Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tomorrow and Tomorrow

The Rapture has been put off till October 21, so I still have time for a few decent meals.  In hell, one eats only shit.

Tomorrow I am going to experience a scaled-down version of the rapture; I won't go to heaven, but to Austria.  I'll finally get to see a production of The Magic Flute in the very theatre where it was first performed, visit the Esterhazy Castle and so on so forth ... and I'm travelling with a gaggle of journalists who intend to follow me around as I myself follow the Mozart/Haydn/Beethoven trail.  It will be very lovely and it'll all culminate in my being one of the judges in this wonderful choral competition held every year in the Moravian town of Olomouc.

Yes, I can still be reached and I will still be running the opera from my iPhone ... so please don't panic.  Exciting things are happening!

Especially in Thailand, where I won't be!

A wild election campaign is gearing up.  And even though we have the proverbial 40 days left before casting the vote, no one is waiting that long to cast the first stone!

The signs are fascinating.  A hitherto unknown young woman is soaring in the polls ... as frequently happens when an interesting new element is suddenly thrown into a all-too-tired mix.  No one seems willing to make the prediction ... not a taxi driver, not a pundit, nary an astrologer, not even the sacred bulls.

However, I'm willing to wager that there are Machiavellian plans afoot.  The Election Commission has cleared Ms. Shinawatra to run for prime minister because, in a court case in which property was seized, the property was demonstrated not to be hers but that of her brother.  It's illegal to run for office if your property has been seized by the government — so far, so good.  The problem is that Ms. Shinawatra testified under oath that the property belonged to her.  If she told the truth, then she can't run for Prime Minister.  If she lied, however, that would be perjury and if convicted, she wouldn't be able to run either.  And if she were tried for perjury and acquitted, it would follow that she must be presumed to have told the truth, and therefore her prime ministership would automatically be invalidated.  There doesn't seem to be a middle way between these polarities.  The only way to solve this problem is, in fact, to ignore it — which is exactly what we're all doing.

Why hasn't the evil establishment filed that case right away, to get this Poster Child of Nepotism off the ballot?  I'm sure they've considered it.  I mean, what better way to rid oneself of a threat?  It worked with Samak, did it not?   Didn't GourmetGate put the present administration in power?  But it would surely look bad, and it would certainly not make for a squeaky-clean image.

I believe that if the present government thought that the election results were a done deal and that all is already lost, the criminal case would already have been filed.  It's clear therefore that they subscribe to the theory that the rise of Yingluck is a double-edged sword, and that in the end she may lose as many votes as she gains.  Indeed, amid the hype about Thailand's first female prime minister, I sense that the Democrats detect a ray of hope.  And, given the way popularity can nosedive, given the fact that forty days is an eternity in politics, they may well be right, even though the latest figures aren't promising.

It would seem to me that the perjury trial, therefore, is being set aside for the time being, to be used as a secret weapon should the gamble be a flop.  In the arsenal of possible "dirty tricks" it is at least a perfectly legal maneuver.

I'll be following the news avidly from my box seat at the Staatsoper!

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