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Derek Tsang

Another one goes...

While the world is still busy mourning the death of the King of Pop... Few, I believe,  will mourn for the subject of this piece, the longest serving Secretary of Defense in the history of the United State of America:Robert McNamara (1916-2009)It would not be a surprise at all if some of you have never heard of this man; after all, most of us here on AnD are well below the age of 50 and have never been involved in the anti-war movement during the height of the counter-culture frenzy in the 60's, where his image, like the infamous George Dubya in the 21st Century, were the targets of students and activists all over the world.Robert McNamara is the longest serving Secretary of Defense in the U.S's history, where he served in JFK's and Lyndon Johnson's office throughout most of the 60's. He is mostly known as the prime architect of the Vietnam War, bringing in an army of 500,000+ strong into active duty in the jungle. And indeed, many people hated him for that.But this entry is no obituary, I don't consider myself knowledgeable to write about a comprehensive account on what the man had done or achieved in his lifetime, especially when it involves such heavy subject as the Vietnam War or the U.S.'s foreign policy during the peak of the cold war. I'm simply trying to share my admiration of this man who, after all the wrongs he had done or misjudgment he had made, is able to come forward and admit all his mistakes and share publicly the lessons he had learned from it all.Yes, I'm talking about the wonderful documentary he partake in, THE FOG OF WAR, made by the always mind-blowing documentary director, Errol Morris. The film is based on a intimate interview between the director and McNamara, which revolves mainly around the Vietnam War and the veteran's view on the War on Terror and the U.S.'s foreign policy at large. It is a rare and candid account of an once influential politician expressing his regrets and doubts about the choices and actions he had made in the past and what he would hope to see in the future. It is simply one of the best documentary films I've seen about political figures recounting their past. Oh and it won the Oscar for best documentary in 2003 as well, if that helps to convince anyone.Even though there may be things he omitted to say or embellished it a little; but to be able to sit down and recount one's wrongdoings is a virtue we all praise. However, at the end of the day, how many of us can actually achieve that, as it often alienates ourselves from our deep-rooted believes, our friends and colleagues, and our worldview. We Chinese have a long list of historical denials and outright lies...I sincerely hope that someday, someone will be courageous enough to give us a glimpse of the truth, even if it hurts...  D....Video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgjF3dvhyoA

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VIIV

The great Czech author Milan Kundera once wrote:

"The struggle against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting..."

It's good to know that after 20 yrs, some people still remember, and will never forget...

proud of every single one of the 100,000+ who made it to Victoria park tonight...

we should always cherish the freedom we still enjoy here in HK...

D....

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Smokers' Delight...

Video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQaiAfcZaD

 

***update: sorry, the above clip have been removed in youtube. Press here to view it on another site.

 

37 percent of the world's tobacco leaves are burned in China, establishing us as the leading nation in the league of tobacco consumption. You can say I'm damn proud of that, but I'm not too sure about the way the kid in the video is being brought up...

Really, whenever i'm in China, where u can smoke pretty much anywhere, I sometimes feel free (no irony intended). After two years of conditioning (smoking ban came into effect in HK in 2007), I've found myself feeling guilty whenever i light a cigarette in a restaurant. What's worse, I've come to accept the fact that my smoking behavior is an act of selfishness and unpleasantness for others in proximity. It is true and i respect that.

It is always interesting to look back at the history of tobacco. Cigarette smoking was once the coolest thing considered. It was one of the many expression of modernity in itself. One needs no further evidence than the amount of chain-smoking captured on screen in French and American films throughout the 20th century, one of the most sucessful marketing campaign based on ignorance and everyone's need for character.

I won't deny it, I was one of those who started smoking because they thought it was a cool thing to do, like those in the movies. I was seven and I had the right to be stupid. But seeing how the status of smokers have degraded throughout my mere 20+ yrs, it is a lesson in the instability of social perceptions. 

