29 September 2010

Why do we need New Territories?

The King of the New Territories is on the newspaper again. The Honourable LAU Wong-fat GBM, GBS, JP blah blah blah, is the Chairman of Heung Yee Kuk, a consultation body of Villages, Indigenous Inhabitant, etc etc. He is also the Non-official member of the Executive Council.

The report said that Lau failed to declare transactions of properties to the Council. Such transactions had been signed just before the government announced the policy to suppress the property market. Lau earned some cash from the deal for sure. As expected, the government didn't say much. This reminds us of the scandal of our ex-Financial Secretary Antony Leung. Comparing to Leung, Lau's failure is definitely more serious. Let's see what the government will do about it this time.

The most puzzling part of this news is why we need Lau in the Council in the first place. Why those Indigenous Inhabitants in NT are "more equal" than those who have also inhabited in Kowloon and HK Island for centuries? I know I know, it's a historical issue that can't be solved in short term and their rights are written on the Basic Law too. As our Village developers grows mightier, there will surely be more confrontations with the NT people. Shall we need Lau in the Council to help balance the power or shall we start dealing with the problem itself here?

24 September 2010

Moon Festival, we have that too, u know.

Happy Mid Autumn Festival!

More ground-breaking (not) war-zone reporting from your war correspondent.
Did you know we have Mid Autumn Fest here in the war-zone too? Yes yes of course the Korean do! But they prefer to call it the Chuseok (추석) or you can call it Korean Thanksgiving if you are a retared foreigner. The lovely people here in the war-zone, being proud of their tradition, would tell you that it's a Korean festival not originated from the Chinese, but hey, I know how much they like to set themselves as far away from the Chinese as they can, so let's not argue.

Now it wouldn't be a festival without some festive food. While y'all stuff your faces with rebellious moon cakes, with 20 egg yokes inside. Here in the war-zone we all have a much healthier (a lot more boring) vision of festival food. Ladies and Gentleman, meet Songpyeon (송편), yeah, much like every other festival food here in the war zone Songpyeong is made out of glutinous rice. (They sure love their glutinous rice here, B-day, New year, wedding, etc, all glutinous rice cakes) ; Just like moon cakes, it's eaten during Mid Autumn Fest, oh I'm sorry, I meant Chuseok. My bad.

Which Festival is better?
Let's compare!!

Festival Food:
over 9000 calories of delicousness
Great...More rice cake. T.T


No comparison, Mid-Autumn wins this round.

Festival Activities:
BURN WAXXXX!!! >:D
Soul Trainnn




Normally, the combination of setting things on fire wax burning and carrying a lantern around (lame i know) would be my prefer choice, but ever since some retarded kids burned their faces off playing wax (thanks a lot, u jerks), burning wax in public is now as legal as smoking a bowl of weed in public and carrying a lantern itself is just plan lame. So I'm gonna go with Ganggangsullae, some kind of weird dance only involve women. Dance + Women = Always gets my vote.
Chuseok Wins this round

Festival T.V
hahahahahahah



Yes, everyone wears that on T.V!!











While I cannot ignore the hilariousness of the Shatin show our beloved TVB held, how can I not love the Hanbok wearing cuties (Even news reporters wear the full thing!) on my screen?!
Chuseok Wins!

Festival Crowd.
Nobody crowd better than HKers
Hai? Anyone out there?












Pic left-Victoria Park, Pic right- View from my window. Of course, during Chuseok, every local person returns home, and the own people you can find in the city are drunk foreigners that don't actually celebrate Chuseok.
Mid-Autumn Wins!!!

So which holiday do I prefer?

The war-zone version of course! While you sorry ass get 1 day off from Mid-Autumn. I get 3 days off !!! RAWR, plus, the whole war zone is too hangover to work on Friday anyway, so it's effectively almost a whole week off!!! I'm off to join the drunk foreigners!!!

22 September 2010

When I was a young boy...

When I was a young boy, my parents asked me to compromise with other kids in the playground when there is an argument, and apologise when I treated other kids rudely.

These days, parents teach their kids to ignore others when there is an argument. Mama and papa are there with you, you don't need other kids to play with.

When I was a young boy, my parents smacked me for wrong doing, or whenever they feel like it.

These days, beating kids up is a criminal offense and kids beating parents up are not uncommon.

When I was a young boy, my parents left me alone at home on a daily basis. I would be a good boy most of the time and would only try to dig out my old man's porn magazines for the sake of sexual education.

These days, leaving kids alone at home is a crime. And whenever kids are left home alone, they either fucking burn the flat down or climb out of the window and smash their heads 18 storeys high. Thank you, Spiderman.

When I was a young boy, my parents would ask me to queue up for public transports, and never to rush for seats.

These days, parents encourage their kids to hasty grab a seat on buses, MTR, and trains. They better grab more seats for mama and papa as well, or they'd be called stupid.

When I was a young boy, I wiped my own ass after taking shit.

These days, kids are retards.

When I was a young boy, my parents talked to me in Cantonese.

These days, parents talk to their kids in broken English and feel ashamed if their kids speak one Cantonese word.

When I was a young boy, TV was the thing to keep me entertained.

These days, entertainment? Have you learned your 5 languages, 10 musical instruments, 15 sports, hundreds of classical poems, and 10 thousands vocabularies?

When I was a young boy, my parents taught me how to do my homework and made sure I'd done all that was required. They felt that was their responsibility.

