Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My Korean coworker said I reminded her of Tablo and linked me to this

I'm not sure what to say to that.

It has an old school West-coast hip-hop feel under the modern production.

I think probably because LA always had a bigger Korean presence than NYC-Chicago.

Somehow the atmosphere is a little different though.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Social media, what is the value of awareness?

I'm fucking annoyed with "gamergate" for no other reason than because my Twitter feed is infested with gamergate related items that

a) Still fail to elucidate what the hell this is all about except something something feminism something something videogames

b) Add zero new and meaningful insight into the situation; it seriously the same rhetoric rehashed over and over agains in endless 140 character permutations

And I'm pretty sure I'm only getting one side of the story anyways.


I tried to read an article once and it was just fucking hot garbage. All I got was incomprehensible nonsense.

And I hate this stupid goddamn -gate suffix. Watergate was the goddamn name of the hotel, it wasn't some fucking controversy about water, you philistines.

In conclusion, fuck y'all.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Can I still call it racism if it's Chinese on Chinese?

Like, people in Hong Kong really hate Mainlanders.

I would be out with one of my local friends and we would pass by a homeless person,

"that guy's from the mainland, a Hong Kong person wouldn't be out like that!"

What the fuck? Just because of that? How can you make assertions like that?

Or another one, "sorry I'm late, there were some Mainlanders walking really slowly, it's always the Mainlanders that are blocking my way"

I know a lot of times I kid that brown people are like this or asian people are like that but I've never been like oh I bet a black person committed that crime or god I hate Jews I wish they'd all just get out of this country.

Okay I've probably said something like that about Jews before. But I was totally joking.

For the record no black person has ever complained when I make jokes about watermelon and fried chicken. They'd be all like, "hells yeah, fried chicken is delicious, there's something wrong with you if you don't like fried chicken".

I think they're more offended by bigger things. Like getting shot by the police.

The Hong Kongers are out celebrating National Day!

The short of it is that since the British handover of Hong Kong, it's been a self-governed city-state and a bastion of democracy in the holdings of China. China has recently decided that candidates in Hong Kong elections must now be approved by the Central Government and people are out in the streets. Whatever, you can find the story in other places, pictures and everything, I don't need to explain it here. So I'm just going to toss out some observations since you know, I'm around, and talking with the locals and stuff.

1) China announced their intentions months ago (by my recollection and internal memory clock) but the occupation was planned for and executed on last weekend, in advance of what is now National Day by students and teachers. (You can probably guess what National Day celebrates) It's snowballed from there.

2) Some differences with other occupy movements: the scale is enormous. All the main commercial districts are occupied. It's hard for people outside to understand when names like Central or Admiralty or Mong Kok are being tossed out but it's not exactly a bunch of yahoos sitting in Queen's Park. In many areas there's actually no police presence but fortunately this seems to be the most civil demonstration I've ever heard of. (Yeah yeah, there's pictures of tear gas and rubber shot being circulated but most of those incidents actually occurred Sunday, things are more settled now; isn't funny that nobody in the west reported things when they happened, but the images are posted everywhere now that they're out of date?)

Also, the fuckin' Triads are on the steets, wut?

3) A Tienanmen situation will not happen. At the time the Chinese government had no experience in riot control and also had no riot gear. It wouldn't have happened the way it did if they had that knowledge and experience back then.

4) A lot of expats I think were indifferent (there were smaller scale protests earlier), hoping that either a) there's no disruption to their work or b) so much disruption that they can take holiday. Personally I've softened as I have local friends, acquaintances and coworkers who feel very strongly about the situation and are out there showing support. Hard to be indifferent to that, so I wish them best of luck. Democracy, as ugly as it is, is something we really take for granted in the West.

I know some Canadians that went out for a bit, and then hit up a pub after for drinks and are now at a sheesha bar. That is some seriously low intensity activism. My Hong Kong friend seemed appreciative though, so okay lol.

5) That said, I'm generally skeptical of occupy movements to effect change and especially so in this case. Hong Kong has been on the decline for a while now (in my opinion, and I could go on a lot about this) and is not an important component to Chinese prosperity. Realistically I don't think the Chinese government has much to gain by relenting or much to lose otherwise. Another thing is that Hong Kong people hate Mainlander people, in a way that makes me uncomfortable actually. That'll hurt their chances of getting any kind of populist support in China, which is what the Central Government is really worried about.

Also, this isn't a universally supported position within Hong Kong, especially among the older population. Some are even skeptical that the pro-democracy protesters aren't paid picketers. The Hong Kong nationalist streak is much stronger among the young population even though many of them were born after Chinese rule. The pro-chinese camp was actually quite strong at one point, which is why China was willing to accede to the sovereignty terms laid out by the British: the Central Government was expecting their favoured candidates to win naturally. Of course that didn't happen so..

6) As for China's democratization, remember, South Korea and Taiwan had shitty democratic-in-name-only governments until the 80s and 90s. That's really recent! Give things time, I'm optimistic.

So that's it. Cheers.