Register to vote, say no to drugs and stop protesting

Jackie Chan. Actor in a long list of humdrum movies. ‘Ambassador’ for a dozen lame government campaigns (plus some on the Mainland, as pictured here). Supposed cause of suicides among female fans after announcement of marriage. Cheater on wife, subsequently. And noted political philosopher, opining again on the rottenness that is Hong Kong and its spoilt, libertine people…

It is the second time in three years that the kung fu star has made controversial remarks about restricting freedoms in the city where he was born.

In an interview with Southern People Weekly – part of Guangzhou-based Nanfang Media – published on Tuesday, Chan said: “Hong Kong has become a city of protest…

“People scold China’s leaders, or anything else they like, and protest against everything.

“The authorities should stipulate what issues people can protest over and on what issues it is not allowed.”

In April 2009, Chan came under fire at the Boao Forum for Asia in Hainan for saying … that he was starting to think “Chinese people need to be controlled, otherwise they will do whatever they want”.

Like embarrassing themselves by talking rubbish in Southern People Weekly. That’s a sort of People magazine, known for interviewing Burmese former President-elect-turned-prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi earlier this year – and not exactly world famous for that. At least it’s a step up from the Boao Forum, which is a gathering by and for Asia’s most uncool losers-cum-‘leaders’ who don’t get invited to rub shoulders with the titans at Davos.

Southern People Weekly also attracted attention earlier this year for a cover story about China’s 1958-62 famine – an event that officially didn’t happen. (Some 30-40 million people starved to death so Mao Zedong could send food to places like East Germany to prove the superiority of his form of Communism. And he ends up on Yuan banknotes.) Balancing such adventurous content with ideologically correct material presumably keeps the publication out of trouble, assuming we think that reporting Hongkongers’ eagerly exercised right to scold China’s leaders counts as ideologically correct.

Jackie Chan is perhaps doing something similar. By spouting the stuff Mainland officials like to hear, he no doubt hopes to keep his silly movies on Mainland screens. (I assume they’re silly; I’ve never knowingly seen one – give me Aces Go Places any day.) So he’s just acting. Maybe beneath the thespian mask he has a deep concern for and commitment to civil liberties.

What protests would I ban if I ruled the world? The ones where Greenpeace dress in protective suits and come out of supermarkets holding a pack of GM cookies in tongs, for anti-scientific scaremongering. Any more than one huge, mass-pan-democrats march with no specific cause in one month, to spare red faces from low turnout. Society for Truth and Light prayer gatherings asking for God to stop public lesbian breast-feeding, or whatever the latest thing is – though, then again, maybe not, as they’re quite funny. Pet owners campaigning for dogs’ right to access parks, therein to defecate and scare little children. Time to reach for the pepper spray.

Chan’s comments echo an old Cold War-era joke. An American says to a Soviet: in the USA, we are so free we can stand in the street and shout ‘the President of America is an idiot’.” The Soviet replies: “Same in the USSR – we are so free we can stand in the street and shout ‘the President of America is an idiot’.”

Hey – it’s funnier than anything by Jackie Chan (probably).

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14 Responses to Register to vote, say no to drugs and stop protesting

  1. Lois Beluga says:

    Jackie Chan is the biggest abuser of free speech in Hong Kong. Have you seen the trailer of his latest film? The image it projects of China and the Chinese is one of mindless robots with the attention span of fruit flies and the credulity of the OJ Simpson jury. I saw it on the bus, the only place I have watched Hong Kong television the last fifteen years.

    With the CY Leung Ritual Crucifixion approaching another mid-climax, can I interject with some merry caprices to keep us on the ball in the coming weeks? CY Leung actually referred to UBWs in his speech. The Hong Kong intelligentsia can’t wait many sentences to use a silly acronym.

    Those CY Leung Scandal Acronyms In Full:

    1. UBW Unauthorised Building Works

    2. PRANK Puerile Rant Attacking “No Knowledge” (Emily)

    3. DINGO Democrat Instigating Nauseous Governmental Obstruction

    4. SLIME Sad Liberal Indicating Mendacious Exculpation

    5. SNOT Salacious Nitwit Orchestrating Treachery (Henry)

    6. WANKER Wily Anarchist Nobbling Known Elected Representatives (Long Hair)

    7. Er…

    8. That’s it!

  2. Real Tax Payer says:

    Mr Tsang has the slightest hint of a smile, but Tardar definitely hasn’t

  3. Maugrim says:

    I’m hearing a lot of this lately from dodery older Chinese intoning about ‘we are spoilt with regards to expectations about the rule of law etc etc’, to the extent that I wonder if its the meme du jour sent out by China via its winged monkeys?

    Other than that, I can only express my disgust at someone who poo-poos our right to free speech as being a sign of being spoilt, while at the same time exercising the very freedom and rights he could not in the Mainland. No wonder Chinese HK’ers hate him.

  4. Stephen says:

    The Jackie mansion in Kowloon Tong has been long since been bulldozed so I guess he doesn’t live here anymore – shame!

    Like a lot of vacuous actors who decide to go off script his comments are ignorant and puerile. But fortunately this ageing has been has long since been disregarded by people here.

    I doubt we will see long lines at the cinema to see his latest flick but perhaps there will be in China where the choice is somewhat limited.

  5. colonelkurtz says:

    The trailer of Jackie’s latest film has him protecting Chinese cultural heritage by rescuing those ugly Chinese zodiac animal statutes from the looted Summer Palace presumably from evil art speculators (it’s a bit vague on who the baddies are). Jackie spends most of the trailer talking in Putonghua. So, I expect his mouthings have something to do with protecting its box-office prospects when it’s obviously aimed at a Mainland, rather than local audience. Pathetic to see a man who made his wealth from a local audience stab them so blatantly in the back.

  6. Old Timer says:

    RTHK is auctioning lunch with Jackie Chan as part of its Operation Sanity Clause fundraising effort. In case anyone fancies it. No?

  7. Walter De Havilland says:

    Bono, Sharon Stone, Sting, Matt Damon … the list goes on of celebs who feel it is necessary to share their opinions with us and use their ‘star power’ to grab attention from the media. I suppose we should not object to their exercising of free speech, albeit, as Jackie has shown, these views can be plain silly.

  8. Real Tax Payer says:

    7. IDIOT Inane Democrat Incapable Of Thinking ( Albert Ho)

    8. POOFs Puerile Oafish Obnoxious Filibusters ( People’s Power)

    9. Er…

  9. bk says:

    Jackie Chan is the bast ardtion hero in the world.

  10. Headache says:

    RTP Repetitive Trite Predictable

  11. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Headache

    That’s a bit trite and silly

    I only participate for fun and interest , hoping that on average I can contribute something positive

    Anyway….

  12. Property Developer says:

    “DR” Derivative Regurgitated

  13. Sojourner says:

    RTP = Retrogressive Turgid Puerile

    The scourge of the unwashed masses …

  14. Chimp says:

    FOE Friends Of…. err…

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