These days, it's Ken Sir's responsibility. We paid him, right?

When I was a young boy, my parents asked me to say thank you when people offered me anything. I was also taught to say excuse me or sorry when I run into others' way.

These days, even parents have no clue what "thank you", "excuse me", and "sorry" mean. When people offer you something, they must be dodgy assholes of some sort and kids should avoid any contact with them at all cost.

When I was a young boy, my parents smacked me for not greeting our relatives and friends when I saw them.

These days, adults are obliged to beg for children's attention. They bought these kids gifts and snacks just to make sure that the kids will greet them once.

When I was a young boy, I cried when I got bad school results.

These days, parents cry when their kids got bad school results.

When I was a young boy, I was ordered to bed at a time my parents saw fit.

These days, parents are allowed to sleep or make love only after their kids feel like going to bed.

When I was a young boy, I was ordered to accompany my mom to the market and helped her to carry heavy stuff.

These days, kids are on strollers up to 12.

When I was a young boy, my old man taught me how to "burn wax" at Mooncake Fest.

These days, "wax-burning" is a crime.


A young boy, I was one.

21 September 2010

Run for your life, it's a TAXI!


Every time I get into a Hong Kong taxi, I can't help but fear for my life. If it's not a speed-racing, tail-gating maniac, it's a start-stop-start-stop half-blind grandpa, or if I'm lucky, it's actually a decent driver who's just a little (read: VERY) bitter about having to be a taxi driver and tells me repeatedly during the ride how much he hates his job.

Unfortunately bad taxi drivers are the norm here and I end up gripping the door handles and/or slamming on my imaginary brakes multiple times before I reach my final destination, ready to puke. The nausea is of course brought on by last minute lane changes, loud and whiny Cantonese opera on the guy's stereo (people really listen to this crap?!), the heavy stench of cigarettes or a hearty combination of the above.

It gets me so mad whenever I have to ride with these dangerous taxi drivers. As someone who doesn't enjoy driving because of all the responsibility involved, I can't believe how taxi drivers can be so reckless, especially when they literally have other peoples' lives in their hands! Do they secretly want to kill themselves, with no care for whoever's in the car with them? Do they think driving a taxi is like playing a racing video game? And do they really think they are invincible and can get away with any crazy maneuver they make up in their heads?!

These guys need a wake up call. Just last July, a woman was run over and killed by a taxi driver in Mong Kok after a night of playing mah jong. In June, an elderly man was also run over by a taxi driver, who simply said he "heard a loud sound and found the senior lying in the third lane." In May, a drugged up HK taxi driver drove SO badly his passengers jumped out of his moving cab!

So, what can we do about these cold-blooded killers? Next time you're in one of their cabs, make sure you mark down his/her name and license number and report that bastard! TIP: If your taxi driver does not cooperate, only put him in a headlock after making sure he doesn't have a good set of teeth (or any at all), unless you can stand to lose a fingertip or two...

Read all the fun stuff at Miss Fong in Hong Kong.

20 September 2010

The Lessons of Public Transport


Back in the days before capitalism has become a legitimate economic philosophy, many valued a person for who he was rather than what he had. Capitalism, however, reconfigures the evaluation process and lends the idea of success to physical possession rather than its spiritual equivalent. Owning a Mercedes is therefore an indication of the quality of life. How easy one's ethical integrity might be determined by one's physical properties.

It is a tragedy, perhaps, to watch the downfall of public transport and falsely raise private cars to a status of superiority. If public transport is often regarded as inferior to a Porsche, it is perhaps because it is likely to inspire monotony, having to stay fixated on a same routine every single day. Riding on a bus also suggests that the notion of who we are is critically dependent on others, that our existence is of no value unless the passengers who sit next to us or behind us accord us with signs of respect. Moreover, having neighbours sitting next to us also hampers us to move our joints and limbs freely, thus bringing physical discomfort, that our decisions to articulate our bodies are actually determined by the external rather than the internal.

Driving alone, on the contrary, avoids rehearsing the same driving routine. It offers opportunities to escape from the everyday rituals, especially the traffic, and conspires to rejuvenate us with a sense of novelty. Driving also seems to restore the value of solitude. Rather than going along with the value that a densely populated city might tend to suggest, driving celebrates the virtue of being alone and acknowledges the prided status of individual, making allowance for meditation, and liberating us from the flock, for the herd mentality may unfairly consign us to disgrace and others to respectability.

However, to condemn taking public transport is to fail to place it in a proper context as to what it may offer in life. If public transport has to be given its due place in our monotonous lives, it is because it might prompt us to think far more easily than clinging ourselves to our computer desks in office or in our rooms. Though we tend to pass by the same sceneries in a bus, we are likely to be assisted by the flow of the landscape, which is susceptible to change, inspiring us with a sense of novelty rather than monotony. We are also forced to investigate human behaviours which we often easily ignore- the lady who is dying to get on a bus, the man who is rushing to the metro railway station, and the man who is exchanging business ideas on his mobile phone. The sense of novelty, therefore, lies in the diversity of human behaviours and the flexible exterior decor and the advertisements of shops, which help anchor new reflections to life.

