Tuesday, May 29, 2007

No Mo Youtube

Oh, how the forests teem with excitement. Yesterday the thunder rolled in with dark rain clouds and cold North winds. The excitement proved anti-climactic, however, with only a light pattering of rain to follow. The tropical birds were in a frenzy and the trees began conversing in emphatic whisper, then all was quiet. This morning it is hot again, and I am left in my basement office trying to keep cool and figure out why...

Youtube has been banned in Thailand.

Here's the best (most neutral and informative) article I've found on the issue - thanks, Yahoo!, inc.


It's sad to see, but I understand where the Thai gov't is coming from; those people who don't understand haven't been in Thailand over the past year, during which the only thing which has kept this country together and even prospering is the King and people's love for him (and, of course, the Buddha's teaching). There have been (and will be more) days this year where more people in the streets were wearing golden shirts in honour of the king than ordinary street clothes. December 5th this year is sure to be unrivaled; if you want to understand this issue, make a point of visiting Thailand on that day (better yet, come the day before for my monk birthday :) ).

From a Buddhist point of view, anyway, the ban makes sense; free speech is a Western idea - in Buddhism we talk of right speech, and reserve the word "freedom" for matters of the heart. Of course, the ban also means I might have some trouble uploading my redone meditation videos to my Youtube channel. Maybe I'll change to Google video proper (until they get banned) or just host the videos on my own site instead.

As for the forest, daily events can be best described with a Douglas Adams quote:

For a moment, nothing happened. Then, after a second or so, nothing continued to happen.