Readers' Submissions

Commentary to “Book of Dana”, Chapter 119, Verse 743

I will preface my commentary on Dana’s “Thai Thoughts and Anecdotes Part 119” with two points:

1.) I have never met Dana, but I have read much of what he has written here and in other venues (GeoCities, etc.) If we met, it might be like oil and water. I am a gregarious outgoing tall Texan, with a Southern Drawl and a taste for Country Music. We just might not “click”.

2.) However, I find Dana’s writing to generally be witty, sharp, and a good humorous read with high impact. When he is at his best, his writing is a fast-read like a good novel, and whether you agree with his opinions, his statements have impact and are easy to understand. His use of analogies is sometimes strident and overstated, but that is his style, and it works for him.

My comments to “Thai Thoughts and Anecdotes Part 119”

1.) I can summarize my clear agreement with Dana’s premise based on my own conclusions about Thai people: In the main, Thais like our money and they need our financial and technical contributions. However, in the main, they just do not like westerners very much or anything about our western culture. (Our money can stay, but we gotta go – – that is clearly the “common-man” Thai attitude.)

2.) This is my own simple analogy from an American perspective: (and, please pardon the frank racial over-tones, but this is the real-real truth) Americans of European descent will almost universally bitch and moan about the “Mexican Invasion” and the “Thieving Drug-Dealing Negroes”. But, when you are in America, and you want to hire a hard working groundskeeper for the golf course, or find a dark-skinned hooker with a big booty and a deep throat, who you gonna call? Euro-Americans (when speaking off the record, in private, of course) will be the first to complain about the dilution of their race and the subversion of the American culture. At the same time, there is a financial need that drives American businesses (white-owned American Businesses) to openly welcome cheap Mexican labour. We hate ‘em but we need ‘em. Same-same.

3.) Thais really have no unique “Southeast Asian” culture of their own, yet they defend their cultural icons as if sacrosanct. Much of their values and heritage came from India and from China. The incomprehensible squiggles that form the characters of the Thai written language came from Indian Sanskrit. The Thai religion, Buddhism, came from Hinduism. The ruling class in Thailand is largely composed of people of Chinese descent. The Thai-Chinese almost invariably look different, they act different, and they run their affairs more efficiently than most Thais. Any Thai that is part Chinese will be quick to tell any foreigner that he is “Thai-Chinese”. (As if that qualifies him for a higher index on the bell-curve or something.)

4.) The de facto colonization of Thailand has been going on since forever. This is where I believe that Thai people (and Dana) perhaps miss a key point. Thailand is already as much (or more) of a melting pot as is America. How many true-Thais are there, really? There are Thai-Chinese, Thai-Burmese, Thai-Laotian, etc. Racially, they are already fairly well mixed. Culturally, they have already absorbed very much from other cultures. Financially and economically, (and this is the part that really matters in today’s world) Thailand has already been “functionally colonized”, in my opinion. If you removed the investments of Americans, Europeans, Japanese, and Koreans, what would you have left? Rice, bananas, and rubber trees?

5.) Thais may well grow to hate and disrespect all farang more and more, (as Dana postulates) but are the Thais already too dependent upon foreigners? The answer is clearly a resounding “yes”. Without outside business investment, Thai markets would shrink, and the Thai economy would implode. If Dana’s “angry and disrespectful Thais” actually managed to run off all of the Americans, Europeans, Japanese, and Koreans, who would be left to operate the emerging Thai high-tech businesses? Thailand has a developing manufacturing economy that would fail miserably if all foreign investments, leadership, and technical know-how were suddenly removed.

6.) I have seen the same common-man anger from Thais directed at farang as Dana has observed, but I want to believe that it is mostly a phenomenon of the Thai lower-class. I just do not see it in the middle and upper class Thais. Or, perhaps the educated Thais are simply more sophisticated and more two-faced. Perhaps upper crust Thais simply do a better job of hiding their natural disdain for blue-eyed white-devil barbarians. You can judge that one for yourself.

7.) The evil farang: Sex-tourism, paedophilia, and illegal businesses. If my xenophobic stereotype of the “Average Thai Man” is that of an ignorant, lazy, shiftless, yaba-snorting bum, then his stereotype of me is perhaps that of a child-molesting evil sex-tourist. Tit for tat. Again, I cannot help but point out how two-faced Thais are in their dislike of farang. Money buys anything in LOS. Anything. Lower class Thai families will sell their virgin young girls to farangs in a heartbeat. Been there, done that, have the commemorative tee-shirt. Middle class Thais will gladly put their hand out for the bribe to re-interpret a lab analysis, or to change an inspection report. Been there and done that with so-called Thai “engineers” in the manufacturing industry. Upper class Thais that own a piece of various Thai banking institutions know damn good and well how much offshore money is being laundered thru their banks. They look the other way because of the money they make on fees and exchange rates. Thais of all classes will condemn the evil-doing of a small minority of farang, while at the same time eagerly participating in the activity.

Conclusion: They may hate us, but they need us. We ain’t going nowhere…

Stickman's thoughts:

Whoa, heavy stuff!