Dissidents’ indifference’s incidence

NatDay-Pie-smallDay-long pajama-wearers who feel they were insufficiently indifferent – or patriots who yearn to demonstrate greater excitement – can rest assured that the National Day spirit did not end at midnight.  In fact, Hong Kong began celebrating the PRC’s 60th anniversary back in June and will continue to do so up to December.  Opportunities to yawn with boredom or squeal with delight abound, thanks to the dozens and dozens of performances, competitions and roving exhibitions still to take place.

Bureaucrats have tried to tie some of them in with the forthcoming East Asian Games, a pitiful, flaccid non-event that becomes more embarrassing with every step officials take to make it a success.  There is no real connection between the two.  National Day is about something real: ideas and actions that for better or worse have changed the world.  The hoopla over the third-tier, regional Olympics is purely contrived.  The aim is to save government face and not admit that the decision to host the games sprang from officials’ desperation and inadequacy.  The pie chart on the games would be 100% indifferent.

To most officers of the Hong Kong government, the duty to develop city-wide love of the motherland-regime is an administrative task, like sewer maintenance, only perhaps more dispiriting.  The top man at the Home Affairs Bureau, Tsang Tak-shing, is a genuine party loyalist, once imprisoned by the British colonial regime and a true card-carrying believer.  But the career functionaries around and below him are at best forced converts who know most of their fellow citizens are not receptive to blaring red-and-yellow calls to salute national greatness, though that won’t stop them – nothing will – from producing posters…


Clockwise from top left, we have: the bunting design competition; the PLA fine arts and calligraphy exhibition; the youth march encouraged by pop stars, photos of whom taken during oral sex have not yet appeared on the Internet; and the large-scale cultural show, featuring massed ranks of men in uniforms with assault rifles.

The correct word for the way the majority of Hongkongers feel about the 60th anniversary is not ‘indifferent, ‘bored’ or ‘apathetic’.  It is ‘cold’.  Many mainlanders, especially the young, warm to their leadership’s basic proposition: one-party rule in exchange for growing material wealth, economic opportunity, social freedom and a sense of collective achievement bolstered in emergencies by subliminal xenophobia and racial supremacism.  Cars, travel, computer games and a man in space prove CCP rule to be right.

The Big Lychee, often crass and shallow in mainland eyes, is coming from somewhere else.  For each person in Hong Kong who genuinely buys into the pro-Beijing story there are several who are influenced by parents’ bitter memories, abhor the corruption and cheating over the border and have an affinity with some non-Chinese ways.  They appreciate China’s belated success, but they do not connect with the government up there.  Beijing can’t win Hong Kong’s hearts through ra-ra patriotism, but it has nothing else to offer except scowls, as exemplified by Lau Nei-keung in today’s South China Morning Post

The 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic has just been celebrated but, 12 years after the handover, there are still citizens in Hong Kong who don’t support the regime

…Western culture and values permeate many facets of our society [HK], and some people tend to use this as the only standard by which to gauge China against the most advanced Western countries, which have a per capita gross domestic product 10 times higher…

…China will develop its own brand of human rights and democracy instead of harping on the Western tune, as this is what 1.3 billion Chinese want.

A small group of Western-oriented dissidents in Hong Kong want to dictate their values to the whole country through minor protests. This is the typical Western spirit; and they can always try.

This is always a problem when 56% of the population are a small group of indifferent dissidents.

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