Of all modes of transport, buses are perhaps the best aid to thought. They lack the monotony that planes and metro railway are likely to inspire, the unbearable quickness that a taxi might ferry us to the destination, and the slowness that a tram is insistent to offer. If riding on a bus nurtures our ability to think, it's not just because we are confronted with a scene of novelty, but it's also because we are reluctant to think properly when thinking is what we are supposed to do, just like we are forced to write a publishable essay on demand. Riding on a bus allows us to abstract all the headphones snares and the talking that surround us, through taking in the passing scenery, offers us a sense of silent immobility to observe the seemingly silent mobility of the external world. It retains a peace of mind in us which is essential to contemplation.

If we are inclined to forget the benefits of taking public transport, it might be because driving our own cars subjugates us with the illusion to recover a sense of freedom. Instead of leaving room for us for introspective reflections, driving tends to divert our attention to the roads, for the fear of car accidents or our absent-mindedness for the traffic lights, forcing us to focus on our self-preservation instinct rather than bringing us back into contact with ideas and emotions that are of importance to us. It can only foster a form of rather unwelcome solitude, namely, loneliness, which only wears us out with an excessive longing for love.

Hence our travelling to work correlates with our desire to travel. What is beneficial about travel is that it allows us to get away from the habitual and the tedium, and encourages us, through the unpredictable changes around us, to unearth the visions about ourselves that previously lay buried in our hearts. If public transport is able to inspire us through the moving sceneries, can we not conclude that our travelling to work or school follows a similar trajectory? If we travel because we need not only a break from our domestic setting, but also from ourselves, doesn't riding on a bus similarly allow us to reflect on our lives from a height we are unlikely to reach unless before and after work?

Public transport can also be a remedy for loneliness. It recovers a sense of community, that though we may be lonely, we are consoled by the fact that we are not alone in loneliness, that many are similarly lost in thoughts and emotions. It brings us back a tight city feel, as opposed to a soulless feel, reminding us of the fact that a city should be dynamic and needlessly be condemned to silence. Humans are still at heart social animals whose existence is critically dependent on the external world.

Travel is not necessarily a luxury. Though we may not be able to afford a trip to Europe or Japan, we can certainly afford a few dollars to start our journey on a bus to appease our yearnings for change.

W

17 September 2010

Libertines Pub Friday Newscut and List of WTF Events

Villagers love their news media more than ever!
HKU Public Opinion Programme said more than 60% of our Villagers found our news media satisfactory, a record high since 1997. We don't know. More Villagers should read our rants against the media before responding.

Our Superman shows us love
If you have any idea that can show your love for this Village, you'll be granted dollars. What interested us is never this project itself; we're damn sure that it will be dull. But when Li announced this project before a dinner, he stuffed his pocket with $100 notes and hand them out to the security guards on site to thank them for their good work. It's not snobbishness, it's love; that we can be sure.

Who needs the rides in Ocean Park when you got the lifts
After all the lift accidents in Hong Kong since late 2008, we're still risking our lives everyday. All the faulty maintenance contractors and lift suppliers got were warning letters, and nothing ever changed. We recommend you to use the stairs. It's good for your health anyway. We also envisage the climbing of flat price on lower floors. Buy now.

Like Bowtie in Facebook! For the hell of it
We liked him. We need to have Donald here at the Libertines Pub drinks. We envy their happy faces there.

CHANDEMONIUM, what?
We don't understand WTF is "CHANDEMONIUM". We only know that the retards at the Standard know shits about headline writing and website coding. In case they finally feel the need of fixing it, the screenshot is here. It isn't all that difficult:

CHANDEMONIUM

Right?

More drug tests, MORE!
The ass kissing Bauhinia Foundation Research Centre thinks we need more drug tests. They want them in bars and clubs. How did they conduct the survey? We don't know. What questions were asked? According to their informative presentation, they asked "Do you support authorizing the police to conduct compulsory drug test on people inside entertainment premise during police checks, given reasonable grounds?" What are reasonable grounds? We don't know, probably whatever they see fit. We only have piles of posts to tell them to STFU.


Useless, awkward, and WTF events you can't afford to miss

BarCamp Hong Kong 2010
Still on our list. They now have 500+ pretentious assholes attending. Rumour has it that the idiots from TDS will have breakfast together in a McDonald's around the corner. Go murder them.

Greenpeace Carfree Day 2010
You know you ought to participate, if you live close enough to your office like Bowtie. Take a bus to work if you're not that lucky, as the buses in this Village are the cleanest possible ones you can get on earth. Or simply call in and tell your boss you're not going back as it's Carfree that day.

Fear, Greed and Trust Continued

I kept meaning to answer some of the questions in the comments from my post last week, but every time I thought about what I would say, it seemed more like a new post.  So here is that post:

Zombiehellmonkey commented: I agree with the idea that if the system is created for greed, then it will nurture greed by rewarding it, as well as opening itself to corruption; so how might government institutions begin to foster trust?

Well, that's a tough one, and I'm not sure the government's job is to foster trust.  But in China the government actively discourages it by putting major restrictions on voluntary organizations (both real and virtual).  Getting together to discuss politics is pretty dangerous in China, so that problem seems unlikely to be solved.  

