Archive for red light district

2012 Stumbles to an Ignominius End

Posted in สะพานลอย with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2012 by สะพานลอย

….and 2013 looks no better for the motley group of fools who continue with their dubious output of words and poorly framed photographs depicting the brothel districts of Thailand, from the disgraced professors and teachers (Big Baby Kenny Ng and Stickman), to the humdrum typists of pulp e-books which nobody purchases (Stephen Blather et. al.), to the marginally retarded (Bangkok Buddy and Kent Hammond). Normally, Saphan Loy would conduct a “blow-by-blow” analysis of the year in review, but sadly, it seems that the whole year was a washout for the barflies of Bangkok.

The holiday season in Thailand’s red light districts is a grim reminder that there are many lost souls from around the world who continue to gravitate to these places, washed up has-beens, lovelorn, hopeless, and thirsty, compelled by the biological imperatives of their unmanageable vices, motivated by the squalid reward of a short-time hotel room, a cheap sex enhancement drug, and a Thai rice farmer’s daughter or two. Or a Thai rice farmer’s son in drag who happens to possess an artificially added set of double DDs and a chemically induced uncircumcised hard-on, or a surgically altered vaginal skin-fold.

It is a time when our favourite bar girls, mamasans, and bartenders are trotted out in the cheapest of Christmas-themed lingerie and paraded around sticky barroom floors in darkened corners of cheap, third-world gin mills, enticed by a few hundred baht and the false promise of an improvement in their stations in life.

It is the time of year to drown regrets in rice whiskey, or the local non-potable lager, and to stifle the merest threat of an emerging sense of conscience, any images of domesticity that we left behind elsewhere in the developed world where we once may have had friends and family, or even the thought, “What the hell am I doing here?”

It is also the time of the year when we can imagine, although remotely and through the artifice of fiction, a character much like George Bailey, driven to despair by financial catastrophe in the timeless American classic It’s a Wonderful Life, who attempts suicide only to be shown a life without his presence in the world, followed by a dramatic, heart-warming redemption.

We can picture, for example, Professor Big Baby Kenny Ng, clinically depressed by the mistakes of his life, his failures as an economist/school teacher, his morbid obesity, his disgraceful and very public fall from grace, and his grotesque appetite for young Thai bargirls, contemplating suicide on a barstool somewhere in Saphan Khwai (yes, he has sunk this low), while drunkenly crying in his cups and muttering dark curses at his imagined enemies and the success of others. Yes, we can see him, his ego stung by the utterance of a snaggle-toothed ladyboy who has just called him a khii mao, in this Saphan Khwai hellhole, his life story spooling away from him like the sad and sordid conclusion to an old 16 mm stag film he vaguely remembers from his misspent youth witnessing the fabled Tijuana donkey show flickering on a yellowing wall in his dorm room.

And we can hope, as we watch him in this Saphan Khwai watering hole, trying to find an outlet for his laptop and arguing with the mamasan in a language he does not understand, that Ng will come to meet an angel who will put his arm around his shoulder and say, “But you have had a wonderful life, Professor Ng.” And when this dreary holiday fable comes to its conclusion in the darkened karaoke parlor, and those grim concluding words appear, “Remember, no man is a failure who has friends”, we will all sigh deeply, because, well, we know how Ng has mistreated his friends and alienated his colleagues irreparably.

My lovely assistant Lek is in tears, daubing at her almond eyes with a Kleenex, the poor thing. Ok, enough of your blubbering. Get me a drink. And put on that skimpy Father Christmas costume I purchased for you.

Similarly, we can wish at this time of year that the celebrated scribe of the red light districts, the Stickman, is visited by a Dickensian scene, the bar girl of Christmas past, who appears to him in his Bangkok high-rise bound in the chains of oppression that he has caused by stimulating a prurient interest in all things related to sex commerce. Awakened at midnight by the apparition, the Stick cowers under his mosquito net, while the bar girl of Christmas past says, “You handsome man no good man. You bad man.

