July 15, 2012

Lèse-irony

Filed under: Thailand — Kim @ 9:01 am

Watching a George Steiner interview t’other day, I was struck by a peculiar usage of “Lèse-majesté”. Speaking of his time in America he commented “I couldn’t accept the lack of irony…America is a land committed to things being better next Monday than they are this Monday. Irony is the enemy. Irony subverts. Irony is being rather nasty about hope. In America being nasty about hope is ‘Lèse-majesté ‘”.

The phrase these days calls to mind the recent cases in Thailand and – whatever your views may be on that – if you have talked to Thais about their King you will surely have realised the practically universal reverence in which he is held by his people. The vast majority of Thais would brook no criticism of their King and (as a consequence) most would support the Lèse-majesté law.

It seems clear that the Lèse-majesté law is being overused in Thailand and used as a political tool, but that’s not the point I wish to make. I’d like to link back to the point Steiner made about the “lack of irony” and the link is that, for Thais, to criticise the King is not just to be negative about a man or an institution…the way things stand at the moment it is “being nasty about hope”. To utter Lèse-majesté is a locutionary act that subverts confidence in present and future hopes for Thailand and in the moral rectitude of the entire Thai nation – as embodied in that living symbol, King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The Thais love their King for a reason; he clearly cares for his country and is deservedly loved. But wouldn’t a sense of irony help? Is the King a man or a God? I know how an ironist would answer that question…

January 2, 2012

Kim Dun Rong

Filed under: asia,politics — Kim @ 9:43 am

While it is an undoubtedly splendid idea to have a country permanently ruled by Kims, these North Korean Kims seem to be letting the side down somewhat.

The juxtaposition of these two quotes helps explain part of the problem:

North Korea warns the world: no change in policy under Kim Jong-un

“Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results”

July 19, 2011

absolute power corrupts? absolutely.

Filed under: politics — Kim @ 1:22 am

A few weeks ago, Murdoch, or rather the more savage tendencies of the press as a whole, represented God. Fear of God isn’t always a bad thing in itself, if it keeps you on the straight and narrow – but politicians behaved like medieval villagers who didn’t just believe in Him, but quaked at the mere suggestion of a glimmer of a whisper of His name. You must never anger God. God wields immense power. God can hear everything you say. You must worship God, and please Him, or He will destroy you. For God controls the sun, which may shine upon you, or singe you to a Kinnock. Soon he will control the entire sky.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jul/17/charlie-brooker-rupert-murdoch

January 14, 2010

LOLWUT!!!

Filed under: China,politics — Kim @ 4:29 pm

People who use lolwut and multiple exclamation marks are either twatwits or wannabe wind-up merchants. But when I read the following widely circulated quote I had an epileptic LOLWUT!!! moment.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said on Thursday that “China’s Internet is open”.

And I am Marie of Romania.

It must be said though that Little Miss “pants are on fire” is rather fetching, in that buttoned-up and stern-looking Chinese way

liar

A shame then that her fair face doth hide what the false heart doth know.

The question is, if she tells such huge lies so brazenly won’t she lose face? She has lost the trust of anyone who knows anything about the internet, that’s for sure.

No no no. She can’t be serious. It would just be too stupid, too embarassing. In modern 21st century China, even the lumbering old CCP has progressed past that level of inanity and/or shamelessness. Yes, I can see now that her quote was a sneaky postmodern humorous allusion to the crassness of the bad old days of Cultural Revolution propaganda. If you look at her carefully, she’s definitely smirking. ROFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOLTWAT

October 4, 2009

It’s all about the CP, dudes

Filed under: China,culture — Kim @ 8:06 am

Following the awesome display of Chinese fembots in the recent Beijing Commy Parade,

fembots

I thought I’d repost this cutesy little cartoon.

CCP

Now that’s what I call progress.