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April 10, 2010


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Zizek's Japan think is reminiscent of Barthes's "The Empire of Signs". Not to say that he cribbed it.

Doi's "Anatomy of Dependence" and "The Anatomy of Self" are the best things I've ever read about the "real self" / "apparent self" relationship. Not just from a compartive point of view -- what she says about Freud is better than anything else I've read about Freud, in my opinion at least.

Meaningful coincidence, synchronicity for readers of Jung, has always been, uh, meaningful to me. I opened my NY Times this morning to discover Thailand in revolt, dateline Bangkok, and my first thought was that some live in a more extended time dimension than others--because for me this post was in the background today--along with Kerr's wonderful motto--because a sad reverberation in time had been felt by you earlier than it manifested in actuality and in the news...

The interesting thing about Thais is that more than any culture I've encountered - and I think any culture in the world - Thais have the ability to be bamboo in the wind. They bend, but never break.

The existence, and continued role and power of Siam - especially through the European colonial era was to accomodate, yet hold firm. To be of value, yet be ungraspable. Siam literally survived through the ingenuity of Rama V who created illusions of friendship, who changed his people's role to both emulate foreign standards (such as adding forks, spoons and even chairs and tables) to their culture, but at the same time, remaining distinctly Thai.

Over time, however, I think Thais have increasingly forgotten the value of being Thai. I wonder how much they remember what's supposed to be the illusion of accomodation and what is supposed to be real.

I worry that Thais lose their definition in a world where the West has invaded by tv's, satellites, Internet and cell phones. Can Thais bend so much that they forget which way is up?

Bangkok is a casualty of that in a way. The city still shelters those real pieces of Thai culture along the Chao Praya. But it inreasingly becomes something westernized - something alien. A good friend who visited me in Bangkok said it was something out of "Blade Runner". In some ways, it is.

Bangkok has a heart, but I wonder if it doesn't have heart disease as it forgets its ancient soul.

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