BANGKOK (AP) — First Thailand's junta seized power, then they commandeered every TV channel for round-the-clock broadcasts of dour announcements and patriotic hymns. The public's verdict: DJ, please change the soundtrack.
And after about 24 hours, they did.
As the sun set on Bangkok Friday night, Thailand's sappy soap operas flickered back on just as suddenly as they'd vanished a day earlier. After a full day of marching music and military ballads of a bygone era, things began returning to normal — at least on television.
In this day and age, it's not surprising that the generals who launched Thailand's coup have set up a Facebook page.
But it was a sign of the times that the junta's vintage tunes didn't resonate with the Facebook generation.
"Since you're reforming politics, you might as well reform your music," said one of many postings on the page, which had over 230,000 likes by Friday evening, up exponentially from earlier in the day.
Song requests poured in — for Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson, the Disney hit "Let It Go," and for foot-tapping Thai folk music.
"Please give us something more uplifting," said another comment on the page, which bears the junta's self-declared name: National Peace and Order Maintaining Council.
The running commentary offered a lighthearted and lively sideshow to the otherwise dramatic events unfolding in Thailand, where the military declared martial law on Tuesday and then announced two days later it was overthrowing the government.
The country's powerful army chief, Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, justified the coup as a means of restoring stability and avoiding more violence in a crisis that has left 28 dead and hundreds injured since it escalated seven months ago.
But some on social media joked that the nationalistic hymns could unleash old aggressions.