Siam No Redemption: model inmates and bad prisoners

A while back, there was a clever Thai meme about Brooksy. Let’s expand on it.

Since 1905, Brooksy was an elderly inmate at Shawshank State Prison. In 1965, he was paroled. Brooksy could not cope with the outside world’s freedom. The changes he couldn’t believe in. So he hung himself. Why? He was institutionalized.

General Prayut Chan-o-cha was Thailand’s 2014 coup-maker. From the school system to military training, his entire life has been indoctrinated into the feudal patronage cult of noble warlords and happy peasants.

He cast his eyes upon the changing Thailand. The changes he couldn’t believe in. So he launched a coup, became dictator, then commanded a constitution to serve his power transfer to a 250-senator democracy. He, too, was institutionalized. But he has tanks, which means power. He’s the warden, not an inmate.

Indoctrination is to brainwash you into a belief system uncritically and unquestioningly. Institutionalization is a process in which you become an uncritical and unquestioning member of a belief system.

Brooksy is a fictional character in the film “Shawshank Redemption.” General Prayut is real and represents millions of Thais, indoctrinated and institutionalized, with the common goal: Stop the changes, turn back time to the Siamese lavender field that once was.

They view Thailand’s protests as prison riots to be met with force. Even truthful news that may cause fear and panic is considered illegal because the truth may wake up sleeping inmates and undermine the rule of the warden.

Even some inmates are calling for martial law, soldiers in the streets, and the imprisonment of all those who do not obey. Prisoners who want to tear down prison walls are told to leave the country if they don’t love this prison uncritically and unquestioningly.

The warden is considered good for upholding the belief system. The institutionalized inmates are viewed as loyal for worshipping the belief system.

The protesting prisoners are deemed evil, for they want more liberty and freedom, starting with something as simple as one person one vote, instead of one general 250 votes.

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