Lug nuts and dipsticks II

27 08 2020

Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha has sounded daft and predictably reactionary when he babbled about Facebook. His commentary focused on “the Royalist Marketplace page on Facebook operated by Pavin Chachavalpongpun and the Facebook page of Somsak Jeamteerasakul, both of which contain plenty of sensitive issues related to the monarchy.”

“Sensitive” is royalist-speak for anything that is truthful and critical of the long-absent monarch.

As Thai Enquirer reports, he told reporters that student activists “were being led, in-part, by anti-establishment dissidents living abroad who wished to harm the country.”

That report explains that the general’s “statement echoes those of the army chief and other members of the cabinet who say that the students were being guided by a mysterious third hand while other conservative media figures has blamed the United States and the CIA for funding and influencing the students.”

Unlike the students, the geriatrics are lazy, relying on yellow-shirted social media for banal accusations by ultra-royalists and bloggers aligned mad “anti-imperialist” and “leftist” American conspiracy theorists hosted by Russian disruptive media.

In recent days, other geriatric royalists have given their “advice” to students. The Bangkok Post had an interview with failed politician, junta posterior polisher and appointed cabinet member Higher Education Science Research and Innovation Minister Anek Laothamatas.

He deems that the students are ignorant and proceeds to provide a “historical primer” on earlier student movements in Thailand. His paternalism continues as he dismisses their protests as a function of age rather than knowledge and justified political despair. He denigrates them: “The students of today don’t know very much about the past. They have been galvanised by a rather one-sided information passed to them in the social media.”

Presumably, when Anek joined the communists in the jungles, he was similarly dull, led about by the nose, and hotheaded rather than informed and, then, frightened and angry about military massacres. But, no, his arrogance and self-righteousness shines through: “my generation,” he asserts, knew the “real world.”

Like his geriatric leaders, Anek rejects any notion that the students “joined the anti-government protests of their own free will and that they were not led by any political elements or politicians.” Impossible!  Without evidence, he declares “it can’t be denied that some people might try to pull strings.”

His real point is that the students are not “respectful.” Like his yellow-shirted buddies, he considers “they have crossed the monarchy and customs lines, which many people regard as a violation. It’s a blatantly offensive act which might be met with a backlash.” His rhetoric invites rightists to provide the backlash.

Anek then wanders about, praising the general and polishing his posterior.

Thai PBS has another report on ultra-royalist Warong Dechgitvigrom, who also has “advice” for the students he is agitating against, or as the report has it “leading a crusade against anti-government protesters and to protect the country’s most revered institution.”

“Most revered institution” is ultra-speak for the monarchy and the monarch.

The yellowman is apoplectic: “The father of the country is being harassed.… How can Thai people stand by?”

“Father” is ultra-speak for the king. Rarely has Vajiralongkorn had this moniker, previously used for his dead father to instill paternalism.

Warong “has countered these calls with three demands of its own – no dissolution of Parliament, maximum legal action against anyone who seeks to topple the monarchy, and no change to the Constitution except via the proper channels.”

Like Anek, he then rambles about his experience, but he’s more outspoken: “When I was president of Chiang Mai University Student Union, I once wanted to overthrow the monarchy like you, brothers and sisters. But the masterminds were senior students linked with the Communist Party of Thailand…”.

He seems to believe that he was gullible as a student and, therefore, today’s students must be as impressionable and dumb as he was. Perhaps he should reflect on his own conversion and wonder why it is that he has needed an ideological prop throughout his life.

Reflecting the view expressed by Anek and paternalist geriatrics, Warong believes student activists are misled by social media and “fake news.” And, he confirms that there must be people leading the students astray: “scriptwriters are preparing speeches for the protest leaders…”.

The ultras and the regime are petrified. They fear that their corrupt paternalist system is being shaken to its roots. This is why they are even willing to support a king who appears to be more of a nation hater/chung chat than any student activist. After all, he demonstrates his disdain for the nation, sucking up its taxpayer money but living in self-imposed exile, not unlike a fugitive Red Bull scion.


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