Stickman is awakened at midnight by the bar girl of Christmas past.

The Stick mistakenly believes he is dreaming, and responds, “Is that Bernard Trink?”, then swallows another tranquilizer. His slumber thus returned, he is awakened soon thereafter by the bargirl of Christmas present, who shows him the horrid reality of plane-loads of elderly westerners arriving in Bangkok, all streaming into the big yellow vagina of Nana Plaza, depositing their baht along with their diseased chromosomal material, and leaving empty beer bottles and broken lives of the impoverished girls who remain behind staring hopefully at the dim glow emanating from their cellphones.

And finally, what of the bar girl of Christmas future? What tidings does she bring? Or he? And whither the red light districts in Thailand in 2013? Only the new year will tell. Lek has visited the witch doctor and received bad tidings. But I am optimistic. And rest assured gentle reader. In an ever more hostile cyber world, Saphan Loy will continue to be a “troll-free zone” and will remain a place where intelligent, adult discussion of all things Thai brothel districts is welcome, where sexpats and sex tourists can tune in for the latest deep analysis of the red light blogosphere and the bizarre bedfellows who populate it.

Therefore, may you and your bar girls or ladyboys (or donkeys) enjoy the best of the holiday season, and with hope look forward to another year of unabashed whoring and drinking and drugging all the while avoiding liver failure or cardiac arrest. And may all of your wishes at the Hindu shrines of Bangkok bring you the loves of your life, prosperity, and just enough success to continue your binges without guilt, shame, or remorse of any kind.

Happy New Year!

Yours truly, and my lovely assistant Lek.

The View from Above

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Doom and Gloom and the Sex Trade in Thailand

Posted in สะพานลอย with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2012 by สะพานลอย

With all of the doom and gloom over on Stickman about the current state of the brothel scene in Bangkok, the red-light blogosphere has been dying a painfully slow death as of late. It is natural that sites like his, or Big Fat Baby Kenny’s, will go the way of transistor radios and Spanish Fly love potions. There are two important lessons that the teachers behind both of the aforementioned sites clearly missed: in Stick’s case, he should have cashed out at the top of the market for his services, and in Professor Ham-fist’s case, he should have parlayed his sudden US-media notoriety into his own talk show. Or at the very least started his own pornographic website.

Big Baby Kenny Ng’s ladyboy adventures are now but yesteryear’s wet-dream….

In looking around the blogosophere this week, it has become painfully clear that much of the energy has dissipated both in the well-established sites and in those blogs that soldier on despite an increasingly apparent public apathy toward Asian prostitutes in general. It is as though the brothel districts of Thailand and Southeast Asia are becoming ghost towns, the last refuge of those nostalgic for their heyday circa 1968, supplanted by new forms of economic growth and opportunity. The Internet, mobile devices, i-this and i-that, these are all making the bar areas useful only to the alcoholic, the elderly, the sex-addicted and relief-seeking men whose ageing bodies are deformed by years of abuse but that still respond (miracle of miracles) to aphrodisiacs manufactured in Bombay and all points West.

Lek and I therefore decided to pay a visit to an old site that we occasionally consulted when my testicles required a liberal slathering of baby oil: Sukhumvit Psycho. But when the page loaded, we were told that this site has undergone a radical name-change. The Sukhumvit Psycho is no more, replaced instead by, brace for it, Sukhumvit Entertainment!

I know what you are thinking. It has all of the excitement and originality of the name of a cable television channel. There are so many things silly about this change in nomenclature that it is difficult to know where to begin. But rest assured, for those of you who relied heavily on the testicle massage guide that Sukhumvit Psycho was best known for, the information is still there, but only if you have the time and inclination to click through a dizzying array of links that will point you in all sorts of directions on the site. By the time you find the information you are looking for, you could have picked up the phone in your hotel room and said in simple English, “I’d like a massage. Room 157” to have arrive, moments later, a sheepish Thai woman with a bottle of baby oil.

