Apple's Thailand Website Honors King Bhumibol Adulyadej's Death

Apple has made its Thai website black and white to honor the death of Thailand's king Bhumibol Adulyadej, who passed away last week at the age of 88. Bhumibol Adulyadej had served as the ninth monarch of Thailand since 1946, making him the world's longest-serving head of state at the time of his death ahead of Queen Elizabeth II.

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The monochrome website reflects Thai citizens who have dressed in pure black or black and white to mourn the loss of Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was a highly revered figure in the country. Thai TV stations have also provided footage of the king in black and white, colors that represent grief and purity respectively in the country.



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24 months ago

With a fortune, the king could have eradicated poverty.

Of course, no-one can express such thoughts openly, but don't believe that everyone participating in the current exaggerated displays of mourning is doing so voluntarily, in that sense they are no more free than North Koreans.


I learned long ago: When someone is mourning, just let them mourn and breathe. Support their grief or say nothing.

My partner has been watching black and white videos basically non-stop and crying generally. She Skypes with family and they just cry. I appreciated what Apple and Google did in Thailand with the Black and White concept. I just observe.

Now I want to share a bit from those I know outside my partner's circle of family and friends, because I do a bit of international business and have friends in a variety of levels over there.

I am connected to Thai farmers - average really poverty level folks. But just because they do not have high tech gadgets does not mean that they do not appreciate what they have.

Right now tho, they are really really grieving.

I am a colleague of a few politicians there. Most in Thai politics want to move away from the king's legacy - to varying degrees; they want to develop the land and boost professional urbanites. Some are seeking specifically to solidify a national narrative that does NOT include the king's legacy work for farmers' rights.

Interesting example: Let's change the constitution so that each professional class gets an equal vote. Lawyers and doctors and ... each get a vote. Farmers also get one vote as a class - and thus lose every time. Fortunately that did not pass.

The king had tremendous assets in land primarily in downtown Bangkok. Not liquid and not really his to sell. The king was a figurehead as the Queen of England, yet he gave and emphasized the importance of giving to the farmers.

The king's children are each different in their own ways. While he lived humbly, some children liked the celebrity nature of royalty. You could complain that he should have reined them in. The king's next in line is one like that, and Thai people and politicians alike fear that direction; but again this fear is tempered by the fact that Thai royal power is limited largely to figurehead status.

The king's temperment held some politicians in check against their egos somewhat. Still, small revolutions occurred especially as he was getting older and ill, and some politicians self-currupted. The fear is that such political opportunism will be less tempered in the absence of the modest king. The next in line shows little modesty or skill to guide the hearts and minds of politicians.

Those I know with wealth could definitely do more! They admit this, but are focused on business- just not looking to give away what are absolutely more liquid assets.

The king did what he could largely to conserve farmers rights and farmland, and that was precisely what caused such a backlash from some politicians for such constitutional amendments as I noted above; an overreaction to the king's guarding of the farmers.

Now, I do not have an opinion what the final form should be in government there, as I am not Thai myself and as I believe that governments are constantly responding to their situations and growing to adapt.

However, Thai grief is real. It is not North Korea. Though I could see where you are coming from given how crazy the world has become - who knows what anymore, right? And some strong politicians do coerce, I get that. But the ambitious types in Thai politics are currently wanting to forget the king, not to remember him.

Outside Thailand, markets fear the instability.

Inside now farmers and many wealthy and many in between now fear the future given the political ambitions of a few, who see the next in line as less capable to temper them and less interested in protecting farmers.

Personally again I believe that These last 15 years have allowed Thailand to prepare. They have seen political corruption of a few, and have seen course corrections as a country. They are experienced and, god willing, ready for the next moment about to come.

Apart from all that, again just a nice small thing what Apple and Google did to align with the many in this moment.
Rating: 10 Votes
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24 months ago
Kind gesture of respect. I know many mourning, watching and rewatching black and white footage of their king. He was a source of stability for their country and a force for good in support of their many poor farmers. So, he will be missed, but their solidarity for him is a huge sign of support for continued stability. Nice to see Apple recognizing this moment of solidarity and transition.
Rating: 5 Votes
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24 months ago

Isn't it possible that you have this rosy picture of the man because that's the only image your government allows to be portrayed? The subjects of North Korea will tell you the same thing about their glorious leaders. You can call it twisted, but personally I find it hard to believe in somebody's benevolence when anyone who says something negative about them gets sent to the gulag.

I must say you don't have the slightest clue what you are talking about. There are thousands and thousands of western ex-patriates living in Thailand. This is nothing like North Korea. You are being ridiculous.
Rating: 4 Votes
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24 months ago

Of course, no-one can express such thoughts openly, but don't believe that everyone participating in the current exaggerated displays of mourning is doing so voluntarily, in that sense they are no more free than North Koreans.


