February 2007 Archives

Living in Fear


I heard on the new tonight that the local airport authority here in Hong Kong is going to get in line with the security theatre prevalent in the US and ban the transportation of all liquids in the cabin.

This is completely stupid, and indicates how much people will give in to fear in order to feel safer.

If some random bunch of terrorists could make a bomb capable of taking out an airliner from two 100ml tubes of otherwise innocuous liquids, they'd have made a scientific breakthrough on a par with that of the Manhattan project. They wouldn't need to blow up a single flight, they could just put Exxon out of business!

This is nothing but security theatre: giving the appearance of increasing security but not actually doing it.


| | Comments (4)

Komposé, a Linux version of the Mac OSX Exposé.

Kung Hei Fat Choi


Ho Hum, Kung Hei Fat Choi, or happy Chinese New Year, to those that observe that sort of thing.

And, to any idiots who maintain that global warming is a fiction of the left, would you like to explain why this was the hottest Chinese New Year on Record in Hong Kong?

I saw a high of 27 °C in Victoria Park this afternoon. Normally Chinese New Year is a day to wrap up in heavy silk clothes, but today was t-shirts and shorts weather.

UPDATE: We've got the air-con on! In February! Holy hand grenade of Antioch!

Not Asian but gweipor


Not Asian but gweipor

With reference to his letter "Either black or white" (February 16), William Hung Chi-kin obviously did not ask me, the child of mixed-race marriage, how I am generally perceived by society. His opinion that the answer would be either "as black" or "as Asian" is way off. Having grown up in Hong Kong, I have rarely been considered Asian, much as I would like to be. I am considered a gweipor. When I speak in Cantonese (fluently, may I add), I can guarantee that the initial reaction is jaw-dropping surprise or embarrassment - depending on whether comments have been muttered that the offending party thought I would not understand.

Mr Hung obviously did not ask my fellow Eurasian friends either who, like me, are proud to be of mixed heritage and would love to be recognised for it.


With all due respect Ms. De Santis, you have failed to grasp Mr. Hung's point.

In a predominantly White culture, a Eurasian such as yourself (and my own children) will be viewed as something 'less than white'. Thus, if you were to go to London and ask people what you were, they'd call you Asian (or more likely a Chinese, because Asian generally means something slightly different in London).

The reason you are not called Asian in Hong Kong is because of the innate racism of the Chinese. As someone who is half-Chinese (I'm assuming this because you speak fluent Cantonese like my children do), you will be viewed by the local Chinese as something less than a full Chinese, so they elevate you to the rank of the race 'below' Chinese and call you a GweiPo (Western Woman).

(Gweipor: there's no R on the end of that word. If you've been handicapped by an education in Received Pronounciation and feel the need to write R's on the end of words which are not pronounced with an R and no R for words which are rhotically gifted, you should be aware that many people think you have a speech problem. Idea does not have a pronounced R at the end, while deer does.

UPDATE: I don't mean to single out the Chinese for racism as if no other group was. Any group which defines itself by ethnicity will regard those with mixed ethnicity as not really part of the group. I'm sure many Irish people wouldn't regard my kids as being completely Irish, for example.

Simons say


Simons say

I'm not sure which of the letters from the two Simons in Saturday's paper is more offensive: the simple elitism of Mr Osborne, who mocks the frugality of people queuing to save a small amount of money in "A long wait for HK$2" (February 10), or Mr Patkin's familiar attacks on environmentalists in favour of his "capitalism is God" attitude ("Greenie gibberish").

I suppose the former could be accepted as making a wry observation, although Mr Osborne obviously has no appreciation of the underclass in this town, who labour long and hard for a pittance.

Mr Patkin, however, has often stated his belief that nothing should stand in the way of the pursuit of personal financial wealth. Unfortunately, as usual, he attacks without any evidence to support his views. This may be because he previously embarrassed himself trying to back up his arguments against global warming by quoting a US senator who has accepted massive funding from the oil and gas industry ("Shrill alarmism", October 2).

I've taken a little time to look into Mr Patkin's Capitalist Solutions think-tank. In both the term "think-tank" and his claim to support "rational" self-interest, I believe he is falling short of his goals.


Well said sir!

I was going to reply to Patkin's letter myself, but couldn't be bothered in the end. Plus, every attempt started with: "That dribbling idiot...", so I decided that discretion was the better part of valour.

It's important that shills and ideologues like Patkin have the wind taken out of their sails on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the wind in Mr. Patkin's sails seems to stem largely from his own right-wing bloviating. He may, ironically, be a perpetual motion wind powered machine, the ultimate goal for those of us who wish to preserve the world with our current climate.

You are coming to a sad realisation...


The latest GetAMac ad: Security is probably the best of the lot.

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