[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: July 2006

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Not very flattering... Since Terumi's japanese I couldn't help but doing those annoying peace/victory signs... Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 28, 2006


One more month till I get it... *drools*
It's the most compact, shoulder-mounted High Definition camcorder out there. Another bonus is that it records at 24fps - the closest to that 'film' look.

I've been so unenthusiastic lately, so I hope this new baby will get me thinking new ideas.
I'm already DOP for this documentary on graffiti artists for the I Shot Hong Kong short film competition.
But I know I can think up a good idea for myself aswell.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Israeli children encouraged to write messages on munitions

Media coverage of Middle East conflicts is always tricky - how do we as journalists report on the most volatile region on earth to international audiences? In an ideal world, news organisations should provide an objective and unbiased view of all sides. But unfortunately this traditionalist view is frequently used as a shield for either incompetence or hidden motives.

In recent years the notion of objectivity has further been eroded by the existence of such jokes like Fox News and the 'war on terror.' I've been watching CNN and CBS coverage and I'm sick of it all already. A lot of people say the coverage is biased towards Israeli civilians but I don't see that because there are constant reports of civilian casualties + interviews on both sides. But they however do engage more with Israeli civilians, asking more questions etc., obviously because they speak better english! This will in turn makes us more sympathetic towards Israelis. But the general consensus is (in Europe anyway) is that Israeli is the agressor and needs to halt its war machine. I don't see any banners telling Hezbollah to stop! (That's cos they know their message is more likely heard by Israel, def not Hezbollah anyway). Speaking of which, my editor Michael Chugani was recently invited to the Israeli consulate to discuss 'how to improve the Israeli image overseas.'

I'm also sick of journo's embedded with the IDF forces. How come you guys never have footage of Katuysha rockets firing or Hezbollah? If it weren't for sensitive political issues, we'd be getting more balanced pictures instead of constant Israeli artillery and wounded soldiers being cared for. They probably won't even try to cover it from Hezbollah's side if they could... why? For fears of being branded a terrorist-sympathiser, anti-semite and a rebuking from Washington no doubt. Just like how Israeli anti-war protestors were abused by their fellow countryfolk for being anti-Israeli and even throwing rocks at them. There's nothing worse than a cocktail of nationalism and bias. Sure we have freedom of expression but that still won't change the mindsets of others, no will it make any budge in our government's policies. That's the real harm of entrenched biases and the mainstream media is not doing it any good. You know, if you do want the lesser of evils, just get the live wires from Reuters/AP etc - snippets of information rather than listening to cheesy sentiments from some drama-queen journo with a pole up their ass.

Hurry up, losers

Some had requested the script I did for Newsline (hehe did anybody watch it at all?), apparently some are gonna write a scathing article about Patten; at least that's what my editor says.Won't be at about GST though - didn't talk about that. In fact, he dodged the sensitive questions quite well - using metaphors and even referencing an obscure evangelical hymn... i'll be sure to check out tmrw's papers. (I don't read 'em anymore, i work at TV news, why the hell would I read yesterday's news, well maybe except for cinema listings...)I can just imagine him saying 'piss off!' in his mind to all the journo's that asked him political type questions. For godsake he's here to promote his book!! Cut him some slack!!Well, our 'Lord' Patten is leaving tommorow, so all you hawks, lefties, pro-commie and anti-democratic ranters better hand in your articles quick because after he's gone no-one's gonna give a shit.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Road to Guantanamo

Not going to give a review but all I can say is watch it - it's an important look not only into Guantanamo, but the war on terror aswell.

Other than that it's a great film recreating the lives of four British-Pakistani's on a trip to Afghanistan and ending up in Guantanamo prison. It's brutal, but also a testament to their strength and resistance against the American military industrial complex.

On a further note, actor Rizwan Ahmed on returning home from their premiere in Berlin, was actually detained by police at Luton airport, questioning whether he became an actor to further the Islamic cause, questioned him about the Iraq war and even verbally abused him. Apparently the police used the 'Terrorism Act' as an excuse to detain 'suspicious people.'