Without trying to make this a political discussion: I am not Thai, but have friends who are. Regular folks, not elites, but neither the farmers from the rural north. And they were and are all genuinely mourning the king's passing. Now, whether or not they have a full picture of what the royal family has or has not done, what kind of wealth they may have amassed (which they know about the crown prince), who benefited from the cult of the king is another thing. The fact is that for majority of Thais the king was an inseparable part of their lives. It is a welcome sign that a western company like Apple respects differences and is sensitive to them.
Rating: 4 Votes
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24 months ago

Kind gesture of respect. I know many mourning, watching and rewatching black and white footage of their king. He was a source of stability for their country and a force for good in support of their many poor farmers. So, he will be missed, but their solidarity for him is a huge sign of support for continued stability. Nice to see Apple recognizing this moment of solidarity and transition.


Yeah, nice to see Apple showing respect for a man who you get sent to prison for saying anything negative about.
Rating: 4 Votes
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24 months ago

Like everything nowadays many gossip news are twisted. Some simply judge others by wealth and find it easier to believe in negative than positive.


Isn't it possible that you have this rosy picture of the man because that's the only image your government allows to be portrayed? The subjects of North Korea will tell you the same thing about their glorious leaders. You can call it twisted, but personally I find it hard to believe in somebody's benevolence when anyone who says something negative about them gets sent to the gulag.
Rating: 3 Votes
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24 months ago

... a force for good in support of their many poor farmers ... their solidarity for him is a huge sign of support for continued stability ...


With a fortune estimated between 40 and 50 billion dollars, the king's assets were far better hidden then billionaires who don't have their own country and laws that ruthlessly suppress any discussion. During the course of 7 decades, the highly publicised gestures of "support" for the dirt poor majority were peanuts compared to the ludicrous wealth being amassed by the royal family and the elite who hide behind them.

If so inclined, the king could have taken real steps to eradicate poverty in what is, actually, a relatively rich country. Whenever the poor tried electing leaders with any interest in actually helping them (with rural clinics, small welfare payments for the old and other minor attempts to alleviate true hardship) the army took over, with the full support of the king.

As for signs of support, no-one can really know what the Thai people truly believe or support, because they cannot vote and can receive 30 years in a hellhole prison for voicing an opinion or, even, liking the wrong Facebook post. My impression is that the king was a huge presence in everyone's life but most Thais, outside the elites, have serious misgivings about the whole system and are alarmed by the crown prince.

Of course, no-one can express such thoughts openly, but don't believe that everyone participating in the current exaggerated displays of mourning is doing so voluntarily, in that sense they are no more free than North Koreans.
Rating: 3 Votes
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24 months ago
I lived in Thailand for a decade with my wife and had two children there. The grief and mourning is real, and nothing fabricated. Yes, politicians will use Lese Majeste to portray themselves as dutiful leaders, but one has to realise that even the King himself had limits as to what he could do.

The bottom-line here is that no other country has had such a moral anchor. I highly doubt the "free world" would understand -- I surely wouldn't have, had I not experienced life in Thailand the way I did. I'd be echoing the same "take-it-as-I-see-it-fit" rant as many. It takes a deeper level of involvement with the people (I was a high school teacher) to understand how important the King was and how deeply respected he was. Nay-sayers will tout the usual cr@p -- but of course. Thais on the other hand, are truly fortunate to have had a truly unifying leader they could look up to with hope and pride -- no matter which political spectrum they were from. I can't say the same for us Americans torn and clawing at each other over electing either a buffoon (who will blatantly shaft his own simple-minded supporters) or a two-faced career politician. Yeah, what pride we have -- 8 years and this is the best we can do.

I have a lot of admiration for people who respect and are willing to understand other cultures different from their own. The world's a huge place, and there's a lot to be learned from other civilisations -- might even make one a little more wiser and see their own country and culture in a different light.

As for the pessimists here, don't you just love to take a dump on other countries' culture and way of living? Must make some posters here feel real proud.
Rating: 2 Votes
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24 months ago
My girlfriend is Thai and we have a business in Thailand. Her background is rural. I can gaurentee that the majority of the population (I would say at least 80% if not more), genuinely loved their king. As a foreigner it's hard to comprehend that sort of emotion towards a member of a royal family. Regardless of foreign perceptions on what he has done or could have done etc, most Thais are very loyal to their King.
Rating: 2 Votes
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24 months ago
I am a local witnessing and mourning for His Majesty late King of Thailand.

Here the love and mourning for the King is genuine for most Thais regardless of their political views. The loyalty for the King is not simply due to his royalty status but largely due to the work he had done for seven decades. (Apart from being Head of State his work focused on improving agriculture, irrigation - even artificial rain, and flood water management. All directly improves the well being of both rural and urban Thais.)
For somebody in his status, such amount of work is unnecessarily and you may feel he is a workaholic. In my opinion I do feel that his subjects are his passion. After seventy years most Thais of course feel his compassion.

Like everything nowadays many gossip news are twisted. Some simply judge others by wealth and find it easier to believe in negative than positive. It is nice to see Apple and many who do recognise and respect others sensitivity, in this case a whole nation.
Rating: 2 Votes
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