Update from Hemlock

Last week’s teenage heartthrob and hipsters’ hero Edward Snowden turns up in the 7-Eleven opposite Perpetual Opulence Mansions this morning, clutching his trademark Rubik’s Cube in a desperate attempt to be recognized. Even the South China Morning Post, which shot to global prominence for its scoop-but-for-the-Guardian, is reduced to filling its daily page dedicated to his saga to filler from news agencies and a summary of whiny Mainland media.

Fame is cruel, I tell him. Why, it seems only yesterday that HK Magazine reported calls for me to take over both China and the Catholic Church, and a million keen-eyed secretaries, marketing floozies and young housewives mentally undressed me wherever I went; now, it’s as if no-one had ever heard of me.

Still, I try to reassure him, at least our names were upon everyone’s lips for a while. The Standard carries a short story about a certain Ashton Kutcher and his companion, one Mila Kunis. I suppose the news angle – they plan to get married on the moon – warrants a few column inches. But the tone of the piece clearly implies that we should know who these people are. I have never heard of them, and my new friend Ed, despite having enjoyed access to the personal details of around 4.5 billion people, confesses similar ignorance. We decide to make a game of it: I wager that the pair are Euro-trash tennis players (the hat and the silly names are real giveaways); Ed bets they are winners of some TV talent show. Sadly, none of the convenience store staff or customers can give us the answer.

Ed asks if I can recommend any purveyors of fine public relations services to assist him in his quest for the international, or at least local, limelight. He insists that it is not just attention he craves, though he admits that once you get a taste for it, it’s hard to fade back into anonymity. The fact is that even after exchanging the Hotel Mira in Tsimshatsui for the YMCA, he’s finding Hong Kong unexpectedly expensive.

I commiserate. If the United States authorities wanted to seriously punish him for his treachery, they would not issue an arrest warrant – just keep on ignoring him. The poor guy would end up living in a subdivided apartment in Shatin scratching a living sorting out middle-aged fuddy-duddies’ computer problems. But he may be in luck. I remind him that media and dimwitted Congressmen who can neither work out how to use Google nor find Hong Kong on a map are frothing at the mouth demanding his abduction by CIA-backed triads, rendition via Uzbekistan and Guantanamo Bay, waterboarding, 20 successive 300-year prison sentences and the death penalty for endangering thousands of servicemen’s lives and imperiling the very existence and freedom of the nation itself by revealing those riveting secrets that so obsessed us all for a few days in mid-June before we forgot what they were and life went back to its previous grey normality. That, and the price of a carton of Vitasoy, puts a relieved smile on his face.

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11 Responses to Update from Hemlock

  1. Joe Blow says:

    A little bird has told me that our Ed is living in Steve Vines’ attic, Anne Frank-style.

    Remember, you heard it here first.

  2. I think Snowden is staying on the condition that he writes a book called MY LIFE WITH STEVE VINES.

    I thought you might have had a stopover at the Yulin Dog Meat Festival: “savouring the delights of dog meat hotpot, lychees and strong liquor on the Summer Solstice”.

  3. under water says:

    After a week living hanging out with sexless alcoholic Sai-Kung-Clearwater-Bay-gweilo-who-have-been-here-far-too-long, he’ll be begging for rendition back to his rather fetching 20-something-year-old pole-dancing girlfriend.

    Speaking of which, anyone remember this whinging Pom? He’s still threatening to leave China, still disappointed that it didn’t meet his expectations:

  4. S Lifter says:

    .. You mean Steve Vines is a confirmed bachelor?

  5. Bela Bookworm at NTSCMP says:

    Not nice, Lifter. Steve is a nice bloke who has done a lot for Hong Kong human rights. It was a great pity SPIKE went under. If they had used cheaper paper, closed the office and stopped paying contributors, it might still be going, I think. There’s a definite demand for it still. Something nice about paper…

  6. Jimmy Saville says:

    Oh Hemmers, how I do pine for the days when only s&*t for brains, clinically certifiable, English gentlemen with daddies in the ministry or peerage could be spooks and intelligence was leaked the proper way: while getting buggered silly by a burly KGB agent.

