31 March 2010

Catholics and Commies

Authoritarians are all alike. The inheritors of the Earth's two most significant historical empires, the Roman and the Chinese, don't seem to realize that the days of "it's true because I said so" are over. There was a time the Pope and the Emperor of China could literally dictate what was true and false within the substantial segments of the globe they controlled. This is no longer true, but apparently the authoritarians haven't gotten the message.

Lately, the New York Times seems to be reporting daily on new evidence that during his tenure as a Catholic bishop, the current Pope was informed of several priests sexually abusing children in Germany and the US, and he did nothing to help those children or prevent further abuse. All his actions seem to have been directed at image control, not sexual abuse control. Obviously, this behavior is about as immoral as human behavior gets, yet there has been no official explanation of the evidence from the Vatican, other than to attack those who present it. Apparently, the Pope still thinks he's infallible. Now, there is a certain segment of the Catholic population who's self-identity is so tied up in being Catholic that admitting that the Pope is actually an abusive asshole would cause an identity crisis so large that no amount of evidence can convince them of the truth. These people cannot be reasoned with, and as a result they don't require explanations that are rational. "I said so," uttered from an authority figure they identify with is enough. But for an increasing number of humans, particularly the increasing number of humans raised to think for themselves in an atmosphere of free and open discussion, "I said so" doesn't cut it. No matter who says so.

Big Beijing is running into this problem as well, all over the place. From poorly constructed schools in Sichuan that killed hundreds of children to disappearing Falun Gong practitioners and their on-demand organs, to countless other examples of Big Beijing showing no respect for the value of human life, the response is always the same (see attached photo). The recent spat with Google is instructive. When Google decided to stop censoring Chinese search results, a decision that included a statement about the value of free exchange of information and open debate, Big Beijing's response was that Google was "totally wrong." Nothing about the value of social harmony vs. freedom of information, just a blanket statement that if you disagree with Big Baby, you're wrong. Why? Because Big Baby said so, and Big Baby, like the Pope, is infallible. They both have the Mandate of Heaven, apparently. Just like some Catholics, some Chinese have so thoroughly attached their personal identity to their government that these "arguments" are actually "persuasive." Perhaps in a nation of only children, educated in Chinese state schools, many people are predisposed to this type of nationalistic, authoritarian "thinking." But if you want to convince adults, you have to make a coherent argument. Which is why Big Beijing's propaganda system doesn't seem to work in HK, and why many Americans are leaving the Catholic Church. It should be interesting to see how this plays out between now and 2047 (the year the gweilo evacuate HK).

30 March 2010

Our new GovHK site loaded with propaganda

There's been lots of talks about the new retarded Hong Kong branding that cost us millions of dollars on design and consultation. We've heard enough rants already, so we're not going to jump on the bandwagon. There's another new, yet more useful thing launched last week in our Village: the revamped GovHK website.

Kudos to the OGCIO, the new site does look far better. I am not sure about the navigation yet, as I've had painfully tried to renew my driving licence recently via the old site and failed. A few clicks through the site so far took me to where I wanted to go, so I guess I cannot complain here.

But there's one thing in the new site that pretty hurt my eyes. You see the rotating banner that blocks 80% of your view when you first load the page? What does it say? I'm not talking about the "Hong Kong at World Expo 2010" one; neither am I talking about the survey. They're ok, but I don't know why they have the priority there over hundreds of other things the government is doing. What irritates me is the Anti-drug propaganda there! A propaganda at the top banner of a government info site? GovHK, in their own words, is:

the one-stop portal of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, making information and services of the public sector easier to find and use.

Villagers visiting the site expect information, or links to them, instead of some in-your-face brainwash and promotion of the government agenda. Everybody in the world has been watching the US Healthcare Bill, let's check out the US government website, any fancy banners about that there? I'm sure if there's any, the Republicans would have given Obama a big fucking trouble. How about the UK government site? Any propaganda there? No?

Okie, I know what you Villagers would say. The USA and the UK are western democratic countries. They have the democracy that we don't have. So let's check out our Big Bro's website (English site here). Well, not too bad...there're links to talks and news about your leaders, but not too exaggerated really. Let's go one step further, we look at the website of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Wow, it's not at all bad! I mean, yeah, there're pics of the two daft leaders there, but the stuff down there are basically information related. So, where is our GovHK site on the Stalin-Gandhi meter?

I didn't wait until this post to let my nerd rage out, I ranted violently about that in one of my Tweets. Jeremy Godfrey, the Government Chief Information Officer and the official responsible for the revamp, did reply. He even thanked me for my rude comment just like others who have given him kudos. Thanks a lot, Jeremy, but make sure you do something about that after your Easter break. Just drop that retarded banner there. All we need is information.

29 March 2010

The Lesson of The Herd Instinct

"Crowd: 'Yes, we are all individuals!' Individual in crowd: 'I'm not!'"- Monty Python's Life of Brian

Dear readers of the Pub,

If the sole aim of the Libertine Pub is the liberation of the herd instinct and if you are encouraged to think critically, then please, for the moment, allow me to be a rebel and examine the very purpose of the establishment of the Pub. I shall invite all of you to revise certain notions of the herd instinct, by revealing the ills of the Pub, hence attaching a "correct" and "just" value to the herd instinct.

It is not hard to realise what the herd instinct has taught us. Driven by financial necessity, our parents have never stopped to worry about our competitive nature, rather than encourage campus life, they advise us to cut away our periods of comfort and relaxation and urge us to finish school as soon as possible, keeping our productivity in check.

Entering the promising world of business, while reluctantly paying our monthly tributes to our parents, seated in an office where its atmosphere is the most unforgiving, personal opinions favourably suppressed, silence brutally celebrated, an ideal place to bring out the Chinese slavery instinct. Why is that so? Because we have all learnt the lessons of colleagues gossiping us and rendering our boss unintelligent.

The herd instinct has much to offer to our private life. In order to avoid suffering rejection, our selection of mates has to be confined within the pecuniary aspect. The definition of love is no longer romantically defined, rather it depends on whether we can afford an overpriced apartment, compensate the missing garments in our girlfriends' wardrobes, and how good we can perform in bed. If marriage is considered the mature stage of love, the success of a marriage proposal depends not on how good our artistic talents are on writing a poem, a beautiful love letter, or a piece of music, but only on the value of a diamond ring. How mature a woman can be.

Of all the above advice, there lies at the heart of the herd instinct the inevitable respect for our government. During these thirteen years of governing, rather than preserving our British tradition, our government seeks to inspire an unfair neglect of the western democracy and a patriotic enthusiasm for Confucianism. Two of the most important virtues in Confucianism are filial piety and loyalty. Had our government been favouring the western imperialism, how could we have harboured a deep respect for our boss, our parents, and everyone at the top of the social hierarchy? How could we have understood the value of collectivism as opposed to the western individualism?

