Monthly Archives: October 2010

101 East – Thailand: The price of health

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Must watch them quickly before they are removed again

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It’s not soon enough to declare English the second language for teaching in schools.

It is a well-known fact that there is a paucity of decent Thai teachers well versed in English. It is going to be a tough road and take some time for Thailand to attain its goal of improving its citizens’ English skills. Still, it is better than doing nothing. To achieve that goal, Thailand needs a large number of native English speakers who are qualified and experienced, as well as good Thai English teachers who can assist foreign teachers and impart a rudimentary knowledege of the language to students. Futhermore, the people who are in charge of drawing up the school curriculum need to allow foreign teachers to exercise their own teaching ability and methods to an extent, without being hindered by an overly restrictive Thai teaching methodology. From my experience of studying English in the UK, lecturers are permitted to choose what kind of stuff and material they want to focus on. In the classroom students are encouraged to participate actively in the learning process. They are able do this because classrooms are not overcrowded with too many students. I could go on and on about this issue, but I’d rather leave it at that for now. The most important thing is that the country needs to create an environment where people can familiarise themselves with the language on a regular basis. Otherwise, learning without having the chance to use the knowledge gained in the real world is like pouring water into a sieve. It will be a waste of time.

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A penis cutting incident

I have been considering writing about this topic on my blog for quite some time, but I could not be bothered to get round to it. Then an opportunity arose for me to relay this brutal anecdote and warn about the danger of disrespecting and badly treating Thai women.

From Thai Visa: “A woman in the northern province Phetchaboon was arrested last month for cutting off her husband’s penis and throwing it into a trash can at the local bus station.”

We Thai people hear about this kind of incident all the time. To us it is not surprising or shocking really. As a matter of fact, Thailand probably has the greatest number of penis-slashing incidents in the world. It may be a dire fear for foreign men who are married to, or are thinking of wedding Thai ladies, but as long as they treat their women with respect, there should not be a problem. From what I have observed, women tend to be able to put up with a lot of crap from men whether they be husbands, boyfriends or even within their families. More often than not, they are taken for granted. All the time, they have to suppress their anger. It is just the way a lot of these females have been brought up in the past – but for modern women it can be an entirely different story. They are like a volcano waiting to erupt; when they cannot contain their rage any longer, the outcome will be devastating. Talk about lady vengeance! Who fancies sausages for dinner tonight, courtesy of Thai ladies?

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"The book educates you about the book" — NPR Profiles Philip Roth (via biblioklept)

Over the past few weeks, the world has been going on about Mr. Franzen’s latest novel, saying how great it is. Then comes along a great American novelist, Mr. Roth, who offers us a more fantastic book. I don’t know what people in America think of his fresh literary offering, but here in the UK, from what I have been hearing, “Nemesis” has had rave reviews. On “The Review Show” on BBC Two last Friday, two of the panellists giving their opinion that day, even said that it was better than “Freedom”. I think we are very lucky that two such splendid novels have been published at the same time.

In case you missed it: NPR’s All Things Considered spoke with Philip Roth about his new book Nemesis earlier this week. From the profile– Nemesis is Roth’s 31st work, and at age 77, he still continues to take risks with his narrative style. In Nemesis, he doesn’t reveal the identity of the narrator until well into the novel. “It just dawned on me as I was writing along,” Roth explains. “The book educates you about the book.” Though Roth develope … Read More

via biblioklept

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Never Let Me Go

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2010 Best Film Award shortlist at the 54th BFI London film festival

127 Hours, Dir. Danny Boyle: gripping, adventurous film-making and headline grabbing drama from Oscar-winning Danny Boyle.

Another Year, Dir. Mike Leigh: a virtuoso, London-set exploration of family and friendship from Mike Leigh.

Archipelago, Dir. Joanna Hogg: Joanna Hogg’s follow up to ‘Unrelated’ serves as a worthy companion piece to her brilliant and acclaimed debut.

Black Swan, Dir. Darren Aronofsky: a sophisticated psychological thriller set in the milieu of the New York Ballet.

How I Ended This Summer, Dir. Alexei Popogrebsky: a taut psychological drama set against a striking polar landscape.

The King’s Speech, Dir. Tom Hooper: the fascinating story of the relationship between King George VI and an unconventional Australian speech therapist.

Meek’s Cutoff, Dir. Kelly Reichardt: an absorbing and beautifully composed western, set on the Oregon trail in the 1840s.

Never Let Me Go, Dir. Mark Romanek: a haunting story of love and loss based on Kazuo Ishiguro’s best-selling novel.

The Sleeping Beauty, Dir. Catherine Breillat: Catherine Breillat offers a dazzling, subversive exploration of fairy tales, dream and the mysteries of the female imagination.

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul: Apichatpong’s fabulous Palme d’Or winner uses a gathering of humans and ghosts around a dying man as the springboard for amazing memories and fantasies.

Of Gods and Men, Dir. Xavier Beauvois: Lambert Wilson and Michel Lonsdale head a superb cast in Xavier Beauvois’ gripping and provocative drama set in a monastery in North Africa.

Source: Thai Cinema and the British Film Institute

Guess which movie I would like to win this year? No it is definitely not our beloved “Uncle Boonmee”. After seeing the list of the competing films, I could not help rooting for “Never Let Me Go”.  I love the novel and especially the movie version directed by one of my favorite film makers. It is, to me, just like a match made in heaven.

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