The site itself looks the same, and still features multiple grammatical errors (given the language challenges of its writer or writers), with most of the potentially useful information effectively gated behind one of those tired “forums” that are also becoming like the dusty relics of Web 1.0 and the mainstay of elderly men who like to create purposefully deranged avatars and rack up trivial submission counts. For many years we have seen these forums dedicated to Thailand prostitution and have avoided them like a venereal disease.

Nonetheless, Lek and I decided to have a gander at the available information on the Psycho’s website, er, sorry, on Sukhumvit Entertainment. It is interesting to observe that the “Premium Membership” option no longer exists. When do we get our refund?! And many of the public pages now resemble the old link farms that sat on the web in the late 1990s like useless handbills. To add insult to injury, the links for Asian Dominas (to satisfy Lek’s curiosity, the naughty tavern wench!) do not even work. Those websites were likely silenced by the long arm of the local Gendarmerie. And while we are on the topic, Saphan Loy is saddened to report that not one of our many international readers even bothered to send us a copy of the Testicle Massage Guide. It is still available for only $14.99. And the holidays are right around the corner. And yes, this is a hint. I suspect that for Christmas this year, Lek is (once again) planning on gifting me a pile of her well-thumbed “ka-toon” books.

And so the search continues. Saphan Loy is like Diogenes of Sinope holding up our lamp in the red-light districts of Asia, looking for an honest man. However, we leave you with this image, courtesy of BigBabyKenny.com, which reveals the location of a sordid nightclub somewhere in the dark jungles of Northeastern Thailand. Because, much like this very helpful conveyor of important geographical information (the GPS), we will continue to illumine the digital darkness with a single, and most perfect ray of light.

The View from Above

The Year in Review: A New Year Ahead. Observations, Predictions.

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

What a sordid year it was. As we get ready to ring in the new year, Thai style with a bottle of lukewarm Singha, let’s recall some major low-lights from the year past, and look ahead to what the new year holds in store. The past year witnessed some atrocities, as usual, in the Thai redlight blogosphere. Very few gems were to be found in the roughage that comprises the palsied prose and tortured syntax of the blog-heads. In addition, we have seen that some scribblers have decided to bow out of the online scene altogether. A few comments follow. Parental discretion is advised.

Stickman Bangkok

Let’s start with the biggest and the brightest of the online luminaries, Stickman Bangkok. After teasing his audience throughout the year with hand-wringing and indecision regarding his future, he has decided, not surprisingly, to stay put in the red-light districts of Thailand, which have come to define him. His photography has devolved, and his favourite subjects still seem to be poor children and bargirls. While he unashamedly takes cold (hard) ladyboy cash, and the filthy lucre of brothels as advertising revenue, he still insists that he doesn’t partake, and that he is stupefied by changes in the country. Saphan Loy believes this is the most interesting part of his website, though he doesn’t intend it as such. He is constantly flummoxed by Thailand’s changing demographics and the demographics of the sex tourist population in general. What does the new year hold in store for the poster boy of sex tourism himself? Likely, he will find himself stuck in Thailand, a “lifer”, ping-ponging from bar to bar like some character in a Greek tragedy. Always tantalized by the offerings, but never partaking, we predict he will end up much like Dean Barrett.

One day in the new year, he will break down, step into Bar Bar or Demonia, and be offered a sound lashing from a Thai rice farmer’s daughter who will then insert an uncomfortably large sex toy into his rectum while he barks like a soi dog. Stickman will consent enthusiastically, and find it so pleasurable that he will dedicate himself to BDSM for the remainder of his natural life, never sitting comfortably again. From there, he will slip down the slippery slope and avail himself of the services of a small group of ladyboy escorts, who will treat him like a schoolgirl in the comfort of his Bangkok highrise.

