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  • News & article

    Underwater folly

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 12/06/2019

    » In the aquatic chamber, the tank looms. Encrusted and barnacled, the mighty war machine has become a home of fish and corals. It seems incapacitated, abandoned, useless. Such is an illusion: if the tank is submerged, we're down there with it, drowned in that inexorable aquarium. Look, its gun still points at us, and its shadow all-consuming.

  • News & article

    A poll date and elephant in the room

    News, Kong Rithdee, Published on 25/08/2018

    » We've heard distant drumbeats and dates are being thrown around. The election will -- may -- happen on Feb 24, 2019, which is the Year of the Pig, if that portends anything. The latest possible date, if things get pushed around by design or by fate, is May. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe never. Who knows? For a regime that prides itself as rule-keepers, rules and promises have been treated like toilet paper since day one.

  • News & article

    PM's plan to end gridlock is pie in sky

    News, Kong Rithdee, Published on 18/08/2018

    » In three months, the angels will return to the clogged thoroughfares of Lost-Angel-ist. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, one who's never shy of making the impossible still impossible, has set his sights on, gasp, fixing Bangkok traffic, which is like untangling the Mobius strip or finding the end of Ariadne's thread. The soundbite-ready part of the PM's order is that he wants to see "tangible results in three months", which promptly sent related authorities scurrying in all directions to make it real.

  • News & article

    Hope lives on as cave rescue crisis unfolds

    News, Kong Rithdee, Published on 30/06/2018

    » Time is not on their side, and not on ours. To beat nature and to outrun time -- and what cruel nature and pitiless time -- we give it everything we have.

  • News & article

    Sucking the wind out of the elections

    News, Kong Rithdee, Published on 05/05/2018

    » The verb of the week is "to dood".

  • News & article

    Beauties and the beasts of coup regime

    News, Kong Rithdee, Published on 28/04/2018

    » It's just too rich to pass up, too weird and symbolic to ignore. The summit of the week between members of the girl group BNK48 and Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha was the moment when politics met pop-culture, when new met old, when cuties met coupmaker, when teens met tank, when beauty met … whatever.

  • News & article

    Wake me up when Thaiism rings true

    Oped, Kong Rithdee, Published on 10/02/2018

    » It has been widely translated as “Thainess”. But “Thainess” may not be accurate when describing Thai Niyom, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s latest catchphrase and sort-of policy. The correct term in English, I propose, should be “Thaiism”, just like populism ( Pracha Niyom), nationalism ( Chat Niyom), conservatism ( Anurak Niyom), authoritarianism ( Amnat Niyom), or alcoholism, you know, the excessive use of alcohol to drown out grief and the pain of broken promises.

  • News & article

    A comedy likely to end only in horror

    News, Kong Rithdee, Published on 03/02/2018

    » The junta can read the stars and history and they must know this isn't going to end well. As frustration grows, as protests form, as their support ebbs even their idol Gen Prem Tinsulanonda flat-out said so they amp up censorship and tighten the squeeze, not with gusto but with desperation. With Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon looking increasingly like a plump Chinese deity on the verge of losing his worshippers, the regime reacts with force, gagging tactics and plain old bullying.

  • News & article

    Writing’s on wall for our democracy

    Oped, Kong Rithdee, Published on 27/01/2018

    » The other day I saw some graffiti in a public toilet. It read, ars longa, vita brevis. Art is long, life is short, as the popular translation goes. Like a street artist, I decided to vandalise it, scratching out and changing the first bit with my poor Latin: dictatura longa, vita brevis. Dictatorship is long, life is short.

  • News & article

    Time is not on our side

    Life, Kong Rithdee, Published on 25/01/2018

    » This is a note on an important Thai film that is unlikely to be shown in Thailand. Such is the fate of home-grown cinema in a time of disease, the time of a black hole.

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