    Those déclassé Yanks with their vulgar practical knowledge, I believe ‘know-how’ is the appropriate Americanism (I know, please do pardon me), and hideously common ‘girlfriends’ have ruined everything, I tell you. Aren’t these silly uppity Yanks aware of how truly horrible they are?

    Well, tiffin is done, time to turn off the wireless and give some local squibs a jolly good caning. Damn presumptuous fellows. Don’t know their proper place anymore. Keep muttering complete nonsense about some Bilderberg meeting. How dare they presume to know what their betters (including elected public officials) are discussing and deciding in secret without any unaccountability to the public.

    Look here, everything will be decided by their betters and the masses will just have to suck it up and accept it like the cattle they are. We simply can’t have any of the lower orders poking around making a general nuisance of themselves, asking embarrassing and utterly ridiculous questions, and insisting, in that frightfully vulgar American way, that they have some say in the decisions made there. No, it simply won’t do having all these nasty socialists and republicans running around soiling the canapés with their grubby little hands, repeatedly committing unpardonable faux pas, and unreasonably insisting on their so called rights.

    Besides, I read the Times and listen to the BBC on my Zenith cathedral style wireless daily and when they weren’t too busy burying evidence of widespread pedophilia in their institution they have reported consistently (until this year anyways) that the Bilderberg group doesn’t exist and if it does (and has for the past 60 years) it isn’t important anyways and if the list of attendees and agenda are leaked and indicate it may actually be important then not to worry they are just making decisions behind closed doors about our futures for our own good. After all we all know how excitable and prone to succumb to their baser instincts the lower classes can be. Also, given their limited intellect, virtually assured given the horrendous schooling we provide for them, you can’t expect them to be able to understand how policies which appear specifically designed to enrich the few at the expense of the many are actually for their benefit.

    A final word, God bless good old Aaronovitch and Neil for doing such a fine hatchet job on that rebel scum Alex Jones. It’s wonderful to see fair and balanced debate is alive and well on British television these days and I particularly enjoyed Neil’s adept and subtle use of the making funny faces combined with ad hominem debating technique. Truly worthy of the great Moe, Larry, and Curly. Anyways, the point is I’m sure Dave is right about Bilderberg being a harmless relic of the cold war just as he was spot on about Saddam Hussein having WMD in the build up to the Iraq war.

    So for me and all the other good, solid chaps, down at the Blinkered Naïve Old Fools Living in the Past and Slipping Further into Irrelevance Everyday Club that’s that then. Cheerio!

  7. mjrelje says:

    I still have my Spike paper spike “I spiked first”

  8. Gin Soaked Boy says:

    Did not Mr. Vines also preside over the failure of the Eastern Express, with its false news.

    @Bela. Please tells us what Mr. Vines has done for human rights in Hong Kong. I’d be keen to hear specifics.

  9. Real Scot Player says:

    LOL Jimmy Saville. Very good.

    Aren’t you dead, by the way?

  10. SIR Jimmy Saville says:

    Why, oh why Hemmers, can’t that brash Snowden fellow with his damnable technology that for the life of me I cannot understand do the right thing and at least attempt to emulate the great British tradition of intelligence cock ups? If he had any genuine class and proper breeding he would have sold whatever information he had to the Russians, went out and bought 20,000 pounds worth of women’s clothing, striped to the buff, and immediately locked himself into a holdall and been done with it.

    Failing that he should have at least been able to accidentally top himself while engaging in kinky autoerotic asphyxiation after, needless to say, putting the suitable touch of class to proceedings by opening himself up to blackmail by diddling some children taken from care homes. I wager the crass knave with his lowly American college education doesn’t even know what a satsuma is.

  11. aghast says:


    Can’t help feeling your piss poor pardoy would have more point if you could spell your own name.

    The BBC have been reporting on Bilderberg for years, as the merest glance at Wikipedia proves:


    Anyway sheeple, Alex Jones is a lightweight shill – get real, WAKE UP:


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