Happy so-called Friday

The US government’s US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) has published its latest report…

The report said Beijing had installed loyal judges and leaders in key positions, leading to “the strictest interpretation” of the security law and its enforcement beyond the city’s jurisdiction. This had caused more Hongkongers to leave, while those who stayed must choose between self-censorship or political and legal risks, the report said.

“As these expats and Hongkongers leave… mainland human capital and investment increasingly dominate Hong Kong’s business environment, cementing Hong Kong’s status as a Chinese, rather than international, city,” the report read.

And the predictable response

The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) today (November 15) strongly disapproved of and firmly rejected the untruthful remarks, slanders and smears against various aspects of the HKSAR in the so-called “report” of 2023 issued by the United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC). 

Etc. Slight problem with the basic point: we reject your claim that we’re just a Chinese city – we are an inalienable part of the People’s Republic of China. But following the ‘so-called’ and other outrage, we get the soothing assurance that…

With the unparalleled connectivity with the Mainland and the rest of the world, Hong Kong will continue to play its unique role as a ‘super-connector’ and ‘super value-adder’. 

Some weekend reading and viewing…

After living in Hong Kong for 28 years, someone gets around to going to the Peak for the first time, and is not totally impressed by the tacky mall-thing, but admits that there are some OK spots elsewhere. (Possibly paywalled, though worked for me.) Better than any Tourism Board stuff… 

It’s hard to get there and even harder to leave. 

For those following Taiwan’s election, useful thoughts on the KMT/TPP hookup. (Did I ever mention that I once saw Ma Ying-jeou on the Mid-Levels Escalator?) Quick cartoon version here.

Free (legally, on Sony’s channel) on YouTube: Satoshi Kon’s Paprika, a visually (and musically) stunning Japanese animated movie. Sort of an adult Ghibli. The synopsis says it’s about…

…a battle between a dream terrorist who steals a device that allows others to share their dreams and causes nightmares for people, and a research psychologist who enters the dream world and changes into Paprika, a dream detective, to investigate the cases.

At one stage…

…Paprika is captured by the pair after an exhausting chase. Osanai obsessively confesses his love for Chiba and peels away Paprika’s skin to reveal Chiba underneath. However, he is interrupted by the outraged Inui who demands that they finish off Chiba; as the two share Osanai’s body, they battle for control. Konakawa enters the dream and flees with Chiba back into his own recurring dream. Osanai gives chase, which ends in Konakawa shooting Osanai to take control of the dream. The act kills Osanai’s physical body in the real world.

Sounds unbearable, you might think. But like much Japanese manga-type absurd fantasy, the contents are far better than the label (unlike their traditional local confectioneries, which are the other way round). A famous scene.

Also on YouTube, To Singapore, with Love – an award-winning 2013 documentary about activists and dissidents who left Singapore in the 1960s-80s period. Banned in Singapore.

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15 Responses to Happy so-called Friday

  1. watermelonbuilding says:

    Can’t read the Shirley Lee story unless I am a paying member of “medium.” Are you sure you read the whole thing, Hemlock?

  2. Stanley Lieber says:

    The Shirley Lee blog post was very enjoyable. Thx for sharing.

  3. Knownot says:

    December the Tenth

    December the Tenth has my attention;
    I shall cast my ballot
    in the reformed District Council election
    or whatever they call it.

    There are two candidates: from Patriotic Voice
    and from another party, Patriotic Speech.
    So hard to make a choice
    when I agree with each.

    Which way shall I go, which way?
    This needs good judgement and finesse:
    either the party that says, “OK”,
    or the party that says, “Yes”.

  4. Chinese Netizen says:

    That’s just…..super!

  5. HillnotPeak says:

    Glad the ‘so-called’ is back, missed it to be honest.
    But instead of ‘super connector’, isn’t ‘super-duper connector’ better?

  6. Herr Torquewrench says:

    Tried to open Shirley Lee’s account – no luck. Can any kind person please do a quick copy and paste for us?

  7. justsayin says:

    The HK government response to the USCC is indistinguishable from boilerplate mainland proclamations. Assimilation continues.

    AFA Paprika, it’s on Netflix as well… a very trippy film indeed

  8. Mark Bradley says:

    Medium article with paywall busted down here: https://archive.ph/G8Vw5

    Every dedicated Big Lychee reader needs to bookmark archive.ph as it’s a great companion to read paywalled articles. The Brave web browser also usually works (great for rags who think they are NY Times like SCMP) though it did not for the medium article.

  9. Chinese Netizen says:

    Shirley Lee’s bit on The Peak was refreshing and entertaining.

    @Mark Bradley: Thanks.

  10. Reader says:

    Another spiffing and timely composition from @Knownot.

    It’s a pity this forum doesn’t have a ‘like’ facility. Moreover comrade, can you not do the world a favour and publish them all somewhere, if only on the Internets?

  11. cautious cynic says:

    To Singapore, with love.

    Understandable that it won an award, affecting, and why still banned in Singapore. The banning says all you need to know about Singapore.

    Shirley Lee okay (thank you Mr Bradley and Hemlock) but did not make me want to (again) go up the Peak. I remember the Peak Cafe.

    Paprika apparently not uploaded for my current place of stay.

  12. Joe Blow says:

    The No. 1 minibus will take you from IFC to the Peak Tower in a jiffy. It’s also a cheap fun ride.

  13. Hey this is literally Shirley Lee. Medium let writers share a “friend link” that bypass the paywall. I actually want people to read my things for free, so you’re more than welcome copy and paste this link to share with you family and friends:


    Please consider leaving a tip though, as blogging is now my full time job!

  14. steve says:

    Paprika is Kon Satoshi’s masterwork in a career cut way too short by cancer. It’s a brilliant investigation of the technology/humanity interface, and in a mode that’s aged a lot better than the Ghost in the Shell, etc. narratives that focus on all that singularity razzmatazz. As Hemlock notes, the animation is extraordinarily good–trippy becomes outright beautiful and lucid, if that’s not too contradictory. Kon’s other films are also very much worth your time: Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress, and Tokyo Godfathers. Also, he did the bonkers TV series Paranoia Agent.

  15. steve says:

    Shirley–Many thanks for the link and the entertaining article.

    If you’re ever dragged up to the Peak again, take the #15 bus. Much better views. Sit upstairs in the front row.

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