Hong Kong has required more social cooperation more than it was required in any earlier stage, the advice of the herd instinct can therefore be summarised as the following: do not express our own opinions except those of our boss; do not pursue the ends which we ourselves think good except that they are the will of our parents; try our best to build up with connections with millionaires.

If we wish to be admired by our friends and neighbours, loved by ladies, respected by our fellow citizens, take the advice of the herd instinct for it is the modern bible of how we should live.

Can you, then, my readers of the Pub, lay your hands on your heart and say that the Pub is speaking the truth through its usual ridicule, satire, and sarcasm? This is sound advice and for the first time, I see the good of the public opinion. Therefore, I have already had my lobotomy surgery scheduled for tomorrow.

Sincerely Yours,


26 March 2010

War is just around the corner

Undoubtedly the most eye-catching news about Google recently is her decision to withdraw search engine business from the mainland China. Another important move of Google announced last week may not be as eye-catching, but certainly is a milestone of Google's business, the Google TV. Though there is no exact details on how it works so far, whether it's a TV sets or a set top box, we are certainly getting close to the age of an all-in-one entertainment and communication centre.

This concept is not new or even too old school for a trendy high tech Villager to talk about. Apple has already had a similar product in the market for long, though not as successful as the iPhone. Will you spend another 230 bucks buying something for fashion that gives you the functions your desktops or laptops already had? And the contents are solely available on the hands of a fruit? You can't do anything but what the fruit allow you to do. Apple should now be very anxious, if Google gets this right in the market, Apple's plan to conquer the living room will be a big failure. The iPad and Apple TV would just be another Newton.

The concept becomes hot again when PC manufacturers put more effort on nettop with the help from the mature P2P streaming technology. You may watch your favourite soccer match live without paying a dollar to cable, or watch blockbuster movies, long ended TV series anytime you want with just a little program downloaded from the net free of charge. Most importantly, you can still go on to Facebook, Twitter, MSN, Youtube, Youku, etc, etc.

Attention! Readers. Something you can do now may not last forever, the Gov't has already started reviewing the legal aspect of streaming and P2P transfer of copyrighted content. So watch out.

No one knows how Google TV will distribute the contents. Will it be the 3rd parties taking care of them or like how Google Books set huge fire in the publishing industry? Google is now stepping into every parts of our lives; their Search Engine knows your preference, Gmail holds your personal secret, Google Maps that captures you on the street. They control all of our data. Believe it or not, this internet giant may probably be working closely with the US Gov't on some highly confidential projects and the WWIII has already started silently. Now you understand why Iran doesn't allow their citizen to use Gmail, and why China wants to kick them out but Google still leave its tail there.

25 March 2010

Oh lawd! Is dat sum chicken?

A couple of days ago, after coming home from a hard day of slavery, I was eager to go thought my mail as I was awaiting the shipment for my pokemon T-Shirt, which I have planned to wear for the next Libertines Pub meeting (In order to impress Bambi). However, after 15 minutes of rummaging my mail box and suspusious look from the door man, I found something else, something that caught my attention, something so great that it suppressed my love for Pikachu.
I found this little gem.

Oh! neat-o! An ad from Physical! The Super Fitness Center!! I have always felt that I can do with some extra muscle in certain areas. Yeah, why not sign up with Physical right? So yes, I am intrigued, what else is in the offer, Physical? Let's see what's on the back of this little thing? Shall we?

Huh? Corn on the cob? WTF? Is that how my thighs gonna be like after yoga? What? What's going on Physical?!

Colonel! What the F are you doing here!? While I was all for yoga + muscle and shit, out of the blue, the bloody Colonel came out of no where, and struck me like a true Jedi warrior with a $30 cash coupon for his finger licking good chicken!

WHY! Physical?! Why would you do that!?! We are not talking about a few piece of chicken nugget! It's a whole bucket of fucking chicken right there! The calories! It's over 9000!!!!! (Which I guess takes 900 yoga lessons to burn off, umm somebody do the maths)

A Fitness Center advert having a fast food chain promotion somehow gave me a mental picture, and the picture looks like that

On the other hand, it could well be a stroke of marketing genius:

Fast food ->Fattie--->Fatties go to Gym--->The hotness!! Rinse-->Repeat x 900

(Henry, ever got sue by a corporation that worth multimillion?)

24 March 2010

Gweilometer: Island Line 4-5 and beyond

Wan Chai: This is one of those places that my gweilometer is more honest about than I am. The mix of pubs and dirty strip clubs make parts of Wan Chai feel like the bad part of an American city. But the pubs are too nice, and grime doesn't lead to violent crime, so it's not like home after all. The pubs are gweilo-friendly, a little too gweilo friendly. Same goes for the Chinese Restaurants. My gweilometer is set to prefer a slightly higher level of cultural authenticity: something in-between sweet and sour pork and thousand year old egg. Wan Chai certainly has plenty to offer both ends of that spectrum, but just not quite enough in my authenticity-band. Wan Chai and Sheung Wan are more in-between Central and, say, Mong Kok on this spectrum, but Wan Chai feels like it's trying too hard in it's gweilo-friendliness, with scores of Irish pubs and a Chinese restaurant called The American. We North American gweilo like our gweilo-friendliness to feel a little more natural than this. Average gweilometer reading: 84.435.

Causweay Bay: This was the first place I landed in HK. My company apparently thought this would be the perfect place to put a fresh off the airplane American gweilo. Note to Chinese people: when arranging accommodations for your gweilo friends and colleagues, do not put them in Causeway Bay unless you're sure that they're super materialistic. They're likely to be completely overwhelmed by the confusing street layout, congestion, pollution, and hyper-consumerism, and they probably won't understand the status-message you're sending by choosing some of the most expensive real estate in HK for their hotel. You have to really love shopping to love Causeway Bay, and I hate shopping. I notice some French people using their European gweilometers are getting higher readings than I am. It seems that their gweilometers are calibrated to give high readings in places where fashion is a priority. It's places like Causeway Bay that allow significant proportions of the populations of Paris and Milan to be employed in the fashion industry, tricking Chinese people into buying clothes they don't need is big business, almost as big as tricking them into smoking cigarettes and eating fast food. My gweilometer is overheating; it wasn't built to handle this kind of thing, and it's nearly impossible to find a bar to cool it down. This is why I can never stay in Causeway Bay for more than a few hours...so let's get back on the MTR. Average gweilometer reading: 54.312

Beyond Causeway Bay: The gweilo-map doesn't have many entries East of Causeway Bay. I understand that some gweilo live in North Point, or Quarry Bay, but I think their motivation to live there comes from the fact that those places are affordable, and have an MTR station. Using some of the special features on my North American gweilometer, I'm able to detect a burrito stand of some kind in Fortress Hill, but nothing else of note. Maybe I need a more sensitive gweilometer; they do get better with age.

