Some advice to the junta: Don’t mess with the opiate of the masses
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Some advice to the junta: Don’t mess with the opiate of the masses


Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on Friday criticized television soap operas for promoting violence and divisions in society said he wanted scripts to encourage reconciliation, and would write them himself if he had to.

Prayuth, who is also army chief, staged a coup on May 22, overthrowing an elected government after six months of at times violent anti-government protests.

I have ordered that scripts be written, including plays on reconciliation, on tourism and on Thai culture,” Prayuth told reporters.

“They are writing plots at the moment and if they can’t finish it I will write it myself,” he said of a team of government-appointed writers.

Prayuth bemoaned hugely popular television soap operas which he said encouraged violence rather than peace. Some television dramas have also been criticized for trivialising rape and domestic violence.

“In our country, television dramas make people fight and they create divisions so we have much improvement to make in this area,” he said.

I have ordered that scripts be written,” he said. “One plot will be two foreign families come to visit Thailand, they meet each other and come to love each other.

BP: Thinking rape and domestic violence is bad is not the same as having soap operas about reconciliation, on tourism and on Thai culture.* Prayuth should be wise to the fact that soap operas are really the opiate of the masses in Thailand and if the masses are not getting their entertainment from watching the drama, back-stabbing, fighting, and love triangles in soap operas then they may turn their attention to other matters.

For example, what would people be doing this week if they couldn’t dream about พี่บี and/or be angry with ทราย from ทรายสีเพลิง OR if they could not watch ต้า and ปัง interacting in Hormones (not technically a soap opera as it is a series, but the principle still applies)? People would quickly bore of soap operas that are free of conflict and they may then focus their attention to more substantive issues like democracy and freedom of speech….**

* One hopes he doesn’t think that Thai soap operas are watched in a great number of non-Thai speakers…

** It is not as though Thai soap operas challenge the establishment either….