All this being said though, i'm still dreading about the smoking ban in bars and clubs that is coming into effect in July. It is one thing to ban smoking in restaurant, but to take away one's right to enjoy a good icy pint and a ciggie inside a bar is just plain old blasphemy, because now you're fucking with tradition man. All smokers understand that their habit is bad for their health, and that's a risk they are willing to take at their own discretion. Of course, one then argues that it is those who doesn't smoke that are to be considered. That's only fair. Yet what I don't understand is that why can't we issue licenses for premises that cater to smokers or non-smokers exclusively. I mean, for those who don't smoke and are totally annoy by the presence of tobacco smoke, they can surely choose to go to smoke-free bars or clubs to enjoy their night out. To prohibit smoking in all bars and clubs is not a progressive move towards a better and 'healthier' society, because it strips the rights from those who want to smoke while having drinks with their friends on a night out. Personally for me, any move by a governmental body to prohibit others from committing a certain act is a regressive gesture, no matter what the act is, be it tobacco smoking or drug taking. Instead of "JUST SAY NO", a well-educated and well-informed public should have the right to say "JUST SAY KNOW" and have the freedom to choose to do whatever the fuck they want given that the act is not harmful to others unknowingly or unwillingly. And to be honest, if our government is really keen on providing us with a cleaner and healthier environment, i think the air-pollution problem is much more urgent. But of course, that's another story...

In less than two months, smoking will be ban in all public premises in Hong Kong, no longer will we be able to enjoy a pint with a ciggie in our hand in bars or clubs. What's the world coming to, it's depressing...

 D....

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New novel from Eileen Chang!!! 張愛玲新作!!!


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Loser's Lament...

Dear all,

Hi, my community update informs me that my last entry have been some 180+ days ago, that really shocked me....have I been neglecting my page for that long??

For the few who actually visit my page from now and then and are asking me what I've been doing for the past couple of months, I would like to say thanks to you all for caring and sorry for disappointing u with my absence here...as I've mentioned several times before in my entries, I'm really kinda lazy with blogs, sometimes I just don't know what is worth writing about, and everywhere I look, there seems to be people much more talented than myself who are writing or already wrote about the issues i care about...I lose faith in my own writing and view points too easily...but please bear with me, this entry tries no wit, only a sigh...

The truth is, the past several months have been a sort of roller coaster ride for me. In July I was approached by a film production company in regards to one of the scripts I've been trying to get into production. They were very keen in helping me out and by the end of the month, we found an investor willing to fork out the money for the movie. Needless to say, I was ecstatic about the prospect of making my debut feature and immediately began revising my script and getting prepare for the frenzy that are sure to follow when pre-production for the film begins.

Then came a phone call from my relatives which knocked me out of my excitement. I was informed about the deteriorating health of my grandpa, who has just been hospitalized. That being said, I dropped all my work and went to visit my grandpa in Taiwan. Although I've never really been very close with my grandpa (but don't get me wrong, we've always been on really good terms), seeing him on the hospital bed struggling to talk to us was painful to endure. My memories of him are vague because with him living in Taiwan and me living in HK and abroad when I was younger, I only got to see him once or twice a year. Of course, the fault is all mine, I don't think I've made any attempts to get to know my grandpa better, or to spend more time with him. I'm, as a famous writer once wrote, in that "stupid lyrical age, when a man is too great a riddle to himself to be interested in the riddles outside himself and when other people are mere walking mirrors in which he is amazed to find his own worth, his own emotion". My grandpa lived an exciting life in a very interesting period of Hong Kong in which I made little attempt to find out about, only to regret it now and understand how unfair it is that the young never get to witness the prime of their elders...

Next thing I know, September arrived...

I was back in HK, knowing that my grandpa have recovered a bit and was able to move back home, I thrust myself right back to work. September was an interesting month, because throughout the summer I've been told by several different sources that some imminent disaster is going to hit HK. Some said that a Brazilian prophet who has correctly predicted several major world events in the past (such as 9/11 and the 2004 Tsunami, they claimed) have said that on September 13th, an earthquake of 9 on the richter scale is going to erupt near Hainan Island in the South China sea, causing a tsunami that is gonna hit and destroy the coastal area in Hong Kong and all the way to Japan. While some, on the other hand, informed me of their Feng Shui Master's warning about the destructibility of the water element in this month. Although I did not take both of the rumors seriously, I merely took it as a joke or some random superstitious nonsense at best, but the date and the nature of the predictions were always in the back of my mind, and I remember thinking to myself on the 13th, to hell with the prophet...

