America bashing at Esplanade Mall

Re: America bashing at Esplanade Mall

Postby aeshubby on Tue May 11, 2010 7:48 pm

Being an American who lives here, I have developed some thick skin, especially being that I am a former soldier who served 2 years in Iraq. Obviously, in America we protect speech, even the speech we do not like, I have fought for people's right to say what they want. Don't get me wrong, I want to cram my fist down their throat everytime I hear them talk badly about the US for doing what is neccessary. Still, I refrain because I know they have the right to do so. I would even say the need for free speech is even needed here in Thailand, I mean how can you fix a problem, if you can't even talk about it. So therefore I think that the writer has to right to say his piece and in part he is right.

In part the writer was correct, most people I have met here, particularly europeans, do not understand the way Americans think. I would not go as far as saying they do not understand American values, but their thoughts were not molded in the same manners as we were, so I would agree that they do not understand the way Americans think. I even have some American friends though that do not understand what it means to be an American, mainly because they were raised in more international environments in the US and managed to avoid the patriotic upbringing that I had as a young lad. Just like I have no idea what it means to be raised in New York. Still we all have different perspectives and it is from these different perspectives that magic happens and ideas are created. For the record, I am right they are wrong about a host of things, Bush was a good president and we had every right to go into Iraq and clean that mess up.

That being said, I would like to say that I do not agree that a boycott of esplanade mall is warranted. If it was basic human dignity that you are pushing for there are many more aggregious violations of human dignity in Thailand than a T-shirt you do not like. Start with them and if you have time for the T-shirt then later we will work on that. Then again, all this is opinion, so te writer has every right to tell the writer has to right to tell me off. Just remember we are all one community, so be respecful of each other and odo not be overly critical of someone who is commenting on something that offends him, it is his right.
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Re: America bashing at Esplanade Mall

Postby juggernaut on Tue May 11, 2010 10:02 pm

US is a great nation and tolerates free speech, like any open-minded, liberal and progressive people should. In fact American society is one of the most decent in the world. However, if the same t-shirt had been hanging in a US shopping mall, there would be cops and authorities all over investigating if the shop was not an enemy of the state. I've seen Americans who fear criticizing their own gov't in fear of being labeled terrorist or getting their citizenship stripped. This is due to a new witch hunt similar to the "red-scare" of the 50's. The shopkeeper may just be an ignorant re-seller, unaware of the symbolism or even language on the shirt. I really doubt that though, as BKk shopkeepers tend to be well informed and versed in the tourists' backgrounds.

Still, I agree it's foolish to try and insult the market, which includes many US-citizens, or US-friends like myself. Unfortunately, Thailand is in fact a developing nation (despite the very modern metropolitan BKK) and law and order are challenged. They can barely enforce equality of gender and race here. However, at the very least, I think the t-shirt is in bad taste even if it is selling at a profit. There are plenty of people who may or may not have similar views, but would not like to see such vulgar communication as the t-shirt in question.
Last edited by juggernaut on Wed May 12, 2010 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: America bashing at Esplanade Mall

Postby Voice on Tue May 11, 2010 10:48 pm

Paranoid is the devil within if you allow that to happen it could turn your life into a nightmare. Learn to live and let live we may find life isn’t that bad. If we learn to look at things on the positive side of life you will find some happiness. If one T-shirt could upset you how can you withstand the real issue of life.
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Re: America bashing at Esplanade Mall

Postby GenetheMachine on Wed May 12, 2010 1:35 am

I feel the need to say I am American. I acknowledge the US has done many things wrong over the years. Hopefully we will do less so in the future. But back to the main point. Yes there is free speech in the USA but with limitations such as you can not yell "fire" in a movie theater nor advocate the violent overthrow of the government. That is the law. Then there is good taste. Most of us don't use bad language in front of children or our Mothers. The store owner has the right to sell that t-shirt. And he has the right to display it in his window. But I do not believe displaying it for all to see is good taste. Such display is teaching children hate and bad sign language that they need not know until they are older.

