Monday, January 21, 2008

FBO: 'Back from Burma'


The FBO has been silenced only by iffy technology, not inspiration or ideas. Failed Bands of Oklahoma representative Robert Reid had a positive six-week cultural-exchange symposium with the good private citizens of Myanmar (Burma).

A few highlights:

--> FBO Rep Reid met with the three Moustache Brothers of Mandalay, where he had an impromptu show and met with comedian Par Par Lay (middle), who had been briefly jailed (for the third time) in September, following the peaceful protests around the country. The Moustache Brothers use vaudeville-style humor to parody the government. They no longer have a license to perform, but simply do shows for foreigners nightly in their home.

--> FBO Rep Reid witnessed the traditional Rakhine wrestling match in western Myanmar, near the Bangladesh border. A throw-down type wresting with no kicking or three-second counts, FBO learned that 'kids from the villages' tend to toss 'city folk' (from Sittwe) down easily. We managed to get a photo with a famous wrestler, in his 70s, who oversees the matches, and at one point settled a dispute on a call.

--> FBO Rep Reid attended a rock concert in Yangon of Lazy Club, whose female lead singer paraded around in a grim reaper outfit as a six-string bassist and two-neck guitar added a dark tone to Bon Jovi and Celine Dion covers. A few censors watched from the side stage, in full view of the (sometimes drunk) locals, which included punk rockers in a tender mosh pit.

The FBO applaud the varying styles of entertainment employed by locals in a country that clamps down on free-time fun. Just a couple weeks ago, the government apparently decided to increase the license to use a satellite TV from $5 per year to $800. The average salary is about $1 per day.

FBO Admin
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Brooklyn, NY


tom said...

Why is Moustache Brother #1 clean shaven? Is his moustache invisible?

ReidOnTravel said...

He can't grow them. He's sort of the Harpo of the group.