Looney Thailand

26 11 2012

Looney Tunes is an American cartoon series that has been running for years. It has had some zany characters ranging from Foghorn Leghorn to Elmer Fudd.

What has this got to do with Thailand? It seems to PPT that since the arrival and quick political demise of Pitak Siam – watch for the sequel, Saving Thailand II – the past couple of days have seen the emergence of crazy characters better suited to cartoon characterizations.

First, elite hero Korn Chatikavanij is reportedly making comments about the elected government and Hitler. As readers know, the Democrat Party is kind of fond of references to Hitler and Nazi salutes, but when Korn starts this stuff, he seems like Basil Fawlty in the Fawlty Towers episode on the Germans. Basil may be just a looney and not a Looney Tune, but the cartoon-like character can’t be denied for him or Korn.

Second, Boonlert Kaewprasit has resigned as leader of Pitak Siam, and the Bangkok Post says “he would have no hand in organising future political protests.” A relief to some, although such a cartoon-like character, prone to silly statements and outlandish claims might seem like a cross between Mr. Fudd and Yosemite Sam.

That he has had to deny accepting “money from fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra to end the mass rally at the Royal Plaza on Saturday,” makes it clear how cartoon-like the ultra-royalists have become. Any time political things go badly for them they resort to the claim that Thaksin has bought, duped or hired.

Source: International News Photo and 2Bangkok.com

Cartoon characters are usually just silly and funny. Nobody believes Elmer or Sam are real but they are a bit of harmless fun. Boonlert and Korn are not harmless, and as senior figures are not meant to be comic figures of derision. Yet the elite in Thailand seems to have quite a lot in common with Monty Python’s upper class twits and with cartoon caricatures – think of the appearance of the royal family itself. Yet they remain dangerous for their great economic wealth, seemingly infinite capacity for political meddling and an almost genetic disposition against democratic forms of government.



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