While Bush was president I felt ashamed to be an American. And I felt like giving him the finger. Saddam was a bad person but that did not give us the right to invade Iraq. There were no WMDs or terrorist camps. Nor was he tied to 9/11 but many Americans believed so because of the Bush-Cheney speeches. I wonder if they realize that invading Iraq has killed more Americans than 9/11. Also his team put a limits on free speech here. He also broke US and international law. But all of this is for another discussion. There is free speech and there is good taste. I hope we can agree on good taste and practice it. :cheers:
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Re: America bashing at Esplanade Mall

Postby markdd on Wed May 12, 2010 11:29 am

I'm a proud American and former Marine. I'm not offended by this shirt. I don't like to see that stuff inside the USA but I don't care about it being sold anywhere else. Most Brits and Europeans don’t like America anyway so I expect it from them or a store whose targert customers are Brits or Euro tourists. It's too bad that the people who hate Americans most are other Americans though. Walk through a mall in the USA and you will see the same thing, that's the only time I'm irritated by something like that. And where are these 700,000 American in Thailand? Been in Thailand for 2 years and maybe met 3 or 4 other Americans. I went to Thailand because I was fascinated with Thai culture and history. Not that anyone asked but just for the record.
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Re: America bashing at Esplanade Mall

Postby thaicapital on Wed May 12, 2010 12:12 pm

You should add in your post that many Americans seem overly sensitive too! Thais don't mean anything by these t-shirts - some of them are just plain hilarious. As for US foreign policy I tend to side with Noam Chomsky, who asserts that America has (and is) using it's power in illegitimate ways; US consumption and over-reliance on oil imports from the middle-east helps to fund terrorist activities and necessitates an ongoing presence in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
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Re: America bashing at Esplanade Mall

Postby Voice on Wed May 12, 2010 12:28 pm

Thaicapital wrote “You should add in your post that many Americans seem overly sensitive too! Thais don't mean anything by these t-shirts - some of them are just plain hilarious. As for US foreign policy I tend to side with Noam Chomsky, who asserts that America has (and is) using it's power in illegitimate ways; US consumption and over-reliance on oil imports from the middle-east helps to fund terrorist activities and necessitates an ongoing presence in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.”

You have mentioned a valid point here thaicapital! And I don’t believe that Europeans & British people dislike American people. As to US policy which led to many problems with terrorism in the west which has became problematic to our way of life and travel. So what thaicapital mention here is very valid indeed.
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Re: America bashing at Esplanade Mall

Postby Hard_done_by on Wed May 12, 2010 4:05 pm

Voice wrote: ... As for US foreign policy I tend to side with Noam Chomsky, who asserts that America has (and is) using it's power in illegitimate ways; US consumption and over-reliance on oil imports from the middle-east helps to fund terrorist /activities and necessitates an ongoing presence in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.” ...


Noam Chompsky is a man all people (not just americans) should be proud of - a great man.

It was sad to hear that Nim Chimpsky passed away - he could have been president - only in america.
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Re: America bashing at Esplanade Mall

Postby zydeco on Wed May 12, 2010 7:42 pm

Yep. America has been in a steady decline ever since 1832, when Andrew Jackson was elected POTUS, instead of Henry Clay.
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Re: America bashing at Esplanade Mall

Postby juggernaut on Wed May 12, 2010 7:48 pm

Just look at yourselves! All civilized and proper, complaining on internet and in newspapers about the America bashing. This is why it is so easy to bash democracies. If it had been an anti-China shirt, I bet you a billion that some Chinese bypasser would've ripped the shirt from the display in a fit of rage (typical commy style). If the shopkeeper noticed it, he would feel intimidated and offer some nominal apology on the spot. The entire incident would not reach the media in any form. Nobody likes to see their countries bashed. Having said that, there are many who remember the dramatic Thai economic melt down of the mid to late 90's, which Thailand had a hard time recovering from, and many believe was due to covert US policy (if a BBC report is to be believed). Personally I think it was a Chinese thing, and most spending tourists are in fact from China who love to see USA bashing (to set world stage for China hegemony, and enjoy relative importance). So it is to appease this part of the market, not European, Japanese or Indian, that shop/businesses increasingly aim for.

So if you don't like it, feel free to pull the shirt down from display and walk away. If the shop keeper complains, tell him you don't like the shirt, give him an earful of bad news and walk away anyway. Then, get a few of your friends to repeat the same later. The shop may just decide to pull it down himself eventually.
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