But Zombie's question wasn't about China, it was about government institutions generally.  I don't have a lot of special insight on that, so I'll refer to what Robert Putnam has written on the subject.  In Making Democracy Work, Putnam's study of trust and social capital in Italy, Putnam found that northern Italy had very efficient government institutions, an advanced economy and a generally higher quality of life than southern Italy.  The moral system in southern Italy has been characterized by Putnam and others as "amoral familism."  In this system, there is virtually no trust between people who aren't members of the same nuclear family: relationships are based on power and coercion, not cooperation and mutual benefit.  This is the moral system I saw operating in China.  (Interestingly, in the post before mine last week, William talked about how his parents taught him to be distrustful of strangers, and how that has affected his ability to form close friendships as a young adult.  Ok, so William used the "royal we" instead of referring to this as his personal experience, but I think we all know what he really meant.)  

So why this difference between northern and southern Italy?  Why this difference between China and Hong Kong? In Italy, Putnam attributes the difference to the different histories of the two regions.  In the South, "third party enforcement" was the solution to the Hobbesian dilemma because of the hierarchical political system there during the Middle Ages and early Renaissance.  In the North, the political system was more democratic: voluntary networks of civic engagement (things like sports clubs, social clubs, etc.) helped create a reserve of social capital that people could rely on to help solve collective action problems without the need for a third party enforcer.  

China's recent history may have created a similar situation.  Daveed commented on my last post that the distrust I saw in China was not the result of the Leviathan, but of rising inequality.  With respect to Daveed, who surely understands much more about China than I do, I think it's a little bit of both.  During the Cultural Revolution, Mao attempted to wipe the slate clean, replacing religious values and traditional, secular morality with communist morality.  "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" isn't exactly the golden rule, but it's a moral system, and not a particularly unreasonable one, on it's face.  But with the Gini coefficient rising, nobody believes the Communist lie anymore.  So what's left?  Coercion, power, and the third party enforcement of the state, and amoral familism.  The communist ethic has been replaced by capitalist ethic of "from each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed," except that this amoral ethic isn't tempered by democratic political institutions or webs of civic engagement as in northern Italy.  

What could a government do?  Encourage civic engagement, voluntary organizations and webs of relationships that don't revolve around profit or power.  Obviously, encouraging any of this sort of thing is NOT in the interest of any authoritarian government, so I'm afraid China is stuck...until the next revolution.  As I interacted with this amoral familism in Shanghai, I couldn't help but laugh at the thought that these are the people who are supposedly going to  be the next rulers of the world.  Sometimes we laugh when we are deeply afraid. 

16 September 2010

Ugly truths I dare not tell my girlfriends


One night, when I had dinner with my girlfriends, one of them showed me her birth chart with her iPhone, alongside with her dream man’s. She was speaking some psychic language which is as easy to understand as Japanese to me. “His Moon sign compels him to withdraw his emotions in front of someone close to him. And my Venus sign forced me to remain composed even my passion is as intense as fire.”

“By the way, my Feng Shui master told me last week that if I place pink crystal balls in the northwest corner of my bedroom, I’m able to change my love fate, that I won’t be marrying a divorced man in my first marriage, which will only come up in my forties (sigh).”

You know how I responded? I did the usual girl-bonding thing: lying. “Yeah, he may not be able to get in touch with his feelings right now. And you shouldn’t rush into things. It does you no good.”

“I’m not sure about the crystal balls but I believe they can empower you. At least, you should forget your doomed love fate.” I spoke the half-truth.

In fact, my mind kept murmuring an Oscar Wilde quote, “Women have a wonderful instinct about things. They can discover everything except the obvious.”

The obvious is: you are not young, beautiful and hot enough, darling. If you are a sweet hot babe, he will leap to you in no time without any signals from the Universe.

She’s the kind of ordinary that can’t be fixed with mere makeup skills. My sense of being a good friend tells me to suggest cosmetic surgery, which is going to make her unfriend me forever.

Whenever I heard bullshit from my girlfriends, I always wish I have the courage to speak up the truth.


"I know he loves me by the way he treats me in bed. At least he’ll miss me. I give him things his girlfriend is not willing to give."

What I say: “I think their relationship is fragile already. It’s a matter of time but you shouldn’t wait.”

Truth: “Honey, there’s no hope in upgrading yourself from FWB to girlfriend (but you can do the other way round). Thanks to your help, he’s got no reason to leave his girlfriend now.”


"I love him as a friend but the chemistry is just not there. I can’t help falling for other guys even they treat me worse."

What I say: “Well, love can’t be forced right?”

Truth: “You’ll regret giving up a husband material in 10 years’ time. By that time you’ll be sleeping alone because bad boys are no longer interested in your sagging body. Just fuck him and get that ‘chemistry’, would you?”


"I have no mood in having sex with my hubby. His advance is becoming annoying."

What I say: “Well, a relationship shouldn’t be assessed by the frequency of sex right? No-sex relationship is the New Black!”

Truth: “Hey love, your husband will be sleeping with prostitutes in no time. What do you think he bought you the rock for?”


Sometimes I wonder why I’m such a coward. Maybe because the truth I see is too sexist, contrary to what women believe in these couple of decades. Maybe because I think women actually know the truths and just want to hear something they want to hear. Or maybe because I want them to do me the favour back when I’m in similar situations. As Pedro Almodovar’s movies depict, women lying and hiding is their second nature. It’s how they survive.

So tell me, is honesty the best policy, huh?

15 September 2010

"Money for nothing" for whom?

Imagine, if the company you work for is paying the rent of your flat as a part of your package, and luckier still, the owner of the flat one day decided to waive the rent for a month, should the company add that sum they saved to your pay cheque?

