Wednesday, December 26, 2007



I hope to write a more extensive analysis of the situation I've been experiencing here in Myanmar once I leave the country. But this morning at breakfast I came across the local English language newspaper, The New Light of Myanmar. It mostly extols the beauty, virtue and joys of all things Burmese and contains page after page of grief from everywhere else in the world-- from multi-car pile-ups in America, earthquakes in Russia and Indonesia, floods in Sri Lanka, trade deficits in South Korea, to a bus accident in Bolivia and a shooting in a Birmingham pub.

When the government of Myanmar hired some Bush-connected lobbyists to spruce up their image in Washington, DC, they apparently decided against having them help out with the New Light. The back page of the paper this morning is a little heavy-handed, even for the Bushies. It features some interesting points it asks all Burmese to keep in mind:

* Skyful liars attempting to destroy nation
* BBC lying
* VOA deceiving
* RFA settling up hostilities
* Beware! Don't be bought by those ill-wishers

No BBC here-- but they don't seem to have any problem with CNN. And readers won't be shocked or surprised by the Orwellian outburst on the last page. In fact, on page 2, The New Light lists 4 points at the top of te page, called "People's Desire:"
* Oppose those relying on external elements, acting as stooges, building negative views
* Oppose those trying to jeopardize stability of the State and progress of the nation
* Oppose foreign nations interfering in internal affairs of the State
* Crush all internal and external; elements as the common enemy

Myanmar seems in many ways like a place time has left behind-- and that isn't all bad by any means. No McDonald's, no Starbucks, no globalization... Of course filling up tin cans from a pond for drinking water might not be your cup of tea. But it's what you need to do if you want a cup of tea... just a mile from The Strand, the most luxurious hotel in the country. But, like I said, I'll try to work up a little analysis of this once I'm out of Myanmar.


You've probably never heard of Nyi Pu-- he's one of the most popular blues singers in a country where blues is a natch. The government is so careful about mass media that when he tried releasing his new album, Everything's Gonna Be Good, they made him change the name to Everything is Good. A metal band, Iron Cross, was forced to change their album title from The Wild Wind to The Breeze. Our Founding Fathers knew what they were talking about when they put the 4th Amendment into the U.S. Constitution.

Labels: , ,


At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In what way is this a hypothetical?

At 8:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You've probably already read it, but if not, Orwell's Burmese Days should be a real treat for you now.


Post a Comment

<< Home