So I still haven’t finished my “Twin Peaks” blog post (and no, I’m not bothering with a hyperlink, it should be easy for you to find if you want to read it), and in lieu of finishing that right now, I am going to write another “Movies/TV” post about a short documentary I watched last night on Hulu.
How I ended up subscribing to Hulu is its own (boring) blog post; suffice it to say the local cable provider cut Comedy Central from its lineup a couple years back, and I have been suffering South Park withdrawals ever since.
When I find myself with nothing else to do, I sometimes get online and binge-watch South Park. Other times, I just hit the “watch a random episode” button at southpark.cc.com and see what pops up.
Anyways, last night, I was on the South Park website, perusing seasons I have not seen every episode of, and I noticed that a great many episodes were only available on Hulu, and that I had to pay $7.99 a month to see them. And long story short, after determining that every episode of The X-Files is also available on Hulu for 8 bucks a month, well, I went ahead and Paypal-ed my way right on through.
(I opted against the $11.99 a month deal that eliminated all ads, because four bucks is four bucks, and sometimes those ads are kinda entertaining, plus they give you a chance to go grab a Coke or a beer or what have you.)
Hulu also claimed to have a whole bunch of awesome movies, so I began perusing them. I didn’t see much of anything I wanted to watch, but I am sort of a snob when it comes to movies and I have never pretended otherwise. I am probably the least fun person in the world to go to the movies with, as I think I have mentioned here on this blog before, and anyways none of the movies caught my attention. I figured “hey, I can watch South Park and X-Files for 8 bucks a month and cancel whenever, so I’m happy.”
Still, having all those movies and TV shows available to me, regardless of the fact that 99% of them didn’t appeal to me, well, it inspired my wanderlust, at least within the confines of Hulu.com. I mean I didn’t actually get up off my fat ass and “wander” anywhere; I just felt compelled to explore my options.
So I moved on to the “documentary” section. And again, meh, but again, unlimited South Park and X-Files for 8 bucks, so no big deal.
And nestled in between a bunch of crap UFO documentaries and assorted documentaries that looked fake as all hell…
I found an hour-long documentary called “My Thai Bride” that looked mildly interesting, if only for the fact that it seemed to be based on real life, as opposed to Bigfoot or some crap.
Here’s the imdb page for it. I don’t feel like typing out <a href… and all that crap on the “text” page just to create a link nobody’s going to click anyway, so anyways here it is, take it or leave it:
This movie is about a British fellow named Ted. Ted used to make a living by traveling from Britain to Thailand, buying a bunch of cheap but well-made knockoff clothing, then taking it back to Britain to sell at inflated prices.
That this practice is probably illegal (or at least would be here in the USA, if he were selling, say, fake Polo shirts as if they were legit Polo shirts or something, copyright infringement and whatnot) was never mentioned.
Nonetheless, this is how Ted made his living, and more power to him, I say.
Ted had been married and divorced in Britain. And he lamented that in Britain, he had a hard time meeting women, because women wanted younger men with money and blah blah blah cry me a river. Nonetheless, I won’t deny that I sympathized with Ted at this point in the film. I mean, yeah, it gets tougher to meet women who want to date you the older you get, but whatever, Ted, suck it up.
And to Ted’s credit, well, he kinda did… in a way.
He talked about how in Thailand, there were tons of beautiful women everywhere who wanted to hang out with him. He held no illusions about these women — “bar girls” — I mean he knew that they (at least most of them) only wanted him for his money, and so on and so forth.
But I mean think about a guy like Ted (look at his picture): he’s not all that handsome, he’s not some sort of hotshot businessman… but in Thailand, women were just hanging all over him.
And yeah, sure, “gross, that’s gross, Ted’s gross, and Michael, you’re gross for sympathizing with that gross, gross man,” but anyways the “cloying, mellifluous wank” mentioned in the title of this post is Ted himself, so I’m gonna give him what he’s got coming here in a minute.
Here’s another link about this movie, by the way: http://www.mythaibridefilm.com/story/
Anyways, Ted meets a bar girl named Tip, and he finds that he likes her. Like he really likes her, like as a person, not just as a “bar girl” or “prostitute” or whatever.
And if you thought I was going to give Ted a hard time about this part of the story, well, no, no I wasn’t. Bar girls and prostitutes and sex workers of all types are people, too, and I have no issue whatsoever with Ted or any other person falling in love with one of them. Put simply it isn’t my business who anybody falls in love with, and love is love is love is love and so on.
(And you’ve seen “Pretty Woman,” damn you, don’t act like you haven’t. 🙂 )
Ted and Tip started hanging around a lot, and they more or less moved in together. Ted talked about how he would leave money lying out in the room when he would leave, and when he came back it would still be there. Which given the circumstances, well, I guess that showed him that Tip liked him too, maybe.
Anyways, after knowing each other about a month, Ted and Tip got married.
Before I go on, I need to back up and talk about Tip a little. I don’t remember specifics, but Tip grew up dirt poor. And she had worked in factories for next to nothing, and she had a child to support, and the only way she had to make any money was to move to Bangkok and be a bar girl.
