The Chinese Communist Party fears that foreign-backed subversives want to undermine Hong Kong to create chaos in the rest of the People’s Republic and prevent the nation’s rise. Pro-democracy forces, funded by the CIA, MI6, Taiwan and the Vatican, are the prime suspects. What Beijing doesn’t realize is that the barbarians are undermining the city in a totally different way.
It started over a decade ago, when a new TV commercial appeared on Hong Kong’s airwaves. A family of four were sitting around a table in gloomy gray surroundings. They stared glumly at a depressing breakfast of plain congee before them. A voiceover underlined the almost suicide-inducing tedium of the prospect of yet another meal of juk. Then, suddenly, sunlight and colour burst into the room, a fanfare of joyous morning music rang out, and the tabletop flipped over like a big coin to reveal four bowls full of some gleaming yellow delight – and a large box of Kellogg’s cornflakes. With huge, ecstatic grins, the family ravenously started to shovel the cereal into their mouths.
It wasn’t long before a similar ad came onto the screens. This time it was a little boy cupping a bowl of plain rice in his left hand, and chopsticks in his right. He looked dejected, and the viewer was left in no doubt that, by giving him such unappetizing food, his mother was guilty of the most extreme neglect and abuse. Again, everything suddenly brightened up, as the mother began to spoon some glistening reddish topping onto the kid’s meal. The camera zoomed in to show the child smiling adoringly at the garnish: baked beans in a sickly industrial ‘tomato’ gloop, of the type canned and popularized in cuisine-hating Anglo-American cultures by Heinz.
The gastronomic sabotage continues. The grain that Samuel Johnson classified as fit only for horses and Scots has now been cynically repackaged as an accompaniment to the local staple: Quaker Oats for Rice. Not ‘Quaker Oats’, note – ‘Quaker Oats [specifically] for Rice’. Complete with a photo portraying little alien yellow bits as if they were perfectly normal in a bowl of steamed fragrant Thai jasmine. This is the real infiltration.