates while at the health club.
While exercising I realized that although death is never very good, if one was going to go one of the best ways is during vigorous exercise; the flood of endorphins makes one not particularly care. On the other hand, attempts to commit suicide by exercise are doomed to fail. Anyone so depressed as to contemplate it, is probably too depressed to exercise in the first place. Still, I decided to redouble my efforts.
b. Where Pookie confronts himself on the sidewalk.
“It’s always something.”
While on my way to the health club that same morning that I experienced the above insight, I walked by a man lying on the sidewalk. He looked dead. Sitting on his haunches next to him and shaking him back and forth was another man who kept on repeating something in Thai over and over again. I assumed it was something like, “Hey buddy, you ok?” I would think that is what one says in similar situations everywhere.
They both appeared to be street people and were filthy. I believed the man lying on the sidewalk was either dead or paralyzed since, as the other man shook him, he seemed quite stiff.
I stood there presented with western civilization’s eternal quandary: How do I evade involvement without feeling guilty? My first predicament was how to avoid getting down and touching the possibly deceased. Not only was he filthy, but I have a phobia about touching dead things. Probably generated by my mom’s warnings to never touch the dead rats, dogs and cats that were often lying about in my neighborhood because they probably were carrying a dread disease, it nevertheless ended medicine and biology as career choices.
Thankfully, I reasoned, getting down and touching him would do no good since I had no medical training and could not speak the language. So I then thought I could start screaming something like, “Help, help, call an ambulance” or something. I hoped I would not have to do that either since I would probably feel embarrassed. When I looked around however, I noticed at least 20 Thais within 10 yards of me with perhaps 10 times more within shouting distance, none of whom paid the slightest attention to the scene going on next to me. It was not as though they were simply averting their eyes to avoid getting involved, but instead they simply continued on doing their business as though a dead or dying man on the sidewalk was an everyday occurrence. So, I decided that my screaming and yelling likely would do no more good than getting down on my knees and shake the guy also and ask him if he was OK.
I then decided that the best thing I could do was go find a cop and tell him of the situation. Of course, I recognized the language barrier remained and given my experience with the Thai police it was questionable whether he would care or do anything. There was also the quandary of what would I do if he demanded a bribe before acting. As an American, I had to face the dilemma of whether my humanitarian obligations extended to paying for someone else’s problem. Nevertheless, with that still unresolved, I set off in search of a cop.
Although there was a police post a few blocks back, I decided to continue in the direction I was heading since I recalled that about a block away the tourist police often had a card table set up for some reason with one or two cops sitting there. They never did anything that I could ever discern except sit there. I thought that chances were better that the tourist police spoke english.
Alas, no police card table appeared, so I continued to the place where I intended to have breakfast to think about what to do next. While sitting at the counter, I decided that there really was not much left for me to do since by now whatever was going to happen or not happen had already happened. So I ordered breakfast, tried to convince myself I had done all that I could and contemplated Scarlett O’Hara‘s insight, “Tomorrow is another Day.”
c. In which Pookie gets a massage.
In an effort to relieve the aches generated by my exercise and assuage my distress from the mornings events, I decided to get a massage. Now normally the Little Masseuse gives me my massages, but for the last few weeks she has been telling me that she is too tired from folding towels at the health club. Given my diminished sexual capacity, I consider her excuse as the functional equivalent of “I have a headache.” Anyway I went to a spa owned by a woman who I have known for over 10 years. She lives most of the time in Singapore with her husband and new baby. Her husband, an American, and she were both friends of mine when they lived in the Bay Area.
I decided on a one-hour foot massage. I generally forgo full body massages because in Thailand a foot massage is more an entire leg and foot massage and includes massage of hands arms, shoulders and head. In fact the only things missing from a whole body massage is the rubbing of the abdomen and the buttocks; and you know where that leads. The massage cost $13 including tip. That was most of my daily budget. But it was worth it. I felt much better.
d. Pookie ends his day in outer space.
Later I met up with LM and we went to the movies at a new mall named Terminal 21. I like going there because it is nearby (two blocks away) and each floor themed on a different world city with two floors dedicated to San Francisco complete with a replica of the Golden Gate bridge stretched across the food court and full-sized copy of a cable car teetering over the escalators.
We saw “Prometheus,” which I did not understand that well, since I found the narrative and motivations confusing. Why for example do robots always seem to be pissed off at their creators for creating them? “Robby the Robot,” never got pissed off, although it did seem he too often panicked, swung his arms about and screamed “Danger, Will Robinson, Danger.” Modern cinema robots never panic. That is what makes them so creepy.
Anyway the movie seemed based upon the concept that the operative principle in the universe is revenge. I disagree, I think the universal operative principle is confusion. Too many beings thinking they know what they are doing, when in fact they are lucky if the figure out which ends the food goes in and the shit comes out.
In any event, a lot of people and aliens died. The robot survived, but not the black guy. I am sure you guessed that.
