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Rich people do have merit

Actress Patchrapa "Aum" Chaichua is fuming after cable TV host Poj Anon suggested that the Bt4 million she just spent on a handbag could instead have made life a lot more comfortable for folks in need.



Poj was reacting to the photo Aum posted online of the crocodile-skin Hermes Birkin she'd snapped up in an auction at a record-setting price for a Hermes, boosted no doubt by the fact that Victoria Beckham was its former owner.

"Poj said on his show that I should have spent the money on charity instead of a handbag," Aum winced. "I think it's such a nonsense thing to say." She pointed out that rich people like her already support charities. Buying the bag was meanwhile a matter of ensuring her own happiness, "and it doesn't harm anyone".

"As for charity, I make merit every month," she said. And besides, contrary to the news reports, the bag cost less than Bt4 million. Not that the price matters to Thailand's highest-paid celebrity at Bt150,000 per episode per soap opera and Bt150,000 per public appearance.

Aum was stung enough by Poj's criticism that she's stashed the Birkin for a while. "I just want to put it away and admire it by myself. I've hardly used it so far - I just carried it around once for half an hour."

But when her self-imposed period of meekness ends, we'll be seeing that bag, worn loud and proud. "It's my hard-earned money, after all!"

Nice strokes!

Academia of a sort has weighed in on whether what the boob painter did on "Thailand's Got Talent" was actually art.

"Nude guru" advice columnist Niwat Kongpien said at an "Art and TGT" seminar at Silapakorn University that it wasn't art, it was acting. "Don't get me wrong - I like someone showing her breasts and painting with them - but she can't claim this is art."

However Apinan Posayananda of the Culture Ministry suggested it was indeed art - the art of conning people.


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