Christopher G. Moore Updates: 11 April 2014

Dear Readers,

Last week the question was: Where are you from?

I explored the boundaries that create our identity. This week, I examine the limits of the number of friends anyone of us can maintain, inside and outside those borders.

Most of us participate in some kind of social media. I have a Facebook and Twitter account. I have ‘friends’ on both. What does it mean to have ‘friends’ in the digital world? What are the constraints on finding, grooming, and maintaining this friendship network? How much time each day do you find yourself checking timelines to see what your friends are up to? How many times do you click on ‘like’? I have some theories about these activities to share with my friends.

No resolution in sight for the on-going political conflict in Thailand as ‘friends’ seek like minded ‘friends’ among the various factions, sects, and movements. If the Thai political structure had a black box in this crash, no one has been able to recover it. Like with flight MH370, evidence of pings are being picked up. But no one is sure or what they mean. It is likely some resolution as to the location of MH370 will precede resolution of the political impasse.

We enter the Songkran season with a lot of heat being generated. Songkran is the traditional time for Thai families to pay respect to their elders. It is also the time of roving bands of people who take great delight in throwing buckets of water on strangers. It is considered ‘fun’ to do so. The authorities turn a blind-eye to these activities, leaving everyone a target of a high-pressured water gun Songkran snipers. These contradictions of Songkran mirror the contradictions of a political system under stress. Most will have a good time, some will become angry, others will let off steam.

The body count on Thailand’s roads will start soon. There is never a caretaker of souls over the Songkran holiday. Remember to stay sober and alert, and not seduced by this potential for ‘fun’ that seems to make us feel safe and secure. Stay tuned for the post-Songkran analysis of the political temperatures, grooming club news, and other bits of debris that float past as we paddle along the stream of life in Thailand.



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