Renovation Realities, Thailand, The World, and Playing Games You Cannot Win

| October 10, 2011 | 38 Comments | 34,002 views

One of my favorite TV Shows these days is Renovation Realities on the DIY Network.

The show follows couples with no construction skills as they tackle various home improvement and remodeling jobs. What makes the show hilarious is watching the newbies fuck up— spending an hour figuring out how to unlock a radial arm saw, electrocuting themselves when they cut in to walls and hit live wires, bashing fingers and toes with heavy items, hitting themselves with their sledgehammers, and getting crap in their eyes because they don’t wear safety glasses. About 20% of the time, the couples just give up.

What makes the show doubly entertaining is the inter-personal dynamic between the couples. Some couples work together harmoniously and concentrate on finishing the task at hand. Some wives/girlfriends pitch in, don’t complain, show real appreciation for the sweat being shed so they can have a better kitchen or bathroom and you can see how being with them everyday could be a ton of fun. It lets you see why you might want to be married to the right woman.

Others do nothing but bitch and moan, shirk their share of the heavy labor, and blame their partner when things go wrong, e.g. they open a wall and find a pipe or wires that have to be re-routed and the woman goes on as if it were the husbands fault. The bitch and moaners act like their husband/boyfriends job is to please them and that everything in their shared lives is all about them. The husband/boyfriend as household pet.

And then their are the ones with obvious psychological problems or with the brain power and knowledge of a special ed 12 year old but convinced that they have a valuable point of view and expert opinion about how the job should be accomplished— an opinion that has to be taken seriously and debated rather than just politely ignored. These women make you wonder what drug the men were on when they hooked up and why they stay hooked up with these women.

The show makes you appreciate Thai girls who live their whole lives Close to the Line and live their lives as integral parts of extended families where resources are scarce, financial disaster is only a catscan away, and there is a premium on getting along with people because you are going to be around the same people for your entire life and may have to rely on them in the future. No Thai girl I’ve met behaves the way some of the women from Renovation Realites do and that is a point in their favor.

What makes the show relevant to Thailand is the idea of Crony Capitalism and the rules of the game being set up so you can’t win. In Renovation Realities, some of the jobs take place in New England towns where the local tradesman have gotten together with the local alderman to pass laws which require permits to do common repairs and where work has to be done by union tradesman. In one noteworthy episode, a couple wants to move a toilet 3 feet and are required to get a permit and pay a union plumber several hundred dollars to move a toilet drain—something they could have done themselves in 10 minutes with no safety issues but the connected people in the town have written rules to the game so they cannot win. Move the toilet drain with giving your pint of blood to the connected people and they’ll come after you with a monster fine or make you rip out your toilet.

It’s painful to watch some young couple with barely a dime to their name, up to the nostrils in debt, trying to make some improvement to their old run down house being cheated out of several hundred dollars by some lazy fat tradesman who has the town government in their pocket and can use government power to stop a guy from moving his own toilet without putting money into his pocket but, in some of the locales documented on Renovation Realities those are the rules of the game.

This is an example of Crony Capitalism in the United States. Instead of free competition driving prices down and quality up, the rules are written so that a connected few can prey on herd.

A recent post about the Luxury Car Market,  discussed how the Thai luxury car market is set up to provide connected Thai insiders with a way to make tens of thousands of dollars off of each luxury car sold. The system emplaces a tremendous import tariff and then allows corrupt bureaucrats to sell exemptions to connected insiders to import and register cars without paying the official tariff. Anyone trying to by a car legitimately must pay tens of thousands of dollars more vs. a corruptly imported car and, even the official manufactures, are unable to establish dealerships because they couldn’t compete with the black market.

Watching Renovation Realites on the DIY network, you realize that the difference between Thailand and the U.S. is one of degree. In the U.S., there are a few games where the rules are written so you can’t win. In Thailand, the rules of most of the games are written so you can’t win.


Comments (38)

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  1. Nuff Said says:

    The articles on your ……. com site are much more candid Kenny

    You’re still a pussy for taking down your V1.0 content.

    Nuff Said

  2. Lookin for More says:

    Is this part one of a multi-part article?

  3. Lookin for More says:

    Still waiting for the rest of the article.

  4. Realdaffyduck says:

    “And then their are the ones with obvious psychological problems or with the brain power and knowledge of a special ed 12 year old but convinced that they have a valuable point of view and expert opinion about how the job should be accomplished— an opinion that has to be taken seriously and debated rather than just politely ignored”

    Oh yes thank you Kenny you just *HAD* to have a go at me didn’t you?