Yesterday, our favourite tabloid reported a controversial ruling by the High Court, judging that a CSSA recipient living in public estates are entitled to receive the rent and rates waived by the Housing Authority as part of the relief measures to help to poor in the annual Budget. Detailed judgements are yet to be released, but they could possibly apply to the rest of the 150,000 CSSA recipients in this Village. According to the report, one of the reasons behind this ruling given by the judge is that,

The government has been "paying money from the left pocket to the right pocket" and had failed to relieve the poorest in society when announcing the waivers.

"Money for nothing (... and her rent's for free)", the headline used by the tabloid linked above, and some other reports from the Chinese papers all suggested that the plaintiff is a nutty who is obsessed with complaining. Are they misleading us to think that such case shouldn't be put to the court in first place? CSSA recipients are just scums who try every means to get all the benefit for nothing? This is the stereotyping our local media offered and for most of the time we gladly accept.

We can't say at the moment whether the judgement is logically and lawfully sound. However, this case did show the fact that the society is stereotyping the poor all the time, especially the CSSA recipients. This also showed that those relief measures are not meant for the ones who're really in need of them. For example, 27,300 families living in public estates are classified as "Rich", with their total income and net assets value 2 times, 3 times or even more of the ceiling. They receive such benefit as a "relief" not because they need it, but simply because they are living in the public estates and the Housing Authority has failed to kick them out.

Readers, the death of the news media of this Village is just around the corner. But no worries, the Libertines Pub is at your service.

14 September 2010

Retarded Gov't Press Releases to prepare you for the Mooncake Fest

I tried very hard to avoid thinking about this. I normally tried very hard to make my public holidays come as surprises. That "unexpected" tomorrow you don't have to come back announcement usually make my dullest day of slavery. It could feel entirely different, of course, when that announcement has an effect on tomorrow after tomorrow after tomorrow after tomorrow. I even shut myself down to annoying ads like this, and pretended that it's not yet close. But my struggle was proved to be futile. Yes, the Mid-Autumn Festival, or as I prefer, the Mooncake Fest, is coming on next Wednesday September 22.

No, it was not Joey who reminded me about this and ruined my plan. Of course, she's usually the one who likes to ruin my everything. This time it took a couple of retarded government press releases to do the trick. When I was scanning through my RSS, the subject "Public urged not to burn wax..." just caught my eyes. The thought that the government is finally saying something about S&M hit me immediately. But no, nothing that exciting. It was actually a release from the LCSD telling us not to burn wax when celebrating the Mooncake Fest. The term "burn wax" is just fucking enchanting, don't you think? When you scan through an article and see a sea of "burn wax", like this:

burn wax...............burn wax..........burn wax, burn wax....burn wax
.........burn wax.....burn wax burn wax burn wax burn wax.......burn wax
burn wax burn wax burn wax burn wax burn wax burn wax

You just have to read it. Yes, burn wax!

And this release is so fucking badly written.

First, it started off claiming that they are appealing "to the public to keep places clean and tidy and not to burn wax when celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival". An immediate put off. No littering and wax burning, end of the story. And then a "spokesman" came in. The spokesman speaks, as it is his job, and tells us that they're deploying 1,000 staff members to watch you. Ok, I'm shit scared, so what should I do?

First, I should "wrap and properly dispose of my rubbish in litter bins". Secondly, I should not "burn wax (here we go again! BURN WAX!!!) when celebrating the festival. I should not sprinkle or pour liquids onto hot wax, which might cause injuries or damage to property". I should also not "place lit candles on the ground and grass pitches of LCSD venues...Zzzz....Zzzzz....Zzz".

Then it came the ordinance copying-and-pasting part of the release. We're threatened not to burn wax, why? Because if you get caught, you're "liable to a maximum fine of $2,000 and 14 days' imprisonment". And if you hate wax-burning, you can report them. This is going to be a fun hide-and-seek Mooncake Fest. The wax-burning haters hunting the wax burners down. The wax-burners just have to do that every year. Why? No why really, Villagers are raised to burn wax like that. And why there're wax-burning haters? They're simply jealous jerks not having the skills to burn wax like this.

That's it. That is the press release. It can be boiled down to 1) not to burn wax; 2) not to litter; 3) we're watching you.

Ok, let's not burn wax then.

Another hilarious piece of press release related to the Mooncake Fest was this one issued by The Centre for Food Safety (CFS). They tested different kinds and brands of mooncakes sold on the market, although they found no shit in them, the "spokesman" had to remind the manufacturers to buy ingredients from reliable sources, when most of the mooncakes had already been produced for this year. Yes, the spokesman needs to speak, so we better excuse his bullshits.

The climax of the release was where the spokesman "advised the public to observe the 'five keys to food safety'" when we buy our mooncakes.
  1. Buy your mooncakes from reliable outlets; check them carefully; eat them on time;
  2. Put them in the fridge;
  3. Use icebox to carry snowy or ice cream mooncakes out;
  4. Wrap your mooncakes and store them separately from raw food;
  5. Wash your fucking hands before eating them!!!
Tell me the government never, ever, thinks that our Villagers are idiots. You know what? I think the spokesman missed two important points regarding mooncakes. He should have warned us to never consume mooncakes like these and never throw mooncakes down the street, they could hurt like watching this fucktard flash.

10 September 2010

Libertines Pub Friday Newscut and List of WTF Events

False qualification for 200+ domestic pilots in Motherland
This is probably no news for our Motherland. It's ok, at least some of them are retired fighter pilots; they know how to eject themselves upon danger.

