Your true colour is shining through
- Published: 22/11/2012 at 08:27 AM
- Online news:
The Thai language is rich and intricate. It can be so praiseful and flowery, while contrarily so cutting and spiteful, that no English translation can do it justice.
English terms such as "whore", "tramp" and "slut" are chaste compared to their Thai counterparts. English phrases such as "that lustful woman" are virginal compared to how they are expressed in Thai.
Such words, many more and much worse, are written and spoken, cheered and rejoiced over in attacking Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.
That she doesn't make much sense in interviews, we may criticise her eloquence. That she is a nominee of a fugitive convict, we may criticise her integrity. That the rice pledging scheme is a paddy for corruption, we may criticise her honesty. That she flirted with President Barack Obama, we may criticise her impropriety. Such should be the commentaries of educated adults who want better things for this country.
Instead, derogatory insults and name-calling is the language of the day -- expressed not by children with keyboards, not by ill-educated ruffians with internet access and not by ignorant scoundrels with a microphone, but rather they are the words used by the so-called well-educated people, many with fancy degrees from overseas, recognised columnists and personalities. Their accolades may decorate the wall, but their fear, hatred and anger -- it seems -- contaminate their works.
Satire is comedic art, driven by creativity, feasting on the sense of humour. Constructive criticism is scientific exploration, driven by intellect and logic, an appetite of the want for better.
Complaints are democratic rights, driven by frustrations, a buffet of exasperations.
Vicious and derogatory insults are disgusting and despicable, driven by fear, hatred and anger -- a dish of the lowest common denominator.
It demonstrates how low we have sunk as a nation, an ugly display of the true colour that requires a caution not to drag the country further down.
When I walk among the red-shirts, I meet many people of different colours, from the sincere and constructive to the fanatical and destructive. When I read their social media, the different colours are again evident.
When I walk among or read the commentaries of those anti-anything-related-to-Thaksin-Shinawatra groups, I see the same colours. There are the sincere and constructive as well as the fanatical and destructive.
From both sides, the display of fear, hatred and anger, the disgusting and the despicable, the lowest common denominator -- regardless of the so-called righteous causes -- led to violence and destruction in the past and keeps Thailand divided and sinking in the present.
This is their true colour, it's easier to be ruled by emotions rather than by the brain, to destroy rather than to build. Fan the fire enough, and the future may burn even more than the present or the past.
This true colour, it contaminates from the grass-roots to the privileged, a contagion that spreads through society. It only perpetuates more fear, hatred and anger -- and more and more -- until what?
Fear, hatred and anger paint this true colour -- these are three words of late I've used often -- the three words splashed across the canvas of this political divide. They feed on each other, inflict regardless of colour and spread like a plague. Such lowest common denominator is the latest displayed where Ms Yingluck is concerned.
The so-called educated, the leading voices of society, they lead by example. But when they lead by the lowest common denominator, in what direction then will society move?
Allow me to get on the podium.
If you appreciate common decency, recheck the definition of decency and behave likewise. If you are religious, consult your holy scriptures and treat others as you want to be treated.
If you support democracy, check with democratic principles and practice them in your marches. If you cannot translate hypocrisy, open a dictionary and stop pointing the finger only in one direction.
If you love the King, think of His Majesty and learn to love the King's children, behave in a way Father would be proud of.
Two wrongs do not make a right. It makes a U-turn. Rise above it and be better, and Thailand will also rise above it and be better. Sink down to the lowest common denominator, and you drag Thailand down with you.
About the author
- Writer: Voranai Vanijaka
Position: Political and Social Commentator