insulting their majesty

Even in this fast paced age where flippant comments and rude expressions can be as quickly forgotten as they are delivered, there are still places where a well placed insult can get you hard time behind bars. One Swiss man, Oliver Jufer, got drunk in December and spray painted over posters of the Thai King in the city of Chiang Mai.

The BBC has a profile of the history and current usage of lese Majeste laws (like the one used to indict Jufer) which are still active and popular around the world. Are they Just? I wouldn’t want it, but I’m not so sure that what we Americans proudly call Freedom of Speech has the future and nurture of language and expression firmly in mind either. If our political leadership lies to communicate maybe we should blame our own lack of concern for the meaning of words and their consequences.

What I want to know is: What inspires a drunk foreigner to stagger around with a can of spray paint in a country he knows loves their king this much?

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