Re: Thai King video wag pulls YouTube clip'
It's good that the offending video clip was finally pulled. As an American living in Thailand I can tell you that all Thais love their king dearly and are extremely offended by any disrespect to him or his likeness. This issue is so important to Thai culture that Thai law (lèse majesté) forbids disrespecting the king, or any of the royal family.
It seems the only people that commit these acts are foreigners that haven't got a clue. King Bhumibol Adulyadej is currently the longest reigning monarch in the world, having just celebrated his 60th anniversary on the throne. To say that he is revered by the Thais is like saying Bill Gates is wealthy; quite the understatement.
In Thai culture the head is the most sacred part of the body as it is the highest. Since the feet are obviously the lowest it follows that they are the least sacred. To display someone's feet above the head of the king is the ultimate insult to the king and to all of the Thai people.
Also, right or wrong, Thai culture is a patriarchy. The fact that the feet depicted were those of a female adds severity to the insult, in the eyes of the Thais. This is not a minor infraction. If the person posting this video happened to be caught in Thailand, he or she would face at least 15 to 20 years in prison. Of course, that is assuming that the offender survives the term since not only the prison guards, but also the other Thai inmates might not roll out the red carpet treatment on this one.
What is really sad is that corporate America, and unfortunately most Americans, have their heads up their asses when it comes to basic knowledge of other countries and respective cultures. It's obvious to everyone in the world, except most Americans who don't travel abroad, that under the Bush administration the U.S. doesn't play well with others. I guess it's natural for corporate America to follow suit like a bull in a China shop.
For the Google/YouTube spokesman to make the feeble comparison that posting unflattering videos of a complete idiot like George Bush somehow makes it OK to ridicule another culture's beloved leader without taking the time to research the seriousness of the cultural taboo, is extremely alarming. Hopefully this might be a small setback in Google's plan for world domination.