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On Our National Day Advertisements

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.

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We Must Not Judge Those in Opposition as We Judge Those in Power

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.

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Civil Disobedience Reflects Dissatisfaction with Government

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”.

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Notes from the Street: How were the People of the Anti-Occupy Central Demonstration different to July 1st

中文版本附於原文之後

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.

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I’m Explaining a Few Things: An Important Question.

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. 

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Occupy Central or the Alliance for Peace and Democracy: Who Has Polarised Hong Kong?

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.”

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Missing the Point on HK’s Colonial Relationship: An Exchange of Letters with Regina Ip

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.

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House News closure was no business as usual 恐懼的氣候

譯:Sally Kwok   英文原文刋於 SCMP, 4 Aug 2014

兩個禮拜前的星期六,我收到主場新聞一位編輯發來的信息,「暴風雨已來臨,你的寫作一定不能停止。」我上網查看,一向首先躍入眼簾的新聞版面已不復得見,只登載著一封蔡東豪留給讀者的告別信。主場新聞關閉了。

蔡東豪由「恐懼」開始寫起。他說香港在壓力和監控、到處瀰漫的白色恐怖下變了。他談到他常要去內地公幹,而過境時那恐懼感每況愈甚。不尋常地,他在恐懼的命題下提到了家人。

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