Racy Buddhist Punks Protest Government Crackdown on Arcades
MYANMAR — Buddhist punks in Myanmar held massive demonstrations yesterday, protesting the governments new arcade regulations and increasing prices because of removal of fuel subsidies. Thousands were killed in the protests, in which the Burmese government called in tanks and air support to pacify the unruly teenage punks who were threatening the very security of the nation by wielding dangerous signs.
“The signs were made of wood, which easily splinters and can cause extreme discomfort especially if it gets in your eyes,” Burmese General San We announced at a press conference earlier today.
In mid-August the Burmese government removed fuel subsidies, increasing the price of fuel and electricity and causing arcade games to increase in price from 1 kyat, the Burmese currency based on stray cats caught and ﬂayed, to 1.1 kyats. This triggered immediate and huge protests with thousands of punks turning out in the streets.
Additionally, the Burmese government in recent days has been cracking down on types of games arcades can allow. Donkey Kong, the hottest game to hit Myanmar since Pong reached the country in 2004, was banned last week, which instigated the second wave of riots.
“We love Donkey Kong!” said 14 year old Saw Khu through an interpreter. “Mario has to jump up and down and dodge barrels. It is much like my ev-eryday life when I jump up and down and dodging the metaphorical barrels of tyranny the government hurls at me as well as the actual barrels they hurl at me.”
Several days after the Donkey Kong ban, the government allowed several arcades to reopen carrying only one game, Myanmario, a game which requires the user to continually press the “obey” button as a small Buddhist monk desperately begs for his life in front of a tank. After about 30 seconds the tank ﬁres and the game ends. Punks in Myanmar have complained bitterly about the game.
“The graphics are pretty good I guess, but the plotline is seriously lacking,” said Wan Thai, a spokesman for the Buddhist punks, who have united under a common front known as Wii Love You Long Time, and demanded the government end video console censorship and allow imports of both the Nintendo Wii and Sony Playstation, which they say are more in line with their Buddhist philosophy.
“Buddhism teaches that one must let go of one’s attachments. We must have wireless Wii controllers if we ever hope to free ourselves,” said Ong Tsu, a spokesman for Wii Love You Long Time.
The government has so far refused to accede to the demands of the protestors. One government spokesman said, “It will be a cold day in nirvana before we give in to these punks.”
The United Nations is expected to vote on a resolution condemning the government’s actions and offering to ship Nintendo Gamecubes as a concession to the government’s demand that no Wiis be allowed.
Tsu, however, said Gamecubes simply wouldn’t be enough. “Gamecubes? You can suck my dukkha.”