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"Crazed by the Tick of the Clock"

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, or maybe not the title so much but the thumbnail, suggests we are talking about lockdown yet again. I came across a passage in a book that made me think about oddly enough the dichotomy at play right now I think in the public sphere with respect to thoughts on the lockdown. 

The book is called War in the Far East, Storm Clouds over the Pacific 1931-1941. To be clear, there isn't any unspoken message. I have just been reading this book. It is a rather interesting book. It is by person named Peter Harmsen. I really like history so I was just reading a book and a passage came to me. They are talking about the lead up to the war in the Pacific but a passage I saw really just made me think of circumstances, in a much totally different context, completely different context the situation we are in with respect to lockdown here in Thailand. Quoting directly from this book, this is from the chapter, Countdown, page 153, again the book is titled: War in the Far East, Storm Clouds over the Pacific 1931 - 1941, by Peter Harmsen. Quoting directly: "in the words of a prominent historian of the origins of the war in Asia quote: "One did not mind its passing, while the other was crazed by the tick of the clock" and I went ahead into the notes because that was a quote and that is from Final Confrontation, page 161-162. The reason I brought this up is again just to read that quote again: "One did not mind its passing while the other was crazed by the tick of the clock." What they were talking about to put a little context on that was in the lead up to the war, Japan knew at the time that it was at a zenith and could not really improve very much in the sense of materiel and in the sense of their preparation; they couldn't really do much more than they had done. Meanwhile the United States and the rest of the West and other powers in the region including in Northern Asia, were starting to come into their own if you will with respect to making preparations militarily. So, in the lead up to the war it was a sad state of affairs insofar as hindsight because the United States was dragging its feet in any kind of peace negotiations because they knew that they had time if you will to improve, while the Japanese felt crazed by the "tick of the clock". Now that is the context for that quote.

With respect to what is going on right now, I thought it was interesting just that “one did not mind its passing (and that is "time") while the other was crazed by the tick of the clock. I could not think of a better way to describe the dichotomy between certain segments of society here in Thailand regarding lockdowns like the SME sector for example that has been the direct subject of lockdown for lack of a better term. This is especially keen in the small retail sector of the economy as well as especially food and beverage; the restaurant, food service industry. I think to say "crazed by the tick of the clock" as each day goes by, the situation frankly gets more dire for these folks. Just yesterday I was talking to a client that is in the distribution end of the food service industry and it is a real problem. Really as the days go on, I can see some of these people become weathered almost by the day from the implications that this ongoing inability to just simply conduct their business is having both from a financial standpoint as well as an emotional standpoint and a social standpoint, social perspective. Folks are really having a hard time with this. 

Again, this is not here to lay blame. It is simply an observation that different segments, different people are affected by events in different ways. Folks that are directly in the SME especially the SME economy but the greater economy as a whole, the business sector is most detrimentally affected by lockdown. Unfortunately, and again this is not laying blame it just is what it is. This is the same as it was in the United States or in any of the Western countries as you can level the same observation here in Thailand. Folks in the Government, largely their position at least financially, oftentimes is not really that affected by this because they continue to be either go to work or continue to conduct their work and be paid whereas folks that can't open their business that is just not the case they are "crazed by the ticking of the clock" as each moment goes by that they can't do business that is another moment that is detrimentally affecting them basically. So again, not to lay blame. We saw this in the United States. I keep track of US News especially in the disconnect between "essential and non-essential workers" you saw this a lot where folks that were deemed essential, especially those that were deemed essential that could work from home and things, they had a very different experience with lockdown compared to those who are either deemed essential and in many cases were almost completely overworked or were deemed non-essential and couldn’t work from home. Those people had a really tough time of it. 

So again, I just I just thought I would bring this book up. I thought it was kind of an interesting thing to point out when I was reading that I just immediately thought yes it is a weird dichotomy to be in where the passage of time is fundamentally impacting or just not impacting at all one subset of folks while the passage of time is absolutely maddening for another set of folks.