Feb 14, 2014

Is Thai political saga, according to Suthep, is a Thai soap opera ?

In today New Mandala, an article suggests Suthep’s version of Thai current political troubles is similar to a Thai soap opea or Thai lakorn:

 


Suthep’s romantic tale:
http://asiapacific.anu.edu.au/newmandala/2014/02/14/sutheps-romantic-tale/

after hours of listening to Suthep I realised that he talks about Thai politics like he is narrating a romantic Thai soap opera or Thai lakorn. I can only assume this is one of the reasons some people feel emotionally involved when watching Blue Sky Channel and listening Suthep. If you are not familiar with Thai lakorn (ละครไทย), just remember there are only four important characters you need to know: the male lead/hero (pra-ek, พระเอก), the female lead/heroine (nang-ek, นางเอก), the male villain (tua kong/tong rai, ตัวโกง/ต้วร้าย), and the female villain (nang rai/nang icha นางร้าย/นางอิจฉา). In some lakorn the male villain and the female villain are brother and sister (I guess evil runs in the family). The plot of most Thai lakorn is a romantic tale of boy meets girl, rescue girl from evil, resolve conflicts, and in the end boy marries girl and they live happily ever after. It is surprising how the narrative of Suthep’s speeches to is so similar to the narrative conventions of Thai lakorn.
But maybe Suthep has forgotten that in reality there is no such thing as an ending as in the lakorn. In reality, even when the villain is killed, and the hero and heroine live on, we should still ask ourselves these questions: Can the hero and heroine really get along? Can hero really help the heroine solve her problems like she expects him to? Will their life together really be a blessed with prosperity and peace? In the absence of a villain, is the goodness of the hero still visible? Or could it be possible that the hero will eventually turn out to be just another villain hidden behind the mask of a hero? Suthep’s strategy has not progressed far from where it started a few months ago because he cannot do anything more than narrating the romantic lakorn and encouraging false anticipation for this constructed ideal of a hero. And he is probably too afraid to wake people up from a dream where a hero comes to rescue and all will be well at the end because people might be greatly disappointed if what they initially thought of as a romantic tale turns out to be a tragic tale where the heroine got killed by both the villain and someone who called himself a hero.



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