We may be on the cusp of the Golden Age of gay Thailand blogs.
The problem for me when I run across a cool link is that while I know I should save it for my End of the Week post, like a kid waiting for Christmas morning the urge to dive into all of the gaily wrapped presents under the tree is just too great. I have no self-control. And never have had. Greedy little bastard that I was – an admittedly still am – as a child once those gifts started spilling out from the base of our family’s Xmas tree, my brothers and I, quite impressed with what we assumed were our expert-level gift wrapping skills, began opening gifts early, checking what was inside, and then re-wrapping them, to be ‘surprised’ come Christmas morning.
My folks never had a clue. Or so we thought the first year we played that little trick. The next Christmas all the gifts under the tree were absent of names on the gift cards. My folks identified them by numbers instead. So maybe we weren’t quite a sly as we’d thought. And Mom, despite being a fan of Dr. Spock’s approach to child rearing, was never above fucking with the minds of her little darlings. Salted in among those nameless presents were an assortment of WTF? gifts; the odd can of motor oil, an unexplainable Tupperware filled with dry cat food, a bottle of calamine lotion suspiciously wrapped a little too gaily.
Obviously, Mom’s bitch slap didn’t have a lasting effect. Maybe that’s why I prefer hooking up with bar boys in Thailand. You get to see your present unwrapped early. And that helps avoid those WTF? moments too. But I digress. Again. This post was supposed to be about a cool link that I just can’t wait until the end of the week to share. No problemo. Taking a page from my childhood, I’ll re-wrap it and present it again then anyway.
When I started this blog I purposely did not post a blogroll. No fool am I. Sharing the wealth is a communist idea. And the idea of communism has proven to be lacking. When you manage to lure a reader to your blog the last thing you should do is provide them with an easy escape. Well, the last thing you should do is provide them with an entire list of easy escapes. Or so I thought. But then other bloggers began listing my blog on their blogroll – and damn you Dr. Spock once again – I was raised to be polite. I know. But really, I was. So about a year ago I posted my own, noting at the time my primary reason for having not done so before was that too many blogrolls are filled with dead links and adding the task of keeping mine updated had prevented me from having one in the past. I thought that was a pretty good lie.
But all lies – good, bad, or totally unbelievable – come back to haunt you. As do the stupid things you did as a child during Christmases past. I got a bottle of calamine lotion from my mom for Christmas this year. I took her 50 years to get around to bitching about what rotten little children my brothers and I were. Fine. In the spirit of the holidays, I didn’t mention her frequent attempts at child abuse. And since Dr. Spock is dead and I couldn’t drop him an email to belatedly report her offenses, I decided to check my blogroll links instead.
Okay, so it was really about me doing my spring cleaning at the beginning of the year (which works well since then I have an excuse of being too busy to deal with resolutions instead). And it didn’t promise to be much of a chore since I’d just reviewed that lis of sites when I moved my blog from WordPress to the Sawatdee Network. During that move, I also dropped a few listings, primarily blogs that had been defunct for quite some time that, as good as they once were, absent new content didn’t seem to deserve the honor of being one of the places I provide readers to escape from my ramblings. This would be a good place for me to insert a quaint tale about the dangers of impulsive acts and not too well thought out decisions. But I already gave you a charming Christmas story today. And my ability to not act on my impulses is the overarching theme today anyway.
One of those defunct blogs that I dropped I originally included because it was what I always considered the best gay Thailand blog I’d ever read. In fact it was the muse that provided the impulse for me to begin my own blog. Just in case you are looking for someone to blame. In its heyday, it stood out from among the handful of blogs dealing with the gay experience in Thailand, blogs which, sadly, for the most part are no longer with us. Among others, Shamelessmac once provided an exceptionally detailed look at massage parlors and saunas, The Bitch of Bangkok once afforded us a personal glimpsed into the life of a young, gay farang and his experience in The Land of Smiles. And Bangkok of the Mind told the story of a farang, his Thai boyfriend, and the never-ending roster of young local boys said farang fell in lust and in love with.
Beyond the grumblings of the disenfranchised posting to the gay message boards, those blogs along with a small smattering of others provided an almost daily touchstone for those of us missing Thailand greatly while we planned our next trip. It was, one could say, the golden age of gay Thailand blogs with ample sources that both educated and entertained. And as each dropped by the wayside, they left a black hole in the landscape, and a yearning within me for gay-related content set in Thailand that wasn’t just about how cheaply you could score a young moneyboy in Pattaya. Or how greedy bar owners in Bangkok are for daring to charge $9 for a beer.
