Disgustingly sweaty-looking theatrics

Inspired by the visit to Hong Kong of the disgustingly sweaty-looking heart-throb Korean alien-on-Earth star Kim Soo-hyun, I’ve naturally been watching early Mork and Mindy, which has even more naturally prompted thoughts about the way strange planetary alignments portend startling confluences of events.

For example, (arguably) disgustingly sweaty-looking (former) heart-throb Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada comes to the Big Lychee (with apparently alien-on-Earth offspring), sees Chief Executive CY Leung, and voila – the Great Bus Massacre Victims Apology Sanctions Mega-fuss is suddenly resolved and everyone’s instantly buddies again. And at the same time, US President Barack Obama is due in the Philippines soon, and might just conceivably be a tiny bit less determined to gang up against poor innocent peace-loving China if we make a few gestures, like switching off the infantile beat-up-brown-riffraff bus tantrum.

Then we have the slowly mounting standoff between the forces of good and evil over Hong Kong’s political reform.

Financial and banking ‘high-fliers’ come out and join academics, students, radicals, priests and legislator-bores in calling for real universal suffrage. Although worth noting, this is not that amazing. If it were the financial sector’s top dogs – the (more or less) household names among bank and other bosses who would never normally break out of kowtowing/shoe-shining mode – this would be stunning. One minute they would have been loyally reciting Beijing officials’ wacko scaremongering about the threat of the Occupy Central civil disobedience campaign, the next minute they’d be in outright rebellion and joining it.

But that’s not what’s happening. These hedge-fund guys and retired stock-exchange people are comparatively plain upper-middle-class folks with a conscience and a vested interest in a level playing field; they are not part of the co-opted, establishment, elite, insider caste who will sell their grandma for the chance to hire a Mainland princeling. Their emergence on the scene alongside Occupy Central is nicely timed and well-executed, and if it gives the right people a jolt – great. The smell of things going wrong in Hong Kong is unmistakable and getting worse. It will be interesting to see who else might openly sign up to Benny Tai’s pro-dem ‘united front’ as the crescendo draws nearer.

Meanwhile, the day after the pro-Beijing DAB releases its highly conservative proposal for the rubber-stamping of an official list of Chief Executive candidates by a bloc-voting nominating committee, Hong Kong’s Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Secretary apparently rejects it – as unacceptable to the pro-democrats, no less.

Bear in mind that both the DAB and constitutional affairs boss Raymond Tam are following orders from Beijing officials here. You are supposed to enjoy the DAB’s slight humiliation (which by loyal patriots’ selfless standards was nothing); you are invited to admire the Hong Kong minister’s even-handedness and independence; and you are expected to swoon with gratitude, joy and relief when the less idiotically obvious screening mechanism is unveiled.

More than Robin Williams at his manic best, it is all gloriously theatrical.

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