Rosemary arrested for drug possession in Nevada
Rosemary who?

Flying mooncake hurts

Woman got hit by a flying mooncake. A fucked up umbrella and an intact mooncake. We're not surprised the mooncake got fucking thrown away.

The useless row over "sub-sovereignty" finally ended
Who fucking cares really? Donald got pwned and that's it. Arguing in newspaper columns is like running in the Special Olympics.

Finally, coppers pwned firemen this time

When you see someone drowning, what do you do? Fire Department protocol: point a Maglite at the body and hope that it's a corpse. Police Force protocol: fucking jump into the water and save a life.


Useless, awkward, and WTF events you can't afford to miss


BarCamp Hong Kong 2010
Where you can meet all the entrepreneurs who work hard in contributing to the local economy and sustainable economic development of this village. They develop useful applications and games that benefit the society at large.

Confession of a past paparazzi

He was one of the most sought after paparazzi. Not knowing how to deal with his success, he started smoking, getting high, swearing, drinking, and getting laid like everybody else does. Fortunately, he found God and became a better person.


TFIF! Get pissed drunk, peeps!

09 September 2010

National Interest or ruler's interest?

One of the major news that occupies the Chinese media today is the collision between a Chinese fishing boat with a Japan Coast Guard boat at Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands. The captain of the fishing boat was arrested by the Japanese government with charge; followed by some protest in Beijing and Hong Kong at the Japanese embassies.

This issue has been a diplomatic battle ground for decades. The islands are in the middle of the sea, with an small area of 2.7 sq. km in total, about the size of Cheung Chau. But why both governments are so desperate to claim the ownership of islands in the middle of nowhere? It's all about oil, gas and major shipping route. It's estimated to hold more than 1.6 tcf of natural gas. The location is in a strategic location in China's interest, if Japan gets the islands, the shipping route from East coast of China to the Pacific will be blocked. For these reasons, it's quite obvious why both Japan and China are so hostile on anything related to these rocks.

To me, I don't really care about the ownership of the islands but how nations manipulate their citizens to achieve their diplomatic goal. Protests of many other kinds are mostly banned by government, however, this diplomatic protests are not at all banned. Apparently, the government is trying to give pressure to Japan by escalating citizens' emotion. One protester claims they will gather over a hundred of fishing boats and go "fishing" there.

What the hell are these guys thinking? Just look at Iraq, U.S. soldiers have been killed for a lie, its "national interest". Are we ready to let the fishermen get killed again?

08 September 2010

John Tsang got pwned in Taiwan, and he needs to brag about it in his own blog

John Tsang, our Village's Financial Secretary, also one of the possible contestants for the Village's next mayorship race, visited that island-our-Motherland-long-lost last week and got pwned like a noob. John's pwnage has been followed and examined closely by every media, even the fictitious Standard ass-kisser Mary Ma had to have a go on bashing the pointless trip. Our fellas from TDS saw the seriousness of this embarrassment, and they officially released their own travel alert system for our Village officials last week.

We didn't really want to repeat what had happened to John here. We all probably knew, John has only got a last minute meeting cancellation by the chief of Taiwanese Executive Yuan, a lecture on how expensive it is to operate business in this Village, and was forced to listen to Donald Tsang, Please Die.

We thought that John and the government of this Village would just try their best to make us forget about all these shits. But not this time. Last Sunday, a blog post by John came in my RSS reader. As you might expect, the post naturally begins with some lies about how successful the trip was, but what I found most interesting is that John actually talked about the gifts he brought for the islanders and those he got from them.

Trained in architecture, John carefully chose some pretentious tasteful gifts for our friends over that island. He bought a few teapot sets designed by our own Villager Alan Chan. Kudos to John, these fine teapot sets just go well with the fine tea of Taiwan, John dreamed. John had the nerve to tell our friends that they can make good Taiwanese tea together with these Hong Kong designed teapot sets, and our Taiwanese friends showed him a smirk smile. So a WIN from our side, I guess?

John went on talking about other gifts he brought over, and they're not very interesting. However, among all the people he met in those four days, John only mentioned about the gifts he got from Jason Hu, the obscure mayor of Taichung. Now, what fine gifts did John get in return? Some mouth watering Taiwanese pastries that you can easily get in Hong Kong and a few lame jokes from Hu.

I don't know if it's a pwnage again. I have no idea why John wanted to talk about these in his blog at all. But at least he got a shaved ice dessert half the size of a dining table. I heard it's the highest level of diplomatic courtesy Villagers can get in Taiwan.

07 September 2010

Fear, Greed, and Trust

Last week I visited the real, red China. Though there's nothing "red" about it these days. I know they still call themselves communists, but these days the political system in China seems to be based more on the philosophy of Thomas Hobbes, not Karl Marx.

Fear, not philosophy, is the primary tool of persuasion in Communist China. People obey the law for one reason, and one reason only: they might get caught, and the consequences of disobedience are severe. Hobbes, at least as he is commonly understood, believed that the only way to keep people from constantly robbing and murdering each other was to give absolute power to the state. His philosophy made very pessimistic assumptions about human nature. It made no room for love, for empathy, or cooperation. For Hobbes, the only way for one man to trust another was if there was a Leviathan, a hugely powerful state that would punish all wrongdoing, lording over them both.