But what happened two days later, few could have predicted. And the results shocked the whole world...

Yes, I'm talking about the Lehman Brothers' filling for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, which marked the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history, and it is itself the alarming signal to the economical turmoil that is still happening all over our global economy. But don't worry, I will not get into discussion of the economy and the poor regulations and policies that took us to where we are today because when it comes to investment, banking, economics, or whatever that are related, I'm a complete idiot. And because I'm completely clueless to these things, I've never been interested in investment or building portfolios. Therefore, when the Lehman Brothers and others financial institutions were falling, I was foolish enough to think that the whole thing would have little impact on me. It didn't take long for me to realize how wrong I was.

What happened was that, on the week when the Lehman Brother announced its intention to file for bankruptcy, we were suppose to sign a contract with the investment firm that is going to invest in our film. It just so happened that the firm had a lot of investment in Lehman, so with their money now in jeopardy, they immediately put their investment in our film on hold. Several weeks later, they officially informed us that they are no longer going to invest in our project.

I was devastated, because this is not the first time I failed to secure the money for my film. Such has been the fate of my project in which I have been so eager to get into production for the past year or so. I've been rejected by several film companies who claimed that my project isn't commercial enough. I began to question myself and lost all self-confidence; have I been dreaming all along? Countless questions and doubts engulfed me, night after night, thoughts after thoughts...this went on for weeks. I lost all interest in all things worthy of interest. I did not watch a film, did not pick up a single book...I withdrew myself from my friends, and especially those related to work...I found sleeping to be the best means of escape, because while awake and conscious, I think, I feel, I suffer...and in view of all the things around me, I had a deep conviction that all human efforts are foredoomed to failure...

Finally one day, for no particular reason, I snapped out of it.

Suddenly my so-called problems seemed so petty and insignificant compared to what others are going through everyday in the very same earth we share. I understand that this will only be one of the many disappointments life have in store for me, and the important thing is to keep one's head up in spite of everything and try to learn from it, grow from it...Always a pessimist, I was quite surprise and happy to be able to find an optimist in myself.

We tell ourselves stories in order to live, so this is my story for the past couple of months, which i have found the need to spill it out for some sort of therapeutic reason, or maybe I simply wanted to share because I understand there are a lot of depressed people out there right now...And my sincere apology to those who have endure this boring tale up to this point and found this nothing more than a lame lament...

To make up for this, pls watch the video below titled "How to peel a banana" for a good stupid laugh, because every once in a while, everyone needs a good stupid laugh....

Video: http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=RenXaiNAaFc So don't worry about me, I've found myself a couple of exciting projects to worked on since then...particular thanks to Pang Ho Cheung, Josie, and Conroy...hope the bloody project will be a blast!!!!

Take good care all and happy new year!!

Oh, did i mentioned i was in Antarctica in December?

Stay tuned....

D....

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Carbon Guilt...

Let's face it, we all like to boost about our efforts in being environmentally friendly whenever we are asked about the issue...i mean, that's the fad right now isn't?

Few will admit outright that their lifestyles have little consideration for preservation...but we all know that the truth is usually quite the contrary...

Don't be offended; I'm no saint neither. Actually, I'm quite lazy in terms of being 'green' as well, the most i'm doing is to avoid using plastic bag whenever possible; In fact, i usually gets pretty annoyed by people who use the green card all the time to make everyone feel guilty... "oh you are not recycling that?!?" A friend asked.

