I dreamed of Yingluck
Last night I went through my usual routine. Before going to bed I burned incense, prayed to the spirits of the condo and rearranged my feng shui. I then stretched out on my MUJI bed sheet, my head rested on a soft pillow stuffed with duck feathers, my legs wrapped around a side pillow.
- Published: 9/05/2013 at 10:13 AM
- Newspaper section: topstories
Before I closed my eyes I saw a ghost, as a good Thai Buddhist does every now and again. So I prayed once more, promising to donate money to the monks at the temple so they can perform rituals to lay the wandering spirit to rest. Deal struck, the ghost went away. Sometimes I think ghosts and monks are in cahoots.
The air conditioner blew, cold and dry. My eyes closed. I drifted into dreams.
In dreams, I saw Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra addressing the nation. Long, lustrous jet-black hair rested on her shoulders effortlessly, giving off the scent of Paul Mitchell, or was it Vidal Sassoon? Elegant-fitting Anna Sui suit hugged her curves.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is bringing a defamation lawsuit against cartoonist Chai Ratchawat.
Anna Sui, timeless and transcends eras, the design matches the delicacy of the classic with the strength of the modern woman. Those heels, Monolo Blahnik? Such exquisite taste. In dreams, she was simply majestic. She opened her lips. I could hardly anticipate. Talk to me through those pearly white teeth, in dreams I plead, talk to me.
"I am a public servant. In fact, I am the number one public servant. What I say and do must be open to public scrutiny and criticism. Sure, at times we can go too far, as humans are want to. Certainly, at times we trade constructive criticism for mindless insults, as hatred gets the better of us. But in this I stand strong. In this, I must set an example as a democratic leader. In this, I will defend your right to criticise or even insult me."
In dreams, I saw the clouds parted and heavenly light beamed through. Bird song echoed among the trees. Butterflies danced upon the pollens. The joyful laughter of children at play. My beautiful Aphrodite, my lovely Athena, speak to me through those lovely red lips, in dreams I begged, speak to me.
"Give me your hell, your fire and your brimstone. Give me your worst. Freedom of speech guarantees you that right – the right to speak wonderful words; the right to utter ridiculous nonsense. I am your number one public servant, for the people and by the people. If I can’t bear the burden of freedom of speech, I don’t deserve to be your prime minister."
In dreams I saw citizens, red, yellow and blue; green, purple and multicolour all united in applause and adulation – finally, democracy bridging the political divide, with her, the angel, at the gate.
I felt hot and a little damp. But it was a good kind of hot and an even better kind of damp. I woke up; and oh what morning glory it was. The smile on my face was that of a circus clown after dropping his trousers. I jumped up and down on my bed, clapping like a giddy little teenage girl (or boy) going to see Nadech Kugimiya in concert.
I reached for the iPhone. Facebook? Checked. Twitter? Checked. Instagram? Checked. WhatsApp and Line? Checked and checked. News? Who cares. But it was part of the job, so I forced myself to check the news.
What’s this? My goddess is bringing a defamation lawsuit against Thai Rath cartoonist Chai Ratchawat, who likened her to a traitorous evil woman, worse than a prostitute.
My hands trembled, but I quickly composed myself. This was fine. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean a free-for-all insult. Everyone must take responsibility and be accountable for their words. Defamation law exists to protect citizens from abuse of said freedom. My goddess could perhaps be more magnanimous, personally I would have let it go. But she has the right to defend herself.
Besides which, are not prostitutes usually more honest than your average politician and billionaire? But that’s neither here nor there.
What’s this? In the news she said, "People have the right to criticise government policies." I knew it! She did not disappoint. Yes, I was still a happy clown with trousers around his ankles, a glorious morning this still was.
What’s this?! She supports the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Ministry policing and censoring websites that are deemed to have gone "too far"? She believes the ICT’s job is to protect all citizens by banning websites and censoring comments?!
What is she, a Democrat?!
A sad clown I became, pulling up my trousers. The glorious morning shriveled and withered. I collapsed onto my bed and curled up into a foetal position. I shuddered... I sobbed...
To condemn things so undemocratic one week, and then to behave undemocratically in the next – oh lady, thou breaketh my heart.
About the author
- Writer: Voranai Vanijaka
- Position: Political and Social Commentator