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The week that was in Thailand news: Forget Pornhub! Let’s make Thailand the Hub of Pawns

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The week that was in Thailand news: Forget Pornhub! Let’s make Thailand the Hub of Pawns

This post is also available in: English

It was a week in which many news watchers had their attention inextricably pulled towards the United States. More on that later as there was still plenty of interest in Thailand’s “news porn”.

With porn being the operative word. The week began with news that Pornhub, one of the world’s biggest adult sites that operates out of Cyprus, had been blocked in Thailand along with nearly 200 URLs.

Many posters completely missed the point behind the action of the Digital Economy and Society minister Buddhipongse Punnakanta. Believe me, he’d love to say with a straight face that banning sites is all about protecting Thailand’s morals.

Seeing so many posters on Facebook in particular juxtaposing ping pong shows in Patpong and Thai moral two faced-ness showed how little they understand Thailand. There are some things you need to figure out for yourself using experience and reading between the lines.

SavePornhub trended as many other mischievous hashtags have in recent weeks.

Anyway, like the famously banned “One Night in Bangkok” track about chess, the authorities could discover a much-needed angle to boost tourism.

Forget Pornhub. In advocating a more clean-cut image by promoting international chess tournaments, Thailand could yet become the Hub of Pawns.

Watching forbidden porn was an 87-year-old Norwegian in Pattaya. Investigators who had been keeping an eye on him for a long time found he had been using BitTorrent to download and effectively profit from child pornography.

Seeing some disgraceful posters defending this vile activity as “not as bad as those who produce porn” made one think they haven’t a clue about supply and demand. The Norwegian needs jail time of an appropriate length; carry him out in a box.

Jailed for putting a black bin bag on a little kindergarten child was “Khru Praew” one of the abusers of Sarasas, Nonthaburi. She was given 45 days. Another was handed three months. Some will be upset the sentences weren’t longer but the real point is that custodial sentences WERE given. It sends the right message to those that would abuse our little ones. Far better than letting them off with an apologetic ‘wai’, a pathetic transfer and teacher license renewal.

Not that the country’s “khru’s” appeared to have got the message. One in Phuket thought it was a jolly jape to kick a kindergartener in the face then encourage classmates to join in the fun classroom activity.

Then video showed a Hualampong secondary school piece of filth assaulting a boy and belittling him with the kind of language that would make a Klong Toei market trader wince. “Meung hen goo pen aria?” (Who do you $#@& think I am?) he demanded.

It’s time that the students replied “khii maa tit son teen, ajarn” (dog excrement on the soul of my $#@& foot, professor). They may get another slap but it’d be worth it and what’s more it’d be demonstrably true.

Long prison sentences and lifetime bans from all forms of teaching for abusive teachers everywhere, please. No exceptions whether it’s Sarasas or the local village school. This has to stop now.

Coming in for a great deal of well-deserved criticism this week were the monks of the kingdom and those who use the Buddhist religion to further their businesses or stardom.

It’s unfair to tar all those in saffron with the same brush, and obviously the Thai media seizes on every opportunity to attack them when they step out of line. But several let the side down this week ignoring the 227 precepts and adding a couple more like “Thou shalt enrich thyself eternally” and “Thou must behave like a complete todger”.

An abbot was furious after one of his “phra” won the lottery scooping 18 million then had every relative and freeloading local descending on the wat wanting a piece of the earthly action. Not surprisingly his “luuk wat” went into hiding, probably near Soi Cowboy after a quick costume change.

In the south a monk incurred the righteous wrath of netizens and a Nonthaburi abbot by doing his rounds on an electronic “hoverboard”.

While in Yala an online gold trader called Theerachai organized an ostentatious 100 million baht ordination ceremony for himself complete with dozens of celebrity buddies.

Rooster is a proud and devout atheist, distrusting of organized religion. One of the most contributed to threads on Thaivisa is entitled “Do you believe in God and why?” I’ve never looked at it, but if I did the only thing I could possibly say would be “No, why should I?”

Apropos, while I was a Thai studies teacher at Harrow International the Saudi Arabian ambassador accused me of proselytizing by asking that his son ‘wai’ a Thai teacher when entering the class like the other Year 2 kids. My headmaster backed me up and the diplomat removed both his children forthwith.

Should the ambassador have cared to look a little deeper, he would have discovered that my policy was to avoid religion when talking about Thai culture. I even banned Buddhist images and pictures from our classrooms.

Believe in religion if you want. Just don’t bother me with it or force it on vulnerable children.

Rather like the nation’s monks, Thailand’s criminals and overstayers had a bad week.

Pathompong, 34, made the small mistakes of a) robbing his local gold shop and b) leaving his “bat prachachon” (Thai ID) at the scene of the 115,000 baht heist. Bangkok plod had no problem solving that one by tea(money)time.

The miscreant was wearing a white grannie-style hat to obscure his idiocy that was adorned with “F’s”. FFS might have been more appropriate.

In Chumphon, an Indian showed similar levels of intelligence by telling immigration that he had only just arrived in the country….in fluent Thai. It transpired that “Ama” had done more in and out than all of Clockwork Orange. He’d been blacklisted twice but returned with new passports.

