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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Green Party Rejects Calls For Tourism

After the tsunami disaster in December, South Asian countries are facing a second disaster: an economic disaster. A not widely known fact is that after natural disasters, tourism levels go down, even if the infrastructure to support it is still in place. For countries that depend on tourism, this is a second disaster after the first devastation they have already suffered.

Thailand has asked the world to come visit Thailand and spend your money there. They claim this will boost their economy and help to create jobs. Thankfully, the Green Party, USA has spoken out against this make the rich richer plan.

"The people of Thailand need charity, not menial jobs serving white people," said Elizabeth Fattah, of the Green Party USA.

This was how our day began touring the tsunami ravaged Thai island of Phuket with both Fattah and Sonyatha Khunpleum, Thai Minister of Tourism. At that point we realized it was going to be a long day.

We traveled from the shore up to what was now about half of a hotel.

"See this?" said Sonyatha, "we are rebuilding it so people will come. We Thai are a proud people, we don't want to have to depend on handouts."

"What what what what?" yelled Fattah. "Green Party! Converge!" She then whistled, and dozens of shabbily dressed greasy haired white college students smelling of hashish and body odor came swarming out of the treeline. Fattah pointed at the hotel and yelled "destroy that symbol of slavery to white Americans!"

At once her minions set upon the hotel with hammers and shovels and cries of "down with foreign aggression!" and "kill the tree killers!". Thai workers fled in terror as the hotel came crashing down around them. Almost as quickly as it started, the grungy warriors of green dissolved back into the trees.

"What have you done? Why are you doing this?" cried Sonyatha.

"No longer will your people work as slaves to the white man!" shouted Fattah. "Now your people are free. Why should they have to work at demeaning jobs when foreign aid is pouring in?"

"What? But .. the aid won't last, we need long term stab-"

"No more lies! Your conspiracy with the US to get rich off the backs of your people is over! Do you think they want to work at jobs cleaning up after Americans, begging for meager tips?"

"What - we depend on tourism. We are proud people want to come here. Our ... our .. oh nevermind, let's go to the next site."

Down the street was a textile factory that somehow survived the devastation.

"Oh thank Buddha our factory has survived. " exclaimed Sonyatha, "These jobs will really help the local -- what?"

"Destroy the sweatshop of capitalist oppression!" cried out Fattah. This time her mob of swarthy sweaty teens came carrying torches and quickly burned down the factory. Women ran screaming out of the factory, clothes on fire.

"Why have you done this?" one asked as she ran up to Fattah.

"You are free now, go in peace." she said. "Now you can live free without having to work long hours making crap for Americans."

"But how will I feed my family? How will I-"

"Shhh" Fattah placed her finger over the woman's mouth. "Don't worry. The West has tons of money to share with you."

"But what about my children's educa-"

"Shut up!" Fattah yelled and slapped the woman. "You have obviously been brainwashed. Report to the re-education tent!"


Several flannel clad young men came up behind her and dragged her screaming away.

We left and found a small village, where family patriarch Somsak Langkawi was rebuilding his home, which was little more than a hut.

"Hello" he said as we came up, with the familiar friendly smile we have come to expect from all the Thai people we have met. "Welcome to my humble home. I would invite you in, but it is not finished yet. However, we are doing well, my home is almost rebuilt."

"Why are you doing this, instead of accepting your true calling?" asked Fattah.

"Hmm?" Somsak responded. "Whatever are you speaking about? My children need a roof over their heads again - "

"Green Party! Liberate!" At her words, the valiant white teenagers again appeared out of the trees and ripped apart Somsak's home with their bare hands.

"What?" Somsak cried. "Why? My house! Stop! Stop!" He tried to interfere, grabbing some of them even though weakened and barely able to breathe due to the stench of unwashed socks. But he was pushed back. As he saw his home destroyed he began to cry.

"Do not cry," Fattah comforted him, putting her hand on his shoulder. "You have forgotten the ways of your ancestors, and were corrupted by the ways of the West with their vain furnishings that only clutter life instead of enhancing it. You don't need cd players, or plumbing, or white man's medicine. You have the jungle and all it's natural healing agents."

"But my children," he reached out towards his yet again destroyed home. "Where will they sleep?"

"Stop this at once!" Fattah yelled as she smacked him on the back of the head. "You are free now! Free to live in the jungle, hunting and gathering like the old ways. No longer will you have to suffer the distractions of modern so-called life. I envy you, you are about to return to a simple life your people enjoyed before they were corrupted by Western society. Now return to the jungle!" She pointed to the trees.

"But -"

"I said go now! No wait - take off his clothes!"

The young unwashed green warriors then stripped him of all this clothes.

"Now, see how much better that is? No longer need you feel ashamed, that is the white man's disease. Go in the jungle without shame and without clothes, hunting for your food like your ancestors."

"But I don't know how to huuuuuunnnnnt - " he cried as he was dragged away.

"He will thank me later," Fattah sighed, "actually he won't because he'll be living in harmony with nature and I'll be stuck here trying to spread the word."

"You are crazy, lady" said Sonyatha,"what do you think you're doing? You think you know -"

"To the jungle with him!"

"Nooooooo" he screamed as several kids ran up and dragged him away.

"Who will look out for these people if not us?" she asked us. "The indigenous and poor of the world are tired of being taken advantage of, tired of having American culture forced upon them .... " At this point she started eyeing our cameras, conspicuously the most advanced piece of technology around.

We decided to high tail it out of there.