The 'scandal' about a topless performance by a young Thai woman on the TV show "Thailand's got talent" get weirder everyday. I blogged about it some days ago and thought, well after some days it's old news. Reality proved me wrong!
This Sunday morning - one week after the event - Voranai Vanijaka wrote about it in his weekly opinion coloum in the Sunday edition of the Bangkok Post. I totally go along with his observations and commentaries what this 'scandal' reveals about Thai society:
However, while Thailand is democratic in theory, in practical terms the cultural and political mindset is still entrenched in authoritarian values. Hence, instead of debating, the default response is to discriminate and repress, with government agencies interfering and infringing, in this case the Cultural Ministry and the NBTC. Let there be Fox news and let there be MSNBC news. Let there be a yellow channel and let there be a red channel. However, let there not be government discrimination and repression. The blurring of the naked breasts, since it's free TV, should be an acceptable compromise to both sides.
The art criticism in his piece however - let's say you can clearly see he dabbles in an area he's not sure about what to say. His views on art are limited to that there must be some beautiful end product like a painting, a sculpture, or somethig. That art can also be an action that provokes a response by other people and/or society, and that art is also a question of the context it's presented in. Just think of Marcel Duchamp, Joseph Beuys, or Dieter Meier.
Then I got a link on Twitter to Kaewmala's latest Siam Voices entry about it. After ThaiMiniCult and National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), now also members of Thailand’s National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) released statements in Thai newspapers, saying that a sub-committee of the NHRC will look into this.
Thinking of the current political situation, I can only applaud the NHRC that they put the most pressing aspects about human rights into focus.