Readers' Submissions

Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes Part 111

  • Written by Dana
  • December 10th, 2005
  • 9 min read


INTRODUCTION

"It is in harmony with the hypotheses of such a non-negative Freudianism that I take Nussbaum to be working when she writes that Joyce "inverts the image," providing, contra Plato and, thus, contra Murdoch, a "frankly sexual art [which] is a kind of sewer-pipe that will drain off the censorious metaphysics of the Irish-Catholic church as he knew it, to leave the body in peace and health"; or as, it is also described, "drain[ing] off Platonic metaphysics to be ourselves" (Nussbaum 1996, 51)." –credit to Marcus Verhaegh–

Holy literature Stickmanites: no wonder I don't feel that smart walking around. I guess I'm just not that competitive in the old brain department. Nothing like the above here–just another simple story from my simple brain and my simple life. It is entitled:

No wait; here is another quote from our friend Mr. Verhaegh:

"This positive stance of the neo-Romantic involves, first of all, seeing the self’s projections as crucial motivations and supports for other-concern: for example, emphasizing sexual desire and its attending fantasies as a route to other-concern, despite the evidence of the egoistic, narcissistic tendencies which spring from sexual desire; or, to approach this positivity through the negative, emphasizing the way in which ethics must seek to harness such selfish tendencies, rather than dispel or (merely) contain them."

Hey, do you smell something burning? Is someone smoking some PhD thesis weed? I gotta tell you: I just feel diminished by guys like this. He must be really smart. Anyway, what I really wanted to talk about today was–no wait, another quote by this guy Verhaegh just popped up:

"One might describe the situation thus: recognition of the heterogeneity of goods leads to recognition of the goods neglected and marginalized in moral thinking. "Pagan," worldly excellencies return to our attention when morality is re-inscribed within ethics, to use these terms in the manner of Bernard Williams; when, from another angle, a distinctively moral realm is rejected (for discussion of ‘pagan’ virtue, see Casey . . . " etc.

My question is: does this guy have any hot sweaty moaning humping pussy in his life? OK, sorry about that–I guess that was out of line. Still you gotta wonder. Not for nothing but if I met a guy like this in the Angel Witch bar at the NEP during the lesbian routine it would really take the blush off the whoremonger bloom. The Angel Witch is a church where I go to worship the beauty of women. Seeing this pipesmoking diarrhea-of-the-mouth slope shouldered dweeb in the next pew would make me think that maybe I should try a new church. Rainbow II bar anyone? That is why the festering dump known as Washington Square is such a refuge. You know you are not going to meet any guys like this there. The broken down human roosters in those bars with unused condoms in their wallets and pictures of their incarcerated grandchildren can barely string a sentence together without using the words Vietnam and Feminazi and Idiot Thais. When a stripped down leaned out male Adonis like me strolls in with my South-of-France tan, white linen suit, and gold cigarette case purchased from the James Bond auction at Soetheby's they refuse to talk to me because I don't have enough 'Life Experience'. Apparently you don't qualify for 'Life Experience' unless you can hold a plum in your belly button. It's a snoozer but it's also a relief. Sort of a most common denominator safe harbor. No possibility of meeting any literary nincompoops like Mr. Verheagh in this arena. The denizens of Washington Square's idea of a literary footnote is when a letter from Noi is stuck to their shoe.

I guess Mr. Verhaegh and I have different enthusiasms. While he is looking up the medieval Gaelic derivative of the word 'angel's breath' in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) I am posing in front of my mirror at the Nana hotel with my erection sticking out the side of my underpants (ESOTSOMU). Anyway, here is a simple essay and story on life in the Kingdom.

TARGET

I have changed my opinion of myself. I used to think that I was a nice guy but since writing and posting on the Internet I have received so many emails notifying me that I am an affront to all that is Christian, a pervert, and an imperialist American capitalist pig that I have changed my opinion of myself. A thousand people can't be wrong.

Lest I backslide into the old me who I thought was a kind person, had value, and had the right to hold opinions; I find it helpful to get negative email input daily. That is why when I am in Thailand I try to check my email once or twice a day. This day I am walking down Walking Street in South Pattaya on the lookout for an Internet café.

