Thai Thoughts and Anecdotes Part 253
Introduction: Cultural Imperialism
Dana here kats and kittens with a brief thought on cultural imperialism. I don't think this subject gets enough careful thought. I wish it would be thrashed and trashed so that we could all learn something about the words we use and the world we live in. For the interested writer there is a 10,000 word essay here.
Ok, let me see if I understand this whole cultural imperialism thing because I want to be hip and I want to be popular. Cultural imperialism is when one country/culture imposes its values on another country or culture to the detriment of that other country. Is that about it?
Like, for example, when KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) or McDonald's opens one of their eating establishments in a country other than the U.S.– that's automatically cultural imperialism. Only one problem: for KFC or MacDonald's or Starbucks, etc. to operate in another country they have to be invited in the form of granted permits, pay taxes and fees, establish contracts and contacts and relationships with local vendors, join and participate in national and local business organizations, and have reliable relationships with local bankers. Gee, it seems as if everyone is in on cultural imperialism–especially every aspect of the native country from the government on down to the customers.
The customers? Gosh, sometimes we are so full of ourselves being morally and culturally superior that we forget about the customers (read: other human beings). Let's try an experiment. Put a handful of fried crickets and scorpions and cockroaches on a plate. Now on a second plate put a cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato and onions and mustard and a toasted bun. Tell a randomly chosen Thai that you will pay him/her 100 baht to eat one of these items but they can only choose one.
If the Thai picks up the cheeseburger does that mean he or she has been seduced or demeaned by cultural imperialism? Am I supposed to feel guilty every time I see a Thai eating western food, or wearing western clothes, or using western words, or considering western ideas, or listening to western music? No to the above. It means the customer made a choice. Choice is everything–it represents freedom and dignity. Denying people choices because you believe it would be better for them (and their country and the world, etc.) is the ultimate kind of imperialism and paternalism and demeanment. I do not believe those who shout and scream about the evils of cultural imperialism know what they are talking about. I wish they would shut up.
But that is not really what I want to talk about today. What I really want to talk about today is:
Good and happy and fantastic news to the total hipsters of Stickmanbangkok.comland. Get ready to smile kuhns and kuhnesses. Due to the worldwide excitement over my submission of a couple of weeks ago titled Looking for Winners (Thai Thoughts and Anecdotes — Part 251) that highlighted the sabbatical/vacation activities of Professor Korski on the boardwalk of Pattaya the website Stickmanbangkok.com Enterprises (pharmaceuticals, movie production, yaa baa mule train rentals, monogrammed condoms) has decided to make Looking for Winners souvenirs, keepsakes, and gifts available. I know. I know. Sometimes God just smiles on you. Anyway, a list follows from the Stickmanbangkok.com Korski Souvenir Catalogue (SKSC).
1. Framed Thai lottery ticket that is only two digits off the winning number.
2. T-shirt that says: Get Your Foot Off My Wagon.
3. Little Red Wagon (LRW): available empty or kitted out as in Thai Thoughts and Anecdotes — Part 220 (Porno Playing Cards), plus the trash can diving kit. Note: no, Korski can not autograph the wagons. Some legal thing.
4. Pattaya Municipal trash can diving kit: a large brass Thai belt buckle for hooking over the edge of a trash receptacle, miner's headlamp, elbow pads, eye surgeon magnifying spectacles, Japanese pollution face mask, smelling salts, tongs, gloves, anti-bacterial spray, snake bite kit, scorpion alarm system, duct tape for glove-to-shirt cuff seal, and illustrated instruction booklet.
5. Video showing Professor Korski trash receptacle diving and hunting techniques. Person in the video is not Professor Korski but my Fa dressed in blinding white jeans, sandals, and a red silk top.
6. Video showing Professor Korski lecture on the Theory of Large Numbers. Laugh with your math literate friends.
7. Photos of Korski on site and in action. Dress up your home or office with these large glossy pics. Suitable for matting or framing. Wallet size included at no extra charge. All photos taken from the rear and only show him from the waist down.
Note: if the photos only show Korski from behind and from the waist down how can you be sure it is him? Oh come on. Haven't you ever seen these professors at conventions, in labs, or on campus? What they wear is practically a uniform of nerdness. Grey lace up shoes, brown polyester pants, and the multi-colored Indian bead belt they made in summer camp in 1964. A pocket protector in one back pocket for additional mechanical pencils and pens, plus arcane measuring instruments (tire inflation gauge, scissor leg compass, folding protractor, star chart) and nothing in the other back pocket. His wallet is in his left front pocket. This two pound monster contains theater ticket stubs from 1975 and a Brownsville, Texas department store Christmas display model railroad viewing coupon. You never know when that might come in handy. Believe me, it's Korski. And then, of course, there is the sewn-on rear end patch from his PhD. fieldwork days in the 70's that says:
"If you don't want my peaches, don't shake my tree."
in Spanish. Believe me, these photos are of uberhipster Korski.
8. Application form to join the LRW (Little Red Wagon) club: be part of a worldwide organization dedicated to Looking for Winners. Share emotions and stories.
9. Video of two elderly Thai lady lottery ticket sellers describing rules of the lottery, systems for winning, best way to participate, personal anecdotes of people who bought tickets from them and were big winners, etc. Warning: this is complete incomprehensible gibberish but very entertaining. Imagine what your young sexy Thai girlfriend will look and talk like in thirty years.
10. Video of myself complete with rockin' music and boardwalk cutie friends as I give a tour of the boardwalk trash can by trash can. Who knows–maybe we will bump into Professor Korski in this video and hear him say: "Get your foot off my wagon."
Or we might bump into my Fa in this video. I know what you are thinking and I do not judge you for it. It would have occurred to anyone. Fa and Korski? No, that won't happen.
So, that's about it: Stickmanbangkok.com Enterprises (pharmaceuticals, movie production, yaa baa mule train rental, monogrammed condoms) is responding to worldwide tsunami wave interest in the submission Looking for Winners (Thai Thoughts and Anecdotes — Part 251) and making available souvenirs, keepsakes, and gifts. Contact Stickmanbangkok.com — Attn: Korski Gifts Dept. (KGD) for pricing and shipping information.
P.S. — Complete orders (all ten gift items) will receive a complimentary video of Mothership lounge lizard 500 Baht Walt trying to heave his 350 pound Japanese body over the edge of a municipal trash can and dive for winning lottery tickets thrown away by careless Thais. Laugh with your Thai girlfriend as she screeches:
Nippon Velly Funny