Let’s just pickle all the books, to be safe

Virtually every type of pickled vegetable on the market in Hong Kong contains insect parts. And the city’s annual book fair includes books pulled from public libraries. Which is the greater threat to society?

As those of us who make our own kimchi know, pickled/fermented vegetables are made from ingredients that grow in fields, which also host insects. In real life, it is not possible to wash every tiny bug part off the produce. Anyway, some recipes for kimchi actually require little arthropod invertebrates in the mix (such as shrimp), which are not hugely different. And the whole point of preserving is to eliminate harmful microbes – so no worries. The sodium is a different matter. (I once read that traces of insects among veg are strict vegans’ only source of certain important nutrients.) 

Which brings us to that other potential contaminant: books. The Standard doesn’t mention which works it found at the fair. Could it be a former pro-democracy lawmaker’s book about cats? A dead intellectual’s memoirs of opposing colonial rule? A political-science textbook on separation of powers? An organizer puts a brave face on it, citing a government statement that it is still OK to buy the barred-from-library volumes from bookshops. Perhaps NatSec officials will visit the fair just to make sure there is nothing endangering the security of the nation.

Speaking of which, Beijing appoints former counter-espionage official Dong Jingwei to head up its Office for Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong. Reuters (via Standard) says

In an essay published last July in a journal dedicated to President Xi Jinping’s thinking on the rule of law, Dong said “Western forces” had been instigating a “colour revolution” in Hong Kong, and the security law had been vital to restore order.

“The appointment of such a powerful intelligence figure as Dong to take charge in Hong Kong is a bit of surprise,” said one Asian envoy.

“The government is trying to show it is open for international business but this will send a shiver and raises fresh questions about the future operating environment.”

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5 Responses to Let’s just pickle all the books, to be safe

  1. Nury Vibbrachi says:

    I’ve already said that the Communists don’t give a hoot about absurdity and self-contradiction, impossibility of performance, overkill or anything similar.

    These are all liberal ideas and liberals count for nothing against communists, as we know.

    Even the Roman Catholics though gave up on banning books. Their Index Librorum Prohibitorum was abolished 1965-6. It led to far too many imbroglios, dichotomies and charivaris. Like the Communists, the Catholics didn’t care too much about being ridiculous or stupid. When you can’t ban Hitler you have to give up I think. Presumably all the mass murderers like Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot will not be banned by the Transcommunist Hong Kong junta. Pol Pot didn’t write much anyway. Far too busy pulling fingernails.

    “Among the denounced works of the period was the Nazi philosopher Alfred Rosenberg’s Myth of the Twentieth Century for scorning and rejecting “all dogmas of the Catholic Church, and the fundamentals of the Christian religion”. Markedly absent from the Index was Adolf Hitler’s book Mein Kampf. After gaining access to the Vatican Apostolic Archive church historian Hubert Wolf discovered that Mein Kampf had been studied for three years but the Holy Office decided that it should not go on the Index because the author was a head of state. The Holy Office justified that decision by referring to Chap 13 of St. Paul’s letter to the Romans regarding state authority coming from God. But somewhat later, the Vatican criticized Mein Kampf in the encyclical Mit Brennender Sorge about the challenges of the church in Nazi Germany.”


  2. Hermes says:

    Think this is more worrying than the insect content:
    ‘…the majority, or 29 samples, were found to contain “light filth,” including insects, hair, metal and plastic fragments.’

  3. Formerly Known As... says:
  4. Big Dong Energy says:

    Dong said “Western forces” had been instigating a “colour revolution” in Hong Kong, and the security law had been vital to restore order.

    Because telling the actual truth — that the majority of the populace revolted against a series of extremely unpopular measures introduced by the unelected, unpopular, communist-run government and the only way it could carry on ruling was through violence, mass arrests, political repression and intimidation, along with abandoning democracy, freedom of the press, their own constitution and the rule of law — would be seriously off-message.

  5. Mark Bradley says:

    “This revolting little quisling turd is at it again:


    There are not words…”

    Ugh pass the sick bag. Pinkstone the Pinkerton is at it again

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