I spot an Internet sign way down a soi. Down I go and up some steps and in I go. The owner and the receptionists are all smiles. You would think I was the Bangkok representative here to deliver their winning lottery check. The place is one tiny room. Three machines. I sit down. I punch a key. Nothing. It turns out that the machines are not on. None of them. I look around and see white styrofoam packing peanuts and shipping boxes. Clearly these are brand new machines just installed and no one has bothered to turn them on. No problem. I'll just get some help. I turn to the owner and the receptionist and ask for some help. Nothing. I figure out that neither of these brainiacs has the slightest knowledge about computers. The man looks like he sold his tapioca fields to go into this business and the cute girl is from the planet Clueless. Now the fun starts. I have left the street and gone into their place of business and sat at a chair and punched a key. In the Thai mind I now owe them money. Thais are so business ignorant and so greedy and so without common sense regarding standard business customer service and diplomacy skills that they run their stores as if they are extorting money in South Florida heroin rings. But I know this and I move fast. Quickly I say, "Well since none of these computers are working I am not paying." and I start to get up. But before I can rock forward and rise from the chair Mr. Tapioca Fields lunges at me, grabs both my shoulders, spins me around, picks me up, and starts yelling at me. He is bigger and stronger and testosterone is being dumped into his blood stream. We are face to face and spittle is flying out of his mouth as his eyes and neck engorge with blood. Welcome to Thailand.

For those of you who have never been to Thailand before here is the game. Thais work on the extortion principle of business and extortion often involves fear. Scare the tourist and he will pay. It is a successful stratagem that works a lot. Well, not me. He picked on the wrong little farang in baggy pants, flip flops, and Indian cotton shirt. But I am not going to raise my voice or my hands or my arms either. He will have to hit me first. I ain't paying and I ain't backing down and I am looking directly into his eyes. It's a standoff. Out of the corner of my eye I can see Miss Smiling Receptionist suddenly doesn't know me. What happened to the smiles? Eventually I leave.

If you have never been to Thailand before here is my recommendation. On the first day before you do anything else go to the hotel gift shop where they have a revolving display of post cards. Buy all the postcards. This is a fun thing to do and the postcards are fabulous. Just looking at them will make you happy that you have traveled to exotic friendly smiling Siam. There will be one of smiling elephants pulling teak logs, and there will be one of happy laughing naked children swimming in a klong, and there will be one of the Royal Palace in its glittery golden splendor, and there will be one that has a smiling woman with a flower in her hair, and there will be one of a long tail boat, and there will be one of charming smiling northern tribe women in native costumes, and there be one that illustrates Songkran (you'll find out), and there will be a postcard that has smiling women in boats full of produce–the Flower Market, and there will be one that illustrates monks, and there will be a lovely postcard that pictures the beauty and the charm of Loy Krathong (water festival).

Take them all off the rack and go to the gift shop counter. The lady will ask you if you want stamps. You don't. Just buy the postcards. Once you have the postcards in hand walk into the hotel lobby and find a trash receptacle. Stand over the trash bin and look at the postcards carefully; they are fabulous pictures of a fun smiling country full of fun smiling people–then rip the postcards in half and dump them in the trash. That ain't Thailand. Not for you. You are new to the Kingdom and you might as well have the yellow Star-of-David Jewish pogrom badge on your sleeve or the leper's amulet around your neck or the Mark of Cain on your brow. You can't see it and your non-Thai friends can't see it but when going through Immigration on arrival you were bathed in a neutrino rich newbie infrared light captured from the Van Allen belt and you are now a walking beacon that is pulsating and flashing the letters ATM. All Thais can see it. That is why they are smiling. Anyway, trash the postcards.

That done your next step if this is your first trip to Thailand is to go to Robinson's Department store or a 7-11 or a big pharmacy and buy some of those big marking pens. Get them in different colors. Robinson's department store on Soi 19 in Bangkok is beyond a doubt the most fun for some little expedition like this. It does not matter what you say to the female clerks they will look by degrees; sexy and feminine and beautiful, charming, helpful, confused, bewildered, scared, and then–where did she go? Now go back to your room and get a T-shirt. Put the T shirt on the desk and draw different sized concentric circles on the shirt and color in between the lines–like an archery target. That is what you are making on the T-shirt. A target. It is time to up the ante. To call a nation's bluff.

Now you are ready to start your holiday in the Land of Smiles. When you leave the hotel you will be wearing the shirt that has a target on it. You're a tourist that has a target on him. "Take your best shot Thais!" You know the drill and you know the game. It's a declaration of war. You are in Thailand. Have a great vacation.

Stickman's thoughts:

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