And winner of the Ten Outstanding Tedious Events is…

stan-outstandingYou would expect the South China Morning Post to line up loyally behind the latest official Big Important Thrilling BS Concept-Theme – whether it’s ‘Belt and Road’, ‘positive energy’, Yuan hubs or the latest regurgitation of some tourism/landlord-worship meme. So it comes as a bit of a shock to find the paper treating this year’s Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award with less than total reverence.

As the Standard also notes, one of the winners – a Fonia Wong – is connected with one of the judges and is outstanding mainly for having made big bucks as a student in multi-level marketing and property.

Run by the Junior Chamber, the Award is aimed at recognizing the Hong Kong establishment’s idea of excellent role models. The procedure is: one dedicated unsung-hero teacher; one handicapped-but-photogenic overcomer-against-odds; one tycoon’s offspring (or product of that milieu); one sports medal winner; one or two entrepreneur-ish types; one (respectful, decent, non-challenging) artist or musician; one (constructive, cooperative, non-campaigning) environmentalist or community worker; a nurse who spent time in Africa; and a few more business types. In highlighting the ruling class’s notion of the ideal non-troublesome young (-ish) Hongkonger, the Award co-opts emerging figures and gives face to select parents.

Money-making Fonia is an executive at a subsidiary of one the city’s biggest family-run property empires and is 40 years of age, and so fits the bill perfectly. Traditionally, the media would give the Award modest but straight coverage. The real story here is that her selection as one of our Ten Outstanding Young Persons is attracting mockery. It is another sign that the old order in Hong Kong is dying, respect for elders and betters lies in tatters and our social fabric as we used to know it is being torn asunder, etc.

(Only five were awarded this year. Perhaps we are supposed to infer establishment displeasure and despair at the radical localist teen menace in our midst.)

What if the public chose the winners? Obvious recipients would be world-famous Joshua Wong, his sidekick lawmaker Nathan Law, the young directors of the vignettes that comprise the film Ten Years, the activists who stand up to land-grabbing thugs in the New Territories, the zither-carrying schoolgirl who faced down the MTR, the lunatics who take selfies atop skyscrapers and thousands more whose names we’ll never know.

Not content with denigrating the Ten Outstanding Young Zombies Award, the SCMP also fails to admire and idolize the tourist-attracting pestilence that is Formula E – an electric-car race and classic example of what we mean by the phrase ‘regurgitation of some tourism/landlord-worship meme’.

The paper upset the organizers of this pseudo-event by pointing out (along with everyone else) that right-thinking members of the public resented the visual barriers strung up along the walkways near the race circuit. “The media have a responsibility to sell the product,” said some self-important nonentity flattered by Hong Kong tourism officials chucking taxpayers’ resources in his direction. And today a columnist questions Formula E as a sport, declaring it a lame, non-glamorous, unexciting, sub-go-karting waste of space.

Formula E is obviously a desperate attempt by some shysters to replicate the astounding money-making success of Formula 1 (itself, like most professional sports, contrived and tedious but at least noisy). Only Hong Kong officials are gullible enough to take it seriously – and massively inconvenience their own public in the process.

I was herded through the affected afflicted area over the weekend, and proudly present…

2016 Hong Kong Formula E excitement in pictures!


Later, on an inspection tour of Discovery Bay, I passed a bar with a big outdoor TV showing the electric go-karts hissing uninterestingly around IFC. Three or four local residents sat nearby, sipping beer and occasionally glancing up at the racing. They told me they thought it was boring.

When people in Disco Bay think something’s boring – it’s Seriously, Indescribably Boring.


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11 Responses to And winner of the Ten Outstanding Tedious Events is…

  1. Chinese Netizen says:

    Fonia didn’t have her spell check on when trying to type Fiona on Gweilo name selection day in preschool?

    Or her parents sloughed it off for the maid to handle, as they had more important money making things to do?

  2. Chinese Netizen says:

    Additionally…perhaps the SCMPRC’s newfound disdain for establishment worship is on orders from (someone in) Beijing, akin to the current Sing Pao drama of taking sides in a factional turf war??


  3. Joe Blow says:

    Chinese Netizen beat me to it, sort of (related to Sarah Beatme, mayhaps ?): Now that the Ali Baba Morning Yawn seems to be going off-script, can we soon expect Chugani and LaTooToo to follow suit and write something horribly rebellious, in their own amusing ways ?

  4. old git says:

    I too noticed the signs “Please keep going” in Central. They reminded me of the signage I once saw, a long time ago, in Paris, left over from WW2, in tunnels used to herd Jews towards their eventual deaths in Polish gas chambers. Except those signs didn’t include the word “Please”.

  5. The electric car event proves it.

    Enid’s Rule No 1.

    ” Any public space anywhere in Hong Kong must be used for a money-making promotional event licking up to vested interests. Hong Kong abhors a vacuum.”

    If you ever break fully out of the Soho Triangle and get as far as Causeway Bay, you can report on the weekly disaster known as the Pedestrian Zone. The whole central area of CWB is taken up by promoters of skin whitener, health drinks…plus an ice cream van.

  6. Property Developer says:

    Does “multi-level marketing” mean pyramid selling?

    And where is A Wu’s hand in the PIMP pic?

    We have a right to know.

  7. reductio says:

    “Fonia” ? As in “Sorry, gotta go. Fonia later.” ?

  8. Red Dragon says:

    Surely Fonia would have done better with Fiano – it’s so much more, er……, musical.

    Nice post today, though, Hemmers; full of bile and venom, and just what the doctor ordered.

    I do hope “Enid” doesn’t have too many more rules, don’t you? My heart sank when I saw that the one she shared with us today was only No. 1. We’d better all keep our heads down; there’s a veritable tsunami of consecutively numbered inanities in the offing.

  9. LRE says:

    @Joe Blow

    Trying to imagine what Michael Chugani writing something rebellious would look like, but all I can come up with is this scene.

  10. Chinese Netizen says:

    @LRE: The only time Chugani got all rebellious and “anti establishment” was way back a few years ago when his landlord raised his rent and made hime move AND write a column about the injustice of raising rents and evil landlordness.

  11. dimuendo says:

    As to Hospital Wu what happened as a result of the finding of guilt by the accountants disciplinary tribunnal and what is he doing now?

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