    I am the undisputed master of all things 2G/3G/4G/Wifi/the village people/iPads/iPhones/looking good in womens clothes/iPad2’s/iMacs/civil unions/iTunes/Steve Jobs

    There’s no arguement – people come to me for answers. What do they come to you for Kenny? Nothing, just N-O-T-H-I-N-G

    Hahaha Hehehe Hohoho

  5. Prufrock says:

    You know that 9/11 was an inside job and there are no numbers on the wings of airplanes. We all know these are facts just as we all know the above comment was by a fake Realdaffyduck. Tell us there Mr. Imposter, just what are YOU trying to prove with your non-sense?

  6. Sockpuppet #5 says:

    If you are going to impersonate Prufrock, you are going to have to do a better job of it.
    When have you seen a real Prufrock comment less than 500 words and without at least 2 or 3 references to obscure truther sites where “The TRUTH” is  revealed.

  7. Lookin for More says:

    Seriously, there has to be more to this article.

  8. Nuff Said says:

    Utter crap, like all of Kenny’s stories. Who really wants more other than morons?

    Nuff said

  9. Lookin for More says:

    There’s gotta be more. Kenny never writes such brief soliloquies as this without several follow ups.

  10. Who cares says:

    Who cares

  11. Lookin for More says:

    I care, that’s who, ya dope.

  12. END OF STORY says:

    Only a moron would care. Rely on kenny’s stupid opinions at your own peril.


  13. Lookin for More says:

    You must care since you keep coming back, ya nonce.

  14. a CONFUSED PERSON says:

    What was this post about?  Was it about Thailand?  I skimmed over the part about the TV show, was there anything of interest after that?

  15. Elevator Fart says:

    Nothing of interest here. Move along.

  16. Not Looking says:

    Only one coming back is you “Looking for More”

  17. Lookin for More says:

    …and Not Looking! Fool.

  18. Lookin For More says:

    …and the rest of you can go fuck yourselves

  19. Cricket says:

    chiiirp, chiiiiiiiiiiiiiirp, chiiirp!

  20. Cricket says:

    chiiiirp, chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirp, chiiiirp!

  21. crickets says:


  22. crickets says:

    chiiiiiirp, chiiiiiiiiiiiiirp, chiiirp, chiiiiirp, chiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirp, chiiirp!

  23. crickey says:

    Kenny = the world’s whipping boy
    chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp!! chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp!!
    chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp!! chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp!!
    chiiiirp, chiiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiiirp!! chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp, chiiiirp!!

  24. Angry Crickets says:

    Still broken.
    chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp.
    Cricket was censored – on the “no censorship” blog!  

  25. Angry Crickets says:

    chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp.

  26. Bwahahaha says:

    Broken images everywhere on the home page? Why?

  27. watermelon says:

    Editor’s Note – Offensive Content


  28. Purple Avenger says:

    Purple renovation!

  29. Curious says:

    Really, Kenny?

    Hmmmm…. “editor” (ie Kenny) deletes content he considers “offensive”, yet this same “editor” (i.e. Kenny) also deliberately replaces numerous links to other websites with ““.

    Odd double-standard for “offensive”, don’t you think?  

  30. Curious says:

    Hahahaha – the images are broken again, and Kenny is left clueless on how to fix them!

  31. The Professor of Prostitution says:

    On the bright side, Kenneth has fixed his broken images.


  32. Update.... says:

    Nope, he hasn’t.

    Look at the Thonglo article. 

  33. Purple Avenger says:

    Purple Thong Lo!

  34. Robson says:

    I haven’t tried this fun trick yet, but keeping the apple seaeld back up *should* keep it from browning. It’s exposure to air that makes cut apples go brown. I haven’t tried it yet, I can’t find a rubberband in my house to save my life. If you have trouble with browning you can always dip the cut sides of apple in a little juice – anything with vitamin C works (ascorbic acid).Chrisy – of course this wouldn’t fit *inside* a bento box (it *would* fit in a Goodbyn though), but as a take-along snack it would be great! My kids always have a separate snack. If you have the ELB lunchbags to go with your ELB boxes you can carry the apple in there. 🙂

  35. Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

  36. that nail polish looks great. I need to redo my pedicure as well, and this one would be quite fun for the summer!That cuticle oil sounds awesome as well. Quite handy.-Lauren

  37. Some Dude,"I'm going to get metaphysical with you. And I mean every word I am about to say.Get down on your knees and pray to God to guide you."That's what I do EVERY day…

  38. http://www./ says:

    I've fallen for it too! Mascara is one thing I don't mess with. I find some I like and I stay with it for life! Seriously! been using the same kind since high school with a move here and there because I fell for these tricks.

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