everyday banality does television

For the fourth (4th) time since my arrival in this country, I turned on a television.

I’ve had a television in my room since I arrived. They seem to come as a standard part of my paralyzing weakness to air-conditioning but, despite lacking anything in particular to do, ever, today was the 4th time I turned one on.

I flipped through channels until I reached something in English. A movie. Some guy was laying in a bed just vacated by a woman. He looked wistful. He lit a cigarette. When he brought this cigarette to his lips, the lower half of his face was suddenly obscured by a mass of pixelization.

When the cigarette left his lips, so too did the censorship.

When he made to take another drag, it returned.

And so we learn an important lesson about what cannot be shown on television in Thailand, and the token efforts made to maintain these standards.

It reminded me of a moment during my last visit. I was sitting in a restaurant –the very same in which I would, over a year later, witness the crass attentions of two Americans toward a very young girl*– where what I will admit I was able to reason out was Dead or Alive (the videogame movie, not the other) was playing on a television. The scene: two women are in bed due to some allegedly comical contrivance, and are walked in on by one of the women’s father. Every time the shot featured both women, and it was clear they were lying in the same bed, under the same blanket, the entire screen was obscured by a mass of pixelization, like a shaky perp closeup on COPS.

I thank whatever alleged higher power for that cigarette coming into my life and kick-starting my memory.

*see everyday banality episode 2, Excelsior!

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~ by ironcupshrug on 12/23/2009.

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