Music nurtures the soul, except when it’s pathetic propaganda.
Reaching for a possible platinum record, dictator Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha released yet another song this week in a feeble bid to brainwash, if not serenade, the public with a one-sided message all about himself.
Repression and music go hand in hand in Thailand and Prayuth seems to be eyeing for a full album while he is in power as the latest single, released earlier this week, was arguably his sixth.
Following the well-established tradition of mellowing propaganda and making it more soothing by turning it into a music, Prayuth chose to deliver yet another one-sided message in his latest song entitled “Fight for the Nation” depicts no other than himself as a tireless servant of Thailand.
Nearly four years in illegitimate power since the May 2014, Prayuth admitted in the song that he is tired but will continue to be in power.
“Every day I am tired, but I keep it all inside, because my heart tells me to work for the nation.”
Reading the above passage, or the whole song for that matter, there’s no mention Prayuth was never asked to do any of this by the people through the usual means of, say, an election.
Prayuth’s latest song dwells on only what he wants listeners to hear – that he is not just tireless but selfless and will continue to serve the public.
The dictator, who made himself prime minister, promised in the song that he will “stand strong and never leave you alone.”
That should be a clear indication that the man not only doesn’t repent, nearly four years on, but believes people need him so he won’t leave us alone.
His selfless self-portrayal continues in the bridge where the song stated: “No matter how you look at me, my heart is still honest.” Here, Prayuth alludes to those who make not consider him a legitimate leader or sees him as a dictator. The song doesn’t elaborate on how opponents and those criticizing Prayuth often face charges of sedition, violation of junta’s ban of political gathering of more than four persons, detained without charge for “attitude adjustment” or, for university students, receive a “visit” to their parents by soldiers and police.
As stated earlier, propaganda song is written to only deliver one-sided message and often idealized and idolized the dictator.
Promising a better future by stating that “every day will be better,” Prayuth vaguely refers to an “evil [to] be defeated one day” thus placing himself in this Manichean drama as the good guy.
The song may be crude, simplistic and one-dimensional, but when packaged with a melody and broadcast across all military state-controlled mass media, it can drill slowly into your head.
This is another shameless and tacky propaganda thinly disguised as music. People are being unfairly bombarded by such songs through the military-state-controlled media and their only defense is to deconstruct it and see it for what it is – another crude attempt to whitewash military rule and/or brainwash us into accepting the dictator as a legitimate and tireless servant of the people.
No matter how pleasant the song may be to your ears, the reality will hit your ears and eyes when we seek other contradictory information to make a more thorough and balanced assessment of Prayuth.