Archive for May, 2011

A Touch of Evil: The Bangkok Buddy’s Impoverished Worldview

Posted in สะพานลอย with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 28, 2011 by สะพานลอย

In his latest entry, the Bangkok Buddy, who writes about his years of sustained exposure to the red-light districts of Bangkok, has his proverbial knickers in a knot. In part as an experiment, and as a way of goading him out of his morose and hermetic existence in which the only pleasure he experiences is presumably the result of meeting and engaging in semi-moronic conversations with like-minded whore mongers and alcoholics in depressing dive bars and brothels, Saphan Loy recently commented on his hawk-eyed observation of Big Baby Kenny Ng in Bangkok’s brothel district. Since Bangkok Buddy can spot Big Baby Kenny Ng a mile away, and since Bangkok Buddy spends all of his time (if not his cash) in the brothel district, we extended an offer to him (or his readers) of cash, in US dollars payable via PayPal or Western Union, for photographs of Big Baby Kenny Ng enjoying his sordid summer vacation.

Bangkok Buddy, who already “broke the news” of Big Baby Kenny Ng’s presence in Bangkok, recoiled at the offer like an aging, non-capitalist hippy might, exhibiting all of the child-like confusion and despair that one would expect of someone with an enfeebled sense of right and wrong. Let’s face it. He, of all the writers of the Bangkok scene, can certainly use some US dollars that may afford him many more cans of tomatoes, a few more obligatory soda waters at a “free” buffet, or whatever other provisions he needs to extend his self-imposed third world poverty by a few more months.

That said, Bangkok Buddy’s reaction to our offer was to label it “evil.” This is an interesting reaction. Celebrities around the world (and judging from his treatment of his sighting of Big Baby Kenny Ng, the professor can now comfortably include himself among their ranks as well) are the objects of fascination and reverence. They are quasi-mystical, and therefore their images command premium prices on the open market. Who doesn’t want to see a picture of Angelina Jolie picking her nose, or lolling on some overpriced beach somewhere reading a shitty novel, or assiduously ignoring Brad Pitt while fantasizing about the pool attendant? In the same way, because of Professor Ng’s status as the premiere nightlife blogger of Thailand’s red-light districts, an image of him enjoying the fruits of his labour (subsidised by the State of California) in some hell hole in Bangkok would engender both the same interest on a public level, and, at the very least, a more modest price in the marketplace of images. That Bangkok Buddy calls this simple transaction “evil”, or sees all sorts of malevolence and implausible threats by extension, is a reflection of a worldview whose poverty is only matched by his utter lack of material means and the imagination required to produce them. How one can leap from an offer for an image to imagined “harm” is baffling. In addition, it draws attention to a weakened and paranoid (somewhat reptilian) psychiatric condition brought about by hours of unnatural sleep patterns and extended exposure to video games.

Additionally, Bangkok Buddy contends that an image of Professor Ng would “humiliate” him. Really? And what about all of the images of the unfortunate women he has photographed displaying their bodies to him, the Asian-American farang, while he drools and fumbles with a large camera that he does not know how to properly operate? What would Bangkok Buddy say about the humiliation suffered by women in Bangkok who attempted to make an offering at the Murati shrine, while blissfully ignorant of the fact that a farang lecher was snapping photographs of their buttocks and bare feet?

Secondly, what is inherently “humiliating” about having a beer at a girly bar? The Big Baby Kenny writes about this subject with more energy than he devotes to his long-winded and infrequently consulted economics papers, and relishes his enjoyment of these places with all the avidity of a dedicated hobbyist. Indeed, he has sought to profit from them himself. He has used his nightlife blog as a way to launch attacks against all and sundry, and to infringe upon copyright protections, to defame both Bangkok Buddy and Saphan Loy and a long list of others, while peddling cheap electronic devices, and advocating on how to negotiate prices with hookers.

Bangkok Buddy’s profound lack of perspective is a direct result of having spent so many years in the hermetic environment in which certain realities are morally defensible (i.e., the casual hopping from bar stool to bar stool in the red-light district), while others, for him, are not. Clearly, Saphan Loy’s offer to him or to his readers of a few US dollars for digital “proof” of Professor Ng’s presence in Bangkok punctured his little moral universe in which larger questions are conveniently absent, and a “happy memory” was had by all. Except, of course, the woman with her legs wrapped around a pole, or forced to orally satisfy an obese and foul-smelling Westerner.