When people are treated this way, as if the only reason they should cooperate or show consideration for their fellow man is fear of Big Brother, they start to fulfill those expectations. This is the clusterfuck nightmare that is modern, totalitarian China. In supposedly cosmopolitan Shanghai, people warned me never to give out my family name or mobile number because people could "use it against me." And I started to believe it: everywhere I stepped, it seemed like someone was trying to scam some money out of me. Cars routinely aimed for pedestrians, honking their horns to scare everyone out of their way. And why not? Unless there's a cop on the corner, there's no conceivable reason for a car not to hit a pedestrian, except for the potential damage to the vehicle. Right of way on the road is determined like everything else: whoever is biggest and strongest (and best connected) can do whatever the fuck he wants, and everyone else had better scramble out of the way. It's a kiss up, kick down kind of country. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Back in the Hi-Tech Village, the political/economic system isn't based on fear, but greed. Here, people are given a high degree of personal freedom, which they are expected to use for the purpose of ruthlessly making as much money as possible. This system is based on the works of libertarian thinkers like Friedrich Hayek and John Nash. The assumptions these philosophers make about human nature are just as pessimistic as Hobbes's. The result is the same, if you assume people are greedy fucks, and base your entire political and economic system on that assumption, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

But Hobbes was a pussy who fled England rather than fight for the Royalist cause he professed to believe in. And Nash was a paranoid schizophrenic. It's possible that when these two assholes looked into their own souls, they saw nothing but fear, greed and self-interest. But when the rest of us look into our own souls, is this really what we see? I think people would rather cooperate than compete. If you give people the benefit of the doubt, show a little trust and a little trustworthiness, they often surprise you. Yes, sometimes they just rip you off, but that is only because they don't know any better. The virtuous cycle is much more mutually beneficial than the vicious cycle. But government institutions need to foster trust, not discourage it.

06 September 2010

Parental "Love" and Friendship

Michel de Montaigne
If Chinese folk wisdom assures us that we should listen to our parents, it is perhaps because life experience is the anchor of the wisdom of life. Friendship is undoubtedly very important in childhood. It not only allows children to harbour a sense of friendliness and mutual equality, but it also tends to display versions of ourselves which we adults who are driven by financial necessity long to side with but can't, rendering cynicism unfavourable. Out of all parents from around the world, the Chinese parents are perhaps the best role models in this aspect.

Back in childhood, our parents clearly understood the importance of friendship. Rather than letting us select our friends based solely on our subjective criterion of what is favourable, our friends were often subject to the rigours of rational examination of who they really were. This exquisite enquiry heavily involved with a spirit of philosophical research, an endeavour to acquire a thorough understanding of the genesis of our friends, and most of the time, even their families. Our parents forcefully reminded us of the darker side of human nature, that things in the reality tended not to operate as what we used to read in those fairy tales. Therefore, a range of historical questions (that might trace far back to the time of their forebears) were necessarily provoked before we could legitimately open our intimate selves up: "Where do you come from?", "What do your parents work?", "Where do you live?", "What are your hobbies and interests?" and the like. How easily our autobiographical longing might find its outlet for the most genuine expression.

This tradition has been passed on down to this day. Behind the love of parents lies the art of how to select friends properly, inviting modern children to form a new coil of thought to reflect on what an ideal friend should be like: material success rather than its spiritual equivalent. Whenever they hit on a difficult problem in friendship, they are likely to be assisted by the possibility of turning to their parents, who offer them advice after they investigate the matter into the depth of waters, until the children can unravel their confusions without pressure.

Hence status and wealth are the promise of a good character which must necessarily nurture an ideal friendship. The young have been taught to value a friend for what they possess rather than who they are. It induces them to marvel at the belief that status and wealth can actually clear out the rough edges that one's character originally clings to, that people who come from such background are perhaps the best aids to bring them back into contact with emotions and ideas that are of supreme importance to them.

Moreover, Chinese parents also invite the young to harbour a feeling of suspicion at heart after they meet new friends. It's not just because they are too young to acquire the ability to separate illusions from the reality, but it's also because the Chinese tend to be critically cynical of the inherently good nature of the human species. Whenever their children meet new friends, they are likely to generate assumptions that throw their children on the negative versions of human nature, forcing them to suspect the unusually superficial friendliness displayed by their newly acquired companions.

Having analysed the Chinese parental approach to friendship, can we not conclude that parental "love" has enormous impact on how the young might deal with the one of the most complex elements of life called "friendship", that it actually helps shape the character necessary for the path children have to embark on in this commercial world? The French essayist Michel de Montaigne once remarked that "each friend has to give himself so entirely that he has nothing left for others." Chinese children are deprived of the chance to live according to this maxim. Small wonder why many Chinese don't want to be Chinese.

W

03 September 2010

無須深究的創意


已退休的中大教授李天命說過,創意其實好簡單,不用跳健腦,也不用飲奶粉,說穿了不過是四個字:重新組合。話未說完,這間位於科學園的Intuitive Automata 就將此四字真言融匯貫通,應用於重視「創意產業的香港高科技發展領域,甚至最近還取得華爾街日報舉辦之「亞洲創新大獎」。究竟他們研發了甚麼新穎有趣的東西呢?

答案是「說話」+「減肥餐單」+「機械人」=「互動減肥機械人」。這個名為Autom的創意產物,研發成本只是US$3,250,000而已,但竟然能儲存15,000種美國食物的卡路里資料(!),甚至可準確計算用家每餐吸收多少熱量(!!),從而達到平均每星期減1磅的驚人效果(!!!)

