Welcome to the Machine

Welcome to the Machine

Concert review by Daniel Gawthrop Published in The Nation (Bangkok) on April 13, 2002 An evening with Roger Waters “In the Flesh” was a trip down memory lane on Wednesday night. But that’s exactly how the audience at Impact Arena wanted it. Waters, the 58-year-old, salt-and-pepper-haired co-founder of Pink Floyd, played a nearly flawless three-hour concert that was dominated by great moments from the Pink Floyd catalogue. Backed by an 11-piece band including well-travelled session ...
Continue Reading >
The Curse of Leni Riefenstahl

The Curse of Leni Riefenstahl

When you’re Adolf Hitler’s most celebrated propagandist, redemption can prove elusive—even at age 100. By Daniel Gawthrop Posted on Dooneyscafe.com under “Probes” on February 6, 2002 To be an artist means never to avert one’s eyes.
–filmmaker Akiro Kurosawa, receiving the lifetime achievement award at the 1990 Oscars. I’m more attracted by an aesthetic subject than by an ugly one. I can’t be creative with a negative subject.
–filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, defending her legacy as ...
Continue Reading >
Stateless and Forgotten

Stateless and Forgotten

Last week, Thai and Burmese Officials agreed at bilateral meetings to repatriate illegal Burmese migrants. The plan has some 100,000 ethnic Shan people here wondering how they might be affected. Published in The Nation (Bangkok) on Monday, January 14, 2002 Story and photos by Daniel Gawthrop One afternoon last May, at a temporary shelter for displaced persons in the Fang district of Chiang Mai province, I stood by and watched helplessly as 48 ethnic Shan ...
Continue Reading >
Revenge of the Sociologists

Revenge of the Sociologists

Posted on Dooneyscafe.com on November 24, 2001 Daniel Gawthrop scratches his head over “cultural creatives”. The language of new age, “progressive”, or “spiritual” literature can pose serious problems for people who believe in clear writing. Too much of it is steeped in sociological jargon that panders to the reader with feel-good sensibilities (“self actualization,” “essential one-ness”) that no one could possibly disagree with but which provide little, if any, useful information. Sociologists commit some of ...
Continue Reading >
September 11, Excrement, and Appropriate Reactions

September 11, Excrement, and Appropriate Reactions

Posted on Dooneyscafe.com on October 1, 2001 Daniel Gawthrop explores why Thai people haven’t responded to America’s tragedy with candlelight vigils. BANGKOK—Some time late in August, as the clouds moved in and the monsoon rains began their annual sweep of the Kingdom, a new form of political protest was born. Impoverished Thai villagers, led by a man from the western border province of Kanchanaburi named Chuay Kochasit, began smearing themselves in excrement–usually swine feces but ...
Continue Reading >
Regarding Henry

Regarding Henry

Posted on Dooneyscafe on August 21, 2001 Daniel Gawthrop reviews Christopher Hitchens’ indictment of Henry Kissinger.
(The Trial of Henry Kissinger, by Christopher Hitchens, Verso, 2001, 160 pages Cloth, price £15/US$22/CAN$32) One afternoon in 1971, I was asked to stay behind after school when all my classmates had left. My third-grade substitute teacher had some “concerns” she said, about the short story I’d handed in the day before. No, she didn’t mind that all the ...
Continue Reading >
Clinton and Vietnam’s generation gap

Clinton and Vietnam’s generation gap

Published in The Nation (Bangkok) on Wednesday, November 29, 2000 By Daniel Gawthrop HANOI - Last week, as US President Bill Clinton was wrapping up his historic trip to Vietnam, his Communist hosts issued an abrupt ideological broadside. Calling on the country’s citizens to embrace their socialist future and the state’s “primary role” in business matters, Party General Secretary Le Kha Phieu said: “The future of the Vietnamese nation is independence and socialism... Socialism [will] ...
Continue Reading >
MEMO TO THE POPE

MEMO TO THE POPE

Posted on Xtra.ca on July 13, 2000 [On the occasion of an Italian gay pride parade being held in Rome, near the Vatican, in the midst of the Catholic Church “Jubilee” celebrations….] By Daniel Gawthrop Somewhere this very minute, in the bedrooms and bathrooms of teenaged Catholics all over the world, a young lesbian or gay boy is reaching for the razor blades. They’re thinking suicide, or perhaps they’ve already gone through with it, because ...
Continue Reading >
Jumping to Conclusions

Jumping to Conclusions

Published in Canadian Forum (Vol. LXXXVII, No. 874), December 1998, pp. 20 - 26 John Lewis was destroyed by an over-zealous police investigation and hair-trigger journalism. By Daniel Gawthrop No one who showed up at the Dr. Peter Centre on June 8, 1998, took much notice of the frail, grey-haired man in the blue polo shirt standing in the hallway at the edge of the crowd. Instead, all eyes were focused on CBC personality Bill ...
Continue Reading >
Fab Four's Founding Fag

Fab Four’s Founding Fag

Published in Xtra! West on August 21, 1997 By Daniel Gawthrop He was a brilliant over-achiever whose creative vision and marketing savvy turned a Liverpool guitar band into the world’s biggest pop cultural phenomenon of the 1960s. He was a conflicted homosexual who never found a long-term lover and whose autobiography, A Cellarful of Noise, was once cheekily referred to by John Lennon as A Cellarful of Boys. He was a relentless control queen and ...
Continue Reading >