Sunday Morning Politics…

Good morning, afternoon, evening or night depending on where and when in the wide world this finds you.  It is a quite, subdued Sunday morning here in steamy Bangkok, and all I can hear is the sound of the air conditioner and some soi dogs barking in the distance.  I’m sitting here  contemplating things to write about as I finish a yummy bit of raspberry jam on toast and a coffee  flavored with caramel creamer…(Yes, I have a sweet tooth).   I actually feel like turning on a bit of Jazz music to accompany my Sunday morning, but our house guest is still asleep and I’d hate to be inconsiderate, being the good southern boy that I am.

Anyways, enough ramblings about my life and on to the topic I wanted to write about today.  I actually had quite the humorous story to tell, but I think I’m going to keep that for another day.  Now, I ‘VERY’ rarely dive into politics here on my blog, as I was raised to think of politics as a very personal thing.  We were always taught that one’s politics where no one else’s business and to this day I rarely enter into meaningful political conversations aside from the occasional barbed comment or two with my family.  Sooooo, to the small amount of right wing Republican readership I wish a wonderful week ahead, right now.  I’m going to talk about my liberal politics a bit today, so you can stop reading right now and come back to visit me here another day.

I was watching CNN last night and was lucky enough to stumble across Senator Clinton delivering her concession speech to all her supporters.  I watched the speech very closely, and I felt a sense of great pride in seeing her ability to still hold her head up high after losing such a long hard competition.  She and Mr. Obama have run a good race, but in the end he garnered enough support to pull just ahead.  It could not have been easy for her to give that speech, but it was definitely something she needed to do.  I would have expected Mr. Obama to do the same were he in her position.  I sat here hearing her drum home her support behind Barack Obama time and time again and cringed every time I heard “boos” in the crowd.  She talked about how the Democratic Party is like a family  and how we need to pull together now to push towards a common goal and I couldn’t agree more.  We are the underdogs, the minority voice, or the little guy against all those bullies out there in the world so lets put aside our slight differences.

As I said, I heard a lot of boos from the audience to begin with and such was to be expected I guess after such a close hard race.  Yesterday, I also saw a female Clinton supporter in New York tell a reporter that she would rather vote for McCain than vote for Obama.  So, to all you would be turn coats out there in the Democratic party I’ve just got one thing to say.  GROW UP!  This sort of behavior reminds me of the kid who tips the game board over when they lose, or packs away their toys and go home.  This isn’t chutes and ladders  or Monopoly here and there is SO much more at stake than pride.  After all, we are a like minded family and I’d hate to see the engine of bigotry win because of the loss of a little face.  It saddens me to think that we couldn’t all pull together and work towards toppling this right wing regime currently holding the country in the iron grasp of bigotry.   Gosh, you can almost see the  Disney villain sitting back to smile and rub his hands together when I see us fight amongst ourselves like this.  Enough is enough, so again I whole heartedly applaud Mrs. Clinton for taking this defeat in such a dignified way and making an effort to bridge the divide.  Don’t turn your back on us now, because the common goals and dreams we all share are bigger and more important than your broken pride.  Sooooo, let’s work together to put the bully out of the school house!

Have a good week ahead, and I promise another dose of my usual rambling lightness in a couple of days.  Thanks so very much for stopping by as always, and check back again in a couple of days if you feel so inclined.  I’m off to enjoy my Sunday!

The Stereotype of the Sexpat…

Good morning, afternoon, evening or night where or when ever this finds you in the world. It is just before 10 AM on a lazy overcast Sunday morning here in the Big Mango, and I thought I’d sit down and bang out another entry for your reading pleasure…or not as your tastes may be. Last night my partner and I departed from our usual routine and went out for a nice Saturday evening dinner. We visited a nice Thai restaurant called the River Bar for a nice meal. We drove across the impressive Rama 8 bridge/monument and had dinner on the Thonburi side of river. It was a very nice romantic dinner of baked fish, spring rolls, and sweet&sour pork. We don’t get to do those very often, unfortunately, due to my partner’s work schedule so it was a really nice thing for us to do together.

Anyways, I want to get to the topic in my head before it floats away into nothingness as things often do when they cross my mind. There is a ugly brush that is used to paint most foreigners living in Thailand that I’d like to address today with you. You see, there are a few assumptions or myths perpetuated by many if not most people ,both Thai and foreign, about us western men living here in Thailand:
1. The main motivation or factor for Western guys to move here to Thailand is sex and we only come here for the easy access to sex.
2. Western gay men are unable to be faithful and commit to monogamous caring relationships with only 1 partner.
3. Western gay men over certain age are only attracted to young dark skinned guys or girls.
4. Single western men have sex many times a week with random different partners for the purpose of one-night stands.
5. The sex industry in Thailand is caused by and used exclusively men from western countries.

So, firstly I for one did not move to Thailand for sexual reasons. I met my former Thai partner in the US while we were in school. We were together in the US for 7 years and I decided to give moving here a chance when the time came for him to move home. Also, I have another very close friend that moved here for a previously established relationship as well, and we have both agreed many times how these sort of racial stereotyping annoys us. To be perfectly honest, I really couldn’t even find Thailand on a map when i first met my partner, much less know about the sordid international reputation. Secondly, I know gay couples that have been together for decades and are just as happy being monogamous as some heterosexuals. The desire to step outside a relationship for sexual fulfillment is not limited to sexual orientation or race.

Thirdly, this idea in Thailand that all western men are attracted to very young dark skinned boys and girls is the biggest bunch of krap I think I’ve heard here. Everyone has different tastes in the world or else Baskin Robbins wouldn’t bother with 31 flavors. You don’t get to decide what your eyes find appealing so it is not fair to assume everyone of a certain age and race has the same tastes. Fourthly, I did not and have not ever engaged in a constant stream of one night stands on a weekly basis. This would apply here, home, or anywhere else in the world as my sex drive just isn’t high enough and perhaps I’m to picky. The randomness of meaningless one night stands has never appealed to me but I certainly wouldn’t throw stones when it comes to this point. To each his own, but my point is that it is just not me or my western friends.

Finally, I have heard many times over the years that the sex industry here in Thailand is perpetuated by the western male. This silly myth is easily dismissed by the presence of the massive structures used as “massage” parlors here in Bangkok around the ratchada area that cater almost exclusively to Thai clients. There is also a street called soi Thanaya here in Bangkok filled with “karaoke” bars that cater exclusively to Japanese clients seeking female short term companionship. However, I think westerners are more open when the frequent these type of establishments as it is not uncommon to see a westerner sitting in an open air bar with a “friend” on their arm for the evening. I think many Asian cultures are more private about such things, and thus the myth has been perpetuated that only westerners partake in such carnal activities.

I don’t know why I felt I needed to get that off my chest, but it is a conversation I’ve had with close friends very often. I wonder why it seems to be human nature to stereotype our fellow man? We are so quick to label one another as we pass in this world, but the world is a much more colorful place than we give it credit. There is a lot more depth of character out there passing you by, so next time you make an immediate assumption about someone I hope you pause to consider your thoughts again. Obviously, there are going to be those that fit your stereotype but not everyone wears the same size clothes, right? Anyways, I hope you enjoy your Sunday and will speak to you again very very soon. I’m thinking the next entry will be a video blog so make sure you stop by again soon!