CityNews…Your Daily News Fix

 |  August 30, 2012

+ Top Features

The Thought-Provoking Kaewmala Interviews

‘Interview with a Social Critic – Kaewmala’

A fascinating Thai social critic both surprised and inspired those who read her interview.

‘Knowledge – even culturally specific knowledge – is not determined by race or DNA. It is ridiculous to say that expats cannot understand Thai issues because they are not Thai. They may not have the same sensibilities or feelings as Thais on certain issues, but that’s not the same as not understanding. Sure, many outsiders find it harder to grasp issues that involve cultural complexities, but no culture can be so unique and dense that it’s “impenetrable”. Are Thais such an exceptional human species? The cultural “uniqueness” card can sometimes be overplayed and exceptionalism sometimes borders on chauvinism and arrogance with racism and xenophobia lurking in the background.’


CityNews following up on Citylife’s August Editorial

‘Nimman Pavement Saga UPDATE – Interview with Mayor’

Following her August editorial, Citylife’s editor was appointed by the Nimman Residents’ Club to represent them in talking to the Mayor about fixing the road’s pavements. The mayor, in turn, has now asked her to liaise between his office and the residents, to arrange a meeting to be held in the coming months to address this, and hopefully other, problems. We would love to hear from you if you have complaints or ideas to present, or better yet, come along to the meeting. Email us for information.


A Night of Rescue

‘Picking up the Pieces: an Interview with the Chiang Mai Rescue Team’

We talked to the guys and girls who volunteer to pick you up off the street after an accident.

“Violent acts are quite common in Chiang Mai,” Tulip says. “Just this morning a man cut his girlfriend’s throat and killed her; later in an unrelated case a man shot himself in the head.”

Editor James Austin Farrell was relieved to have chosen to go on a particularly quiet night… smelling salts untouched.


+ Top News Stories

The Exit Bag Suicide

‘American Man with Heart Disease Commits Suicide in Sansai after Spending his Savings in Chiang Mai – Amended’

A news story about a long-term reader of, and contributor to, Citylife magazine, who took his own life. Amongst controversy and sympathy, readers of CityNews mulled over this story as it went viral generating nearly 4000 hits on this page within a couple of days.


Shopping Mall Stabbing 

‘Woman Stabbed in Toilets of Pantip Plaza in Chiang Mai’

Scary just thinking how this can happen to anyone. Amazingly the police seem to have done a great job following CCTV camera evidence and a young man was soon arrested.


An Account of the Kirsty Jones Police Investigation

‘Remembering Kirsty Jones – A personal story by Pim Kemasingki’

Following a press conference on the 9th August, twelve years after the murder of Kirsty Jones, where her mother offered a half million baht award for information leading to the capture of her daughter’s murderer, Pim Kemasingki recalls working on the case of the rape and murder of the backpacker many years ago.

‘As more and more reporters arrived, her room had filled up with the curious, I reckon, from film footages, that 20 people had entered Kirsty’s room before any fingerprinting or evidence collecting was done. The evening news that night showed the rescue team responding to requests from cameramen to turn her head from side to side for a good shot. A cameraman opened Kirsty’s toiletry bag and pulled out condoms – ubiquitous travel accessories for any sensible backpacker – to hold up, tut-tuting in judgment. Reporters riffled through her clothes, some even touching the bed sheets, which were later used to extract DNA. The crime scene was contaminated within seconds and no one, including the police, seemed to have been the slightest bit concerned.’

This serialised account will be published on the news site over the coming months.


Back Behind Bars

‘Glad to be Back – Not! – A Tale of Two Prisons’

Big Citylife reader Gary Graeme Jones, writes about his move from the Bangkok Hilton to Wandsworth Prison in the UK.

‘A question, well it’s a statement really, that I am frequently asked is: Betcha you’re glad to be back and now in a British jail. Fellow inmates who pose this conversation opener are taken aback when I laconically respond in the negative. When the query comes from a screw – and in one case it was no less than the head honcho of HMP Wanno – the lad’s sobriquet for Wandsworth Prison – then their reaction towards my reply is one of utter disbelief’.


How we Misunderstand Each Other so Easily

‘Chiang Mai Language Games’

A Chiang Mai doctor of philosophy tells us how Wittgenstein linguistic philosophy affects us all.

‘Or when your partner asks for a loan, in the Thai game that normally means a grant. So many relationships have broken up because, and to be blunt (ahem) the language games and rules of our own culture are often superimposed on our interactions with our Thai partners. Just examine many of the problems encountered within the realm of cross-cultural relationships _ I’m sure we can all find examples of games getting out of hand…’


Civilisation and Thailand

‘Everybody Wants Lips’

After reading about Thailand and civilisation, the editor writes about how people want to look in the modern day and why.

‘In FA Neale’s 1852 book Narrative of a Residence in Siam, the English author frequently called the local women vulgar and ugly. Thai female beauty might be lauded today, but this is what Neale had to say in 1850: “The Siamese ladies may, without the smallest fear of competition, proclaim themselves to be the ugliest race of females upon the face of the globe.” He goes on quite a diatribe, making the worst case for Thai beauty: “these most neglected of the human species resort to dyes…their hair, teeth, a jet black colour. The darker the teeth, the more beautiful a Siamese belle is considered.”


+ Top Blog

Dying Animal’s Weekly Blog

‘The Best TV Series EVER Made’

It seems Dying Animal is hated as much as he is liked, though he certainly has quite a following.

‘They were Emmerdale with more tits and violence, but ultimately addictive, mass marketed, everyone is beautiful, TV made to tantalise those receptors in your brain that also respond to opium and hand jobs. Of course it works, these shows sell, but after, when the show is over, people are left feeling empty, divorced from reality, depressed and in need of serious detox.’

A Taste of Britain

‘The Britogram’

Each month our Britogram blogger gives us a round-up of what has been going on in the media in the UK. If you miss Britain, or are even interested in what is happening in ‘Blighty’, then this should prove entertaining.

‘Mummy Porn’ on paper not to be confused with ‘MILF Porn’ online, has arrived in the form of the publishing phenomenon that is the ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ trilogy of books, which have now sold more than 20 million copies around the world in just 12 months.’



If you want to criticise us, then please don’t hold back; if you want to call us about a story, we would be most appreciative; and if you want to write a piece for us, then…get in touch. If you want to say something nice then that is OK too!

James Austin Farrell (editor)