Vietnamese Dissident Writer, Tran Khai Thanh Thuy, Released from Hanoi Prison and Exiled to the US

Sorry we bothered your nap. Any American artists in jail?

By , Columnist
Yes, a writer was released from prison today. Who cares? Didn't Lindsey get drunk again or Willy smoke some pot? There must be more pressing issues in the world than freeing imprisoned foreign writers, right? Gonna put Willy in jail? Nah, not so long as he doesn't sing some bad shit about the IRS. Not. Such is the difference between western and eastern media today.

Stuff happens. I remember a film about Eastern Europe a few years ago that questioned the value of the Russians monitoring all of the phone conversations coming out of the old Soviet Union. "Don't worry, when they hear everything, they hear nothing," said the character. Such was the point of Korean artist, Paek Nam June, who coined the term, Information Superhighway, and made real the prospect that our barrage of media would lead us all to knowing nothing at all, buried in a pile of media refuse.

"I have no idea about Tran Khai Thanh Thuy. She's not popular, at least not among me and my peers," said a graduate communications student at RMIT, the country's most expensive university with a bevy of rich students seeking an Australian education at 1/2 the price of actually going to Australia - so not that rich. Good deal. Save the money. Cut the ideas. Everybody gets paid.

"Sometimes you know something but you don't want to talk about it. Media censorship is everywhere, not only in Vietnam." This came from a reporter at Tuoi Tre, one of Vietnam's top three papers in relation to this story - but she's an American import kid. And she has a job at that newspaper. Not to miss that in journalism. This is gonna be great stuff for her MA. 

Whatever news you see in print? That's a job for someone. Check the backgrounds on NYT writers or the Washington Post - or mine. It's a job for us all so read at your own understanding of that. I like Neil Postman, who wrote Amusing Ourselves to Death. He had the call on how we would rather laugh as opposed to think in relation to the media available to us.

So anybody cares about our writer released from jail this week? Basically, not. But you can read about her here. Trouble is, for all the list of her writings, you don't get a link to a one. Makes you wonder what pissed the government off so much. And hopefully, makes you look a little deeper. Freedom of the press? Difficult - but we always have the freedom to read more than press.

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David has spent most of his career in advertising. That alone should call his writing skills into question. David currently writes the Wild Wild East Dailies from Saigon but has trouble seeing the forest for the trees because it's a jungle out there.

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