05 January 2007

Coup de Main, or Maybe Not

As I'm sure most of you know New Year's Eve in Bangkok was interrupted by nine small bombs placed throughout the city, killing 3 and injuring 34. The separatists in the south have denied responsibility, so have supporters of Thaksin. The military claims it was Thaksin loyalists, but some are saying it may have been another faction from within the military (essentially an attempted second coup d'etat), or (and maybe more likely) it may have been the military itself, hoping to scapegoat the loyalists and draw attention away from the fact that its junta seems to have installed itself more permanently than it said it would. Who knows. In a country where the former prime minister decides to have a car bomb placed in his own car in order to curry sympathy, anything is possible.

In further Thailand news, we've had an earthquake (5.1) here in Chiang Mai. We didn't wake up for it as it was poorly announced beforehand. There has also been a state of emergency declared here in the northern provinces due to the extreme cold. No, I'm not kidding. In some of the mountain villages the temperature has been hovering between 8 and 13˚C, and actually dropped below freezing in some places. I realize this isn't a big deal in the States, but if you and your house are tropically adapted (read drafty), and you own no warm blankets, it's kind of a big deal. There have been two cold related deaths in Chiang Mai, a construction worker, too drunk to cover up one night, died of exposure, and a security guard suffered a fatal asthma attack.

In D&J related news, we are going to Lao, either Sunday or Monday, for visa related nonsense. If things don't get resloved on that front soon our options are to live in Burma where Jami will paint her face with turmeric powder and sell apples and smuggle heroin, and I will sell Viagra and cigarettes from a tray strapped to my hip, or we move back to the States and live in a potting shed. Those of you so inclined, please pray that things work out in our best interest (which I hope means a near future absent of turmeric, apples, heroin, Viagra, cigarettes, and potting sheds--well, maybe not apples and turmeric).

And one final begging related item, if anyone can get their hands on a copy of Michael Fried's essay "Art and Objecthood" (Artforum, June 1967 I think) I would be much obliged. My copy is burried somewhere in a garge in Texas. I can't say which garage.

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