"No, because there's no comprehensive recycling system implemented by our government and there're no recycle collection bin by a mile within where I live, I can't be ass-bothered to carry this coke bottle to a station in god-knows where..." I answered.The conversation usually turns sour after that...But yesterday, while i was driving along the Victorian harbor in Hong Kong (yes, i'm a driver of a gasoline-combustion engine vehicle, that makes me doubly guilty) and saw the smog that was incubating all around us...it really made me feel sick and claustrophobic...

Everyone who have spend time here in Hong Kong understand the extend of the pollution problem, but yesterday was just uncanny, the road side stations recorded the highest ever air pollution index of 202 in the city's history (201-300 being purple, which means that the air is VERY unhealthy), and combined that with 37degrees Celsius in some area, it could really kill someone. I simply could not make out the Kowloon pennisula while on the HK harbor side...

Now seeing the smog and the road side construction worker, who was standing by my car while I was stopped at a red light, nearly falling from heat stroke, I was hit with a pang of carbon guilt.

Carbon guilt is a new word I learned which means, quite literally, the feeling of guilt for producing too much carbon, from driving or taking the plane. When I first heard of the term, me and my friends kinda laughed at it, we felt that only those who are in the green party and other green crusading organization will actually feel it. I've heard of carbon footprint, but i've never met anyone who have really calculated their carbon footprint per week or per month, not even the few righteous green-minded friends who have condemed me.

Before getting my current car a year ago, I was quite fed up with the whole oil issue and did some research in alternative fuel vehicles. I found that the industry is nowhere being mature and convenient enough for the average person to switch over from traditional gasoline-runned cars. Hydrogen cell fuel uses more energy to produce than gasoline itself, therefore not exactly energy efficient, and electrical cars are just impractical for us in Hong Kong since most of us lack the luxury of having a garage which could charge up the car overnight. And on top of that, coal is used in most of the power plant to produce energy, switching all the cars from gasoline to electric engine will only shoot up the demand for electric energy, which doesn't help matter much neither. Of course, some will recommend the hybrid, but I really don't find the point, because if I switch, I want it to have nothing whatsoever to do with gasoline. I'm quite stubborn like that...

However, the most important issue in regards to alternative fuel automobiles ever being able to see mass-producition is, unlucky for us, the complex political, economical and social interests that loom behind the megalith oil businesses and all sorts of dfferent lobby groups that revolve around it. I simply don't believe that we lacked the technology and will to develop a new sustainable energy vehicle system, but the truth is, many people are making ridiculous amount of money in our current fossil fuel system that they just refuse to give up something so good.

I'm no expert on the issue, but one should be able to see the role oil played in the world events ever since the oil shortage that shocked the world in the 70's. I mean, let's not forget that several prominent members in the Bush adminstration have been former executives and board members of the oil and car companies. And of course, the Bush family itself are in the oil business...

Recently I watched a really good documentary film, Who killed the Electric Car?. The film chronicles several successful production of electric cars, particularly the GM EV1, and what roles the car manufacturers, politicians, oil industry, consumers and other lobby groups played in repressing the development and adoption of this technology. Do watch it if you're interested on the issue, and hopefully it will open your eyes on what these companies or government are capable of...   If you're an optimist, yes, time have changed and people in general are more aware of the problem. There are a lot of people out there doing the right thing, researching and developing new products that are not the best yet, but at least of a lesser evil. I heard that the people in San Francisco are doing a real good job in cleaning up the city by converting a lot of the cars into electrically-runned and even a lot of the taxis are switching over to electric engine. My first response when I heard that was: Why can't we do that?? Well, I guess it takes real bold leadership and a progressive mind to carry through with something like that, qualities I sometimes suspect lacking in our government...

At last, for those of you who can't live without a car but are also keen on impressing others with your greeniness,  heard of the Tesla Roadster?? Apparently, this 100% electric car with 265hp are the hottest thing on the market right now, with owners ranging from George Clooney, Matt Damon, Will.i.am, and Larry Page of Google. It's not exactly your Mercedes new SL or SLK, but if you could afford a SL or SLK, why not buy the Tesla Roadster to try it out? Like i've said, it's the fad right now...

