Waiting For The First Plunge Of The Knife
Why do I feel as though I’m watching a “B” horror movie? I keep waiting for a lunatic to dash out from behind the curtains and begin slashing manically away. The creepy music has my hair standing on end. Goosebumps are starting to rise on my flesh. I want to look away. I need to look anywhere but at the screen where I know I am moments away from witnessing a bloodbath. But somehow I have to see the fatal blow with my own two eyes. And of course, after what seems like an eternity the inevitable slaughter takes place in agonizing slow motion.
That’s what it feels like waiting for “the airport confrontation” to finally begin. After today’s aborted attempt at ousting out PAD, it looks that I might need a refill of my bucket of popcorn. It looks as though as long as the Thai version of the “Keystone Cops” are on the job, restoring order might just take a wee bit more time. I’m not holding my breath.
When I was a kid, “ethnic jokes” were all the rage. You know, the stereotypical zinger like, “How many (choose any ethnic or racial group) does it take to screw in a light bulb?” “One to hold the bulb and six to turn the ladder!” Funny eh? Well based on their lack-luster performance this week Thai authorities are doing a damned fine job of creating a whole new category of this type of “humor”. Here in full glory are the “gang who can’t shoot straight”. Hell it seems they can’t make it to place where the shooting is even going to take place! That may actually be a blessing though since when they do arrive on the scene. (and yes, even at the glacial speed they are moving, they will make it there) When they do, undoubtedly someone with a nervous trigger finger, either a policeman or a PAD terrorist will let loose and the bloodbath will commence….and at least one nutcase is ready for martyrdom. From today’s Bangkok post.com came this: Sondhi: I'll 'fight to death' People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) leader Sondhi Limthongkul on Saturday reiterated that he was ready to 'fight to the death' and strike back, should the police attempt to seize the anti-government ASTV satellite television. What I would really like to know is, is this a threat or a promise? Please, by all means do Thailand a favor and check-out, but please don’t drag a lot of innocent folks down with you! Alas, alas, too many of these folks genuinely welcome some kind of “ultimate battle”. Be careful what you wish for, because in the end you may just have your wish granted! Events here in Thailand have been overshadowed by the horrific slaughter in Mumbai, but if and when the blood starts to flow at Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang the full glare of the world’s media will once again be focused on the Land of Smiles.
Today my wife and I went up to Chiang Mai to do some shopping. The vibe up here in the North is decidedly different than in Bangkok. This is Thaksin country, and though he may be a convicted criminal on the lam, if he would return this moment, he would be given a hero’s welcome. The radio stations were playing songs praising him and Thai Rak Thai to the hilt. I listened to a call-in radio show where one caller after another decried PAD and its leaders I didn’t see a single yellow shirt being worn. Red is definitely the color de jour here. Throughout the land at any other time you would think that the planet had been taken over by canaries. Not now. Since PAD wrapped itself in yellow, it’s lost some of its cache up here. I do believe that this coming Monday I will show up at school wearing any other color of the rainbow except yellow. Don’t worry folks; I’m not stupid to start mouthing off, at least not to anyone Thai. I’ll still wear a bland meaningless smile on my face if asked what I think about the current situation, but will content myself with this one small personal gesture in opposition to insanity.
And so the hours tick by. Talking heads on Thai television do what they do best….saying almost nothing of significance. That of course is no surprise. There is not exactly a long tradition of journalistic excellence here in The Land of Smiles.
Thailand sits squarely on the list of the most dangerous countries in the world to visit. The baht is sinking like a stone <Ah, actually it is just edging a little lower – Stick>, which at least is good news for me. A Tsunami of unemployment and economic disaster is getting ready to sweep across the land. The PM is holed up in Chiang Mai. Demands have been made for PAD to depart peacefully. These demands have been “sneered” at. Pressure is mounting for someone to do something resolve the standoff. Me, I’m still just glued to the screen of this real life horror film waiting for the first plunge of the knife.
I'm about the least religious person you'll ever met, but if there is a God then I hope he hears my wishes that there is no a blood bath coming soon. My fears now are that the reds will invade the airports. If that happens, then shirts won't be the only red we see everywhere…