The 1984 musical Chess, portrayed a game in Bangkok between a Russian and an American during the height of the Cold War. The script was lame but the music and set design -- a vast chessboard -- was memorable. Today the chessboard, of course, is the whole city of Bankgok.
Much of what we have seen in Bangkok recently amounts to political theater. We watch the city, not knowing how the play will turn out, dimly aware that the those strutting about the city did not write the script. They are merely the actors.