Vice Squad
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Vice and Blogging... much as we at Vice Squad like to think they go well together, their complementarity is not universal. A British diplomat in Thailand accepted an offer from a Thai newspaper to provide an (online) blog for a brief stint. The blog certainly offers little in the way of, well, excitement, perhaps excepting the post entitled "English people love dogs!" (I believe that a previous post may have been deleted?) But the blog managed to stir up a significant brouhaha anyway, as the Guardian reports:
The head of the British embassy's political section in Bangkok thought nothing of jotting a few musings for a newspaper website as he approaches the end of his posting. But Ian Proud's innocuous blog has sparked a blizzard of comments on all manner of topics, including his forays into Bangkok's infamous red light districts.
The Thai newspaper website included a photo of the diplomat, followed by the surfacing of claims that he had been spotted in the past in one of Bangkok's red-light districts. If these claims are true -- well, it might be "undiplomatic" and cause a problem for the blogger and his Thai fiancee, but does it merit brouhaha status? Again, even accepting the truth of the accusations, we know essentially nothing of his behavior in the dens of vice.

Incidentally, prostitution remains illegal in Thailand, though typically it is tolerated, and the commercial sex industry is large, even excepting those elements that cater to foreigners.

Speaking of the Guardian and blogs, Thursday's Guardian offers an editorial entitled, alas, "To the average Joe, blogs aren't cutting it." (To the average British diplomat either.) Two points in the editorial that I found surprising are: (1) English-language blogs comprise only about 1/3 of the blogosphere; and (2) the Japanese lead the world with 37 percent of the 70 million blogs that Technorati knows about.

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