The Grand Theft Auto IV game has been banned in Thailand after a young man of 18 has, apparently and allegedly, killed a taxi driver to obtain money – thereby recreating a scene in the game. The man’s name has not been released but he might face the death penalty for the murder.
There have been a number of complaints about violent computer games recently – well, to be honest, there have been a number of complaints about a wide range of modern cultural phenomena, on the (wholly unfounded) basis that the whole of Thai society is going to hell in a handcart. The prurient right has received more power since the demonstrations of 2006. A number of those protestors sought to dress up their greed and hatred of the democratically-elected government with some kind of moralistic posturing. That unfortunate tendency has remained prominent and, in the current climate, no one is in any position to point it out too forcefully.
That does not mean that there are not bad things going on, of course. There are reports every day of people holding up convenience stores, involved in smuggling drugs rings and all kinds of crime. I am not sure if any of that is as bad as deliberately trying to stir up racial hatred, which is the new wheeze of the anti-democracy mob (and their shadowy etc and so on). At least the PM is stirring on this one and I think Thai society as a whole would understand the mobsters are going too far with this. Research recently reported shows that the majority of people, for example, prefer the government to go ahead with its democratically-mandated policy to amend the junta’s charter, since otherwise the whole political situation is likely to come to a grinding halt or worse.
There are no links in the body of this blog because the network has gone down – not sure how much time I will have later to rectify the problem.