Rooster is someone who has always believed in using Thai language skills at every turn and it has frequently got me out of trouble, very rarely in it. (Those seldom occasions were usually when I chose the wrong word).

I have always employed the vernacular during the huge number of times I’ve been stopped by plod at roadside checkpoints. It hasn’t always saved me from a fine though it sufficed when I struck up a conversation about David Beckham or explained that this was the Thai wife’s picture in my gradually opening wallet.

Once a member of the constabulary, aghast that I was about to hand over 100 baht in full view, asked me to go into a police booth and insert the money behind a poster. It was a naked “Mekhong” girl on the wall whose bosom was bulging with notes underneath!

Only once did I part with 500 baht. I made the schoolboy error of revving down an empty road ahead on my Steed instead of stopping for “garn sadej” (a royal procession). The officer who chased me was kind enough to let me proceed, however, after I convinced him my brother was at death’s door in Bumrungrad Hospital.

When I hear foreigners burble on about not speaking Thai with officialdom, I think it says far more about their language abilities than their guile. Many of these were out on the forum expounding their brilliant strategy after the Bangkok top brass unveiled their new DUI checkpoints on Wednesday.

The show of the “new, transparent” (and even polite!) checkpoints was outside Thong Lo police station, the scene of many a shakedown in one of the most notorious precincts in the country. And lest we forget where Red Bull Boss got away. The irony seemed to be missed on plod and assembled press.

The checkpoints are the “brainchild” (probably one with a severe case of Down’s) of new RTP chief Pol Gen Suwat Chaengyodsuk. New chiefs always announce their arrival with a fleeting fanfare of anti-corruption rhetoric before retreating to the sanctity of the trough.

Rooster began acquaintance with bespectacled Suwat by transliterating his nickname as “Big Pat”. On balance I think I prefer Khaosod’s version.

Big Pud.

He was nowhere to be seen after he put minion “Big Mana” in charge at Thong Lo to explain how 12 officers would use CCTV and flashing lights to ensure every drunk was apprehended with a smile. I was amused by Big Mana’s surname as much as the charade: Maekmork (cloud fog)

What a perfect name for someone explaining transparency!

In international news all eyes were drawn to the United States where the presidential election on Tuesday was followed by some decidedly un-presidential shenanigans and the result still wasn’t officially announced by the time this column went to press on Saturday. The courts will play a part but most of the suits look frivolous.

Anthony Zurcher of the BBC summed it up well midweek: “Although the final results aren’t known, what is clear after election night is that the US continues to be a sharply divided nation.

“The American voters did not repudiate Trump in any meaningful way. Nor did they give him the kind of ringing endorsement that the president had hoped for”.

(The same could also be said for Biden, notes Thaivisa).

He continued: “Instead, the battle lines are drawn – and the political warfare will continue no matter who prevails in this particular election”.

Both candidates garnered a record number of votes in several ways but it looks as though Mr Biden will win. I hope that once he and his running mate manage to get inside the White House they are able to work at bringing some unity and that people around the world can regain more respect for their great nation.

In England the lockdown began with early signs that infection might be slowing. I fear they are going to emerge from this second lockdown in December with the Eton Mess proclaiming victory, only for the public to swamp the shops and pubs in mask-less abandon leading up to Christmas resulting in a more devastating third wave.

Back in Thailand, the RTP were reminded to watch what they say on TikTok, Twitter and Facebook. The “good name of the Thai police” (one of Rooster’s favorite lines that never ceases to froth the forum) was at stake.

Perhaps if they spent a little less TIME online and a little MORE on patrolling the roads the appalling death toll might abate. It needs to. On Monday Daily News reported 70+ deaths and that is just those at the scene of accidents.

It came as safety expert Dr Thanapong Jinwong “revealed” that a ten year accident reduction plan was in tatters. Rather than halving the carnage it had increased by 50% since 2011. Thanapong said the answer was better driver training, improvements to the roads and law enforcement.

He’s right – but when, oh when, are the government going to give more than “seven deadly days at Songkran and New Year” lip service to the issue?

When another million of their compatriots have died by 2050?

A roundup of virus news in the Kingdom this week: there are plans to cut state quarantine to 10 days from 14 (as if that will make any difference to tourism); the PM and Anutin tried to offer hope to Samui and Phuket as the mobile cabinet visited the south; a visiting Hungarian minister tested positive and was promptly sent back on a private jet; the first group of Chinese STV tourists were let loose on the beaches “with confidence”.

Best video was a rescue foundation that dropped a corpse out of the back of an ambulance in rush hour traffic then had to do a U-turn to pick up the twice unfortunate stiff. The locals helped out by positioning a fruit basket by the body to stop further ignominy.

Another clip featured a leading figure on a walkabout in Thailand who suggested that the country was “a land of compromise” when surprised by an opportunistic foreign journalist.

Former singer “Pookie” and her husband were given 38-year sentences for drug dealing and money laundering. Who said the courts don’t have a heart!

Finally, THAI are trying to sell off their older planes by November 13th. The bankrupt national carrier is getting desperate and increasingly delusional.

They expect merit-makers to pay thousands of baht to fly OVER temples and back to where they started from. They are also trying to make a few baht flogging batter fried in hot oil.

They used to Go to Patong.

Now they make Patong – Go.

Rooster.

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