Next Wednesday, October 1st, is National Day. Around town banners, flags and posters advertise the occasion, proclaiming the 65th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. It is this nation defined by politics, not the civilisation-state that it so often claims to represent, that we are being asked to celebrate. Both politically and aesthetically I find myself cold to the appeal.
An advertisement plays to a specific market. It references a specific culture to convey not only a message but also, and more importantly, a feeling. Colour and hue is used to set a general tone. Set to this is an image to communicate a more specific message, and to refine the way we react to it. If a slogan is used, the words, their tone and the font used will likewise appeal to this combination of message and feeling. All however is understood within a specific cultural framework.
In this article Evan highlights the difference between those in opposition and those in power. He argues that whilst radical antics may have value in opposition, such antics from the establishment reveal only intolerance and a sense of illegitimacy.
Last week over dinner some friends light-heartedly accused me of double standards. Pointing out that whilst I was prepared to tolerate, and in some cases even support, radical or extreme behaviour by pro-democracy activists, I disapprove of similar provocations and antics from the establishment camp. “Shouldn’t one judge both sides by the same yardstick?” I was asked.
Originally published in the SCMP, 17th September 2014
Your paper published on the 15th September a letter from Mark Peaker that claimed that the level of law enforcement in this city is “laughable” and this encouraged young people to take to the streets to protest (Enforcement of the Law Laughable – SCMP September 15th.) He writes that, “students are confident about engaging in civil disobedience and breaking the law because they believe they shall get away with it”.
按：原刊於 Asia Sentinel Monday ，英文原文在上，譯文在下。譯文由 Sally 提供。
“Like thousands of others, I’m disappointed by the harsh, narrow and restrictive terms of democracy offered by Beijing”, read the message, “so I joined the Tamar protest to call for greater democracy”.
編按：在這篇文章裏，方禮倫分享了他於八一七「反佔中」遊行中親身經歷的所見所聞，並將那批遊行人士跟他在七一為爭取民主之同路遊行人士相比。他發現兩個遊行的性質以及警方的應對截然不同。當中之弄虛作假，使他不禁扼腕長嘆。In this essay Evan shares his experience of being at the August 17th Anti-Occupy Central Demonstration and of the people saw and spoke to there, and compares them with those people he joined at the July 1st Pro-Democracy march. He notes the very different nature of the two demonstrations, as well as the police response, and find himself unable to hold back his shame at what he considers is the disingenuous nature of the event.
You are going to ask: and where are the lilacs?
So begins Pablo Neruda’s poem, I’m Explaining a Few Things. Harold Pinter described the poem as the most powerful literary representation of the bombing of civilians. But for me its power comes as much from this question as the brutal, personal and descriptive language the poet employed to literarily illustrate the bonfires that destroy beautiful Spain.
Originally published in the SCMP, 19 August 2014
I recently caught up with an old friend who has spent the past four years in Shanghai. He and his family have relocated back to Hong Kong for work. “Hong Kong is not the same city we left,” he said. “There’s been a fundamental change.”
I recently caught up with an old friend who has spent the last 4 years in Shanghai. He and his family have recently relocated back to Hong Kong for work. “Hong Kong is not the same city we left,” he said. “There’s been a fundamental change.”
When I asked him what he meant, he told me how over a family dinner his brother-in-law had received an email from work ordering him to sign a petition. If he did not, the email threatened, he would lose his job. He signed the petition. “No one at dinner seemed bothered by what was said,” he said. “This is not the Hong Kong I know.”
編按：與葉劉淑儀在南華早報交流過後， Evan 提出了一個普遍人都犯謬誤：現在北京現時提供的民主改革水平，是英國未能給予的，而北京覺得這種民主應該是香港人期望的。他推測葉劉可能在回信時故意不提。
In a public exchange of letters with Regina Ip, Evan addresses a commonly stated fallacy that Britain’s failure to introduce the level of democratic reform now offered by Beijing should set the level of expectation among Hong Kong people. He speculates whether Mrs Ip may have deliberately missed the point in her reply.
譯：Sally Kwok 英文原文刋於 SCMP, 4 Aug 2014