23 March 2010

Where the hell are those T12 students now?

Last week, a bunch of students from different universities of the Village made a high profile announcement on their intention to run in the coming moronic LegCo by-election. They claimed that they do not want to see the legislators re-elected to their LegCo seats de facto. They want to give our Villagers a chance to vote and show that we give a shit about universal suffrage. It was so big a news to this pointless political event that even Milfo made me write a post in TDS. These students, calling themselves T12, told us that they need HK$250,000 badly. Nothing was said about the donation channel at their press con though.

Nomination period started yesterday till April 8, their intention to run for the seats seems to remain...well, a mere intention. I googled and still failed to find any official information about the T12. I found two Facebook groups supporting their action, but even Helen is annoyed and asked how the hell we are going to donate to make that happen (BTW, thanks Cecilia down there for her insistent translation of the important information there, like we care). T12's cute spokesperson said here that neither did they registered as an association of any sort, nor have they secured enough fund. She said they might approach allied organisations for sponsorship. But when the reporter asked which one, she's seemingly dumbfounded. I suspect they are actually still nursing their hangover, as that should probably take longer under this catastrophic pollution. No worries, mate! You still have like...more than two weeks to: 1) register your retarded organisation (not necessary I guess); 2) raise HK$250,000; 3) get subscribed by 100 registered electors of each of the five constituencies; 4) submit the completed nomination form.

The Libertines Pub cares about these young students and we're prepared to sponsor them: Free Beer. T12, please enlighten us on how we could reach you. Or you guys can simply forget about it and pretend that nothing actually happened. You probably can make a getaway easily as you know what the villagers really care.

Post publication note:
Woot! Right after this post came up, T12 opened this Facebook group. Now we know you're there! But how are we going to donate Free Beer?

22 March 2010

The Danger of Feminism

So much controversy has been stirred up recently about women in Hong Kong. There is one distinctive quality, however, marked by women across all age groups, namely, their longing for love. As long as men are no longer able to inspire romantic fantasy, there comes the time for the uprising of the feminist movement, a declaration for the independence of women, that they no longer have to bow to the necessities of love as suggested by the recent problems regarding the "spinsters".

The feminists have a distaste for what we may call the intrinsic qualities of women, rather than acknowledge their emotional sensitivity, they assure us the difference of masculinity and femininity a result of indoctrination, rendering women capable of being as emotionally independent as men. Women should no longer see independence as a potential shame. Does women's longing for love really arise from indoctrination? Is every line of modern western thought worthy of our honour?

However unlikely traditional thought guarantees wisdom, it seems feminism has risked inspiring an unfair neglect of traditional ideas and a misguided enthusiasm for social science.

Just when we are encouraged by the democratic vision of being individuals, the emphasis of the notion "I", anthropologists remind us that we are all in fact social animals. Our existence, however unwilling, has to be defined by others' perceptions and feelings. People allow us to be beautiful only when they look at us with an aesthetic eye. They allow us to be funny only when they have a cultivated sense of humour. They allow us to be compassionate only when they are as well compassionate. The so-called "intrinsic" qualities of ours can only be found when others possess the same. Our personalities can only be artistically expressed through the recognitions of others. Without companions, our qualities will become vacuous, rendering our life meaningless.

But one may inquire, "What about friendship? What about parental love? Do they not give grace to life as romantic love does?"

The fact that women long for love perhaps bears the wisdom of an age-old philosophical question. Character operates like a work of art that requires both artists and appreciators. Piet Mondrian's "Composition" may seem nonsense to someone who is deprived of aesthetic sensibility and someone whose knowledge of art history does not include that of abstract expressionism. In like manner, in order for someone who can understand and appreciate our characters, we need to find the right persons to appreciate them.

What does this say about the relationship between women and feminism? Feminism, when pursued beyond a certain degree, can be extremely destructive. It seeks to destroy the inherent qualities that render women charming and elegant. It undermines the value of diversity by blurring the distinction between masculinity and femininity. Who could tell whether Hilary Clinton is a man or woman?

Women do not necessarily have to be hypocrites to declare independence as an attempt to cover up the "weakness" of emotional dependence. We are all at heart the victims of romantic love. It does not downplay our individualistic nature, but only to emphasize the fact that we all long for love.


19 March 2010

It's about fad not policy, so the fetishists win.

Award winning movie really matters.

Sometimes ago I told you about how we might all possibly end up living in encampment later like the early British settlement due to our increasing historical awareness. We're now getting one step closer to that.

URA was finally forced to keep the 12 tenement blocks from head to toe on Wing Lee Street. Echoing what the BigLychee.com said earlier this week, the area around Wing Lee Street had once been nameless. I spent a fairly long time, about 15 years, around this nameless area, as the school I went to was located very close. The only few things I remembered as a school kid were the video game centre that promised us endless fun for 50 cents (if you manage to safeguard your Mario's ass long enough) and the few crappy fast food shops where students can smoke safely and talk trash during lunch break. One day, those fast food places got shut down. A few weeks after that, a few gweilo restaurants opened. The rest we all know, was the birth of Soho.

At the time when those nameless streets between Central and Caine Road turned into Soho, preservationism were not fashionable and nobody said anything about the change. But now there's a suddenly growing fetishism for old things in Hong Kong. With a little help from the Echoes Of The Rainbow, Wing Lee Street became the latest fad.

The most interesting part of this fad is that the preservationists, like the administrator of this Facebook fanpage, tell us a new genesis. They asked URA to stop destroying Soho and preserve Wing Lee Street at the same time, like both have existed since the beginning of time. It's a very successful promotion strategy indeed. If the administrator named the page "Stop URA from destroying Wing Lee Street" like this group, there'll only be 700 something fans. But if you say URA is destroying the great, god-gifted, and vital Soho, that'd get on the nerves of many expats and you get more than double the number of supporters. Preservation then became a matter of one's fetishism. If you think something is cool and hip, you cry when the government wants to take that away. How about that same thing next door already "destroyed" sometime ago? "Well, I'm not sure...but do you think the things you have NOW are cool? Yes? Let's cry together!" Oh yes, Soho is as historical as the 1950s tenement blocks, my ass.

And I have not even talked about the people who are really living there. As reported, some of them are now happy as they wanted to stay. But others might wanted to get the fuck out of there for sometime. Now who has the say here? The fetishists.

Of course, we're consistently sceptical about the objectives of URA. Forcing the poor out of their homes and then redeveloping the place to become something that nobody but the riches could afford is nauseous. But going uproar for some absurd fetishism sounds a bit nutty to me. And that is how we run our Hi-Tech Village now; we go rant and rave for what we want. The pan-dem bandwagon continues clinging on to the tasteless false hope of the village: because not everyone has a vote for our CE, that's why we're screwed. So it's correct to rant and rave for everything until we got democracy. However, I seriously doubt if these fetishism would ever cease even if our Big Bro granted us democracy.

Fetishists out there, if you want to preserve anything, simply make an award winning movie about that. Villagers will then faithfully support your cause. Need some help? Check out the indie film making guide by our most intelligent and innovative HK Magazine here.

18 March 2010

The High Speed Rail Controversey: An American Perspective

Since I arrived in Hong Kong a half year ago, the biggest political story has been the proposed high speed rail link between Hong Kong and Guangzhou. Apparently the young people in HK are really upset about this. I don't get it.

Recently, the SCMP documented the evolution of this movement from a community issue centered around villagers trying to keep their homes, to a mass political movement that has sparked political activism among many young people in HK. Chu Hoi-dick, one of the leaders of the movement, is quoted as saying, "When I first started, it was a community issue. My goal was to help villagers keep their homes. No one should be sacrificed because of a railway or because of any development." Really? How is this a rational political position? No one should ever lose their home because of any development? How would any nation or municipality ever create any public infrastructure under this standard? It's absolutely preposterous, yet somehow the SCMP doesn't mention the absurdity of Chu's statement. In a city as densely populated as HK, nothing could ever get built if you couldn't ever demolish anyone's home to build a public good.

Now I'm American, and as such I'm all for the rights of individuals. But even Americans know that sometimes people have to lose their homes because that land is needed for something that benefits society. OK, not all Americans know this. Many of the ones who don't are currently involved in what is called the Tea Party movement. This is a bunch of conservatives who think that it's immoral to raise taxes on individuals so that the government can provide a public good (in this case, what they object to is poor people receiving health care). Which brings me to my main point. This anti-rail campaign is essentially a conservative movement. The two basic arguments seem to be that individual property rights trump collective goods (the nobody should ever lose their house nonsense quoted above) and that it's just too expensive (or that the costs outweigh the benefits). It's ironic that young people in HK seem to have similar political opinions to a bunch of old, rural, uneducated and generally misinformed Americans.

Since the first argument is absurd on it's face, let's address the second one: it's just too expensive. I have no doubt it's very expensive, but taxes in HK are insanely low (it helps that the defense budget is zero). And I don't think there's much danger of a tax hike because of this project, so what are people so upset about? Public services and infrastructure work pretty well in this city, but that's because people invested in them in the past, and continue to do so.

My president has proposed several high-speed rail networks linking major American cities. Unfortunately, the dysfunctional US political system won't allow him to accomplish this goal, which would be of great benefit to the US economy. The auto and oil industries will surely succeed in limiting the scope of high-speed rail in the US. And the Tea-partiers will be right there by the corporations' side, shooting themselves in the foot because they oppose government spending.

I'm no fan of Big Beijing, but I sincerely wish that my government was forward-thinking enough to cover my continent in high speed rail. Whatever the economists say about the cost/benefit, does Hong Kong really want to be the one major Eurasian city that isn't part of the high speed rail network eventually connecting Shanghai to Paris?

I understand that a lot of the anger expressed in this anti-rail campaign is really frustration about the lack of real democratic influence in the political process. I feel your pain there. The US has had universal suffrage since 1776...ok, maybe 1865...no wait...1921. Ok, we realistically attained universal suffrage in 1964, except for the brief, computer-enhanced hiatus between 2000 and 2006. My point is this: the vote can be bought, influenced, suppressed or miscounted, but political speech is a fundamental human right. Use your right to protest wisely. Remember the boy who cried wolf.

17 March 2010

The bads about not being a Catholic

Recently, a weird phenomenon happens to a couple of my girlfriends. They suddenly converted to Catholicism with no early signs of being religious. They apparently did the you-know-what forbidden but enjoyable deed long ago. And within six months of their conversion, coincidentally, they end up exchanging vows with their fiancé before a big wooden cross hanging in a glass-laden high-ceiling greenhouse called church. The wedding scene is so sacred and beautiful that I always remember to shed some tears.

Admittedly, part of the tears are shed for the fact that I’m not going to get wed in a church, not like what the princesses did in fairy tales or what Dustin Hoffman tried to interrupt in The Graduate.

My jealousy is doubled by the fact that my newly Catholic girlfriends are married to sons from well-to-do Catholic families, one of them a doctor, the other a lawyer, then an heir to a family business. No matter how education and feminism tell us women to be independent and have it all, the talent of equating forever love with financial security (reads riches for high maintenance women) is still deeply rooted in our genes.

That enlightens me to think why Catholicism and Christianity can flourish like mad, in a manner that Buddhism, which doesn’t condemn non-believers to hell, or Taoism, which in its ancient classics promotes sex as a key to balance of life, can’t compete. One of the truths is simply this: Christianity lures people, including well-informed adults, to succumb to its system with self-interest as bait.

Sure, the Church teaches people to love their non-genetic brothers and sisters, which nurtures humans’ nature of wanting to do good, at the same time, the brothers and sisters provide free labour and valuable connections, not to mention a powerful support group that keeps you from evil temptations, such as a potential mistress or sex with no strings. It points you direct to goodness and love, without the need of free thinking from your side, saving you the effort of going astray and doubting yourself.

That’s why Catholics become such a privileged group where members can mutually benefit each other. They are much more united than the pan-democrats and much more capable of absorbing new members.

You may wonder, why then, didn’t I join the league of Donald Tsang to become a devout Catholic? The answer is just that I can’t fuck without a condom (and blame the pill for giving me low libido). I was told by a Catholic that they can use all kinds of contraception except the barrier method. It is deemed artificial, while fucking when not ovulating or withdrawal in time sound more “natural”, or in their terms, to the will of God.

If all Catholics strictly comply with the pre-marital sex ban, have sex only with their legitimate spouse and never remarry , I suppose STDs would not be a concern and any barriers can therefore be out of the picture. Sadly, in reality, the case doesn’t apply to mortals like me. In fact, the idea itself scares me to hell already.

16 March 2010

Urban Renewal = Sustainable Development of Hong Kong (Developer)?

Urban renewal is one of the long term policies in Hong Kong. It's taken so long, at least 10 yrs from mere idea to realisation, and that most locals don't have such a long attention span for something not as "explosive" as a suspected corruption case.

There is a dedicated statutory body taking care of it. However, property development is a commercial activity which needs involvement from the private sector.

What can we expect from the great vision of urban renewal? Let's look at the URA mission and vision and her priorities:

Our Vision
To create quality and vibrant urban living in Hong Kong - a better home in a world-class city.

Our Mission
To realise our Vision, we act on our priorities with ingenuity and sensitivity, join forces with our partners and nurture our people.