Big Baby Kenny Ng

This year marked the departure from the serious blogosphere of Professor Big Baby Kenny Ng out in California. He has clearly given up the ghost, allowing the only active thread to be overwritten by the criminally insane. His brand of lunacy will be turned off in the new year, and he will likely be joining the swelling ranks of American unemployed academics, scratching out a living by tutoring semi-retarded children. But not to fear. There are plenty of openings at TEFL International, and perhaps the clown-in-chief there can teach him a thing or two about the Thais.

As of this writing, however, it appears the Ng has just published another word-fart about a cheap buffet in Bangkok. He is clearly celebrating his holiday in Bangkok, courtesy of the moronic California taxpayer, who is so immobilized by political correctness that he (or she) cannot stand up in the face of basic humanitarian atrocities.

The Chinese love all you can eat buffets. They pile their plates full of crappy fried food and rejoice in the low cost of eating it, then pass it through their intestines, then clog up the plumbing, much to the horror of the chambermaids at the cheap flophouse he calls home in the city of angels. Saphan Loy predicts that Ng’s cheap Bangkok buffets will soon turn into long lines at his local soup kitchen.

Big Baby Kenny will soon join the long lines at the soup kitchen.

Mobithailand

Our friend Mobi has been busy and, mercifully, staying sober. He has interestingly decided to post photos of his paramour, Noo, who is quite lovely indeed. We wish Mobi the best in the new year. He has been one of the few stalwarts among the blog-heads, always posting honestly and without artifice. Mobi consistently proves that a dotage spent in Thailand can be tempting, relaxing, and enjoyable all at the same time. We hope he avoids temptation of the spiritual kind, and continues to post about the darkside and all the darkies that can be found there.

The Redlight Scribblers (and Painter)

Stephen Blather et al., including the abominable Chris Coles, will likely continue to type unreadable prose, and render unspeakably offensive arts and crafts that assault the senses (unless those senses happen to be dulled by the local lager and barbiturates.) Look for hefty additions to the pulp-making machine, or network-clogging “e-books” that appeal to the inpatients at your local veteran’s home. Also in the coming new year, perhaps Coles will finally sell a neon bargirl to the half-blind, or the blind-drunk, who would like a painting to install above the commode. Or, better yet, perhaps the new year will inspire Coles to retire from his paint-making efforts, hang up his smock, and, instead, take up semi-permanent residence on a barstool on Patpong, administered to by a snaggle-toothed ladyboy.

Jimmy Smithers

So, what of that lady(boy’s) man, Jimmy Smithers? He has exciting plans for the new year. He is currently in negotiations with a major motion picture studio for the rights to his personal stories. He also has a new line of merchandise planned, including coffee mugs, tee-shirts and insulated beer holders. He is hard at work on his e-book, and is scanning his local classified sections for shemales, transvestites and ladyboys. Because he was recently fired, it is unlikely that a Bangkok trip is in the cards for the new year. Look for further depravity to escape from his keyboard, prolonged struggles with alcohol and sinus medication, and lurid accounts of his masturbation habits. He may even develop adult-onset diabetes, or have what he calls a “crap-attack” at an inopportune moment (like a job interview.) We predict great things for Jimmy Smithers. He’s one to keep your eye on. You know, by covering your other eye with your hand when the room is spinning, or you can’t navigate the Bangkok sidewalks after consuming too much Mekong Whiskey.

At any rate, Saphan Loy wishes you the best of the holidays, and a happy new year. As long as sex tourists are willing to jot down their half-formed ideas, their tawdry hopes and dreams, and their sinful encounters with third world prostitutes, we will be there. And despite all our plights and gripes, we still give them credit for trying. After all, an internet absent of their presence would be a boring place indeed.

