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Sharp thoughts.

Sometimes, I Wish Thailand Could Be Simpler …

Sometimes, I wish that understanding and describing a society like Thailand could be simpler, without complexity, tension and contradictions. Like a coin with just one side.

Mourning the King With Respect to Our Diversity

Millions are mourning the passing of His Majesty the King, Bhumibol Adulyadej. As we transition into a new era, let’s recall mourning is about love and empathy as much as it is grief. It should not be about intolerance, coercion and excess.

Will Bangkok Prove Greater Than Those Who Would Remake it?

Walking through Thonglor in the heat of the day is a dreary experience, one few people have to endure as they drive by in cars, taxis or on motorcycle taxis.

Thailand’s Draconian Cyberlaws Tipping Toward Totalitarian

Amendments to the criminal code removing judicial oversight of wiretapping combined with new laws on cybercrime, cyber security and even the digital economy all suggest the Good People running the country can no longer distinguish between internal security and external threats.

Bangkok Street Food Ban a Banal Assault on Way of Life

The irony of the debate on banning Bangkok’s street food was that it took foreigners – mostly Western media – to point out how unique and vibrant street food here was before the military regime backpedaled a tad.

Sex, Death and Preaw: Unwinding the ‘Murder Babes’ Phenomenon

Sexy girls, drugs and a gruesome murder – a potent cocktail for tabloid media. The murder of 22-year-old Warissara Klinjui, whose dismembered body was cut in two and found last month on May 25, was the stuff of a horror movie.

The Many Faces of Intolerance Dragging Down Thailand

Intolerance, political or not, brings out the worst in us. A pro-democracy political science freshman at Chulalongkorn University discovered it June 9 when a...

Thai Law: Secrets to Surviving the New Inheritance Tax

There are enormous tax breaks provided by the government. The problem is most people are completely unaware of them. Take the new inheritance tax...

Voranai: How to Make Father Proud

The final page turned last night on the 70-year reign of King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was laid to rest in a grand cremation ceremony....

When Thainess Means Gotta Ban’Em All

Whenever disruptive innovation reaches the shores of Thailand, time and again the knee-jerk reaction is to make a huge fuss, ban it as yet another Western evil, launch a “better” “proper” Thai alternative that nobody ends up using and finally forgetting about it when people move on to the next crisis du jour.

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