2. Schedule Change:
Although I planned to return to the US through Italy on the 1st of August, as expected plans have changed. It seems that SWAC received notice that a custody hearing will be held in Sacramento on July 5, so she Joey and Hayden will leave on the 28th of this month. Although she has not been served, she refused my advice and has decided to return. Her planned defense borders on the deranged. Although she has claimed the baby was conceived by artificial insemination, she plans to claim rape and refuses to obtain the documents from the Thai hospital that supposedly performed the procedure because when the baby was born in SF, she claimed he was not so conceived*. When I asked what independent evidence she had for the alleged rape, she answered his friends know. She added that they all thought that she was a ladyboy and somehow after the doctor told them she was a women that caused him to rape her. At least I think that is the story. She also insists that her breasts are real. Maybe the Thai soaps dramatize life as it really is lived in Thailand.
I still intend to venture back at summer’s end or in early autumn provided I can find some places to stay.
Since he returned from Koh Samui, I have not seen Hayden. It seems he is now of that age where he prefers to spend his time with children of his own age than with a morose old man. I guess it is time to put him into the past. I expect I will be seeing little of him in the future whatever it is that is the future at my age.
*Oh, by the way this is the corrupt American Cop I mentioned recently attached to the US Embassy in BKK and who along with his co-workers threw orgies in their apartments (probably supplied by the US taxpayers), and who probably set up the busting of American citizens for sexual relations with underaged persons (legal in the country but not in US). In one bust, it turns out the interpreter who supplied the only evidence against the person arrested the cop was screwing at the time. He also had lost custody of his prior child following allegations of repetitive violence. I assume he was vetted for his high paying federal government job by the same people who vetted the Secret Service people who had so much fun recently in Columbia.
B. NEWS STRAIGHT OR SLIGHTLY BENT:
1. Thailand’s got tits.
Recently during the “Thailand’s Got Talent” a contestant, Dunnghi Jasaunmoi, surprised everyone by stripping to the waist and painting a large canvas with her breasts. The two male judges gave her the highest scores while the female judge walked off in disgust. A spokesman for something called the “Culture Ministry and Family Happiness Support Group,” complained that it was a bad example for the nations children. The official Thai Ministry of Culture indicated that they were concerned and would look into the matter. Since it involves a Thai media business, no-one expects the government to do anything.
Meanwhile the same Ministry of Culture continues to go gaga over Lady Gaga. This time because she appeared in a skimpy outfit wearing a nun’s cowl and trailing a Thai flag. The ministry threatens to lodge a complaint with the US government on the grounds that the skimpy outfit sets a bad example for the nation’s children while the Thai flag is an insult to the nation.
2. Right vs. Wrong.
The poll, constructed by Dartmouth government professor Benjamin Valentino and conducted by YouGov from April 26 to May 2, found that fully 63 percent of Republican respondents still believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction when the US invaded in 2003. By contrast, 27 percent of independents and 15 percent of Democrats shared that view.
The Republican disinformation machine’s response to this report has been to allege that Saddam’s use of AMERICAN supplied biological and chemical weapons on the Kurds meant they had those same weapons a decade later and that they had the means of delivering them. First the AMERICANS stopped delivering weapons of mass destruction, if one wants to consider what we supplied to Saddam as such, following Gulf War I. Second, repeated inspections over the 12 years or so that followed, by both American and international weapons inspection teams, consistently reported not only were there none in Iraq, but also that Iraq did not have the ability to manufacture them.
Unlike the view espoused by Faux News speak, this is not a difference of opinion requiring “balanced” public exposure, one position is clearly factually wrong and a real news organization should be reporting that fact. The question that should be asked is, why are Republicans so prone to believe as true something that is manifestly false? Another question is why are Republicans leaders and spokespeople so willing to lie?
Remember Pookie says, “liberals exaggerate, conservatives lie.” There is a difference. If a conservative says Barak Obama is a socialist, it is a provable lie. He is actually a 1950 style Republican masquerading as a Democrat. If a liberal claims that we are all going to die from the effects of global warming by 2100, that is an exaggeration. It will not occur until 2120 and some of us probably will survive.
1. July 25, 1841 – Mary Cecilia Rogers, a young woman known popularly as “The Beautiful Cigar Girl”, disappeared and her dead body was found floating in the Hudson River three days later. The details surrounding the case suggested she was murdered. The death of this well-known person received national attention for weeks. The story became immortalized by Edgar Allan Poe in his story “The Mystery of Marie Roget.” Despite intense media interest and an attempt to solve the enigma by Poe, the crime remains one of the most puzzling unsolved murders of New York City.
2. July 13–17, 1863 – Approximately 50,000 people riot in protest of President Abraham Lincoln’s announcement of a draft for troops to fight in the American Civil War. Over 100 are killed and many African-Americans flee the city. The movie Gangs of New York takes place during the draft riots.
3. September 13, 1899 – Henry H. Bliss becomes the first person killed in an automobile accident in the United States when he steps off a streetcar at 74th Street and Central Park West and is struck by a taxicab.
What “Occupy” is all about and what it really wants: