Yesterday’s mayhem in brief

The map on the right shows a circle covering the eastern and southern part of Asia. More people live within this circle than in the rest of the world. It follows that, statistically, the majority of the planet’s bizarreness, atrocity and carnage should take place in this region. And it does.

In North Korea, boy-emperor Kim Jong-un’s ex-girlfriend, singer Hyon Song-wol, has been executed by firing squad, along with 11 other entertainers, with surviving members of the country’s most famous pop groups and their families forced to watch, before – as you would expect – being sent off to prison camps. Hyon was responsible for the tune Excellent Horse-Like Lady; the executed were allegedly guilty of making porn; they were found to possess bibles; and it appears they were part of Kim’s wife’s faction (and therefore potential rivals or threats, perhaps). How many more death-penalty boxes can you tick?

Back on planet Earth – specifically, in Fujian province – a three-year-old girl is crushed to death by a bulldozer during China’s land grab du jour. Her father naively asks for clarification about the relative importance of human life and land acquisition, and local officials politely take the time to explain it all to him.

Which brings us back to the Big Lychee, where we are too squeamish to machine-gun pop stars or even squash obstructive families’ toddlers to death. The best we can manage is an Indonesian maid who tries to tarnish the name of her hard-working employers by tying herself to a chair and half-starving herself while they are away, and cunningly beating and burning herself in such a way as to make it look as if they did it. Despite a noble defence lawyer’s attempts to unmask the demur Muslim girl for the fiendish sadomasochistic freak she is, and despite the fact that brown-skinned people don’t feel pain like the rest of us, the assumption is that the couple may end up being found guilty. If past cases are anything to go by, the judge will make an example of them with fines of HK$2,000, even HK$4,000 – maybe as much as HK$6,000.

Not everyone automatically assumes that Southeast Asian domestic helpers are viciously cunning little elf-devils. The normally staid Asia Sentinel recently exploded in a rage of polemic over the South China Morning Post’s incisive investigative report uncovering the fact that Hong Kong’s new contingent of Bangladeshi maids are deliriously happy here (free spoons!), give or take the ones who were fired within weeks. Hong Kong officials have ‘deeply ingrained racial prejudice against brown Asians’, Asia Sentinel says (from experience?), while the SCMP has been ‘ethnically cleansed’ of its once-large South Asian editorial staff (ditto?). Anyway – ouch.

Would it be too much to hope that Hong Kong at least has less far to climb than North Korea? I declare the weekend open with the ever-cheering thought of Voltaire’s Dr Pangloss: “All is for the best in the best of all possible worlds.”

 

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19 Responses to Yesterday’s mayhem in brief

  1. Sojourner says:

    “Kim Jong-un’s ex-lover ‘executed by firing squad’

    This calls for severe punitive air strikes by the Coalition of the Willing.

  2. Incredulous says:

    “She was luckier than Kim Chol, vice minister of the army, who was executed with a mortar round in October 2012.
    Kim Chol was reportedly executed for drinking and carousing during the official mourning period after Kim Jong-il’s death.
    On the explicit orders of Kim Jong-un to leave “no trace of him behind, down to his hair,” according to South Korean media, Kim Chol was forced to stand on a spot that had been zeroed in for a mortar round and “obliterated.”

    The mind boggles…

  3. But what of life in the Soho triangle? This Dr is not so optimistic. The mayhem you cannot see all that well.

    Sadly, people are dying rather quickly and with greater certainty than Korean pop stars even between FCC and the IFC. The air is now a stagnant miasma of oxygen traces suffused with sulphur, concrete dust, carbon monoxide and dandruff. The windows of the brand name stores have to be rubbed down hourly to remove the grit.

    And then one day people wake up with a shadow on their lungs Or they drop dead in front of their shareholders.

    It’s not enough to rejoice that Hong Kong bankers are dropping like flies. They are human too. In twenty years time we may find out. Yes, it was all inevitable really. We should have done something.

    Even for bankers, expats and expat bankers.

  4. Real Tax Payer says:

    This gives a whole new meaning to the terms:

    – bulldozering in ( or over)
    – wiped out
    – obliterated
    – ironed out
    – spoon fed

    It’s a sick world within that circle.

    When will the US and UK start firing cruise missiles at us to make things better ?

  5. Regislea says:

    Just tried to access the Asia Sentinel article from Indonesia. The publication seems to be blocked!

  6. Incredulous says:

    Thankfully CaMORON has been reigned in by Parliament over Syria!