We will reiterate our offer to our readers here: For those interested in exchanging photographs of Big Baby Kenny Ng enjoying his squalid holiday in the brothels of Asia for US dollars via PayPal or Western Union, please feel free to get in touch with us.

The View from Above

Politics, Religion, and Bargirls in Thailand: Nightlife Blogs Lose the Plot (with Update)

Posted in สะพานลอย with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 26, 2011 by สะพานลอย

Theravada Buddhists across Southeast Asia have good reason to recoil in horror at the ghastly image that Chris Coles has dreamt up out of a diseased and malevolent imagination, then posted to his blog. Not content to preoccupy himself with dreadful fluorescent images of bargirls and ladyboys in degraded settings, he has decided to paint an image of the Buddha (in heavy-lidded Khmer style no less) rolling his eyes in reaction to Walking Street in Pattaya. That Buddhists everywhere will no doubt find this repugnant to them may abbreviate the media attention Coles’s art has received in conjunction with the release of the short story collection called “Bangkok Noir” and his sparsely attended exhibitions. We have written about this literary and artistic equivalent to masturbation elsewhere.

There are so many reasons why this image is offensive to Thai Buddhists that it would be difficult to know where to begin, really. What it reveals, however, is the depths to which one man (Coles) has descended and from which debased vantage point important character strengths like intuition, good judgement, and cultural sensitivity have all but disappeared. When you spend time in brothels and red light districts in Thailand, it diminishes your capacity for insight and reason, as well as the larger requisite sense of compassion and reverence for a global religion. It may appear humorous on some very sophomoric level to think about the Buddha’s possible (worldly) reaction to the carnival that is Walking Street in Pattaya, but the theological reality is far more complicated than can be rendered in the crude paints and plaster board that Coles employs. Whether the image is intended to shock and dismay, we suppose, is another question completely. It is not very nice, for example, that he has scrawled his name directly onto the face of the Buddha, but anyone with a cursory understanding of Thai Buddhism would realize quite quickly that, like climbing on a Buddha statue, writing one’s name on a Buddha image is a serious no-no. Over time, however, the decision to exhibit this distasteful Buddha image is certainly reflective of the corrosive powers of alcohol, cheap sex, and pharmaceuticals over the faculty of sound judgement which one usually accredits to good artists in general.

"Buddha Visits Walking Street Pattaya 2554" by Chris Coles

That said, and moving on to another dismaying development in the Thai nightlife blogosphere, it appears that Werewolf has shifted his attention toward Thai politics, one of the most dangerous topics for a writer of Thai-related nonsense and especially dangerous on a URL once called “Bargirlsrpeople2”. The vast reading public with even a remote interest in Thailand knows that Thai politics is anything but mundane or boring. Werewolf stumbles head first into the topic, too, with a rather adolescent view that he would vote for Yingluck Shinawatra simply because she is a somewhat attractive Chinese Thai woman. His questionable taste in appearances aside, the path he has chosen is fraught with danger, especially for foreigners living in the kingdom.

Stickman, for example, has always to his credit avoided Thai politics like the plague, and this is a sure testament to his longevity as a Bangkok nightlife writer. In fact, as time goes on and as Stickman considers other options in his life at this juncture, Saphan Loy has to give him an enormous amount of credit for what he has done in writing over the years, as we have been reading his work for the better part of 10 years, and we still tune in every Sunday, almost religiously. He has also successfully weathered all sorts of personal hells and obstacles, and despite Saphan Loy’s occasional teasing as well, he has mostly shrugged off genial criticism as well as the more virulent online attacks from the mentally ill.  We believe that one of the cornerstones of his longterm viability has been his avoidance of certain taboo subjects, like religion and politics most notably. Does this mean that a writer has to ignore these subjects?  Not by any means. However, for the most part, readers of the red light blogs could not care less about these subjects. There is a thin sliver of that market that does care, however, and there are those more qualified writers both Thai and farang who question certain realities in Thailand: we know, because they are generally our own readers as well.

But for someone like Werewolf, a writer once known for his vivid descriptions of spicy “spinners” from the brothel districts of Krung Thep, he is creating a veritable mine-field of problems within his newly refigured and quite dismal blog. We will leave him, of course, to his own devices, but with a strong caution against writing about either Thai domestic politics or Thai royalty as he has done in his most recent post, especially in light of his vividly repellant description of a child shitting on a sidewalk in an earlier post. Context is everything in Thailand and our suggestion would be to find a way to rearrange this kind of writing so as to make an interpretation (like ours) less likely within his English-language readership. For when you write about an impoverished Thai toddler shitting on a dirty sidewalk, you are not only calling attention to something that Thai people would rather (and tend to) ignore. You are also rearranging it, “capturing the image”, and circulating it aroud the world. If in one paragraph, you describe a child shitting on the sidewalk, the next post should be about something else: certainly not Thai politics, and most certainly not Thai royalty. Better yet, we would suggest scrapping the whole mundane project in toto, and returning to your roots. Stick with what you know. In effect, we, that is, the reading public, can use a few more spinners in our lives.

