More royal syrup

4 11 2012

It seems that the packaging and re-packaging of the royal story is being accelerated. It could be an acknowledgement of the end of a reign, making hay while it is still possible or it could be yet another response to the political challenge to royalism.

Whatever the motivation, STG Multimedia is the latest to commodify king and royalism. STG boldly claims that it “advocates the noble pursuits of the Thai people for the prosperity of Thai society.” Not just this, but also STG is “devoted to create intellectuality, bringing brilliance to the Thai Society.” Being so cerebral and noble, STG is “the exclusive licensee and distributor of National Geographic, History Channel, Discovery Channel, AnimalPlanet, especially BBC for 25 years.”

So it is that STG has teamed up with National Geographic to essentially re-package a bunch of old clips about the king. PPT looked at the trailer and some clips didn’t see anything new. Given that the royal Chai Pattana Foundation is involved for a cut on the profits at 2500 baht for the boxed set, we’d have thought that there might have been more than the usual images of rough roads, sweat, hill tribes and do on.

Readers might wonder why National Geographic would be involved. Of course, National Geographic has a long history of propagandizing for the monarchy. Some time ago PPT posted a PDF of a 1973 memo of comments from then U.S. Ambassador Leonard Unger to William Graves at NG. Unger was the link to the palace as a story on the royals was constructed to the palace’s satisfaction. The embassy and the palace essentially dictated how NG should frame its story for best effect and when Unger states that he is “confident that the magnitude of your efforts … will not be lost on the palace” seems to explain the relationship until the present.


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18 01 2014
Politic and the succession question | Political Prisoners in Thailand

[…] of support for the monarchy, born first of crude Orientalism and later of Cold War activism. Not that long ago, National Geographic teamed up with STG Multimedia to commodify king and royalism. They […]

18 01 2014
Politics and the succession question | Political Prisoners of Thailand

[…] of support for the monarchy, born first of crude Orientalism and later of Cold War activism. Not that long ago, National Geographic teamed up with STG Multimedia to commodify king and royalism. They […]




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