Saturday, May 28, 2011

Upset the King of Siam and You Could End Up in the Slam

When in Thailand, as lots more foreigners are these days, be aware that comments deemed insulting to the king are prosecuted.

According to this Reuters piece, almost 400 criminal cases of alleged offensive comments about the king were filed in criminal court between 2006 and 2009, a huge increase from the previous 15 years, when cases averaged four or five a year.

The king's name is Bhumibiol.

Stop saying "bummy-boil" immediately! What is this, seventh grade? You can be charged, you know. I mean in Thailand, though I once got sued for defaming the whole country of Brazil, in Brazil, for reporting, accurately, in America, that their air traffic system had big problems that became tragically manifest in two horrific air-crash disasters in 2006 and 2007.

In England, where the royal family have sometimes been dismissed by rude republicans as "those horse-faced Hanovarians," causing perceived offense to the sovereign is perhaps a social issue, but not a criminal one. (Not yet, anyway, but let the High Court finish its work.) Nor is ridiculing the Hanovers (I mean Windsors, like the castle, of course) an offense, for that matter, in actual Hanover -- which has always had a sense of humor about royalty, having once served as a key elector in the royal panjandrium that Voltaire ridiculed as being "neither Holy nor Roman nor an Empire."

And by the way, I just got off a three-hour trail ride in Saguaro National Park on a terrific quarterhorse, while my wife was on her thoroughbred. I like horse faces.


1 comment:

James said...

Heh, Less drastic than jail, but one of my tricks for getting out of Bangkok airport quickly on arrival is to find the line with the most scantily dressed women (for some reason, they tend to be Australian...) -- Thai immigration has a tendency to tell them to go get dressed and get back in line before letting them in the country, and that makes that line go faster...