Thursday, August 9, 2007

Beware of Hello Kitty

Amidst insurgents and violence, an unstable government and the looming possibility of an election and new constitution, Thailand has figured out a new way to keep its police force in check: Hello Kitty armbands. Cops who commit minor infractions, such as coming to work late or littering, will have to don wide, pink armbands featuring Miss Hello Kitty herself peeking over a polka-dotted heart with her name elaborately displayed in pink cursive.

Pongpat Chayaphan, the acting chief of the Crime Suppression Division, told the NY Times: "This new twist is expected to make them feel guilt and shame and prevent them from repeating the offense, no matter how minor. Kitty is a cute icon for young girls. It’s not something macho police officers want covering their biceps.”

Now that's putting them in place! The Times also reported that Chayaphan tried plaid armbands at first, but it wasn't humiliating enough. I guess plaid was a bit too macho. Now, the question is, what happens to cops who follow the rules or those who, gasp, remove their lovely pink armbands? They don't have anything set in place but perhaps give them another armband, this time bearing Pochacco's figure. And what about those who go above and beyond? I think Badtz Maru is a worthy badge, I mean, just look at how bad-ass he is. He puts Hello Kitty in her place, that swaggering penguin.

Maybe Sanrio should just sponsor the Thai police force and design their uniforms. Hand in hand, Sanrio and the Thailand Police can fight crime and police-misdemeanors together.

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