Friday, September 24, 2010
During the afternoon of the Sinfonietta concert last Sunday, which happened to occur at the same time as a red shirt rally, I was struck again by how satisfying it is to work with these incredibly smart, enthusiastic, and profoundly musical kids. It seemed to matter little that the world outside might be collapsing around us. Well, luckily, it didn't actually collapse. Mozart was filling my senses. At that moment, an SMS came from a friend. "Facebook has been blocked by the government!" it said. I checked my Facebook on my phone. It was fine. My friend's was not, though it shortly came back again. Why his and not mine?
I wasn't very thrilled that our government recently bowed to pressure from the Vietnamese and prevented a presentation from occurring at the Foreign Correspondence Club ... a place where only weeks before I, Sumet, Senator Kraisak and others had had so delightfully anarchic a free exchange of views.
It seems that on the one hand, free speech has increased to the level that people were allowed to exercise it for months in the most disruptive possible way, by taking over public spaces and setting off explosives ... a level of tolerance of free speech unlikely to be acceptable to the west ... while at the same time, little annoying Big-Brother-like intrusions are occurring, such as websites randomly getting blocked and unblocked, perhaps due to overzealous minor bureaucrats with nothing to do.
Greg Glachant of BK magazine called to ask me whether I would still claim that today, I feel "more free" than I did during the days of the Thaksin administration. I had to think about that for a while but on the whole, I believe that answer still to be yes ... with several "buts" attached.
The day after tomorrow, Bruce and I will perform another episode of AVATAR - No. VII - at the BACC. Let's hope the air conditioning stays on. Meanwhile, Trisdee, having, in his inaugural blog, painted Bundit as the Milli Vanilli of classical music, leaves behind the devastation in his wake in order to conduct Monteverdi's ORFEO in Amsterdam ... with Pierre Audi directing ... which will definitely be a staggering performance. Last night, however, he once again played the viola with the kids of the Sinfonietta. Trisdee's blog was read by over 6,000 people in a single day.