In 1978, Pop Rocks became fabulously popular. The Big Movie was Animal House. Shampoo made your hair smell terrific. The new-age precursor was est therapy, whose ludicrous frontman Warner Erhard was getting tens of thousands of 1970s dollars for a seminar.
The late 1970s had disco music, the Pong and Space Invaders games, platform shoes, the world’s first mass suicide of religious cult members who drank the Kool-Aid and the the Pattani United Liberation Organization.
Pretty well all of these went away, or at least turned into the sort of nostalgia that older people feel mildly guilty about, and you can smirk at them for being so dopey.
PULO of course was a murderous group who even tried to kill His Majesty the King of Thailand at an event in the South, and whose idea of a sports’ day was to go out and remove the railroad ties so the trains would veer off the tracks.
But they were defeated on the field of battle and defeated in the hearts and minds, and their leaders went off to Libya, then Iran and finally that great country of amnesty for armed terrorist groups, Sweden. There, obsessed little men like Lukman B Lima have set up a pathetic radio station and live their days like Bill Murray in the movie, forever reliving and re-reliving those thrilling days of yesteryear when they could kill people and command instant attention from the news media.
And occasionally they can still do it… well, at least the part about the media.
The Associated Press has dragged out weary old Lukman for another interview where he said that, basically, all the Thai government has to do to end the violence in the South is totally surrender and hand the region over to, well, him.
“If, in a referendum sanctioned by Bangkok, Pattani chooses independence, there will be one less border in the world marked by endemic conflict,” he said.
PULO continually tries to stick its nose into the resurgent southern conflict but ironically can only do so through Bangkok. It has no power in the South. It is rejected by residents who tossed it aside in the late 1970s, and is universally despised as anti-Islamist by the savage new breed of terroristic, self-styled jihadis bombing women and children in the newest iteration of this struggle.
Lukman, like disco and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, is a bad dream from 1978.