Penetration Well Done

A new brand of condoms may never make it to store shelves in Thailand because of its "inappropriate and ambiguous" name. "Tom Dundee" condoms are named after a popular Thai country singer, but "Tom Dundee" also has another meaning in Thai: Good Penetration.

According to an article in the Bangkok Post, the Thai Food and Drug Administration has asked the Culture Ministry to "investigate the name and decide whether it conforms to national norms and values." Ladda Tangsupachai, an official with the Culture Ministry said, "Although the name is not vulgar or rude, it is ambiguous, boastful and provocative. It could entice excessive consumption and lure children and youths with little maturity to start having sexual activities before their appropriate age."

Ah yes, the old "appropriate age" debate. Talk about a gray area; that will never get resolved to anyone's satisfaction. For certain, if the decision was left to most conservative religious fanatics (whatever their affiliation), the "age of consent" would be about 25 - and even that would come with stipulations.

Meanwhile, Puntiva Poomiprates, the singer who uses Tom Dundee as his stage name, says that the name has nothing to do with sex whatsoever. He chose the name, he says, after watching the movie Crocodile Dundee. On the subject of the condoms, he had this wise advice: "You can't stop human desire, no matter how old they are, so it is better to protect them."


American Troublemakers

A reader, R. Richards, had this to say in the Bangkok Post's "Letter to the Editor" section on Monday:

"One really has to wonder at what lengths the US will go to stir up unrest in other countries. Whilst the world is in turmoil with Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Sri Lanka on the brink of civil war, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tries to cash in on the deteriorating health of ailing Cuban president Fidel Castro by talking of "democracy" and making veiled references to regime change - as though the US didn't have enough trouble on its hands already!

A more diplomatic approach would have been a get-well message - this would have had more of an effect on the Cuban population. Since Rice holds a doctorate, I would have expected that she would add some intellectual strength to this US government's credibility, but alas she seems only able to parrot the well-worn and discredited script of her warring president George W. Bush.

My guess is that Rice is keeping in close proximity with her boss in order to make a run for the presidency in 2008. God help us all."

I'm not so sure about Rice making a run for the presidency in 2008, but I agree with what Mr. Richards says about the US and their eagerness to "help" the people of Cuba. Let the Cubans take care of their own matters without interference from the creepy American government.