UPDATE: Chris Coles has thankfully removed the offensive image and the egregious accompanying text from the Internet. It is nonetheless still available in cached form here. He has rewritten the blog posting and mercifully removed all references to the Lord Buddha, including the following line:

The visiting Buddha watches and wonders what happened, how his teachings came to this…….

The View from Above

Jimmy Smithers Steps Out

Posted in สะพานลอย with tags , , , , , on May 20, 2011 by สะพานลอย

The blogosphere of late roils with strangeness, odd rumours, and baffling inaccuracies. Meanwhile, we have been hard at work on the Hollow Men series. It is an emotional process of culling the notebooks, arranging the material, and sifting through records of my conversations with “Mike.” Saphan Loy thanks all who have written to express an interest in Mike’s account and condolences for his sad passing.

In other news, we are happy to report that Jimmy Smithers is coming up to speed nicely as a writer. We have asked him to kindly post on his own space from here on out, as he will likely receive quite a bit of input (no pun intended) from Bangkok’s ladyboy loving community. He has become quite popular as of late, and he has big plans for the telling of his colourful adventures. Let’s hope we can encourage him to scale back his hours at the tyre center and make more liberal use of his company’s leave policy in order to undertake more frequent trips to Thailand of longer duration. He informs me that because his human resources department considers him mentally impaired, he has been extended greater latitude by the company, so long as he documents the appropriate permissions from his team of capable doctors.

That said, there appeared some ugliness recently over at Professor Ng’s site by one of our detractors. In response to his comment, which suggests the work of someone who suffers from mild retardation, and assuming it is either the misguided opinion of either Professor Ng or Werewolf, we have updated our piece on Chris Coles with an addendum to more fully articulate our criticisms. We also still maintain that the mundane Bangkok’s header image is, in fact, a thinly veiled homoerotic picture of three young men casually relieving each other while viewing gay bondage films.

So, without further ado for now….Saphan Loy is pleased once more to introduce you to Jimmy Smithers.

http://jimmysmithers.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/and-out-comes-jimmy-smithers/

Downtown to Chinatown

Posted in สะพานลอย with tags , , , , , , on May 11, 2011 by สะพานลอย

A casual stroll down the narrow streets and cluttered alleys of a typical Chinese ghetto that blight the urban centers of the industrialised world will reveal a few things about the ways in which Chinese merchants typically work. If a merchant sells, for example, illegal snakehead fish and succeeds at meeting a demand, his business model will simply be copied by another Chinese immigrant a few storefronts away, or, indeed, sometimes right across the street. In short time, the fish vendors who now offer snakehead fish in this urban Chinese ghetto will likely double, triple, or quadruple on the same narrow lane, and the odours of fish will soon overwhelm the neighbourhood. Whether the product is snakehead fish, pornographic DVDs, or licensed software, the piracy of ideas as such is not viewed within the Chinese community as piracy. The reduplication of merchants all offering the same merchandise essentially whittles away whatever profit motive existed in the first place, since petty mercenary battles will likely result in an overall drop in both price and quality of goods sold. Just ask an average economist, like Professor Kenny Ng.

One of the hallmarks of Professor Ng’s website, BigBabyKenny.com, a smartly rendered and highly polished website that richly details the thriving red light districts of Asia, is his reliance on simple copyright infringement as a way of manufacturing ridiculous commentary for his alcoholic or otherwise chronically ill readers who suffer from enlarged prostates. His actual writing, whether photo essays of underage prostitutes, questionable co-authored academic papers on marginal subjects within his putative field of expertise, or bizarre advertisements for consumer electronics devices, serve as a mere coat rack upon which he drapes long and rambling and sometimes colourful commentary using fictional names, or the well-established names of his competitors, who are usually more intelligent and superior writers, like Saphan Loy. That he continues to do so seemingly with impunity is the mark of a profoundly disturbed public school teacher with an almost schizophrenic imagination and little regard the sanctity of the copyright.

