Bangkok Post columnist
Thana Boonlert is a writer for the Life section and a Bangkok Post columnist.
Songs for life as it's no longer lived
Ad Carabao's new song Prachathipatung revives the myth of vote-buying and ignorance in rural society. The title is a coinage blending prachathipatai (democracy) and tung (money). On the track, parents ask children to return to their home village to vote for local politicians who give them money. It puts into song from the political discourse of an urban middle class that expresses disdain for villagers along with antipathy for one type of money politics as well as full-fledged democracy.
Letting go is key to moving forward
Some humans desire to transcend their biological limits. Such pursuit of immortality is expressed through art or architecture, or living through their descendants. I have been in touch with a number of artists who struggle to preserve their craft amid changing times. A succession crisis occurs when one cannot find anyone to continue his or her artistic legacy and only some can let go, though not easily.
Equality still a dream
In the lead-up to its second reading, the civil partnership draft bill marks a decade since its inception, dating back to a gay couple who were denied legal recognition in 2012 because the law limits marriage to a man and a woman. Given the conservatism of earlier decades, civil partnership was "the first brick" at a time when marriage equality was almost inconceivable. However, history is often ignored. Despite its long journey in conjunction with the new bill, the uphill push for marriage rights will remain an unfinished business under the current government.
When art gets stifled
'Art is short, a case is long," read a banner. Students apparently hijacked the well-known motto "art is long, life is short" by Prof Silpa Bhirasri, the father of Thai modern art, in protest of Chiang Mai University's legal action against its own lecturers and a student who "trespassed" on the art centre to exhibit works, some of which might challenge those in power, last year. It is a case in point for stifling democracy in Thai art.
Nationalism is not the answer to land woes
Resistance to the controversial foreign land ownership bill is giving rise to the term khai chat -- used to denounce traitors who sell the motherland -- being used in political discourse. Whether a person is a government critic or supporter, he or she believes their ancestors fought very hard to protect our land and it should not be given away to foreigners.
What do you think when someone says those who are not loyal to the monarchy hate the nation?
The rebranding of 'big brother' Gen Prawit
A day after Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha was suspended from his prime ministerial duties, Paiboon Nititawan, deputy leader of the ruling Palang Pracharath Party, was handing out a biography on Gen Prawit Wongsuwon, now acting PM, to reporters.
Time is on our side
Win or lose, a protest is a process of trial and error. To put it simply, it is disruption, innovation, or something in between, just the way the now-defunct but shape-shifting Future Forward Party was in 2019 because it is born out of a spirit, not a person or a party. If the student-led demonstration goes down in history for demanding the boldest political reform, including the role of the monarchy, its resurrection last week proves that the pro-democracy movement is coming of age.
Thailand's Big Brother is upping the ante
In the late 18th century, British philosopher Jeremy Bentham visited his younger brother, Samuel, in Russia, who arranged unskilled factory workers in a circle so that he could supervise them. Inspired by this principle, Bentham developed "the panopticon", an inspection tower surrounded by cells. Its uniqueness was that it enabled a watchman to monitor prisoners without them knowing they were being watched.
Farewells teach us all to live for the moment
When we bid farewell to something, it marks the end of a relationship. Saying it gives us a sense of ending. Saying goodbye reminds us of how vulnerable and uncertain our life is.