That Ol’ Black Magic

September 5, 2014 – Day 361

In the United States, Election Day is two months away. In that span of time, incumbents and challengers will engage in pancake breakfasts and televised debates. Those with a (R) and a (D) after their name will give speeches, shake hands, and pose for countless pictures. There will be fundraising, television advertisements with gloomy music and voice overs heavy on the bass, and blog postings about the latest polls.

What you will not hear between now and the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November is any mention of black magic. For whatever reason you want to come up with, any American politician who talks about (or even tangentially mentions) voodoo, witchcraft, seances, the paranormal, or anything concerning black magic will be roundly heckled. A recent example is 2010 candidate for the Senate seat in Delaware, Christine O’Donnell, who had to refute comments she made on a late-night talk show in the 1990s when she said she dabbled in witchcraft.

While American politicians may run away from that ol’ black magic, leaders here in Thailand have no such reservations.

Okay, at least one doesn’t.

The current prime minister – and leader of the National Committee for Peace and Order (NCPO)…and the leader of the May coup d’etat – came out and announced that he had been dumping lustral water on himself to protect himself from the black magic spells the opposition have been casting his way.

Just try to imagine the reaction from late-night comedians, The Daily Show, and Fox News if a candidate for governor announced during a press conference that he was now wearing an amulet containing peacock feathers to block the evil eye spells his opponent had been casting on him.

In one of those coincidences that makes you think black magic might actually exist, Kentucky Fried Chicken in Thailand announced – on the same day of the prime minister’s revelation – that their stores would be selling…

…wait for it…

…the “Black Magic” burger.

I wonder if the prime minister should be warned away from this sandwich.

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