Who’s Going To Laugh At Mick Jagger
As probably predicted – or about as predictable as rain in April in Manchester, 'Thailand – The Next Generation' stoked the charred cinders on the site with rebuttals from the target demographic the article was aimed at. Now, personally, I don't have much dog in this particular fight, I am barely into middle age though I do look young for my early forties, meaning I could probably pass for thirty, that and I am in reasonable shape, still have all my hair, teeth etc with any lines – the only thing that may betray my age is a whisp of white at the front of my brown, curly hair.
But the article was of interest as I am heading into the direction of the article's target demographic and not backwards, and sooner than I would like I am going to look something like my age – even if it is slower than most people's descent into middle age, and this brings me to a fantastic passage in Hakuri Murakami's great little book 'What I Talk About When I Talk About Running' the first chapter is labelled 'Who's Going To Laugh At Mick Jagger'. This first chapter is about Murakami's descent into latter middle age where his abilities as a runner are starting to decrease as are his abilities to find new stories as a writer. Here is an excerpt from the chapter.
'I'm in my late fifties now. When I was young, I never imagined the twenty first century would actually come and that, all joking aside, I'd turn fifty. In theory of course, it was self-evident that someday, if nothing else happened, the twenty -first century would roll around and I would turn fifty. When I was young, being asked to imagine myself at fifty was as difficult as being asked to imagine, concretely, the world after death. Mick Jagger once boasted that 'I'd rather be dead that still singing 'Satisfaction' when I am forty-five' But now he is over sixty and still singing 'Satisfaction'. Some people mind find this funny but not me. When he was young, Mick Jagger couldn't imagine himself at forty-five. When I was young. I was the same. Can I laugh at Mick Jagger? No way. I just happen not to be a young rock singer. Nobody remembers what stupid things I might have said back then, so they are not about to quote them back to me, that's the difference.'
I am sure it struck a chord with most people who read it, that they saw themselves in the same vein as Jagger, Murakami etc. The invincibility of youth, that naivete that the salad days were going to last forever and that they – when the time came – would know when to 'grow old gracefully and adopt a lifestyle that would be sensitive to other peoples perceptions of them and their standing in society as someone who wasn't 'young' anymore, I know I was the same and I was nothing special at all. And here I am now, typing away at nearly 6 am, getting ready for work, in my early 40's, what happened to the world heavyweight title I was going to win long before now? Oh well, that's another story for another post.
How I see Thailand – or more accurately – the bar scene, is that it is pure logical capitalism in action. If you have the means (the money) you are in, no questions asked, the bar is set low regards everything else, because it is what it is – now here is the 64 million dollar question, who has time and money to frequent bars? I don't know what most of you were like in your twenties and early thirties but I bet most of you were either working or saving, and if you had a month (or two weeks if you are American) then would the bar scene in Thailand survive these days on the lack of money and time 'Millennials' have? Especially these days where there is that lack of job security which wasn't the case in my father's day. So, the reason there is a bar scene is because monied, usually working class men who have achieved a decent pension or some kind of managerial seniority who can take more time off work or indeed – have their own businesses – to make their trips and keep this party going, because let's make no mistake, if the bar scene relied on backpackers without two pennies to scratch their arse with, young ESL teachers working in Thailand and young men who – if we are being honest – can get laid without the need of a ten-hour flight to Bangkok if that is their sole aim – meaning that the amount of young men who go to Thailand with the sole intention to get laid isn't enough to keep a billion dollar industry going – then there would be no bar scene, it really is that simple.
I have an easy solution to Anonymous though, there are lots of places where he won't see these fat, horrible, old men slavering around young girls – Oslo, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Stockholm, Madrid – loads of cities really where he would have all the 'hotties' to himself and his friends, yeah, I know… he knows his true value and that is why he is in Bangkok getting laid in the prime of his youth and not somewhere like Stockholm.
Marrying a Bargirl.
I enjoyed reading Phet's ramblings on the subject.
My opinion – it is a free world, you can do what you want, I am not here to judge anyone if one wants to marry a bargirl – but why would anyone do such an illogical thing? Especially when the rules are so simple about Thailand – it is the most basic concept of capitalism that probably exists, you have the money and you are in, whereas if you had the tens of millions from a lottery win – you aren't going to be accepted by 'The Bullingdon Club' anytime soon.
So, when a man goes to Thailand (for sex if that is the case) that seems quite a logical step, what doesn't seem like a logical step is marry one who has had more miles around the clock than an Air New Zealand 747. A lot of these guys are quite successful and are not fools, they have money and resources to bring their wife back to their own country which isn't easy – which means they must have something in the brains department, they certainly have something in the logic department because if one isn't getting laid at home nor are they tempted by what's on offer for them (when you get past 30 – it is 'single mum's' which is great if that's what you want…) then they go to a place where they can meet and have sex with young women with no strings attached as long as they have money – wahey – great.
Now this is probably down to my relative youth of why anyone would then marry a bar girl? I understand the loveliness of Thai women, which brings me onto one of Phet's final points – about the number of nurses, teachers (and bank workers, shop girls etc) that one can date over there – if it is about the amount of money that one would take to maintain like Phet insists is higher then wouldn't that still be a better bet than some semi-educated bar girl who has had more cock than Colonel Sanders? Hey, again, it is not soley about me being judgemental, it is about myself looking at two attainable logical options and choosing the worse one because it's cheaper. I don't know – I won't pretend to know it all like Mr. Anonymous – the ladykilling – ziff iffrikan – who is killing it with the bar girls of Bangkok with his hot body. And yeah, I know, you can't control your inner emotions and you can fall in 'love' with the most unlikeliest of people – but still, that annoying voice of logic must sing away at those fellas that marry bargirls – what gives? Tell me! And thanks for reading.