每部Autom以超值價約US$500出售,搶購潮似乎是無可避免了。可惜,香港的消費者太過精明,該公司的CEO只計劃於明年春季在美國推出市場,但暫時未有計劃在港推出。大家還是耐著性子,暫時用免費而儲存量只有225,000種食物的iPhone App - Calorie Counter 吧。

02 September 2010

It's a dude...It's a chick...No, it's a tomboy!


Many years ago, I was at a Canadian ski resort when I was asked, "May I take your order, SIR?" Shocked, I suddenly realized that my self-perception of being a hot snowboarding chick was probably inaccurate. Sure, my hair was stuffed inside my toque (translation: tight-fitting winter hat) and my face might have looked a tad wind-brushed and roughed up from the runs, but I didn't think I looked THAT much like a man! Horrified, my teenage self vowed never to have people guessing my gender again (how else was I going to nab that cute guy in Chem class, right?)

On the contrary, I've noticed that in Hong Kong (and Asia), there are actually a lot of girls females who choose to dress up as men. Known as 'tomboys', some are so convincing that it usually takes a double, or even triple-take, to verify what they really are. In some cases, it's almost impossible to tell, especially when some of them bind their breasts (if any) with elastic bandages to hide their true identities.

At first, I assumed that all tomboys were butch lesbians (which made some sense to me), but then I stumbled upon this YouTube clip and discovered that some tomboys are actually straight! Apparently, being a tomboy can be a stylistic choice, one which is seen as 'handsome', 'cool' and 'trendy'.

This is all quite fascinating to me, because I'm guessing that in a conservative culture like Hong Kong, it would be utterly unacceptable for grown men (gay or straight) to cross-dress as a women on a daily basis, yet no one seems to mind that scores of women are disguising themselves as men every day.

How unfair is that? Is this because there are more perks to being a tomboy, such as:
  • Being extra rough with people in the MTR (outta my way, biatch!)
  • Bypassing annoying cosmetics sales ladies (pimples make me look more manly)
  • Watching people get confused when you first meet (what am I, you'll never guess!)
  • Skipping group trips to the ladies' room (no one would dare ask, muahaha!)
  • ...and best of all! Using the men's room (no line ups!)
Or, is there a lack of male cross-dressers in Hong Kong because it's just too damn complicated to dress up as a woman? Or because there's already too many women populating this city? OR...*whispers* are tomboys simply women who gave up on their appearances over the years...?! (Like her?)

In any case, blame my traumatic teenage experience, but you won't see Miss Fong turning into Mister Fong any time soon...

Read all the fun stuff at Miss Fong in Hong Kong.

01 September 2010

Website fails in the time of war.

One of the many danger this aurthor faces daily.
Greetings and Salutations!

Yes, Eric W is back, back to lower the general quality of posts at the Pub and to make your Thursday feels even longer than your Friday.

Where have I been? Well peep, after buying the franchising right for The Libertines Pubs from Henry for a pack of Double Happiness and 2 cans of Tetley's (Some say I won it in a game of Texas Hold 'em, but I'm not that good at cards, honestly) I set out to one of the World tensest war zone in search of inspiration, in order to bring you, yes YOU! Our pub readers some good old fashion blog journalism beyond our village. So lo and behold ladies and gentlemen, war correspondent Eric and Libertines Pub, Korea is here.


Well not quiet...here yet, but close...


You see, in the war zone as a foreigner, in order to do anything here, I will need to apply for a thing call Alien Registration Card and get a foreigner registration number, because my passport is most def not enough to prove that I'm not a spy of 'Whose name I must not say or type'. So anyway, in order to fulfill my destiny of laying Libertines root here in the war zone, I sat myself down, and look for ways to apply for my Alien Registration Card and my foreigner registration number.
  • I opened my Chrome browser and went to the Korean Immigration website (Hi Google! let's get evil together!! Sponser Libertines Pub, Korea!)
Huh? Nothing fucking works!! Apparently this war zone is an extremely IE friendly environment. Oh well nevermind, I.E it is.
  • I opened my Chrome Internet Explorer and realize there's cobweb and dust all over it.
  • I clicked reservation in order to save time and not suffer. (Honesty is the best) ;
  • A page full of moonspeak appears! Means time to call a Korean Friend and ask for advise.
According to my trusty Korean friend, I was at the wrong website! Silly me. Let's try again shall we?
  • I open my Internet Explorer and go to THIS website which takes care of foreign ass hurt like me.
  • You wanna install what? Oh ok, what's the worst that can happen.

  • I clicked online reservation; List of Applications at the bottom.
  • Aha. A list of applications, I searched and clicked at foreigner registration, thing are looking good!

Took me to another page..ok the green apply button, apply! GO GO GO!!!

POPUP!!!!!!!11 Awww. I needa log in? Sign up? Ok Awrite. I will sign up, just hurry up already.
Once I clicked OK on that last screen, the website took me to the Login in/Sign up screen, I clicked sign up.
  • Blah Blah Blah I have read and accept the user agreement and privacy policy. Click 'Foreigner' go!
At the sign up page, I see this:

Hi, did I mention I'm applying for a Foreigner Registration number and Alien registration card? How am I suppose to give you my Foreigner number when I er. don't have one yet???