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balance (2): doom and gloom

Sunday, August 10, 2008

doom and gloom

i have been in a pretty much solid good mood for a couple of weeks now (i think due to my self hypnosis tapes, don't knock 'em til you try 'em), but it is inexplicable really given the general feeling around. it's not only the economy woes (which do scare the hell out of me as i am basically out of work right now, living off my savings until something else pops up- luckily it always seems to, so it is a matter of waiting until then and trying not to be neurotic about it). there is also the news of war which always makes me start imagining world war 3 which i think is ultimately inevitable in my lifetime. then there is the out of control corruption in thailand. the headlines are pretty unavoidable lately, and some hit close to home! the animal care place in koh phangan was bombed, apparently by pissed off locals (though what exactly an animal care place could do to piss anyone off is beyond me). there are also various stories of corrupt police activities including a really disturbing one today in which an officer and his gang kidnapped a guy and his five kids, apparently killed the guy, took the kids for ransom from their family, and ended up killing the 14 year old girl by beating her severely (she had 2 broken arms) and then running over her with their car again and again until they were sure she was dead. fucking hell. they needed money for gambling!!!! much greed in this country! not like my country doesn't have problems too, but there is not such a calloused lack of empathy and the type of corruption that is so rampant here. in thailand, the police are the scary criminals! the good people are suckers! from my post on the lonely planet site on the topic of thailand's hope for future progress being bleak:

I had a conversation with a Thai guy once in which I was trying to explain that people from my country really value honesty and straightforwardness, and he scoffed and berated us as being stupid for that. Other Thais have talked about kind, generous, and honest people as being "too soft", as if those were despicable qualities. I have come to the conclusion based on those conversations and my witnessing a number of people screw another number of people here, that Thais do not have any moral code. This could be a fault in their education system, but if you look at the west, you will see that most of our media has a moral lesson inherent in it. We are taught from birth to help others, stay within the law, and we feel guilty or get punished if we do something intentionally to hurt another. It obviously doesn't work out like that all the time in the West, but overall, people do have empathy for each other and avoid setting each other up for failure, and are generally law-abiding. Thais do not have these inclinations or the resulting guilt if they don't follow them. The more sly and underhanded people are here, the more respect they seem to get. I don't really see how if this is the case, there is any hope for Thailand's future. They have got to see how every time corruption is allowed to slide, it is another wound in the side of the whole country. Rampant corruption is great for those who have money to get themselves out of trouble, but not for the poorer folks, and it will always be very unfortunate for those who are set up. But (the majority of) Thais have never learned to stand up for themselves and stick by any morals they have.

... okay rant over for now. in other news... well not much news. been going out a lot more lately- some friends have come up from koh phangan to stay with me, and i met a few new ones online. realized i am getting a little old to go out and drink a lot though, it seems to be the thing to do but i just regret it the next morning, and then going out appeals less and less and being a hermit in my house appeals more and more. i don't know what is going on with me but i have been looking up real estate and thinking of buying property and settling down a bit- but then again i am a total commitment phobe so doubt that will end up happening. i also have been reading a lot about hawaii as a place to move to (asian influence but in america, island geography and weather, etc.) so in other words, as usual, i have no idea what i am doing. :) at least for now i am happy though.


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