Our Priorities are

to accelerate redevelopment by replacing old buildings with new to provide a better living environment and neighbourhood;

to enable and encourage the rehabilitation of dilapidated buildings to prevent urban decay;

to preserve by maintaining and restoring buildings of historical and architectural value, and to sustain local characteristics;

to revitalise through enhancing and strengthening the socio-economic and environmental fabric for the benefit of our urban communities.

OK, let's look at some of the projects URA involved from here, here and here. It's up to you to judge whether these projects met URA's mission and vision, but I'm quite sure that most of the original tenants are no longer living or doing business in the same area. What replaced the small shops is the same, big shopping mall or a very tall building with a mammoth size base structure. Since the sites are usually small in old district with a few storeys building in the surrounding, the local calls those "Toothpick building". It doesn't mean it's fragile but like a toothpick standing upright.

As the name suggests, urban renewal, all sites are located in the urban area where land supply is rare. Flat price is sky high. The partner private developers not just benefit from flat selling, they also create a long term money feed from peripheral services like estate management and shops rental.

When this city is getting old, more renewal projects will start, and more business the developers can do. This is what the Gov't calls Sustainable Development.

15 March 2010

On Spinster

If the women in Hong Kong are getting more romantically cynical, it is because they are unable to locate a creature that can appease their yearnings. There is a group of women who have recently been labelled as what native English speakers may clumsily call "spinsters". If we turn to the Oxford Dictionary, it is generally referred as an older woman who is not likely to marry. In Hong Kong, however, the case is peculiarly different. The status of spinsters is fully acknowledged from the age of twenty seven, while lacking any romantic partner, rather than being championed as feminist ideal role models, the public mocks their daily routine behaviour of spending evenings alone, rendering the term "spinsters" completely derogatory.

So much intellectual ramblings this phenomenon generates, there comes the time when women who belong to this category are in protest of the herd instinct. What makes men being alone more privileged than women being alone? Is the only purpose of women's existence destined to be premised on a Platonic search for someone who can fathom their soul?

If their protest deserves attention, it is because it suggests something inherently paradoxical about this complicated species. On the face of it, their outcry is anchored from the usual feminist reasons, but at the same time these reasons are the ones that they do not wish to be accounted for. They intentionally suffer from a self-deception in order to cover up the somewhat deeply disturbing psychological evidence, the evidence of longing for love, just like a fat man who deceives himself he is thin by tucking his stomach before confronting the analytical truth of a full-length mirror.

But why do they have to produce and swallow this untruth at the same time? Is this society so lack of good men that no one can alleviate their sense of loneliness?

Hong Kong is a financial city. Driven by this pecuniary culture, we are compelled to rewrite the definition of love in the dictionary. The definition of love depends not on the articulacy of two different souls, but on the male counterpart, whether he can compensate for the garments missing from his girlfriend's wardrobe and whether he can afford an overpriced apartment in order to assure financial security. Love can be precisely defined by purely economical reasons as opposed to the commonly supposed abstract conception of love. How easy the age-old philosophical debate of what is love is settled by a group of young women, rendering pages of profound philosophical writings a pile of gibberish.

The accusation of women as spinsters in Hong Kong, instead of stemming from our hatred of feminism, it arises from the disguise of their deep love of material possessions. Men have been said to be devoid of the quality of romance. Unfortunately, the epidemic of this disease equally infects the female romantic souls. This society will not be sane until an education of love is enforced. Little wonder the feminist societies and organisations in Hong Kong emerge with their unusual display of passiveness.


12 March 2010

Hong Kong Power?! Wut?

First of all. lol TVB. You suck.

I had to get that out of my system, ok now we can start.

So..what exactly is Hong Kong power (Spirit)?

Every time when something horrible or tragic happened in a epic scale (Financial Storm, Financial Tsunami etc etc..u name it) in our village, local social commentators and the media always seems too eager to point out the fact that us Villager are a resilient and tough bunch of warriors, and will ALWAYS bounce back no matter what.

Even thou in fact we are have quite a high percentage of whiner and moaner in our village, whom are lead by a another bunch of whiner (this lots actually get paid to whine). Apart from the whiners, we also have our armchair activists who actually tries to save the world and improve our village by...by sitting in front of his monitor and blogging vigorously (I heard he updated his blog 5 times on Christmas Eve, 5 times!? X'mas eve?lol) Let's not forget this village also has a number of highly qualified professional who has no clue what's going on as its' back bone.

With that being said, of course we still have our honest, smart and hard working folks who do process the so called Hong Kong spirit.
So what is my point, you ask?

My point is, Hong Kong power/spirit/telepathy/regeneration/Jedi mindtrick or not. It does not matter.
While the media and the government would like to give you numbers and statistics to tell you that Hong Kong is doing ok and bouncing back, the truth is, as a local working slave, life is getting harder than ever in Hong Kong and shitty power aint gonna make things any better soon. Why ? Look over to the East to Macau, you ever heard of Macau power? Let me tell you this, Macau doesn't need no stupid fucking power. Macau has one thing, and that one thing is called obedience.

Didn't get it? Macau hardly even flinch at this, while over in Hong Kong, well we all know how'd that go right? -->

Puppet Chief Executive? Say Olá to Fernando, Macau! And then everybody in Macau said Olá to Fernando.

Motherland is pleased. Here, have some extra land. (seriously, extra LAND, WTF? it's like your mom knows you like candies, but since you were bad, she gonna punish you by giving it to your sister.)

It's worth remembering that Macau and Hong Kong will forever serve as Motherland's examples of one country two systems to our rebellious brother Taiwan. And it is a big slap to Motherland's face (!) if an anti-communist hot spots(反共基地) like Hong Kong gets all glitter and gold.
As Motherland's global economic and political power grows, it gets easier and easier to manipulate the S.A.Rs' economic. and guess what? It pains me to say this but someone gotta say it:

Fuck your Hong Kong Spirit/Power propaganda.
As long as Motherland sees us as a bunch of whiner and trouble maker, Hong Kong will never prosper again.

I'm so gonna be labeled as a secret communist.......

10 March 2010

Sexual Offences Records Checks for Child-related Work

Tell me there's no media bias.

For those of you who don't read Chinese, the above screen capture was the RSS feed from RTHK I got yesterday. The frist thread is about the debate in Legco yesterday on the proposed Sexual Offences Records Checks for Child-related Work. It said legislators supported the proposal and thought that it's an important measure to prevent molestation. At the very same time, RTHK fed us the news about the conviction of a teacher having sex with his 11-year-old student. TVB evening news last night (March 11) handled the two pieces of news in the same manner as well, though at the time of writing, they've yet to upload the clip onto their site. Now we all see that the problem is absolutely imminent and that pedos are everywhere without us knowing who they are! We need labels on them!

