We and Us – All of Me Together for a New Chap

Christmas comes once every 365 days – but Hong Kong Chief Executive ‘elections’ happen just every four years. Hapless tools are today pretending to vote for someone pretending to run as the sole ‘candidate’. Along with the 7,000 police racking up a huge overtime bill today, we should cherish the strangeness of the moment like leap-year babies having a February 29 birthday. And let’s keep a special eye out for news media reporting the ‘result’ of the HK$228 million charade as if something real happened, other than the close of the final chapter of ‘One Country, Two Systems’. 

HKFP compares John Lee’s social media campaign with those of his predecessors…

Even Lee’s most popular Facebook post – a response to Google’s termination of his YouTube channel in accordance with US sanctions – garnered only around 7,000 reactions, nearly half of which were “haha.”

People are puzzling over Lee’s ‘election rally’ English slogan ‘We and Us’. The two words are of course subject and object forms of the pronoun. The meaning, I surmise, is ‘You are all objects, and you are all subjects’. 

(Interesting fact: in some languages, there are three words for ‘we/us’. One means ‘you and me and no-one else’. One means ‘all of us together here’. And one means ‘me and some other people but not you’.)

The Chinese version says ‘Me and Us’ – perhaps meaning ‘CE and subjects are all objects together (except yellow objects, which don’t count)’. Maybe. Or could the English ‘We’ simply be a mistranslation/typo of the Chinese ‘Me’? Or vice-versa? Having been sent off unenthusiastically by the Big Boss to briefly work on a past CE ‘election campaign’, I can confirm that the consultant and PR floozies involved are purely driven by the quick whatever-the-client-will-sign-off-on easy money donated by tycoons.

China Daily interviews shoe-shining useful barbarian idiots who are quoted as spouting meaningless inanities, like…

The electoral system had to change because it had been infiltrated by foreign forces seeking a Whitehall or US Congress system of governance. But every place is different, and one form does not fit all. 

Did these poor schmucks realize that rather obviously scripted replies would be attributed to them? Would it be more pitiful if the answer to that question is ‘yes’ or ‘no’?

Some reading for the next day or two…

Stuck in hotel quarantine, David Webb is searching enforcement and regulatory bodies’ websites for reports of transgressions by members of the financial services sector. One lesson: you’d be better off buying shares in AIA than paying premiums for their life products.

Oz ABC on ‘the movie that cannot be named in Hong Kong’, including an interview with director Kiwi Chow – amazingly still in town. And Variety on Blue Island. Will that be banned, too?

China Media Project on the unwaveringly persistent Politburo Standing Committee’s reiteration of the need to comprehensively, resoundingly, indefatigably, resolutely double down on the latter-day ‘eliminate sparrows’ campaign. It seems ‘dynamic zero’ has become a loyalty/obedience test. The continuing re-locking-down in parts of Shanghai suggests that it is incentivizing local officials to care only about preventing outbreaks, and nothing about public welfare or the economy. 

From China Digital Times, a transcript of a posted-then-censored phone call from an irate locked-down Shanghai resident…

Male resident: …My family can’t keep going like this, either. You’ve closed down all the shops, forcing us to buy from these so-called “licensed suppliers.” Then you blame the delivery workers for spreading the virus … What a load of nonsense. You’re just looking for excuses, looking for scapegoats. You lock down the whole city, and yet we’re still having an endless stream of new cases. Don’t you find that strange?

Officer: I do find it strange, to be honest.

A Harvard Business paper on the Emergence of Mafia-like Business Systems in China. Scroll down to sub-headings ‘Plunder’, Obfuscation’, ‘Mutual Endangerment’ and ‘Manipulation of Financial System’ for some juicy examples.

A mega-thread of Orson Welles talking shit. You would want the guy at a dinner party.

An interactive map of Pangaea (this) showing modern-day borders (or ‘boarders’, as many people like to write these days.) 

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15 Responses to We and Us – All of Me Together for a New Chap

  1. Low Profile says:

    I think “We and Us” means “them and them”. It certainly doesn’t involve us, the Hong Kong people. Would you want to be “together” with John Lee?

  2. Hon Bancock says:

    @Hemmers, disappointed you didn’t come up with the most obvious explanation given your british heritage.

    “We” in this context is clearly a royal usage. Further evidence is given when one looks into the history of the usage and John’s Christian upbringing, “we” usage evolved from a reference to the ruler and God as a collective.

  3. Chinese Netizen says:

    “The continuing re-locking-down in parts of Shanghai suggests that it is incentivizing local officials to care only about preventing outbreaks, and nothing about public welfare or the economy.”

    When only a handful of people at the top will eat, bathe, breathe and live comfortably regardless of the situation around them, why should people’s livelihoods…the economy…paying employees…satisfying orders…etc matter one damned bit? This is all like reading again “Mao: The Unknown Story” by June Chang or the book by Mao’s personal physician Li Zhisui “The Private Life of Chairman Mao”. Just throw in Shit Jumping in place of You Know Who.

  4. Knownot says:

    China sends men into : space,
    Advances at a marvellous : pace.
    Today they played an : ace!

    The Election was a grand : affair,
    Closely fought and free and : fair.
    And look! It’s cleared the : air!

    It pleased the masses, large and : small,
    At home, on beach, at shopping : mall.
    A winner, hailed by : all!

    Foreign forces do not : scare.
    Common Law? We do not : care.
    How satisfied we : are!

  5. Joe Blow says:

    If you painted John Lee’s nose red, he could double as a ventriloquist dummy. He already has the vacant stare and the fake wooden smile.

  6. Chinese Netizen says:

    Oh CHAP! I skimmed too quickly and read “Crap”.

  7. Kwun Tong Bypass says:

    Has the ICAC already launched the investigation about who incentivized the traitors who cast empty or invalid votes? I mean, nobody chosen by BJ can be that dumb and not understand how to cast a valid vote. Must have been deliberate. Although on second thought maybe there might be an ambitious old lady, or two, or a genius from Yuen Long who indeed might have missed how to perform her/his act in this selection circus.

    And of course, lots of work to do for JL and his commie masters, I mean a long way to get to the 99.9999 percent approval China’s BFF in NK gets!

  8. Stanley Lieber says:

    PC Lee is a progressive person. We/us are his pronouns.

  9. Red Dragon says:

    Looks like your Twitter thing is on the blink, Hemmers.

    I’m seeing a poodle sitting in a chair.

  10. Sour Sweet says:

    ‘We’ by Yevgeny Zamyatin (1920-21)
    In a glass-enclosed city of absolute straight lines, ruled over by the all-powerful ‘Benefactor’, the citizens of the totalitarian society of OneState live out lives devoid of passion and creativity.

    A seminal work of dystopian fiction that foreshadowed the worst excesses of Soviet Russia, Yevgeny Zamyatin’s ‘We’ is a powerfully inventive vision that has influenced writers from George Orwell to Ayn Rand.

  11. Nury Vittankie says:

    CE election every five years. We can only dream of having this kind of excitement every four.

  12. Ease, not knack says:

    For those with an interest in Cantonese word-play, ‘Blue Island” 藍洲 làahm-jāu has a burning similarity to 攬炒 láahm-cháau, or the doctrine of mutual self-destruction coined in HK.

  13. Christine Loh says:

    So is John Lee going to be the “White Terror CENO” ?

  14. Northern Menace says:

    Pikachu says he worked hard to get elected. Arresting and beating protesters is hard work indeed.

  15. Mark Bradley says:

    “So is John Lee going to be the “White Terror CENO” ?”

    Is he going to be a CENO AKA a powerless puppet? Or will he be a willing collaborator with agency to rule HK very much like Vichy France’s Philippe Pétain had until 1942 when Vichy France converted from client-state to puppet state due to the war going badly for Nazi Germany.

    Source here: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/vichy-government-france-world-war-ii-willingly-collaborated-nazis-180967160/

    Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Chechen Republic is another perfect example of a willing collaborator with agency to rule as he pleased as long as he was loyal to Russia, and it actually resulted in a harsher style of rule than direct rule from Russia would while also providing a veneer of legitimacy due to local rule.

    Remember collaborators have agency while puppets generally do not, and certainly we at least had CEs before the NSL regime / 2019 protests have agency though post NSL the evidence suggests Carrie was a powerless puppet, but she still did not implement a Shanghai style lockdown; perhaps that was more of the civil service’s work (or lack thereof) than hers as the civil service still actually *runs* day to day government and is distrusted by Beijing.

    So what about John Lee? A powerless puppet CENO like Carrie during the NSL regime or due to the fact that he’s part of the disciplined services and not an AO, he’ll be given a free hand to collaborate like Ramzan Kadyrov or Philippe Pétain?

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