The MPAA in the US rejected the film's movie poster (pictured above) as unsuitable, all because it depicted torture. When you look all the other horror movie posters out there like Hostel etc., no doubt the MPAA's decision was politically motivated. Here's the end result:

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Introducing: Lt. Ehren Watada

In the middle of course is the famed 1st Lieutenant Ehren Watada who's public statement on refusing to deploy to Iraq because of its illegality has made him a symbol of anti-war.
Stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington he disobeyed orders to go to Iraq and is awaiting trial. In his words: "It is my duty as a commissioned officer of the United States Army to speak out against grave injustices. My moral and legal obligation is to the Constitution and not to those who would issue unlawful orders. I stand before you today, because it is my job to serve and protect America’s soldiers, its people and innocent Iraqis who have no voice. It is my conclusion, as an officer of the Armed Forces, that the war in Iraq is not only morally wrong, but a horrible breach of American law."
Is he being anti-patriotic then? Some of course may see that. Is he being a coward for refusing to go to blood soaked Iraq and abandoning his troops under him? Another plausible criticism.
But he aims to make other soldiers see the criminality and unjustice of the Iraq war and encourage others to stand up against their military establishment and government and remind all Americans of the freedom of speech and choice.
On July 5th, a court order read out three charges against him:
missing movement, contempt toward officials and conduct unbecoming an officer.
If convicted, he's faces a liable jail time of seven years and a dishonourable discharge
("can't spelt dishonourable without honourable" as Homer Simpson once said).
Without general support, Lt. Watada will certainly face jail time of some sort. Letting him off the hook will no doubt make the US military seem weak and the fear of encouraging other soldiers to follow suit.
Then again if he does get incarcerated, he'll become a martyr -
becoming a much stronger symbol of the anti-war movement.
I think he's very brave to do something like that, especially in the face of the American military complex. However did join up three years ago prior to the Iraq invasion because he, like many others, were dazzled by Powell's ridiculous doodles of Iraqi WMDs (remember the drawings with trucks carrying WMDs?) or got caught up in the wave of misplaced patriotism - you were the fool at first.
Well at least now he's trying to make up for it, so as an ex-soldier myself, I still salute ye.

His story hasn't been reported in Hong Kong, but I remember 2 weeks ago how the US is now going to follow the Geneva Convention when treating terrorists (related to Guantanamo),
maybe this was their way to earn sympathy and trust?

Thursday, July 20, 2006


While thousands of foreign nationals are being evacuated from Lebanon to nearby Cyprus, the US government has made all prospective American citizens to sign a 'promissory note' that they'll reimburse them for the evacuation procedures. No direct quote on how much that'll be, but a typical commercial flight from Beirut to Cyprus costs up to US$200.
Their passports will become unusable till the fee is paid.
Wow, they've got over US$300 billion to fight an unjust war yet they have to make their citizens pay for evacuation?
There are about 27,000 yanks in Lebanon, a majority being dual-citizens.
Perhaps that's why they're making them pay?

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Middle East Wildfires

Looking at CNN's coverage of the Israeli-Lebanese+Gaza conflict and wildifires in California,
I can't help but think both situations are alike. Both cause destruction and can easily spread.
The conflict can certainly escalate as it did today when a rocket or unmanned ship slammed into an Israeli warship - shattering the IDF's might. It can also certainly spread to other countries such as Syria and even Iran, triggering a wider regional conflict. Let's not forget the 100,000 + troops currently in Iraq as they might be later players in the game.It's quite ridiculous when you think all this upsurge in violence is caused by a few kidnapped Israeli soldiers, whom may or may not be still alive. At least 5 Israeli, 30 Palestinian and 70 Lebanese civilians have been killed since the escalation.
I asked Tehila, an Israeli friend of mine about the opposing side's civilian deaths: "Israel need to attack all the Palestians no matter where they are." Tehila's family lives in Haifa, the furthest city to be struck by Hezbollah's rockets. "They dont care that they are dying , they celebrating the fact that they reached to more cities in Israel... they don't care about anything, when they done killing us they start a war with themselves... they're not human!" Back in Ireland, it's not rare to see charities for Palestine or the odd Palestinian flag waving about during protests of some kind. There is a certain air of sympathy in Europe for the Palestinians since we always read or hear about some poor child being killed by troops, strengthening that sympathy. But does that mean we don't like what Israel's doing? Certainly it's easy to criticise them what with their military strength and all. But if Hezbollah or Hamas had the same firepower, they wouldn't hesitate in a heartbeat to unleash it upon the Israeli population.Israelis do live dangerously close to various factions that want to destroy them, not to mention the constant threat of suicide bombers. In their sense, the only way to defend is to attack. "Only the people that live here can understand what is really going on, all the world think that its our fault..." Tehila adds. Should that sympathy change? After all, a majority of Palestinians have elected Hamas into government, a known terrorist organisation. In a recent survey by the Jerusalem Centre of Communications, over 70 percent of Palestinians support the actions of Hamas. Just goes to show how much the hate has become entrenched in their minds. Yet do we still see Palestine as a poverty-stricken people who deserves global sympathy despite the fact they've voted in a terrorist organisation? How would the world react if Ireland or Stormont voted in Sinn Fein? (OK maybe a tame example)

Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah earlier today has officially declared war against Israel in an audio statement: "we have two choices... two enter the Israeli world or remain and standfast against the Zionist enemy." By his language it seems to portray Hezbollah as the victim and will resist Israel. As for the Lebanese government, PM Fouad Siniora in an interview with CNN seems to take a neutral stance and claim his country is being penalised and victimised by both Hezbollah's own militant actions and hence Israel's bombings. In a short answer that describes neatly the egotistical nature of the leaders involved: when asked why he doesn't do something to restrain Hezbollah he reiterates by: "let me put it this way... why are we being asked to stop Hezbollah, at the same time no one is putting the necessary pressure on Israel to resolve the problem? The 'problem' is causing the presence of Hezbollah." In other words, the 'problem' is Israel itself? Israel is probably seething since three of its soldiers had been captured, shattering the belief of their military superiority and underestimating the militants' abilities. Is it a real case of going in to release the soldiers? Or some alterior motive?
From a terrorist's/muslim fundamentalist's point of view, should this conflict grow, it will further spread Israeli forces thin making it ample for attack on all sides - Israel is after all completely surrounded by other countries that want it wiped out - and rising oil prices coupled with falling stocks in the Western world (or infidels as they say) will make the US and other supporters of T.W.O.T. economically weaker and hence unable to sustain their military might and ultimately our way of life. It's certainly a win-win situation for the bad guys.Like the wildfires in California, it just took a small spark to set it off.

Quickie rant

Ronan Keating's horrid cover of the infamous song 'Iris' by Goo Goo Dolls is not only blasphemous, the video is also a shameful promotion of Dubai.
Are the Dolls so desperate to earn royalties??
What goes on in Ronan's head - does he think he can sing better than them? I mean, no one's gonna remember Iris being sung by him.
Out of all the classic covers, this is got to be one of the worst and ill-chosen. Much like Hollywood remakes nowadays.
Where's all the new inspiration and enthusiasm in the entertainment industry all gone?
Go home and fuck yourself Ronan.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Battle for World Cup ratings!

So it's about 40 minutes to go till the World Cup final.
I personally want France to win due to our cultural ties etc., but I do think Italy's gonna take it home.
France relies too much on Zidane and their last game vs. Portugal wasn't too convincing...
As you know, the event is a huge spot on Hong Kongers' calenders.
At the mo, the two biggest public TV broadcasters TVB and ATV are playing their own shows, prepping audiences for their each freebie viewing.
TVB's got the glitter and star power definitely: playing to a live audience in Olympic shopping centre, a host of familiar celebrities and live broadcasts from Berlin.
ATV's trying desperately to make up with immature game shows and interviewing guests whom i'm sure aren't as well known as TVB's. (and yes I know I work at ATV but I have no sympathy or dedication other than to English news & current affairs dept.)
Having said all that, both shows have one thing in common and it's something i've touched on before - the role of women.
None of the hosts are female; the producers just seem to use a bunch of young impressionable girls to fill in the background while the blokes do all the 'talking.'
One of TVB's segment involves a dozen or so girls trying to show off their haphazard footy skills. Yes we all had a good laugh and I'm sure that shows women are shit at football, hmpf.
As for ATV while the three males hosts were chatting with some bloke, a bunch of bikini-clad girls just stood in the background, smiling, for the entire segment.
I can't imagine any western broadcaster stooping to such gimicky values and mockery of womens' roles.
For the time i've spent here, this constant blurring of sexual equality is all too prevalent - and subtle.
I don't imagine broadcasters or the media to deliberately stereotype this way - funny thing is they may not even know the brainwashing powers they possess over the public sphere. Refer to my previous article post about sexual violence against women.(in HK)

Some might see it as harmless fun and antics.

However now I can safely state that "the Hong Kong mainstream media is patriarchal and woefully unethical."
None of you fucking mediacrats can claim otherwise.

Monday, July 03, 2006


What a scorcher... 32 degrees with maxium UV intensity... but that didn't stop the droves coming in.

What other place than Hong Kong would you have thousands of people marching through bottlenecked streets?

It was a fairly peaceful assembly. The only real thing that got me agitated is the fucking cheebye photographers (no doubt from newspapers) slowing down Anson Chan's entrance into Victoria Park. Why must they be so fucking inconsiderate? It's fucking sweltering hot and people are waiting to start the march and here you have to reserve your little spot so you can get a good shot. How many could you fucking need?? It's not as if Ms. Chan's going to do something spectacular down the road... but fair play to her she was unusually cheerful. I don't know who that young woman was marching with her but damn she was hot.

Once I was finished, I didn't realise there were still so many punters shopping around, especially in Sogo. Granted it was a public holiday and HK'ers have no better hobby than to spend, but for godsake there's thousands just outside marching for a better democratic HK and here you are cherrypicking the sales basket... I really do wonder if the majority of people want democracy, much less DESERVE it.

More pics