Tell me, what’s happiness? Football, of course. Not playing it, not qualifying for it, but consuming it. Precisely, happiness is watching the 64 matches of the highest-level football played in the far-flung Amazonian longitudes, the broadcast signals being sucked live from space to the tubes of 65 million Thais at the expense of — a bargain, I believe — 427 million baht paid for by tax money from the public purse straight to a private firm. They should make it a policy to distribute ecstasy pills to accompany our late-night viewing, just to be certain maximum happiness is achieved, sustained and thanked for.
What else if not a masterpiece of populism, cooked and served in just two days? Even You-Know-Who in Dubai wouldn’t have had the nerve to do this.
Pity those who don’t care about football. Those who don’t see the lush poetry of Brazil’s attack, the geometric splendour of Spain’s passing, Cristiano Ronaldo’s dreamy dribbles. They must’ve felt betrayed that their choice of sport — synchronised gymnastics or chess — doesn’t qualify for the national enforced happiness scheme. They must’ve wondered how the 427 million baht, paid to RS Plc by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Committee with the “co-ordination” of the junta, was calculated. They must’ve wondered if democracy means all sports are treated equal. They’ve must wondered if the reaction would have been fiercer had this been approved by the previous government. They’ve must wondered, too, if the 427 million could’ve been used to do something, anything, so the Thai squad had a better chance of qualifying in four, eight or 36 years, so happiness (or nationalism) would feel just slightly more real.
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