I oppose register/record checking on criminal offenses of any kind in principle. I don't understand why anybody who has served their sentences should be assumed having more chances of committing an offense again. Judges should have made sure that sufficient time for rehabilitation would be given to these offenders as their sentences before bringing them back to the society. Or else the imprisonment serves no purpose except making everybody happy by giving them an ambiguous justice. So when they are released, they should be considered having equal chances of committing offenses like everybody else. I understand perfectly that sexual drive could be a bitch to deal with, and that some people find it extremely difficult to control themselves. But that little thing in us that makes us do or not to do something is freedom, the dignity of humanity. Everybody, past offenders or others, can choose to do something wrong or right freely. All of us share the equal chance. Labelling past offenders in any way would only make their lives unreasonably harder than others. I told you about the ridiculous sex offenders registry in the USA. Although we are not coming any close to that now, we can imagine the injustice entailed when the labelling/registry system is taken to its extreme.

If the specialists consider that certain sexual offenders are still having problem in coping with their sexual drives, what these offenders need is professional help, instead of a label. Of course, they should not be allowed to work in positions closely related to children, but then the situation is entirely different: they're not left alone with their record stuck on their backs. Once they've got their shits together, they should be treated fairly as others. They should be considered "normal" like others. I know it requires lots of resources, but isn't our reserve overflown?

Now looks like we're going to have a record checking system, as the proposal was adopted in Legco yesterday. And it will be an administrative scheme before any proper legislation. I checked the Law Reform Commission's report and found a few questions we need to answer from there. Who has the authority to access the data? Although the checking will have to be initiated by the job applicant, it is not clear who from the employer side has the right to ask the job applicants to do that. And whom from the employer side the police should inform upon a checking request? Any measure to ensure that the data will be accessible by the authorised users only? Any mechanism to handle complaints related to the checking? When will a past offender be de-listed? We read that convictions "spent" under section 2 of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Ordinance (Cap 297) will not be included in the record, but what are those really? I'm not an e-lawyer, but a quick look at the Ordinance told me that very little offenses will be excluded. It seems that without proper legislation, these issues remain unsolved and there're possibilities of abuse to the scheme.

We all agree that children should be protected. But I don't see any reason to shove on a scheme that has real possibilities of injustice toward to past offenders. Like the drug test, we need more time and effort spent on this, or simply drop it.

09 March 2010

Gweilometer: Island Line 1-3

A gweilometer is a device that gweilo use to make themselves more comfortable in non-gweilo territory. Among other things, gweilometers can rate locations on a a 1-100 scale, allowing gweilo to find gweilo-friendly zones when they're too overwhelmed by neon, foreign characters, and MSG to navigate by sight. Not all gweilometers are alike: North American gweilometers come with different inputs and feature packages than do European or Australian gweilometers. Furthermore, gweilometers can be individually calibrated, and my gweilometer is set to my specifications. Other gweilometers may not give identical readings.

This is the first time I've used my gweilometer, so I'm gonna start with something familiar. Let's hop on the Island Line in Sheung Wan, and head east.

Sheung Wan: According to my gweilometer, Sheung Wan is a pretty desirable place to live. Like many places on the north side of HK Island, my gweilometer gives higher readings as I walk uphill from the water. Within walking distance are good restaurants, a few nice neighborhood-type bars, some parks and small green spaces. The cheap Cantonese restaurants are greasy, tasty and gweilo-friendly (English menu, not too many weird animal parts). But much of the gweilo-appeal of Sheung Wan is that it's close to Central and the Mid-levels, with slightly lower rent. So let's move away from the dried seafood smell, and head to Central. Average gweilometer reading: 88.425

Central: My gweilometer points me in too many directions at once, but the strongest signal comes from the escalator. Once I get on the escalator, my gweilometer kicks it up a notch (you know how gweilo feel about walking). The Mid-levels in general give some of the highest readings I've seen so far. Good European and Indian food, and established bars that aren't trying too hard. It's no surprise that my gweilometer is getting giddy; this has got to be one of the most gweilo-friendly places in all of East Asia. At this point, their are only two inputs my North American gweilometer has that really aren't getting enough action: hip hop, and Mexican food. As I move up the escalator, my gweilometer emits a warning buzz around SoHo (I've calibrated it to warn me when prices rise above my day-to-day range). So I dive back down to the MTR, headed for Admiralty. Average gweilometer reading: 95.733

Admiralty: Arriving at Admiralty, my gweilometer takes a big plunge from it's reading in Central. There's shopping, and offices, and more shopping. Just as an experiment, I set my gweilometer to "banker" and the reading shoots way up. When I restore my original settings, it falls again. Not really a bad place in any particular way, but in the shopping mall that is HK, Admiralty does very little to get my gweilometer going. I'm tempted by the variety of Chinese restaurants, but my warning buzz goes off again. Average gweilometer reading: 71.251

Back on the Island Line, as I head toward Wan Chai my gweilometer needle starts to point north again, but that will have to wait for next time.


The Libertines Pub Weekly Truth and Light Watch

I know you miss this series. The Libertines Pub Weekly Truth and Light Watch is back this week! Recently, nothing much has happened with our favourite daft Society for Truth and Light. I guess they're busy cashing in the money they ripped people off from their god-gifted flag day. Until last week, I saw something very interesting from their weekly e-news. They're introducing a Gay Hotline for Christ's sake!

If you're a homosexual, you are bound to have lots of problems you could not possibly deal with. You are mostly likely having these shits:
  1. Fear: "Nobody likes you, everyone left you, they're all out without you, having fun..." So you start thinking about crazy things, and you turn gay.
  2. Dissociation: You hate your dad and love your mom, so you turn gay.
  3. You hate yourself, you admire your mates, you turn gay.
If you're a homosexual, you're unhealthy both mentally and physically:
  1. You're most likely drunkards and junkies.
  2. You must have thought about killing yourself as you cannot really stand your own homosexuality.
  3. You cannot hold your shit as your asshole got worked too hard.
  4. You most likely have Aids.
All in all, your gayness is a sickness and you need help. There're absolutely NO happy and healthy homosexuals. You turned gay because you're unhappy one way or the other. Once you clean up those shits, you will become a healthy man again and turn straight.

I urge you gay people to call the Society for Truth and Light and seek help. Their hotline will start operating from March 12, every Friday 6-9pm, and every Saturday 2-5pm. Call 2390 2323.

Talking about the daft Society, how could we not mention its retarded son Zac Kao? He got married last Sunday. On behalf of the Libertines Pub, we congratulate him on earning the right to fuck his wife from now on. Anybody asked if he had had premarital sex? Zac told us that premarital sex is grossly dirty. From their horny looks, you can tell they're still unopened bottles of water before Sunday.

Again, call 2390 2323. You need help. Maybe I need that help, too.

