My Facebook archives for October 13th, 2016 included a post about the death of Thailand’s feudal monarch King Pumipon at the age of 88. It had a notice from Facebook that they blocked it from public viewing because it violated their community standards policies. It was typical of my obituaries for the detestable, full of ad hominem insults, but nothing compared to what I’ve said about Kissinger over the years. The only thing about the post that made it special in the offensive sense was the link to the obituary of Pumipon by Giles Ji Ungpakorn, a Thai-British political activist who wrote a book criticizing Pumipon’s support for the 2006 military coup in Thailand. As a result, he was accused under feudal lèse majesté laws which make it illegal in Thailand to insult or offend the king or any of his relatives. He fled to England in 2009 to avoid prosecution.
Ji Ungpakorn is a masterful polemicist & brilliant political commentator & not just on the politics of Thailand. His obituary of Pumipon is scathing & hilarious, taking ad hominem to new levels of vituperation, but at the same time a political demolition of Pumipon’s rule. Unfortunately, when I tried to repost it now, FB censors immediately blocked it out with the notice “We believe the link you are trying to visit is malicious. For your safety, we have blocked it.” Who knew Facebook had such an affinity for feudalism at its most decrepit or such a concern for my sensibilities!?
The obituary is really worth reading, as is all of Ji Ungpakorn’s work, & you can read it by googling Ugly Truth Thailand blog, King Pumipon of Thailand. (On my blog:
(Photo is Pumipon receiving groveling homage in 1960 by John Dominis—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)