Let's hope the smog will clear out soon, I need a mask...

D....

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Pier Politiking 2: Imprisonment

This is a follow up on one of the blog entry i wrote almost a year ago...(damn it's been that long?)

The Queen's Pier, as some of you will remember, was torn down last year. I was there on the last day when the pier was still open to the public when many went to protest and visited the pier for one last time. But I won't go into that, because, if you're interested, you can read about my experience on that day in one of my earlier entry...

This entry is written to question the validity of the sentencing of the two protesters arrested on the afternoon of August 1st, 2007 when the cops were closing in to barricade the pier. The two accused, Fung Bing Tak (馮炳德) and Ma Cho Ming (馬楚明), were sentenced to two and four months imprisonment respectively, and get this, without bail pending appeal because the judge thought the case to be serious and the defendants showed no sense of remorse for what they've committed. And what they've committed is this: Fung bite a police officer on the arm while several officers were trying to tug him away from the scene and Ma poked an officer in the eye and punched another officer in the back of the head.

Did they commit a crime? Yes, they did assault several officers, who, being most sympathetic in mind, were just doing their duty and probably did not want to hurt any of the protesters. But in the chaos that was happening all around the pier when the police were trying to drag away the protesters by force (which many claimed excessive), what Fung and Ma did, again being most sympathetic in mind, could very well be self defense or mere acts of passion-over-reason (albeit unwise).

What I'm trying to say is that the sentencing of the two protesters to imprisonment and the judge's refusal to grant the defendants bail pending appeal seemed unreasonably harsh to me and many others who have been following this case. We can't help but think of this trial as another politically charged effort to prosecute the so-called 'troublemakers', and in turn, discourage the support for any grassroot movement that goes against government policies. The judge could very well sentence the defendants with social services duties, but no, she claimed that because the defendants pleaded not guilty, therefore they have no remorse, hence she did not consider social services as a sentence. And to make things worse, the judge refused to grant the defendants the right to bail themselves and prepare for an appeal because she found the case to be "serious"?!? Sigh...

I guess the judge is right though, these people are serious...

they seriously love Hong Kong...and that's their crime...

D....

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gd_x2I4hXc

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xz32vBOB800

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The Real Sin City...

The Kowloon Walled City, the city of darkness, the quintessential concrete jungle...

For many people in Hong Kong, the Walled city once represented everything that are dark, criminal, and uninhabitable. The enclave was in fact full of opium dens, brothels, triads, gambling dens, and had real bad sanitary conditions. But to many others like me, it possessed a sort of beauty that can only be describe as exceptional and ethereal...

Before I go any further, however, I must confess that I've actually never been inside the Walled city. It is no exaggeration to say that this is one of the biggest regret of my life (well of course, besides all the personal immaturity and stupidity committed in the past). By the time I came to hear about and started reading on the history of this special place in Hong Kong, it was already demolished by the government. What a shame, but we'll get back to that, because to talk about the walled city, we must first dip into the muddy water of Hong Kong history... Most historians agree that the Kowloon Walled City can be traced back to the Song Dynasty (960 - 1297), where the North-Eastern coast of the Kowloon peninsula was the site of a major salt trading port. But it was really in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) that buildings and a new fort were built on the strategic position in 1810 that would later become the infamous walled city. The reasons for the imperial court to do so are simple, they wanted to put a check on the rampant pirates that were roaming in the South China Sea and the British colonial development on Hong Kong island, since only Hong Kong Island was ceded to the British in the Treaty of Nanking in 1841, and it wasn't until 1860 that the colony began to extend inland into the Kowloon peninsula with the signing of the Treaty of Nanjing after the second opium war.

However, even when the New Territories were 'leased' to the British for 99 years in 1898, the British still did not claimed control of the Kowloon City. Many Imperial officials who remained in the area refused to give up jurisdiction which resulted in the British giving the Chinese jurisdiction of the area after numerous failed attempts in forcing the inhabitants out. And eventually, with the turbulent events of the early 20th Century China that saw the fall of the Qing Dynasty, the formation of the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China in 1949, many Chinese refugees, be it anti-Manchurian Triads, the Kuomingtongs or Communists, began to populate the Chinese enclave.

