Twisted-ass, Gutter Headline

This is the twisted, morally indifferent world we live in. After all, who cares about rumpled up hos if someone may have unearthed the "Prison Diet." The editor's hook is that bubble lathering up in someone's head: "damn, I'd kill to lose weight!!!"

That's Not a "Local" I Recognize

When I think of the Hong Kong I grew up in (till the age of 13), I think of a place with an easy balance between "local" and "cosmopolitan." 

To be rigorous about that statement: handcrafted store-specific wonton noodles existed in harmony with the best imported premium lobster and steak. In other words, Hong Kong was a place where maybe even side-by-side in retail terms, you could find the best of "local," and the best of "cosmopolitan." And they were BFF’s, local and cosmopolitan.

There was no inherent conflict between the two. The emblem of Hong Kong was its very salty, distinctive Cantonese dialect, but also the wholesale permission for expats to use English freely. Hong Kong wasn’t like Tokyo where expats had to learn Japanese. It was the a balance of local and cosmopolitan.

Fast forward twenty years and for a number of reasons there are new fissures between local and cosmopolitan.

Indeed, Hong Kong is gradually polarizing in terms of local-vs-cosmopolitan. 

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Chinese Eurasians Versus Western Eurasians

 As I have had a couple days to reflect since launching my book Beyond Eurasian and Hapa: Bridging a Chinese-Western Identity, I'm stuck ruminating on East vs. West.

But not the East-West axis you're thinking about. Not the East-West or Chinese-Western that I write about.

I've been reflecting on the fact that I may have written my book from more of non-Western perspective than I realized. In other words, I wrote and continue to write from a position not aloof to "systemic racism," but certainly not fixated on "white power structures" in the West, whereby the very prerequisite to my own personal development/empowerment/sense of worth/ability to seek meaning is to upend said power structures. No.

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Scotland: From Small to Outsize

Scotland’s values against England’s values have aligned over the years, but it was not always so.

Any teenager consuming American movies in the 90’s can quote you William Wallace’s “Freedom!” line from Braveheart. This movie is full of factually unsupported details, with plenty of creative license taken regarding the pivotal Robert the Bruce character, and drips with sensationalized Hollywood drama; but the hardscrabble Scots and the overzealous English with much better horses and shinier armor come to life on the silver screen as separate moral-cultural universes.

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Umbrella Movement told thru Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil, the self-described “dramatic mix of circus acts and street entertainment” is spectacular. In addition to the spectacle of the performance, Cirque du Soleil is remarkable from a business standpoint too. They have basically turned the circus business, which was ailing for decades, on its head. And, in redesigning the circus experience they created a lucrative new segment[i]. For the purposes of this blog entry, the features of Cirque du Soleil's business model also provide an interesting lens to view issues underlying the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong.

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4-5pm Causeway Bay: A City Divided

These stills are from earlier this afternoon, right outside of the gleaming Hysan Place Mall. At this point in the afternoon, Occupy Causeway Bay was hanging by a thread- some thirty protesters remained at the frontline, and for a while, stood resolute but unbarricaded. The plastic ties holding together their steel barriers were cut by the Police, and later roving bands of "anti-Occupy" counter-protesters dismantled everything. I saw one guy (depicted in one of the picture's in the gallery) strike someone who happened to be holding a mobile phone. The guy struck so hard the phone flew into the sky. I almost laughed when I saw it because it looked comical- the phone got projected so high it was like the clown act where the clown pulls out kinds of nonsense out of his pocket and lobs it into the air for effect. But this wasn't funny.

There have been all kinds of reports today of pervasive intimidation- in addition to isolated incidents of sexual assault and physical violence. The students have shown some remarkable resolve- especially when they have been in standoffs with adults, sometimes in greater numbers- and sometimes against, let's face it, absolute thugs and goons.

All in all- it has been a very sad day for Hong Kong. I never imagined my hometown could be so divided.

6-7am Oct. 2nd Scenes from #UmbrellaMovement #OccupyHK

Taken early this morning. CWB-Admiralty-Central.