In California, the plight of the Chinese was fairly remarkable in historical perspective. Imported as coolie labor for the rail system in the United States during westward expansion, they faced an uphill battle here as they do in virtually every country in which they attempt to assimilate and adapt to the hallmarks of a more civilized culture, generally called the “rule of law” and democratic governance. Vice and lawlessness characterized the early Chinatowns here, and still do, while elsewhere in the world, like, say, in Bangkok, the vice trades were made legal simply to keep Thai cash within the kingdom. By decreasing any incentive to remit earnings to China, and by tickling the Chinese proclivity toward addictions to prostitution, opium, and gambling, Thailand simply permitted such activities in its own Chinese ghetto so as to keep its labor supply sexually satisfied and stultified with drugs and drink. This successfully prevented the export of Thai cash to China, and indeed serves as a vital source of fresh infusions of dollar-denominated cash today.

A late 19th century advertisement featuring the Chinese

And so the Chinese in America continue to struggle against an increasingly parochial, homogenized and hostile culture. Even when a Chinese achieves what, on the surface, seems like a respectable position, such as an Associate Professor at a large state university or as a similar technocrat within a sprawling bureaucracy, his position can never transcend the limitations of the experiences of an immigrant or the ghettoized restraints imposed upon him by a dominant societal structure rooted in common decency. In short, what Professor Ng finds so appealing in Thailand’s brothels is, ironically, a modicum of illusory dignity absent from his identity as a (barely) functional bureaucrat for the State of California. Thailand’s prostitutes, just as they entertained countless Chinese coolies over the centuries, are entertaining enough to him that he feels “special” and “unique.” Like lower level functionaries of British colonial administrations throughout much of Asia, who were not drawn from the elite of the British Empire, Ng envisions himself to be something far different from what he actually is.

We suppose this is the magic of Thailand, the moral contortions of a troubled academic and lazy writer, or the illusions of one man’s fictions.

  The View from Above

Jimmy Smithers Ladyboy Roundup

Posted in สะพานลอย with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2011 by สะพานลอย

Recently, one of Professor Ng’s literally handful of mentally unstable readers posted a comment on the public lavatory wall that is his website regarding William Mahanakorn and ladyboys. When Saphan Loy attempted to post a response to this extraordinarily perceptive insight, Professor Ng did not publish it. Apparently when it comes to defending the good name of William Mahanakorn and Saphan Loy, Professor Ng’s “unhidden” agenda makes itself more plain, which is fine, considering the fact that our team of lawyers is currently becoming intimately familiar with communications law in the State of California. And his arbitrary use of censorship further discredits his dubious operation.  It is clear Professor Ng would rather defame, defraud and impersonate us than give up a little of his largely useless digital space for our acerbic response to Mr. Smithers.

So we started to think about Jim Smithers, the putative commentator and armchair psychoanalyst in question. And the more Saphan Loy considered the matter, it appeared that ladyboys, and those who find them interesting, are an underserved part of the nightlife scene in Thailand and in elsewhere in Asia. Stickman has featured their services prominently since they advertise on his site, and Professor Ng has shared photographs of ladyboys on his own site. So why not Saphan Loy?

A new feature is coming to Saphan Loy: Jimmy Smithers' Ladyboy Corner

In the spirit of Jimmy Smithers’ (Sigmund Freud/Professor Ng’s) accusation, then, Saphan Loy is introducing a new feature called “Jimmy Smithers’ Ladyboy Corner, a part of the saphan loy from which to view the goings (and comings) of ladyboy admirers like Smithers (and Stickman and Professor Ng for that matter). In this feature, we will search the web for the most appealing, or most repellant ladyboys we can find, and, as you know by now, write pointless essays for your pleasure. But for this feature, we have emailed Jimmy Smithers directly asking for his input. Here is his response in its entirety, uncensored with no hidden agenda:

Thank you, William Mahanakorn, for the opportunity to write about my favourite topic: Thai ladyboys. As you know, because of my pronounced limp and my corrective left shoe, I usually have a problem finding real women in my home state of Georgia (Woo hoo, go Bulldogs!). Also, because of my chronic scalp problems and halitosis, I am not the most popular guy when cruising the shopping mall on Saturday nights. But what’s to stop a guy from trying? Besides, I think the Old Spice cologne helps. I buy it in bulk.