08 March 2010

Should Women Wear Makeup?

A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine informed me that most Japanese office ladies would wake up at four in the morning to get prepared for work. Despite of the necessary time needed to travel to the city, most hours are devoted to showers and wearing makeup. This interesting phenomenon in Japan provokes in me a sudden reflection on the women of Hong Kong whose aesthetic sentiment is somehow wedded to the mentality of the Japanese.

It remains interesting to me why the women of Hong Kong, while having an awareness of the danger of bankruptcy, nevertheless surrender themselves to skincare and cosmetic products under the brand name of Biotherm or Shisheido at all cost.

If skincare products seem so important to women, it is because skincare products are able to ward off possible dermatological disasters. It bothers them when, after facing the verdict of a mirror, certain areas of their faces are in protest of their recent lack of care of their skin therefore plan to swell into a considerable amount of vengeful pimples. Pimples are often not built on compromise, likely to be incapable of explosion, taking days to disappear and threatening to leave traces of scars.

As to cosmetic products, perhaps in the female hierarchy of beauty, women like to think themselves pretty, if not beautiful. They are rarely willing to surrender to another feminine creature who possesses an aesthetic superiority which allows no comparison hence find value in physical beauty and harbour a wish to enhance it by means of cosmetic products.

To some social scientists and sceptics, however, such behaviour is worthy of suspicion, something invented to cover up their lack of inner beauty such as intelligence and artistic temperament. But is this really the case?

Quite the opposite. I find most women of Hong Kong bearing the wisdom of the French philosopher Rene Descartes. Descartes' scepticism asks the question, "How do we know that everything around us actually exists? Could it just be a hallucination which we are all victims of the deception of our senses?" Descartes suggests that the only thing that escapes from doubt is the process of thinking itself. The process of thinking is stripping itself of uncertainties until the irrefutable truth appears. But there is one problem that he ignores: How then can we obtain truth? What can he do about it?

In like manner, women often contemplate the question of what they can be loved for. Their looks, their intelligence, their wealth, their jobs, all these will eventually surrender to the extraordinary durability of time. They are beyond their control and subject to change. They may reflect success for now, however, likely to vanish given sufficient time and misfortunes. So they run into the same problem Descartes has. After stripping away uncertainties, Descartes is only left of a doubting mind which is irrelevant to the aim of his contemplation. What, then, are women left of? Not so much but only a pure consciousness which exemplfies the fact that they exist. Little wonder they keep spending their fortune on skincare and cosmetic products.

Therefore, my dear reader, can you still lay your hands on your heart and say that these women in Hong Kong lack the supposed inner beauty? We all have been told that women enter the period of maturity earlier than men. Early in their puberty, they already realise the wisdom of Descartes. Men, alas, perhaps still read comics and watch cartoons at the same age. But men and women are never equal. It is just a delusional feminist vision, isn't it?


05 March 2010

Being Asian makes you a 10

When it comes to desirability in terms of race, I always heard Aisan girls and white guys are most wanted, and both tend to be attracted to each other.

Well, I was brought up in Hong Kong and none of my friends known from childhood, i.e. the most traditional Asian girls, ever got a white boyfriend or just a white guy friend in their life. They dress like ordinary Kong-girls, in baggy outfit, without makeup and probably in spectacles. They seldom need to speak English in their daily life, only read local gossip magazines and watch Cantonese soap opera. They are shy to meet new people, and usually knew their boyfriends from study or work. Once they got a boyfriend, they usually stick to the traditional Chinese romantic formula: develop a long-term sexually-exclusive relationship with him and get married.

The above proposition only comes to mind when I begin my work and after-work life in Central, where East truly meets West and the first language is English. I knew a number of Gweimuizais (a colloquial term which refers to genetically Chinese but mentally Western girls, who have grown up or studied in English-speaking countries) in the district. Few of them are married, mostly single. Their idea of going out starts with 11pm and they show up in heavy eye makeup and curves-hugging revealing outfit. They work out and are mostly tanned. Their English is at native level. They’re open to anything and anyone new as soon as it’s fun.

Not surprisingly, I find myself surrounded by white guys every time I hang out with the group. I learn not to be judgmental when one or two disappear with a Caucasian, and not to assume they are boyfriends and girlfriends when they exchange hugs and kisses or even hold hands.

Soon, I come to a conclusion that when white guys say they’re attracted to Asian girls, they are actually attracted to girls who speak, dress and play like white girls, but born with an Asian frame (petite build, smooth skin, dreamy eyes…you name it). Only these oriental beauties welcome the seduction from white males. In terms of mentality, white still attracts white.

Some girls of my acquaintance even insist on dating white guys, never their own race. However, my concept of equality is, a male’s charm should be assessed irrespective of his race. Taking out the fact that he’s white, if he’s an old, overweight and pathetic loser, he shouldn’t deserve anything more than his Asian counterpart does. After all, the last person we fancy is Santa Claus, no matter how far he comes from.

04 March 2010

I'm in your blog, ruining your Disneyland.

With CNY holiday just over, I think it's about time we look ahead to the next holiday!! A quick scan at my Scarlett Johansson Calender revealed a boner inside my pants the next public holiday is in April, that's in a few weeks time!!! You know where I wanna go? HERE!
A Universal Studio? Casinos? A Marine Park with dolphins? AND a shopping strip with bars that opens 24/7? This might very well be the HK Disneyland killer that we've all been waiting for! Oh did I mentioned they have dolphins? (I'm totally gay for dolphins...) and couple of hotels so you'll never have to leave!

Well well well, whether you are fan of the Mickey mouse and his poorly made overpriced mechanizes or not, you must already knew that HK Disneyland has not been doing so well since its' opening. Is it bad management or may be just because everything the HK government touches turn into shit? I do not know. But you know what? As the senior tourism correspondent of the Pub I can tell you that as soon as the Shanghai Disney opens in 2014, HK Disney will be deader than dead.

Why so seriously pessimist you say? According to my sophisticate and advance research (which involves me taking the Tung Chung line on the MTR 6 days a week), over 9000% of HK Disney visitors are from the Motherland. Don't believe me? Try taking the Tung Chung Line out of Tung Chung right after the park's closing hour, you'd feel like you were right there in Motherland after the Sunnybay station. (Btw I bet our Motherland cousins will kick out asses in musical chair every freaking time, wayy too fast for us..) So when the Disneyland in Shanghai opens, which Motherlander in their right mind would go through all that trouble to come to the Village for a little bit of Micky mouse loving, when there's one right in the heart of Motherland?

C'mon. Let's face it Hong Kongers, proud as we are, we all know deep inside our villager hearts that Motherland will never and I mean NEVER let Hong Kong be better than Shanghai at anything! ANYTHING period

Is it all doom and sadness for our Disneyland? Well maybe not, there might just be a way to solve this problem with Shanghai Disneyland. Take a look at the Disneylands in the U.S, there's one on the East Coast and there's one on the West, both co-existed rather well, don't they? You guys see where I going with this, don't you?