The View from Above

Dean Barrett’s Retirement: Whips, Chains, and a Spanking

Posted in สะพานลอย with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2011 by สะพานลอย

Stick reported last week that Dean Barrett, Saphan Loy’s favourite pulp fiction typist, has retired to a life of kinky abandon in Thailand where he has retreated to Demonia and Bar Bar for regular spankings and assorted torturous pleasures. And foot fetish nights. We find it hard to fathom: I mean, when he sits down to read his latest copy of AARP magazine, is his ass sore from the bullock-whip? For Saphan Loy’s international readers, the AARP is the American Association of Retired Persons, and they send a nice magazine every month to remind you that you are now an old man with erectile dysfunction. It therefore provides lots of editorial space to advertise Viagra products. These ads show men driving old convertibles, wind whipping through their toupees, a sated old bag seated next to them with a big toothy grin on her dentures. These kinds of ads are coy. Why don’t they simply show a rock hard erection thrusting pneumatic-like into a gaping Asian gash in some hell hole of the developing world? In fact, were it not for the advertising support of Viagra, it is likely that the AARP magazine would quietly fold, its elderly staff of crestfallen writers and editors given pink slips. It would become a dusty relic of nostalgia. Much like Dean Barrett’s output of bar fables.

Betty White and Dean Barrett: Perfect Together

A coy Viagra advertisement

One of the things possible, we suppose, is that you can now apply for, as Mr. Barrett has done, a “Non-Immigrant, Submissive Retiree/Pensioner” visa. That helps Thai immigration suss things out a bit easier. Perhaps the ladies at Demonia can facilitate this? And perhaps, just perhaps, Dean Barrett’s contemporaries, like Stephen Blather, might follow his example, and go gently into that good night, and take their lickings like real men:  at the feet of coconut farmers’ daughters.

Dean Barrett

So what? Okay, maybe we are too hard on the old man. Who wouldn’t want to be lashed to a rubber tree and assaulted by several barefoot Malay/Thai girls run amok? I know Jimmy Smithers would be first in line for that treatment. In fact, and here Saphan Loy is admittedly being indiscreet, Smithers confided in me that one of his many nasty fantasies involves the jungle, a rounded bamboo pole, interrogation, and VC ladyboys. But we are friends, and for all those who write to him to sign his glossy 8 X 10, he thanks you for all the kind attention. And yes, he really is going to be in motion pictures, specifically a tawdry little tale that just wrapped shooting in Chiang Rai called “Luck Be a Ladyboy.” But you didn’t hear it from the Loy.

The View from Above

The Big Baby Kenny Ng Loses His Chips

Posted in สะพานลอย with tags , , , , , , , on November 14, 2011 by สะพานลอย

Abandoned blog alert: It looks like Big Baby Kenny Ng has finally lost his short stack. His unmonitored blog now spools into oblivion, overridden by spam and nothingness. We believe it is safe to say that the big man is down for the count. Plagued by employment problems, he has ignored his blog hopefully in order to write something academic, or to keep the heat off the back of his neck: It could not have come at a sooner time. Nobody returns to old digital property on the Internet. It languishes like one of those old brothels at the turn of the century, once full of laughter (at him) and reckless mirth, now filled with cobwebs.

One could say that he squandered his fifteen minutes of “fame” or infamy, whichever one prefers. But the real question remains, how would you, in fact, have spent that fifteen minutes? For one, he should have hired a writing coach, or made liberal use of the writing lab on campus to help him with his tortured, often incorrect prose. Two, he might have hired a personality coach, to help him when he compulsively felt the need to cut and paste content from other sites, or at the very least, to help him meet an actual woman and potential marriage partner. Or three, he could have consulted his psychiatric care provider. Yeah, the one with a Singha beer in her hand and the blue contact lenses and the sun-dark farmer’s tan.

Well, we all predicted it, didn’t we? It seems that when there are few left holding any cards of value whatsoever, the odds greatly improve. In our opinion, the Big Baby’s downfall occurred when he started the useless charade of allowing the Galt airtime on his blog. That was the kiss of death. What is unfortunate, of course, is that he will now have to concede his defeat, unless he has an ace up his sleeve, which we doubt he is capable of producing. The drama of it all was fun while it lasted. Even the paranoia of Prufrock had its moments. But alas, you know what they say about all good things.

 

The View from Above

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

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