A Blogger May Link To a King
In one of my earliest posts, I noted a blog by Cambodia's former King Norodom Sihanouk because of his apparent support for gay marriage. At the time it was suggested that he was, perhaps, kidding, but a new report [via Sideshow] makes it very clear that he wasn't, and that he has continued to blog -- under the title"Déclarations, Mises au point, Messages, Lettres de Sa Majesté Norodom Sihanouk," or"Royal Messages 2005" from the homepage -- with some vigor. He also has a section of music, with mp3s, sheet music and lyrics. Curiously, he also wrote some of his most biting social comment under the rubric of letters from an"alter ego," a practice which he stopped when his alter ego got death threats.* Sihanouk's"blog" continues to consist of scanned text image, though most seem to be printed now instead of the handwritten note which originally got my attention. Given his historical track record, noted in the AP story, his support for anything is a decidedly mixed blessing.
A Second Thought: One thing which strikes me about this AP article is how much information about Cambodia's recent past -- elections, social movements, etc. -- is shoehorned into it. It seems to be a way for the US press to report on Cambodia without really having to spend time reporting on Cambodia. Rebecca MacKinnon has said that US news outlets prefer their international reporting to be light and touristy, and covering Cambodia through the lens of a royal blogger certainly qualifies. Actually, there's a lot of good content in the article -- the King's personal history, history of Cambodia, current issues -- but it's kind of sad that it takes a gay marriage/royal blogger hook to make it into the public view here. Don't get me wrong: I'll take it any way I can get it, but it's still kind of sad.
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