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  • OPINION

    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.

  • OPINION

    Cyber snoop bill caps off a year from hell

    News, Kong Rithdee, Published on 17/12/2016

    » It's a contest no one wants to win: Is 2016 the worst year ever?

  • OPINION

    A tower of our glory, except the foreign bit

    News, Kong Rithdee, Published on 03/09/2016

    » I happened to be there at the opening of the sparkling corn-cob skyscraper, the trophy of high-capitalism and symbol of wealth. No fireworks at the launch of the MahaNakhon Tower, that would have been tacky, but we had the beam-me-up light dance and iridescent sky painting, cued to booming music. Jose Carreras sang arias.

  • OPINION

    All aboard for a 'Thai-Thai' referendum

    News, Kong Rithdee, Published on 23/07/2016

    » The word "Thai" means "free". But when you repeat the syllable and say "Thai-Thai" (with a dismissive laugh), suddenly it means "fake" -- it means we've bent whatever rule the world has to make it suitable to our temperament, emotion and impulse. For example, when you're not sure if your principle is solid, your stance firm, your democracy authentic, or your coup justified, there's a simple way to shut down the argument: just say it's baab Thai-Thai, "in the Thai way". Then, if everything is not forgiven, at least it's understood.

  • OPINION

    Superficiality takes aim at Scala

    News, Kong Rithdee, Published on 04/06/2016

    » There is a mix of rage, gloom and longing as, once again, the fate of the Scala theatre in Siam Square is questioned. To wreck is easy, to save is hard. The jackhammer screeches louder than nostalgia. Will the Scala, that quaint majesty stuck in a prime retail area, that solemn granddaddy in the flashy, messy, heavily commercialised quarter, be next to fall?

  • OPINION

    'Big' South film risks missing the ugly point

    News, Kong Rithdee, Published on 18/08/2012

    » I gasped, because it was the first time I'd seen an aircraft carrier in a Thai movie. Actually, it was just a trailer, and to stick to the cardinal rule of criticism, we won't judge a book by its cover or a prime minister by her dress. No matter how tempting it is.

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