So she tells about that, and friends she met who helped her out, and all of them didn’t make any bones about why they were bar girls: they needed money, foreign men had money, and they could make a lot of money being nice to foreign men.
Which, yes, I agree, it’s terrible that they don’t have any other way to make a living. Yes, everything about the whole situation is gross and awful and terrible… but if I were a pretty young Thai woman with absolutely no other way to make a living, well, I’d probably put on some tight pants and go flirt with foreigners, too.
I’m not judging Tip or any of the Thai bar girls featured in the film. Please don’t think I am. In fact, from where I was sitting — right here where I am now typing, actually, right here on my fat ass in front of my computer — Tip was by far the most sympathetic character in the film.
So Ted and Tip got married. And since Tip seemed to be better at managing money than Ted, and since he felt like he could trust her with his money, he ended up letting her manage his money.
She made pretty good use of his money, I’d say: they moved to the village in northern Thailand where she grew up and built a pig farm. Good, practical use: a pig farm could provide them with enough money to live and with food to eat. If we’re talking about using funds accrued from hawking knockoff Polo shirts and whatnot, well, “steady stream of income and sustenance that doesn’t require international travel or violating any copyright laws” sounds pretty gosh-darn sensible.
But Ted didn’t see it like that. And before I really give Ted the business, I will also say that the film featured a few other foreign (read: “white”) dudes who had been in Thailand for quite a long time. These fellows also had homes in Thailand and (presumably) Thai wives, and they noted that lots of people (read: “white men”) moved to Thailand with what seemed like a lot of money, and they lived like kings… until the money ran out.
One of these fellows said his house in Thailand cost about $20 grand to build, but it would be worth about $300 grand in the US or anywhere in the west.
Another fellow (or maybe the same fellow, I don’t remember) said that it was impossible for a foreigner to own land in Thailand, so everything was always in the wife’s name, in cases where white dudes marry Thai women and build houses over there and whatnot.
A local myth or legend of some kind was also mentioned: this legend was about a beautiful queen who ruled over part of Thailand, and anyways an invading group of male soldiers came into her kingdom, intending to rape and pillage and take the place over.
This queen instructed her female subjects to throw a big party for the invaders, to offer them wine and food and what have you, and to make them feel at home and welcome, and whatever the proper name is for the feeling lonely men get when women hang all over them.
So, that’s what the women in the kingdom (“queendom”?) did… and after all the invading soldiers were asleep, worn out from the wine, food, and what have you…
The women killed every blasted one of them. With their own swords. While they slept.
And that legend or myth or whatever was brought up as a parallel to the whole “bar girl” situation, I think. The bar girls were who were telling about the legend.
And yeah, I am sure there are true stories of lonely white dudes getting legitimately ripped off and screwed over by Thai women…
But I don’t really think our Ted is one of those fellows.
I sincerely think Ted is a cloying, mellifluous wank who didn’t realize how good he had it, honestly.
Toward the end of the film, Ted tells about how Tip just wouldn’t pay him any attention, leading up to when he decided to leave her.
Ted tells, in his cloying li’ul accent, how towards the end of their marriage, Tip would get up at like six in the morning every day to go feed the pigs.
Tip would spend all day tending to pigs, doing chores, running the farm…
…meanwhile Ted’s “laid about,” not doing anything…
…and toward the end of their marriage — if you can believe it, folks — Tip was so busy feeding pigs and cleaning the house and doing farm chores that she didn’t even have time to bring poor Ted a beer.
Poor Ted! His wife’s up at six, busy all day running the farm…
And Ted had to get up off his fat arse and get his own beer, when he sat around the house all day doing *literally* nothing whatsoever.
Ted gives this as a reason why he had to leave Tip.
No, I’m not joking.
The film goes back and forth between Ted’s point of view and Tip’s, and Tip mentions that all of her family and neighbors had begun to wonder why Ted didn’t help her with anything whatsoever, or even work at all…
Meanwhile Ted’s talking about how Tip became “distant” from him, because she was worried too much about running the farm!
So anyways, this film was interesting to watch, but the whole “my Thai wife stole my money and ruined my life” angle Ted tries to foist on everyone is bullshit. Complete and utter bullshit.
You didn’t want to be a pig farmer, Ted?
WHY’D YOU BUILD A PIG FARM?
You wanted a wife, instead of patronizing every bar girl that’s nice to you?
WHY’D YOU TREAT YOUR WIFE LIKE A SERVANT?
I have to admit, being that I have lived most of my life in rural Arkansas, the idea of running a pig farm (or any type of farm) with a wife holds a certain amount of appeal for me. It’s honest work, you’re outside a lot, you’re not sitting on your ever-widening ass typing on a computer…
And it might not appeal to everyone. And it honestly might not appeal to me, after a week or two.
But I like to think I would have sorted all of that out before I built my own pig farm, if you understand what I mean.
Ted ended up having to bum money from Tip to get a ticket back to Britain.
And he’s supposed to be who I, the viewer, sympathize with in this film.