[chinese blood, irish heart] - DEFUNCT: May 2007

Thursday, May 31, 2007

We need an exterminator

Well the South China Morning Post's new website has just been launched yet we feel it's only the first hurdle of many.
Save your complaints people, we'll sort out the bugs. In the meantime enjoy the dodgy new flash player!


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Hong Kong's 300

No not the Spartan warriors, but the so-called 300 in Synovate and MTV's survey of music listening habits in Hong Kong and Asia.
They said about 27 percent surveyed (15-34) said they were "passionate" about music, putting HK in the bottom rung of passionate music loving countries in the Asia Pacific.
First of all, their unbalanced and pretentious survey seems to say that Hong Kong sucks when it comes to the music scene. Seriously, how many people do you see immersed in their mp3 players on the street or MTR? How many of those crappy Canto-pop ringtones do you hear? How can they say youngsters aren't into their music. Unless the survey means " passionate about good music?"The mainstream's neglect of independent musicians was a factor adds a HKU music researcher. Although that could be a good thing in a way!
Anyway don't take the bullshit survey seriously, since when the fuck does MTV give a shit about good music anymore?
Synovate's website.


Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Letters From Iwo Jima

It's been quite awhile since I've been to the cinema, in fact the last film I watched was Flags of Our Fathers, hence I was pretty excited to buy its sisters version, Letters From Iwo Jima.
I love a good war film and I did enjoy Letters in general, however its fictional and patronising view of the film's characters kept gnawing at me. The film's central characters, Kuribayashi, Saigo and Nishi, stand for sympathy and kindness. Saigo because he's a baker forced into the war, but for Kuribayashi and Nishi, their gentleness and humility seems to come from the fact that they've lived in the US or befriended Americans in the past, as we see from their flashbacks. How pretentious of the film makers to do this! The theme is like "see, Japanese soldiers can be good too." Well I certainly didn't need to watch it to know. I reckon we need more films like Letters that tells the "other side's story." I think the Germans and Japanese have been villified enough in the enterainment media.

There's a certain political correctness when it comes to portraying war films from different perspectives; needless to say a lot of films are viewed from the Allies' perspective - American, British and Russian. There's been a few but good films from the Germans' view, such as "Cross of Iron", "The Eagle Has Landed" and the magnificent "Downfall". Don't think I've seen any films from the Italians' or Japanese view.
Even video games suffer from this syndrome: all the top WW2 games like Medal of Honor, Call of Duty, Brothers in Arms series etc. are all from the Allies' perspective, where you kill generic Germans and Japs. Vietnam-based games are also like this, though one particular game, Vietcong, allows the player to be in the shoes of a scruffy Vietcong soldier - BUT - you don't get to kill Yanks, just AVRN. Go figure. Not that I say I would derive more pleasure from playing the "bad guys" but at least stop making it so one-sided!


Saturday, May 19, 2007

First week on the job

It's been a tiring week, what with starting my first real full time job in Hong Kong.
But it's also been a great learning experience and getting to know the crew. I shot and edited two videos but I had to use goddamn elementary Pinnacle. Filmed some two interesting characters: legendary political cartoonist Zunzi and an upcoming young film director Mak Yan-yan.
I've got to get my laptop fixed since lousy Sony won't provide with system drivers - I got rid of Vista - so I can starting busting out edits with Premiere and After FX.
Anyway, I think I've gotten over my teething problems with script reading. I had a slight speech impediment as a child and I guess I haven't gotten over 100 percent. Now I just think I speak too fast and sometimes slur. But check it out for yourself at SCMP's Podcasting page.

It'll be busy in the upcoming month since SCMP's launching a brand spanking new website on May 30th so stay tuned.

Monday, May 14, 2007


Soon after my great grandfather passed away some startling revelations came about of his past.
Although I only started meeting him occasionaly since moving here 1.5 years ago - he had "tea" everyday at a restaurant across my place and I would sometimes dine with him and other fellow relatives and friends. All I knew about his past was that he was a police officer in the 50s.
So shortly after his funeral we conversed with relatives and one of my aunts confessed that after quitting the police he mingled with the triads, soon becoming a triad boss. Although he kept it hush-hush from the family, we knew that he was involved in at least illegal gambling and drugs. During those years the triads were very active, so I'm sure he'd seen some wild shit in his time.
And those "friends" of his that frequently have tea with him and whom I've got to know were in fact his past subordinates in the triad. The proper term via Cantonese is something like "disciple", but in terms of criminal activity.
I first got suspicious when a group of young triad members like from the movies coming in to pay their respects. I also learned afterwards that there was a noticeable police presence around the event. It was confirmed after my aunt told me that the ex-triad who arranged the funeral's processions, warned the triads of the police so only a few of them came... in which case otherwise there would've been a whole gang of them there!
Not that I mind at all, I'm really curious about his past and will need to be quite diplomatic in further inquiries.
It's just unfortunate I had to learn about this under those circumstances.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Shanghai defintely left me with a better impression than Beijing. The people were nicer, more cleaner and in some ways the traffic was a little more civilised.

Apart from taking a short getaway before I start my new job, I had a little side quest to photograph and contrast the widening wealth gap in such booming Chinese cities. I stayed on the posh side of Nanjing Road West, waddled through Dongtai's poor suburbs and ventured out to a scenic rural village.

Just upgraded to Flickr Pro so check it out!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

How convenient...

After deliberating how to transfer the Betacam copy of Nick Water's last broadcast onto YouTube, a faithful fan has done it already.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Chinglish tutorial classes in HK

Local students know the hype about these glamorous English tutors, their posters most notably appearing around Mong Kok.
Check this ad out from a company's website, "Ken Sir's" English is horrible and not to mention a bit too much into his looks.
Angela's the lastest craze since she's an ex-model or whatever, her accent's a bit better, but check out the miniskirt she wears in class! The stuff these people do...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Chungking Mansions has been awarded Time Magazine's dubious title of "Best Example of Globalisation in Action" in their Best of Asia edition.
Is this a proud feat for Hong Kong? I don't think our concrete city got any other awards. I only ate their once in one of those curry places. Think I'll explore it more next time to get any doco ideas.

The Legend of Nick Waters!

Our dear old venerable comrade will be anchoring for the very last time with us at ATV this Thursday, and we've well, set up a little surprise for him at the end of the newscast. Get ready to laugh.

I just did this on a lazy afternoon here when the Chinese News took over the editing rooms...
Left to Right: Tony Sabine (senior reporter/anchor), Anne-marie Sim (senior reporter/anchor), Nick Waters (outgoing sub-editor/anchor), Yonden Lhatoo (editor), Arthur Urquiola (reporter). Come on, I don't get a lot of chances here to be creative!