Youth Mattersyouthmatters
Let Thai People be Enlightened with the Younger Generations’ Creatively Political Movement Using Pop Culture and Unseen Information from the 21th Century Internet
  • Let Thai People be Enlightened with the Younger Generations’ Creatively Political Movement Using Pop Culture and Unseen Information from the21th Century Internet



              For about one year, the Thai political movement by younger generations such as Free Youth and United Front of Thammasat and Demonstration have given an impact to the society and the government about their demands including the need for Prayuth Chan-ocha to resign from the Prime Minister position, the Thai monarchy reformation and an acceptance of a newly people’s constitution draft. Their political expression depend on creative media like poster and music along with activities such as cosplaying as some members of the Thai monarchy or sending letters to the king within a dustbin painted red like a mailbox.


    (Left) Sending letters to the king, cosplaying as The Queen

    (Upper Right) Free Youth’s poster

    (Bottom Right) A Parody song of the King’s speech called

    “กล้ามากเก่งมาก ขอบใจ”


           The fact that various kinds of their political expression look fresh and interesting for people of all ages, mostly teenager, unlike mobs in the past such as People's Democratic Reform Committee  (กปปส) on the right picture or People's Alliance for Democracy  (พันธมิตร) on the left on  is due to their use of pop culture to gain interest from the people in relation with undeniable, noticeable information about Thai monarchy and the government widespread on the internet to support their argument until people can prove it as credible with sources like foreign news and agree with them. Moreover, younger generations’ mob needs less preparation and fund than conservative mobs as they take benefits from communication apps like Facebook, Twitter and an unbreakable Telegram to come together rather than official circular. Therefore, I will show you in this article about how younger generations take advantage of pop culture and the internet to use it as a political instrument against the conservative side.

            To begin with, the younger generations are the people from generation Z and below who have grown up side by side with the boom of pop culture such as Japanese, Korean and American through movie, drama, cartoon and music. 

              As these media inculcate free world’s values like democracy, equal rights and freedom of speech along with political criticism, they gradually receive it while the Thai values such as absolute power of the adult, The King Can Do No Wrong with the status of a godlike figure and binary oppositions cannot penetrate into their mind as much as older generations with none of these media. Their belief contrasts with what happens in Thailand such as political incidents like Coup d’état for several times in their lifespan and a conservative way of teaching in a school so it stimulate their curiosity about other countries’ condition which leads to a research on the internet. The more they learn of other countries’ condition, the more they question about the loop of military’s political interference as well as accumulating their dissatisfaction waiting for the day to erupt. During the time of military government with the enforcement of martial law in 2014 AD, teenagers have learned to start using characters in mainstream media to implicitly mock the authorities and criticize their misconducts known as meme. Eventually, a certain character becomes a representation of a certain authority known thoroughly among younger generations with some above one or two generation that consume the same kind of media which leads to further uses when the younger generations’ mobs are founded.        

                    


              However, the meme and media alone cannot be used to fight against authorities without information on their misdeeds. The internet gives younger generations a window of opportunity to learn about information and evidences concerning their crimes which have been kept away from Thai people for many years in foreign news and official documents of foreign countries addressing to Thailand and its rulers. The existence of a group called Royalist Marketplace – ตลาดหลวง founded by Pavin Chachavalpongpun, a Thai technocrat, is a fruit of this phenomena as the members of this group help each other build an archive of credible information about Thai monarchy’s scandals and crimes for new members to learn and to realize the inborn nature of the sacred royal family.

              After achieving necessary information and a tool to convey the message, there is still one step to prepare which is a mean of communication to share news and progress among the mob and to the people. Facebook and Twitter are the most two possible choice as nowadays these two application gain so much popularity among Thai people. There is a function called hashtag, similar to a keyword, which can lead users to all the specific news relating to that certain hashtag in no time. Moreover, the mob can also broadcast their activity in real time to let the spectators keeping an eye for any dangers coming to its participants, thanks to a livestream function on Facebook. These two applications give the younger generations’ mob advantages over the authority as every measure from the officials to disintegrate the mob can be shared through these channels so the mob leaders have some time to prepare of what todo in advance while the reunification in each day is also easy due to how fast the unification’s details are widespread on Facebook and Twitter.

                In conclusion, as the younger generations have lived with pop culture and technology for most of their life, they use it both as a tool and a method to convey their political expression in a mob which proves as an effective way due to a great amount of number of participant in each time. They can also manage to avoid loss in disintegration of the mob by depending on the livestream’s spectators to keeping an eye on any dangers for them and news about officials’ movement sharing in social network. Though this will be the long fight, time and advantages belong to the young generations so let’s hope that someday the victory will be ours!


    - Political Arts Student (เด็กสินสาดบ้าการเมือง)

  • Works Cited 

     

    Free Youth. Facebook, 29 October. 2020,

    https://www.facebook.com/FreeYOUTHth/photos/377929903656073.Accessed 17 December 2020.

     

    Free Youth. Facebook, 7 November. 2020,

    https://www.facebook.com/FreeYOUTHth/photos/385650999550630.Accessed 17 December 2020.

     

    Free Youth. Facebook, 8 November. 2020,    

    https://www.facebook.com/FreeYOUTHth/photos/386756832773380.Accessed 17 December 2020.

     

    Free Youth. Facebook, 11 November. 2020,

    https://www.facebook.com/FreeYOUTHth/photos/356611455787918.Accessed 17 December 2020.

     

    Howard, Byron. Moore, Rich. Wikipedia,

    https://th.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E0%B8%99%E0%B8%84%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%AA%E0%B8%B1%E0%B8%95%E0%B8%A7%E0%B9%8C%E0%B8%A1%E0%B8%AB%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%AA%E0%B8%99%E0%B8%B8%E0%B8%81#/media/%E0%B9%84%E0%B8%9F%E0%B8%A5%E0%B9%8C:%E0%B8%99%E0%B8%84%E0%B8%A3%E0%B8%AA%E0%B8%B1%E0%B8%95%E0%B8%A7%E0%B9%8C%E0%B8%A1%E0%B8%AB%E0%B8%B2%E0%B8%AA%E0%B8%99%E0%B8%B8%E0%B8%81.jpg.Accessed 17 December 2020.

     

    In-sik, Yoo. Korseries, https://www.korseries.com/kdramas-about-politics-issues/.

    Accessed 17 December 2020.


    Matichon Online. Matichon, 7 August. 2017,

    https://www.matichon.co.th/politics/news_620043. Accessed 17 December  2020.

     

    Oda, Eiichiro. Excite, 5 October. 2020,

              https://www.excite.co.jp/news/article/TokusengaiWeb_17397627/.

    Accessed 17 December 2020.

     

    Surachet. YouTube, 5 December. 2020,   

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0l6Sw876Jk&ab_channel=PAENGSurachet.Accessed 17 December 2020.

     

    ดราม่าวันพีช. Facebook, 15April. 2020,

    https://www.facebook.com/DramaOnePieceThailand/photos/a.1557304471236744/2334001370233713/.Accessed 17 December 2020.

     

    อิมเพลดาวน์ เลเวล 10.Facebook, 29 February. 2020,

    https://www.facebook.com/ImpeldownLevel10/photos/187027246051494.Accessed 17 December 2020.  

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