Are You Sure You Wanna Say That? Self-Censorship in Thailand (2.6)

2017-11-15T23:08:36+00:00


The shockwaves of the President-Elect of America have shockwaved all the way over here to Bangkok, Thailand. However, that’s not what we’re talking about today, though we could talk about if we want to. And that’s what we want to talk about. Confused? Yeah…

On October 13, the Kingdom of Thailand suffered a great loss with the death of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Because we’re a show ostensibly about Bangkok and the country of Thailand overall, we recorded an episode of our podcast with that topic in mind.

And then we thought better of it.

Not because we were in any way critical, satirical, or otherwise potentially running up against Thailand’s lese majeste laws. Indeed, the show was respectful to a fault, and talked about how much Rama IX meant to the Thai people. But we thought that maybe, in this particular situation, it’s not all that important for us, two foreigners living in the Kingdom, to have an opinion.

Those of you reading this from “the free world” (though we each feel relatively free over here) are probably looking at that last statement with disdain. But if you listen to this week’s show — the episode about the episode you’ll never hear — you’ll find it’s not all that uncommon to self-censor. In fact, we do it all the time. And maybe, in a world where the friction between thought and something for public consumption is all too easy, we should do it more often.

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