Dogs Days

25 08 2014

Hong Kong was gripped last week in a controversy over an unfortunate stray dog that ran on to some train tracks and was sadly killed. Bizarrely though, this has led not to muttered offerings of regret but to a large-scale outpouring of anger at the transport authorities who “didn’t do enough”. Teary protesters marched on the government headquarters bearing photos of their own dogs and pillows shaped like giant dog biscuits. They shouted and wept for justice.

Watching them on the news I was, frankly, disgusted. In the context of a city where the population does not have the vote, in a country riven with stark inequalities and human rights abuses, in a world where ebola is stalking Africa, Syria and Iraq are engulfed in the horrors of war, sea levels are rising and whole species are being pushed to the brink of extinction every week  – this is what the chattering classes of Hong Kong had to be angry about?

It was so parochial and so childish that it made me furious.

Winter sun

6 08 2014

An otherwise idyllic day of lazing in Mebourne’s Botanic Gardens was otherwise ruined by being price-gouged at the cafe there (thirty dollars for a sandwich and a fruit salad!!!!!) and Louis’s spotting of a sign – in Chinese only  and presumably aimed at cashcow mainland tourists – which intimated that you have to pay to use the public toilets, which is clearly untrue. We should have taken a picture and complained.

The week in Hong Kong

8 06 2014

This week Hong Kong was rocked by two tabloid sensations which snowballed into one fever-pitch screaming headline. The story had it all – guns, blood, sex and celebrities.

First, Thai-Chinese director Oxide Pang was sprung having an affair with a nubile model. His wife – the widely popular star of his classic horror film “The Eye” – was splashed across magazine covers looking distraught. So far so typical for the incredible invasive HK tabloid press.

But meanwhile across town in Kowloon City, another story was emerging. A  lone gunman  – a disturbed middleaged man – shot his neighbour dead and then held court at a televised siege of his apartment  block ,which had been hastily evacuated and surrounded by police SWAT teams and circling news helicopters. The man clambered onto his balcony before the TV cameras and waved his gun about wildly,  before going back inside to shoot himself in the head.

Both of these stories were big in their own right, but what made them especially eyecatching was the bizarre coincidence (?) uncovered by tabloid reporters from the Apple Daily who followed the gunman’s family to the morgue where they were to identify the body. They noticed a striking resemblance between the dead man’s daughter and the model who had been at the centre of the Pang scandal – a development which electrified the city, leading to a paparazzi chase that tailed the grieving family of the gunman right through the New Territories until they were forced to cross the border into China to lose the news cameras.

The man has since been confirmed as the father of Pang’s “other woman” and now speculation is rife, and rabidly fanned by the gutter press, over whether the revelations of her indiscretions had been the deciding factor which tipped her father off the deep end.

Asian pop scandal(s)

3 06 2014

In Japan, two members of the world’s biggest girl group, AKB48, were attacked by a crazed saw-wielding fan at a handshake event (known to otaku fans, creepily,  as a “touch” event). The assailant caused serious injuries to the hands of two of the girls being “touched”. This follows the “semen hand” incident in which another creepy fan jerked off into his own hand before shaking that of one of the starlets. Online commentators speculated on whether or not the girls’ management would now cease the “touch events”, with some claiming that these were in fact the key to the group’s success, with socially inept male fans buying up to ten CDs a piece for tickets to the events, which they never listened to.

Meanwhile Hong Konghas a scandal of its own. The tabloids splashed pictures of a 1970s Jackie Chan receiving a blow job in a nightclub in Japan over the front pages. The star himself, recently unpopular over pro-Beijing political views, refused to comment and it was only a few days later that the photos were revealed as photoshopped fakes.

Preparing for the invasion of the Yellow peril

28 04 2014

Mainlanders have been much in the news in Hong Kong this week. This follows an online campaign in the PRC to make May 1st an international “piss in the streets of Hong Kong day” – purportedly to “educate” Hong Kongers about how natural and harmless this habit is. All this follows the latest in a semi-regular series of HK-Chinese-tourist-pissing outrages, this time a small child caught on camera urinating with parental encouragement in a busy shopping street. The family is promptly surrounded and hounded by the baying outrage of an HK mob. Pissed PRCers (if you’ll pardon the pun) have responded by threatening to flood Hong Kong with their yellow anger before declaring a three month tourist boycott on the city, to demand more respect.

Amongst all of this, coincidentally, French artist Paulo Grangeon is sending in his own Peoples Liberation Army of pandas next week. In a stroke of poetic time, his 1600 panda sculptures will be positioned around town to promote the plight of the everybody’s favourite mainlanders.

Dead duck

4 11 2013

Brace yourselves – the duck is dead!

The giant rubber duck that has been enthralling much of the Chinese speaking world (and this blog) exploded this week (EXPLODED!!) during its stop in Taiwan.

Following an earthquake, the duck’s air supply was cut off and “rescue workers” overzealously re-pumped the 18 metre high inflatable artwork too quickly, leading to a rupture.

The duck’s deflation, following its tabloid-baiting “death” in Hong Kong earlier this year, caused an internet sensation with this photoshopped picture of the mascot in a traditional funeral home doing the rounds under the caption “First victim of the earthquake”.

Hong Kong’s “forcefield” defies typhoon

23 09 2013

A friend posted on Facebook today a link to this wikipedia article on the Li forcefield. The ‘forcefield’ is a Hong Konger in-joke, a reference to a “forcefield” controlled by the city’s billionaire business moguls and lead its wealthiest man Li Ka-Shing, which prevents typhoons landing in the city during the weekday, thereby depriving the hard-working wageslaves of a day off.

The joke comes in the wake of what has seemed to some to be a disproportionate number of typhoons arriving on the weekends.

This picture, of 2010 Tropical Storm Lion Rock seemingly making a detour around Hong Kong, is held up as jokey evidence.


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