With the British and the Chinese government taking a hands-off policy towards the walled city because of its touchy subject, the place quickly developed into a special zone in which law and order did not apply. Triads seized control of the place, and it grew into the a hotbed for all sorts of criminal activities and dodgy operations that became synonymous with the walled city in our collective memory of the place. 

It was during this period, in post-WWII Hong Kong and all the way to the evacuation of its residents in 1991 that the Kowloon Walled City began its continual process of demolition and reconstruction where individual buildings homogenised into an intricate network of communal stairways and corridors linked one to the other, creating a labyrinth of buildings and passages that makes it impossible for an outsider to navigate without getting lost...

Without an architect supervising the construction of all the buildings and renovations in the walled city, the only regulations the residents had to follow were the limiting height of its building to fourteen stories because of its close proximity to the Kai Tak airport, and electricity safety regulation for the obvious reason to avoid fire. Thus, in an effort to build a better home for themselves, the six and a half acre of slum with its 35,000 residents at its peak became a sort of organism, always growing and mutating into its own form...

The Walled city's evaucation and demolition began in 1991 and was completed in 1993. A recreational park was built on the location where the walled city once stood and several relics from the enclave still remain now in the park. But like most project by our government to preserve cultural heritage, it is a complete failure. It is a great loss to not only the people in Hong Kong, but also for anyone who are interested in visiting extraordinary historical landmark, that such an unique structure is now torn down and lost forever. Why haven't anyone suggested on preserving the whole walled city under sustainable development? If it was preserve, clean out, and turn into a museum, I think it would be one of the coolest museum or art gallery ever existed. Walled city is part of China's, Hong Kong's and Britain's history, and like most things in our past, it was first deliberately displaced, then destroyed, and finally forgotten...

Ever since I came to learn about the Kowloon Walled City, I've always wanted to go inside and experience how it was like for the people who lived there and found their own ways to survive in this seemingly dystopian landscape. So whenever I come across a book or article about the walled city, I always try to make it part of my library collection. One of the book I've always go back to is CITY OF DARKNESS - Life in Kowloon Walled City, a photo-journal about the Walled city's history and the people who lived and survived in the enclave. Most of the photos in this blog are grabbed out of the book, and there are a lot more stunning photos inside the book with lots of interesting personal stories from the resident of the walled city.

For those of you who have traveled in and out of Hong Kong in the 80's or early 90's at the Kai Tak Airport, I'm sure most of you did not miss the concrete monolith during the plane's landing, which was always a joy for me to watch the foreigners in awe (or fear) of the close proximity of the plane and the buildings nearby. I remember pointing at the Walled city once when I was young and asked my mom what that piece of land was. She didn't give me a very good answer, she only said that it is a place in which no decent people would want to set foot in. How mistaken she is...

At last, I like to show you a clip of a film shot in the walled city when it was still standing.

Anyone remember Jean Claude Van Damme's Bloodsport??

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEo6ogAnoZ8 I wish Borges could write a piece about the walled city...

D....

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Death at Intervals

Imagine this following scenario:

On the first day of the new year, No one dies...

From that day on, your given city no longer produces any dead person, even if he or she has been involved in the most fatal accident or diagnosed with the most lethal disease...

Death has cease to exist...no one will die...

Can you imagine what would happen to a city or a country if that's the case??

Well, that's what the Nobel Prize winning novelist Jose Saramago tried to capture in his latest novel DEATH AT INTERVALS. Like his earlier and immensely successful effort, Blindness (which is already adapted to the screen by the great Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Meirelles and in competition this year at Cannes), DEATH is another great attempt in the satirical portrayal of human nature in the face of some unknown yet serious collective calamity.

