Friday, January 2, 2009

2009 and Life and Death

So, the morning of the first day of 2009, I'm greeted with an email telling me that Joseph Sheehan is dead. Joseph Sheehan, whose internet nickname was "Eminence" and who was such a prominent member of our audience, coming to every show, downing gallons of white wine whenever we had it ... the last time I saw him, he came to my office bearing a huge gift, a wine bottle opener with a brass plate inscribed with the legend "to the maestro." He said to me, "I am going back to America to die." I said, "Die here, old friend; we'll miss you too much if you die there." You see, I kind of thought he wasn't being that serious. But he was, and he did.

The country continues to be in the kind of turmoil that must be imputed to collective stupidity rather than any desire to further any agenda that might benefit anyone whatsoever. I thought that no political statement could possibly be less astute than the PAD's declaration that the poor are too stupid to vote and therefore should be disenfranchised. However, their enemies' announcement yesterday that the government hadn't made its policy speech at the government house (it could not do so because its path was blocked by protesters) but at a different venue, that it was therefore an unconstitutional government ... there's a masterstroke of trivialization. If only Ionesco were alive today to write a play about Thailands politics of the absurd....

And Somtow's World, formerly on FM 98.75 every Monday night for three hours, will continue ... but there will be more ... a television version on satellite ... Channel 19 here in Thailand ... more of this later ... I'm not getting a dime out of this, but maybe the Bangkok Opera will gain something ...

Today I rode in a taxi whose driver escaped being burned alive in the infamous New Year club fire (not too far from my house) by a few minutes; he had to dash out of the club on an urgent phone call. His friend, inside, was killed. Our existence is fragile.

2008 is already shaping itself in my personal mythology as the year from hell. Therefore I want to position 2009 as the year of redemption. I hope it works....

1 comment:

  1. I hope 2009 goes well for you, Somtow. Its been a few years since I've seen you but when I was 17 I used to get traaashed in your living room! You should come to Canada and stay with me and Matt, we will definitely return the courtesy!