OK, here's the scenario, it's 2047, Motherland no longer has to keep her dumb ass false promise anymore (Chapter 1; article 5 It says 50, no more no less baby! look it up!). The red storm troopers come marching in and HK officially is a S.A.R no more but became part of the Canton Province. Huzza! There you have it! Your very own North side and South Side Disneyland just like the ones in California and Florida!! In the year 2047 we all basked in the glory of Motherland! Those who lived in the South enjoyed the HK Disney and those in the North bugger off to the one in Shanghai. Problem solved, everyone has a fairy tales ending and lived happily ever after, apart from the Pan-Democracy Camp and the Libertines Pub's contributors who were all trialled and executed as traitors to the Motherland.....
Happy ending indeed. Firework for all!!

03 March 2010

Why did they all google "Christina Chan Thong" in Malay and found us?

Recently, lots of people from Malaysia and Singapore have googled "Christina Chan thong" and found us. I wondered what has happened with Christina in Malay and why we became the official Christina Chan soft porn photo site until I saw the above ad in Kuala Lumpur. Obviously, attention seeking is popular in Malay, and that is why.

No free ad at the Libertines Pub for these folks though. We only give free promotion to the great Stag's Head and our favourite ASW Erica Yuen.

02 March 2010

Escape to Lamma Island

I moved from Sheung Wan to Lamma Island over the weekend. I have a love/hate relationship with Sheung Wan, Central, and the north side of HK Island in general. Sheung Wan has a great energy to it, particularly around 8pm when I get off work. And it's nice to be so close to Central and the midlevels. But now that I've escaped to Lamma, I can finally be honest with myself about the negatives in the Sheung Wan equation.

During the day, the city wears on me. The noise of the car horns and construction drive pound away at my brain all day. Walking in Sheung Wan is a constant hassle, as I have to be vigilant for both speeding cars and stagnant pedestrians. And nobody smiles unless there's a camera pointed at their face (Filipinas are the only exception to this rule). Five months was long enough for me to figure out that this is just not the kind of environment I can spend all my time in. Nobody likes mosquitoes, but there's something disconcerting about an place that's so hostile to life that cockroaches are practically the only insects that can survive there.

I still work in Sheung Wan, but now I get to go on vacation everyday. On Lamma, I hear birds rather than car horns. I smell flowers instead of diesel smoke. People smile, and dance. And this is joyful, spontaneous dancing, not the dancing-as-status-display that you see in Lan Kwai Fong. People actually go out in public without trying desperately to look "trendy." Maybe this has something to do with the fact that Lamma is completely free of the oppressive advertising that poisons hongkongers minds. There are packs of mixed-breed dogs and mixed-race children happily roaming the streets. It's my kind of place.

But for all it's bohemian charms, Lamma is still the SAR. On the surface, it appears to be the only place in HK where people have some respect for the environment. But there are random piles of garbage along the trails: old toilets and worn out couches dropped in the middle of green spaces. People still look at me like I'm an alien just because I don't want them to give me two pieces of garbage with every purchase. The seafood restaurants, packed with hypocritical hippies, are obviously unsustainable. Those diesel powered Lamma-vehicles are annoying, and make an unreasonable amount of noise. There's still a ridiculous amount of loud construction everywhere. (Why do roads in HK seem to require 10 times as much maintenance, at 10 times the volume, as roads in the US or Europe?) Then there are the three smokestacks, reminding everyone that this isn't really a remote fishing village, more like a fake tourist version of one.

The biggest drawback, of course, is the fact that the last ferry for Lamma leaves at 12:30. But if it were more connected to the city, it would be more like the city. So that drawback is part of the charm. I'm just happy to be able to take my headphones off. And breathe.

wesmcl is the gweilo who joined the team at the Libertines Pub lately. Read his weekly expat rage and love for our Hi-Tech Village here.

01 March 2010

Romantic Obstacle

Nothing demands as much intensity as our longing for romantic love. All too often we want to embark on a relationship depending not on the sophistication of mind or how many interests we share, but simply to strip ourselves of the habit of contemplating pages of diary full of evenings alone. But is it so hard to find someone who is able to shed light on us and fathom our soul? Are we not allowed a blind faith to locate a creature who can appreciate little things in us and after making love, exchange information with us in an infantile, affectionate language?

It is not an uncommon phenomenon in Hong Kong that women often complain good men are hard to find either for their ungentlemanly behaviour or their reluctance to take responsibility. Men of Hong Kong are living in a critical moment where patriarchal power is reduced and feminism is upheld. If women become less susceptible to criticism, it is perhaps because men had been in supreme power for too long. However much importance is attached to feminism, I fear it comes the time when attitudes of women should suffer analysis on equal terms.

The women of Hong Kong have been in the habit of finding pleasure in their love of conspiracy. If we happen to gaze and smile at a lady who displays much physical beauty, her intuitive reaction should be the most unpleasant. Encouraged by the feminist vision of sexual equality, rather than taking pride in her own physical candour, the lady considers the act of being treated as an object of beauty a potential shame. Assumptions are immediately made on the ground that men are brainwashed by the fantasy depicted in pornographic films.

If we wish to offer help to a charming lady who gets lost in a less urban area in Hong Kong, she may worry at length whether there is any hidden motive behind our act of showing her the direction.

The need of women to marvel at the reasons of men's suspected generosity, however, is not hard to understand. During lunch hour, it is not uncommon to hear a conversation from the table across about skilful prostitutes from mainland China. If we go over the browsing history on their computers, we should not be surprised to find out most of the minutes of their days are devoted to intensify their sexual lust. Little wonder why women find it hard to associate their gazing with artistic merits.

This mindset, however, equally deprives them of the chances to locate rare species of gentleman because they have fatally generalised all men in Hong Kong are of the type they usually run into during their lunch hours. Disappointed, men are denied even the slightest chance to approach them. But what is wrong with appreciating one's physical beauty even if our intention is sexually anchored? Is it not being considered an object of desire a compliment itself? Should we allow our superstitious faith that sexual motives must necessarily lead to bad consequences?

In order to remedy the inextricable relationship of men and women, the solution lies in a mutual agreement. The nature of a romantic relationship, like politics, aims at compromise and negotiation. Our hope in achieving perfection can only be realised by giving up some qualities of our own. For all I know, men of Hong Kong are full of vices. But what women demand from men invites us to the paradox which sexual equality is acknowledged while at the same time gentlemanly behaviours are celebrated which is deemed impossible without a modest degree of patriarchy. Before women revise faults of their own, our romantic ideal will not eliminate our cynical nature.