One of the remaining television broadcast channels just summed up 2013 with a presentation of the last twelve months as The Year of the Gay. Granted, gay rights took a huge step forward in 2013. But I hate to think we’re only worthy of a ‘The Year’ honor. I’m hoping we’re more in line for The Golden Age of Gay. Blog-wise, and Thailand specifically, as much as I miss the days of those great gay Thailand blogs, we may well be on the cusp of a new Golden Age of gay Thailand blogs. This last year, and even more importantly over just the last few months, several blogs that show great promise have popped up. And with Boo Hoo only posting twice a month, and regurgitating prior content at that – and yes, it’s a shame that as with Dr. Spock Dr. Kevorkian’s passed away too – things are looking quite rosy. None of which, other than as links in my End of The Week posts, was enough to get me too excited. Or to take the time to update my blogroll. Until I got that bottle of calamine lotion for Christmas. Which eventually led me to discovering that Bkkdreamer has begun posting to his Bangkok of the Mind blog once again. So without further ado – because a page and a half of ado is probably already more than enough – here’s an update to my blogroll and why each new listing has earned a spot thereon:
Bangkok of the Mind (http://bangkokofthemind.blogspot.com/) should not be my favorite gay Thailand blog. Most of the pix posted are twinky guys. But the pacing of the stories Bkkdreamer tells is hypnotic and the tales themselves captivating. For some odd reason. Not a lot happens in those stories, there is seldom a point to be made. And yet, good luck trying to tear yourself away. Occasionally there is a post about some young twinkish local celebrity, seldom anyone I’ve ever heard of. Never are there stories about attractions visitors to Thailand might be interested in. Nor is a word ever written about the usual gay hangouts in Bangkok and Pattaya. What there is is the on-going tale of the blogger’s unrequited lust for a series of young, local, and often dirt poor lads he befriends. Which still don’t sound like much. But give it a try and you’ll probably become as addicted as I am.
If you are familiar with Christian PFC’s postings on the gay Thailand message boards, you may think you’d do better to just skip ChristianPFC – Adventures in Thailand (http://www.christianpfc.blogspot.com/). But fortunately, at least to date, he has not included long lists of his daily expenditures. He does, however, continue to tell of his saga in trying to find the perfect boy (at a perfect price, which in his case is below the 300 baht mark). I know many in the message board community are weary of hearing about that facet of Christian’s stay in Thailand too, but those tales are filled with bits of information and observations you won’t find elsewhere. The real plus to his blog are his reports on places in Thailand he’s visited that are off the beaten path. And while I’m still not sure what to make of his recent somewhat scholarly post covering the intricacies of canine sex (but did get a laugh from the mental picture of Christian out trying to pick up Thai guys while busy taking photos of dogs fucking), I did enjoy his pictorial post of Christmas trees he’d run across in Bangkok. His blog is still somewhat new, but the mix of subject matter holds great promise. And should hold your attention too.
I’m told by MrE he’s gonna be updating 50 Shady Gays (http://50shadygays.wordpress.com/) more often in 2014 now that he’s finished writing his book. I hope he does. To date his posts are limited in number but are filled with observations that are gems, even if they are presented with an attitude somewhat less than sparkling. Consider this one:
The good thing about the passive aggressive Thai class system, is that anyone who doesn’t fit the desired aesthetic – i.e. Asian, white skinned, fake European plastic nose – is considered “low,” and therefore unattractive. This means you can have great fun fucking genuinely beautiful Thai people, who are considered to be ugly by their own people.
It’s a non-PC, no bullshit, rude, but honestly refreshing look at life in Thailand that’ll have many of the prissy queens who call The Land of Smiles home foaming at the mouth. But then the truth often hurts, now doesn’t it?
Having learned my lesson from dropping Bangkok of the Mind from my blogroll due it its lack of new content, I’m including a link to Thai Gay, I Am (http://thaiqueer.blogspot.com/) in hopes that it too will be soon resurrected. Written by a local gay boy who has a thing for farang, it’s a refreshing viewpoint from the other cultural side that we seldom get to see. Written from the perspective of a local, and for Thai gays, he provides an unique viewpoint of Westerners that can help you discover just why Thais do what they do. Which is often thanks to their misconception of farang. Kinda like our common misconceptions of Thais.
These four blogs each offer their own perspective on the Thailand experience for gay men. Other than Thailand as a subject matter, they share few things in common. As entertaining as they are, some might not share in your perspective of what Thailand is either. I know they don’t mine. What they do share, as different as each is, is a basic honesty in writing; opinionated as some of them may be, there is no attempt to deceive, there is no attempt to color what they share to make the blogger appear to be anything other than what he is. And in the anonymous world of the internet, that’s unique. There’s personal knowledge passed on in these blogs too, a familiarity with the subject that is difficult to fake. As some other bloggers who shall remain fameless- you’d think – would have come to realize themselves by now. Combined, they provide a well-rounded view of a place many of us have come to love, and in a manner that goes beyond what you can find posted on the message boards. I hope you’ll give them a try, and come to appreciate the work of these four bloggers as much as I do.
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