Winter Fair worries
The Chiang Mai Winter Fair is over for another year, and
the thousands of local
residents living within the immediate area must have breathed a sigh of
relief on that final evening. Of all celebrations staged in Asia, this
increasingly unsophisticated annual fair in Thailand must rank highly for
negative cultural value, and gross vulgarity, with deafening performances of
pop singers and rock bands. This foreseeably attracts large numbers of
teenagers, a number of whom are hooligans, or members of rival gangs. Not an
ideal or a desirable audience.
This “cultural event” is therefore downgraded to a
category of nightly noise pollution, with stadium-size speakers blasting out
“music” which can be heard over a wide area, obliging everybody to
endure the torment until 1 a.m., including schoolchildren and all others who
have to rise early next morning. This, let me emphasize, continues every
night for almost two weeks.
The noise at times was sufficient to spoil a normal
telephone conversation, or drown out a television set in residential areas
up to 2 km away. The level at source therefore was probably in excess of 120
decibels, and potentially injurious to those attending. To add to the
problem, a number of bombs were thrown by hoodlums on two separate evenings,
resulting in numerous injuries. So, wherein lies the “culture” here?
Before we repeat the folly once more, may I on behalf of
the many who share this opinion, respectfully recommend that the Governor
and the Mayor review the content of the 2006/7 Winter Fair with a view to
transforming it into a safe, dignified and joyous festival that reflects the
best of Lanna Thai - not something we should be ashamed of. Nobody wants to
spoil youthful enjoyment, but in fairness, let the younger ones enjoy rock
concerts in a soundproof environment.
Enjoys the news from home
Dear Chiangmai Mai,
Even though I study in the US now, I still enjoy my
weekly Chiangmai Mail.
Lee, graduate of Montfort College, now a freshman at
Santa Monica College, California, and awarded on the Dean’s Acade-
mic List after earning straight As in Fall 2005 semester.
Supertramp-crime of the century
Dear Mott the dog,
I am a fan of your page in the Chiangmai Mail. May I
answer your question regarding Sam and the repay for his financial backing
of the band Supertramp. Yes, he became a millionaire as the band gave him a
percentage of ticket sales for their concert tours.
I was the personal tour manager of Roger Hodgson on their
last big tour together. After this giant tour Roger Hodgson left the band,
telling the crowds in the
stadiums that sometimes a change is good, then performing his famous song
“give a little bit” alone on the stage with his acoustic guitar. Tears
were running in the stadiums. It was very emotional for everybody including
myself and the total crew on the road.
The band was managed by Kenny Thompson, brother of bass
player Doogie Thompson and Dave Magereson who also managed Chris de Burgh of
The main reason for the split of the band was problems
with the shares of royalties for the publishing and sales of the records and
songs. Mainly all big hits of Supertramp were the songs written and composed
by Roger Hodgson. Not to forget his dominant voice identifying the
The sax man John Helliwell never left the band while the
remaining members were trying to keep going as a band. It was never again
A long friendship has grown between me and Roger who is a
big cricket fan. If possible, I would like to convince him to visit the
Chiang Mai cricket sixes one year and support the tournament and gymkhana
club on a stage with “give a little bit”.
“Gipsy” Eckard Schuette
Handicapped Parking spaces reserved for delivery trucks?
On Monday, January 30, 2006 at approximately 10.15 p.m.,
an S & P delivery truck pulled up to the handicap parking place at the
Rimping Super Market Chotana Branch. The space was blocked by the usual
barrier to remind people that it is for those who have difficulty moving
about. The driver blew the horn on the delivery truck and one of the
employees in the lot moved the barrier
and the S & P delivery truck parked.
I had just placed my purchases in my van and went over to
the driver and pointed out that he was parked in a place reserved for
handicapped. I had to speak in English because I do not speak Thai. He
ignored me as did the helper who was unloading the S & P products. I
went into the S & P restaurant and asked to see the manager who
came right up. He saw the truck parked in the handicapped space and knew
what I was about to say. He spoke English and not only understood me but
also knew that the delivery truck was wrongly parked. But he made absolutely
no attempt to move the delivery truck. He said to me, “Five minutes.”
The S & P Company has been around for many
years. I remember having lunch in the small restaurant on Thapae Road 15
years ago. S & P has grown in many ways - except one, it seems,
ness. The personnel manager should be ashamed to have drivers in the trucks
who are so unmindful of today’s thoughtfulness extended to the handicapped
by most of society. I shall never buy another S & P product nor
eat in one of its
restaurants ever again.
Arguments for and against so-called ‘People Power’
In last week’s edition, the caption under the picture
of free trade protestors contained the words “people power.” That’s
propaganda. It is by no means always true that the interests of the
common person is always aligned with the interests of free trade protestors.
We need to analyze the issues at hand, on a case by case basis. For example,
if the people, even the poorest among us, have to pay
more for rice, cloth, or milk because the producers in those industries
lobbied to have their goods ‘protected’ from competition, whose
interests does that serve? On the other hand, some of the particular points
of these protestors might be legitimately valid. And the agreement itself
might contain regulations or fine print that do more to hinder than help the
availability of cheaper goods for the common consumer. But we won’t get
closer to the facts of the matter by throwing around a priori assumptions
that don’t always hold up under closer analysis.