One of the things that critics and the international media says (repeatedly) about King Vajiralongkorn is that he does not command the same “respect” or “reverence” as his father did.
This is a shorthand for all of the eccentricities and worse associated with the king and rumored to be associated with him, ranging from odd dress to his violence and from his philandering to his use of his own prison, and so on.
It seems to us that such beliefs and hopes are nonsense. Already, the same kinds of buffalo manure that were spread out for the dead king are also being used for the new one.
Remember all that stuff about the hysteria over the dead king’s dog Thong Daeng? Shirts and books selling out immediately, with the king’s puerile scribblings being proclaimed great works?
So it will be with the new king because maintaining monarchism is critical for the constitution of the ruling class.
So it is that Khaosod reports that shirts featuring stick figures claimed to be doodled by the king have sold out in minutes. It says many were disappointed they couldn’t get one of the shirts.
It reports that:
[h]undreds of people queued at dawn this morning in lines stretching out of the Government House to buy yellow and white polos in preparation for the [k]ing’s birthday next month. Half an hour after the shop opened at 9am, all shirts were sold out, even after they were capped at five shirts per customer.
Some royalist mouthpiece at the Prime Minister’s Office described the king’s doodling as a “cute pattern that anyone would want to keep for its auspiciousness and value, since there’s no other shirt like it in the world.”
Purchaser are reported as cooing about how wonderful the shirts are. Even Panthongtae Shinawatra, son of ousted former prime minister Thaksin, was chauffeured down to buy a shirt. Sucking up to royals is standard practice.
Meanwhile, it is said that “the palace would increase production to 3,000 shirts from 500 a day.”
Nothing seems to have changed as far as palace propaganda and the promotion of monarchism is concerned.