Here with DEATH, Saramago tried to capture the confusion, and simultaneously, the excitement of the public when death cease to happen to everyone in the society. How would the governement react? What would happen to funeral directors, hospitals, social services and pensions? And in such time of great social changes, some sectors in the society will fall but other will rise to the occasion, and in this dark and funny fable, we will find that the mafia can be of important help.

I actually finished this book a month or so ago, but numerous scenes and details have always find its way back to me. I don't want to give any of its plot away, but towards the last 1/3 of the book, you will find the story about Death, the almighty undertaker, saddening and touching enough for you to sympathize with her, even though being aware that when our time comes, we will only be too fearful to come face to face with her...

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading satirical pieces that tell us more about our condition as human being, our selfishness and ignorance. But if you haven't read a Saramago novel before, Blindness might be a better one to start off with. Better read it before the film comes out though, the novel is always better than the film...

D....

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1World1Dream=1Nation1System??

In less than 3 days, the Olympic Torch relay will go on in Hong Kong...

Though i rarely follow the Olympic games, I still think it is a honor that the torch is passing through hk, especially when it is the first city in China to host the relay...

However, in view of some of the recent actions by our government and its enforcers...I can't help but feel shameful of our so-called "Asia's World City".

Yes, I'm talking about the refusal to let the Danish Sculptor and activist Jens Galschiot and two other members of the group The Color Orange to enter into Hong Kong on Sunday. Jens Galschiot is the sculptor of the Pillars of Shame, a sculpture created in 1997 to mark the 8th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Protest in 1989 now erected in the Hong Kong University. Regardless of what Mr. Galschiot and his friends stands for or wanna fight for, the deportation of these three people is utterly senseless and shameful, betraying our city's status as one that embraces freedom of speech and freedom of expression.

Hong Kong Security Chief Ambrose Lee has said people can demonstrate peacefully during the relay as long as they exercise restraint and the government has claimed that there are no 'Black List' of people or activists whom they will bar from Hong Kong during the relay period. But the deportation of the members of the Color Orange group is clearly a slap in the face for the Hong Kong people, we have to face the fact that our government, in the vain hope of hosting a 'clean' and peaceful torch relay in Hong Kong to suck up to our leaders in Beijing, will sacrifice our city's right to freedom of speech and protest to let differences be heard.

Then there's the police operation, code named 'Sahara Operation', in which the police raided the Chung King Mansion (the multicultural enclave made famous by Wong Kar Wai's Chung King Express) in Tsim Sha Tsui to find any suspecting Tibetan Separatists. Though they did not found any Tibetan besides some illegal immigrants and illegal substances, the operation as a whole is already a good indication that there's a crackdown going on right now in the city to ensure that the torch relay can go on undisturbed.

There's also another incident worth mentioning...About two weeks ago, a Hong Kong University philosophy student named Christina Chan (陳巧文), came out to support the Tibetan in their fight for independence and called for the people of Hong Kong in joining her to boycott the Olympics. After intensive media coverage and internet discussion, she clarified her position, or maybe the press did not clarify, saying that she is only hoping that the Tibetan can get real autonomy to decide their own future. What is interesting, or heart-breaking, is that after her initial media coverage, her facebook account and phone were raided with blatant attacks on her stance on the issue. She was instantly labeled as traitor, opportunist, claims-maker..etc. There were even press reports that said her account on Facebook were canceled or not functioning properly because of her believes and call for action.

Though I do not entirely agree with her, I still found her courage to voice out different ideas as something we should encourage instead of pointing fingers and stigmatizing people who dare to be different. We don't want an Orwellian society that is monotonous and collectively obedient.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not provoking or hoping that others would disrupt the torch relay. But I do believe that because Hong Kong is a city that upholds freedom of speech, and that people who have different point of views are entitled to let their voices be heard. I really don't see how peaceful demonstration can hurt our city as a whole. In fact, the existences of different voices in our society is precisely the indicator of how healthy our city really is.

Shit, I just heard on the news that the despicable Tsang Hin Zhi is named as a torch bearer...

Shame on Hong Kong...Shame on us...

D....

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