I am proud to write about Bangkok’s ladyboys. Professor Ng never asked me to write a longer article like you have. So what’s my experience? I’m glad you asked. Although I have been robbed on many occasions, I can’t keep out of Cassanova in Nana Plaza. I am like a moth to the flame, I guess. In this article, I plan to discuss ways to avoid being robbed by a ladyboy, how to disguise your prosthetic device(s), creative ways of concealing a scalp problem/baldness, ladyboy etiquette (who’s on top?), selecting the right personal lubricant, and how to impress your ladyboy with nice Thai gifts, like durians. I will also talk about more intimate moments, like when to unload and go, or when to kneel and bob, or how to deal with post-sex anal leakage.  I know, none of this is on the web yet. So we will try hard to bring it to you, only on Saphan Loy.

I think most of my colleagues at the discount tyre center and family members are okay with my adventures in Thailand. Aside from the robberies and physical assaults, I have had a few memorable moments with the ladyboys of Bangkok. I’ll never forget the time when a wig came off during a bareback bj, but even with the shattered illusion and the ruined mood, I just laughed it off as one of the many pitfalls of the scene. But with all of my experiences, I am confident you can avoid this too. So, let’s be frank: I will not try to make a buck off of my experiences. And neither will William Mahanakorn and Saphan Loy. You will get fair and balanced accounts of the latest and hottest ladyboy action in Thailand. So keep your eye out on this site, and a hand on your wallet at all times, and we will pave the way to hot ladyboy action in Asia, any time, all the time. 

“That’s our story and we’re sticking to it…”

No wait.

“But I don’t give a hoot…”

Let me try again. Bear with me on this.

“No hidden agenda, no censorship, no bullshit.”

Wait, that’s not quite right either.

“Your Bangkok commentator….”

Damn, taken.

“Thanks for stopping by, people…”

No, not what I am looking for….Wait for it:

She’s no lady. He’s a ladyboy!
Jimmy Smithers, Your Real Lady(boy’s) Man.

The View from Above

   

Dean Barrett Gets Busy

Posted in สะพานลอย with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2011 by สะพานลอย

This week marks the departure from the blogosphere of the unofficial scribbler of Bangkok’s brothels, Dean Barrett. A mere 10 weeks following his celebratory interview on Stickmanbangkok (the effect of which was probably a triplication of his carnivalesque website’s traffic count), the old man is calling it quits on his monthly updates. In his most recent post, the reason, he says, is that he needs more time to “do research” on the follow-up to his potboiler “Hangman (What’s the) Point”.

Research? Is that what he calls it?

At any rate, we wish him well. Since the Stickman interview, Barrett has been belly-aching about the rising costs associated with the extra bandwidth required to host his site (as a direct result of an increase in traffic.) Let me see if Saphan Loy has this correct: Barrett, a self-published writer, is no longer going to write for a growing Internet-based readership who are attracted to his site looking for lurid accounts of Thai bondage and sex play that feature him being bull-whipped by an Asian Dominatrix, or grisly photos of dead Muslims, and, instead is going to try to continue down the moribund route of traditional publishing by conducting “research” on a book nobody will read? Could someone please alert Mr. Barrett to the fact that he is in the 21st century, and that the profit margins on an electronic version of a “book” are next to nothing? In addition, bloggers who write for free (i.e., Saphan Loy) will continue to erode the long-term market demand for the kind of drek that Barrett plans to commit to print, thus burdening some small, third-world vanity press with a frivolous and unprofitable print run. His books, and others that exhibit the same sloppy writing standards and poorly plotted train wrecks, are fated to turn up in used and remaindered book stores as depressive evidence of what can happen when a delusion of desirability (facilitated by Thai prostitutes whose nearly constant refrain of “hello, handsome man” is anything but literary) and the illusion of comprehensibility translate into some ill-conceived hokum story involving the red light districts, a lame and imbecilic detective, a gun, and a bar girl.  Let’s hope that his planned travels to Hong Kong and London produce something refreshing: like a vague possibility of a coherent and imaginative idea for once.

We will, quite obviously, miss Barrett’s inane perspective on the red light districts of Southeast Asia. Like a buffoonish scarecrow who bounces from bar to bar, blinded by the neon and imprisoned by a miserable addiction that is self-reflexively protected by a sham of a moral rationalisation, Barrett will more than likely haunt the red light districts of Bangkok, Hong Kong, and wherever else he may find an empty bar stool in some cesspool of degeneracy, like a bleak and unreflective purgatorial waiting room (only with appalling music, dim lighting, bad beer and sclerotic dancing, and no magazines), well into his dotage. It sure beats playing a round of golf, enjoying a cigar, and tracking one’s retirement account. We suppose.