  7. mjrelje says:

    “Her father naively asks for clarification about the relative importance of human life and land acquisition, and local officials politely take the time to explain it all to him”.

    that’s probably more to do with the fact that it was a little girl that was killed. No big loss in China. All the grandmothers have already been sold, women traficked and unborn females aborted.

  8. maugrim says:

    HK is truly beginning to ‘jump the shark’ with calls by one of those ‘love HK’ groups, you know the one, the one led by that Chan bint, for teachers to record their political leanings and for Liberal Studies to be removed. This is pretty ironic, given that in the West at any rate, teaching would be a left-leaning profession. Perhaps in HK its the ‘wrong sort of left’? WTF are people thinking for our Government to be even listening to such a rabble? As to the case involving the maid, ‘racism’ or incidents decrying such, mostly relates to events where Chinese people are the victim. For every HKer who is decent to their maids, plenty of others would think the accused couple in question were a little too lenient. Think I’m wrong? Wait until a sentence is handed down and the Head of the Domestic Helper Employer’s Association or similar, bleats about employer ‘rights’.

  9. reductio says:

    The employers will get

    a fine ___

    jail time ___

    off ___

    a bronze Bauhinia ___

    Tick one

  10. gweileye says:

    Ahhh North Korea, Asia’s bastard child. Even makes China look mature.

  11. Big Al says:

    How dare a brown-skinned maid – an Indonesian, mind you, not even a Filipina! – dare to besmirch the reputation of Hong Kong’s generous, caring, soft-hearted and kindly domestic helper employers. It makes my blood boil. To think, we even give them spoons for free! I shall be recommending to all Domestic Helper Employer’s Association members that, just to be on the safe side, we should gas all the Indonesian helpers, much like the Brits are doing with badgers in the UK. Instead, we should get some fresh Bangladeshi maids, who are even cheaper than Indonesians, which makes up for everything else.

  12. PropertyDeveloper says:

    Maugrim, Agreed. Teachers in most countries are a force for social change as (a) they usually know how to read and (b) they have some indirect power, by virtue of forming the minds of the next generation. But in HK, they’re so put upon by the school management, various inspectors, parents, even increasingly the children, that only the desperate join up.

    All these injustices, which seem flagrant to you and me, will surely get much worse — until the long-suffering population finally realises which side its bread is buttered on.

  13. Real Tax Payer says:

    @ Incredulous

    I think you mean reined in not reigned in

    But however it’s spelled, yes thankfully so.

    Bloody caMORON, US poodle.

  14. Oik says:

    Cops aren’t allowed to spout politics for obvious reasons.

    So why should teachers be allowed to unduly influence the political leanings of young minds?

    That having been said, some of the lefty crap that got churned out by teachers at my school probably actually made me lean more the other way.

  15. Sojourner says:

    @ maugrim

    “… calls by one of those ‘love HK’ groups, you know the one, the one led by that Chan bint, for teachers to record their political leanings and for Liberal Studies to be removed …”

    That’s news to me, and highly disturbing. Do you have a link for this story?

  16. C Law says:

    Sojourner:
    http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?we_cat=4&art_id=137065&sid=40264458&con_type=1&d_str=20130830&fc=8
    “`Spicy Girl’ wants teachers to come clean on political links”
    for one.

    As an aside, I’m increasingly disturbed to find that Mary Ma is coming out with reasonably sounding pieces these days. Is she setting us up for something?

  17. gweileye says:

    Sojourner, Bela also has the full article plus his commentary over at NTSCMP.

    You can only just shake your head in wonderment on what goes on the brains of these “caring and loving” assicoaitons.

  18. Sojourner says:

    Cheers all!

    @ C Law … I too have noticed that Mary Ma is moderating her views in recent months. If Alex Lo has been harmonised, is Ma on the brink of being discordantised?

    @ gweileye … thanks, I check out NTSCMP for the story and Bela’s gems. As someone pointed out in a trenchant piece a few months ago these reactionary “caring and loving” associations have their equivalent in other authoritarian pseudo-democratic nations like Russia and Iran. Someon’e gotta intimidate the liberal intelligentsia after all.

    In the 1790s in Britain they were called the “King and Country” mobs and used to go around smashing up the coffee-house meetings of Tom Paine and other sympasthisers with the ideals of the French/American Revolutions.

  19. Children have a habit of making up their own minds regardless of what they’re taught – the most virulent anti-Catholic I know had the misfortune to suffer a Catholic education. That said, I propose that if teachers are forced to declare their political leanings, they should form a “Mind Your Own Damn Business” Party and write those words on the declaration form.

    Oik should recognise that this proposal has nothing to do with preventing teachers from infecting kids with their political leanings – so long as they only lean in a northwards direction.

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