An illusion, generating false emotions to a redundant urban Thai society
Songkran, finally the end of a three-day water cum new year celebration, at least in Bangkok, and the beginning of an uptight urban society faking the motions of needing prosperity or wanting to grab political power with twitching greedy hands. Sirens, the familiar blare, on the streets of Bangkok, and at this hour of the night. More so with the extraordinary crime rate in the metropolis of Thailand. So much has happened, even with my return to the urban smog, and hypocritical semblance of what they, we, you call an educated society.
In truth, I am not eager to be in a city that seems to embrace a twisted, addictive moral standard that seems gentle on the outside but furiously obnoxious inside. Aye, many other cities in southeast Asia display such characteristics, though Bangkok usually takes a step up, or off. Dilemma of the city's political crisis is infused with the middle-class, their indifference towards the hardship faced in the rural north, and the savagery of killings in the south. Despite all the academic lectures in the large halls of higher education, there's little that urban Thais can be proud of. Slaying of civilians in the ThaiSouth, repeated stories of barbarism and the obvious concerns of those in the northern rural communities have little impact on the moods and intellectual might of Bangkok.
Urban poverty rules, the state of being poor, whether related to substandard housing infrastructure, the homeless, those living in the slums, miserable urban healthcare for the poor or simply the struggles of the people of the working class. Ignorance has served the social elites well, and the political drama a perpetual fuckery that even foreigners are unable to ignore, much to the amusement or pretended outrage of the locals. Patriots, those desperately trying to sustain the illusion of control, are everywhere, from having their proud photos plastered on the newspaper, to bourgeoisie-fawning magazines, and most are just to eager to appear on the media. Wave the fist, swing the arms, march if they must, most would sacrifice the limbs of others, just so they can appear dignified and nationalistic on the telly.
I've seen gutter politics before, many times, in my own country, where a sex-crazed society expects politicians to jump like monkeys to every whim, to every desire. I recall my discussion with young Malaysians about how politicians are mere facets of society's moralistic desire. Nothing different (almost) about Bangkok, same bullshit essense though at a grander scale. Puppetry, particularly in Bangkok's political hierarchy, is a much-desired skill; most in the fine dining restaurants to the taxi drivers seem to have an opinion of how to control, to "solve" Thailand's perceived boredom of the so-called political stalemate. Some, itching for more self-glory, are bored with democracy and would rather have Suthep Thaugsuban embrace the role of coup-leader. His comical behaviour at his stage rally seems convincing enough to some.
Seems urban Thais take delight when some wannabe or an experienced politician yells about "reforms" for, what I suspect, themselves and their horde of heel-kissing educated cronies. Bring up the subject of wanton slaughter of civilians in the south, and you'll be greeted by an uncomfortable silence. Talk about the poor farmers in the north, and expect "Bangkok people" to ridicule the peasants as backward, loud and only useful as a buffalo. Aye, Thailand as a whole find name-calling, insults and gossip as fine art. However I see and hear more from the 'civilised' mouth of an urban brat, or from the circle of the urban sophistication.
Songkran may be at an end in Bangkok, but the ambulance sirens will continue on a daily basis, the psyche rot fermenting in a cauldron created by the urban rich. Poverty does guarantee the fulfilment of the social elites, they are still eager to keep the poor in the gutters while they sip European wine and consume expensive cuisine, thus signalling the renewal of the caste heritage of the bourgeois and their master tycoons. I fight the urge to travel away from Bangkok, however in the end, my uncompleted work keeps my feet firmly planted. Perhaps it's good, that this brief public holiday has ended, that the urban swarm will get back to their boring routine; the water festival was refreshing in some ways, almost timely, and now we shall go back to the lust of elites for the wet roads to be drowned by gore and expected political idiocy.