"In any case, he faces a life of loneliness and despair." -- Dean Barrett

 

"My suggestion was to dress nicely, politely approach women who were leaving the shrine after asking the shrine’s god for relationship relief, introduce themselves, strike up a conversation and ask them to share a cup of coffee at the nearby mall." Big Baby Kenny Ng

 

"Nana (Plaza) is dying a slow, and frankly painful death." Stickman Bangkok

The View from Above

Saphan Loy’s Cheesecake: A La Mode

Posted in สะพานลอย with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2011 by สะพานลอย

Nothing like a sampling of 150 year old French cheesecake, eh? This is, for all of our Philistines who regularly turn to Saphan Loy for some sort of digital relief from the crushing and isolating boredom of their lives, a painting by Gustave Courbet, and it was completed in 1866. Its translation in English is The Origin of the World. We chose it, in part, as a response to the proliferation across the web of images of unspeakable indecency in general, and to the ghastly appearance on the red light blogs of equally appalling glossy images of Asian models along with the less-glossy, poorly rendered, out of focus images that attempt to capture the decadence and moral degradation of the red light districts in Southeast Asia. We chose this wonderful painting also to highlight some recent observations on the choice of images that sites like Big Baby Kenny Ng’s have made, and to comment also on Werewolf’s dreadful resurrection of his boring blog.

First, Professor Eustace McGargle, and by Professor McGargle we mean Professor Ng, has selected for his blog about prostitution in Thailand the image of a child (which appears on his main page) in addition to his distasteful galleries of poor girls from Isarn. Do our eyes believe what we are witnessing? Interested in understanding the reasons behind choosing a child’s image for his site, we looked for the image through the search engines and discovered (not surprisingly) that it is actually a small child dressed like a cartoonish character from American “professional” wrestling named Hulk Hogan. This image must have circulated widely across the Internet in the late 20th century, so it is apparent that Professor McGargle simply copped it and re-posted it back in the day when it probably made the rounds by email among the poorer classes within the United States.

There are so many things that are wrong, or simply creepy, about dressing a child up as an adult with facial hair, that I will just let that pass for now and focus more on the fact that the Americans who might drunkenly chuckle or appreciate a child-like “Hulk Hogan” are most likely from the lower middle to lower classes in the United States. Professional wrestling enjoys the same cultural prestige as a circus: an obvious recurring theme in the red light blogosphere as well. Speaking of which…anyone for a Singha at the Carousel Bar or Carnival?

In what is perhaps the most egregious gallery that Ng has published on his website, young Thai women are displayed (exhibited for the public by Ng) nonconsensually while they perform the most intimate rituals of worship. Their images appear in lurid, voyeuristic detail as they kneel before the sacred images at the Phra Tri Murati Shrine in Bangkok. The images are neither anthropological nor cultural: they are sexual. The professor, hanging back from the crowd, simply waited until the unsuspecting Thai women were kneeling in supplication before he lasciviously snapped his shutter. The images here are a solidly reasonable argument for the restricting of Thailand’s generous tourism entry requirements.

Further, after thinking about it carefully, Saphan Loy suspects that not only is Professor McGargle’s willingness to simply steal or co-opt images as well as Saphan Loy’s protected content from the Internet indicative of broader patterns, it may be symptomatic of something more integral to his dysfunctional personality. We therefore had a look at some of his published academic articles he posted on his site (none of which are recent, and all of which have been co-authored) and came to some troubling conclusions. Is it possible that a careful reading of the citations in those articles might reveal some sloppy scholarship? Is it worth the painful and time-consuming effort to sift out original thought from regurgitated or flatly plagiarized material? Is it worth the bother of asking his co-authors directly for some clarifications? Just saying….

At any rate, the troubling image of a small child wrestler character aside, the other odd thing lately is mundane Bangkok, or, supposedly, the resurrected Werewolf. What the hell happened to him? Did he sustain a brain injury recently? Has he been lobotomised by cheap beer and tertiary syphilis? Not only is it, as promised, extraordinarily boring, but the image he selected for the masthead appears to be three footballers providing each other hand relief while watching a UFC match on the telly. Can it get any more homoerotic? Please change it. Even if it is boring Bangkok, at least put up a picture of a phone booth, or a soi dog, or anything else that just happens to be in Bangkok.

Okay, ladies. Now that we have gotten that off our chest, we can get on to more serious matters. We will leave you with Courbet’s The Bather (1868) for the prurient purposes of titillation. Who doesn’t love hairy armpits?

Vintage "Soapy"

The View from Above