One of the more puzzling aspects of doing this blog is that I can write a long article and get zero response, whilst sometimes a short piece dashed off in a few minutes can provoke a lively debate.
The short piece I wrote about Hong Kong Phooey's Hong Kong Blog (see below) falls into the latter category. So, much as I try to avoid spending too much time blogging about blogs, I have to follow up on what I wrote a couple of days ago.
The author of this blog is apparently an academic working in one of the universities in Hong Kong. The point of the blog (at least so far) seems to be to complain about the behaviour of Hong Kong Chinese people. The problem here is that whilst there is undoubtedly some truth in what he writes, the author exaggerates to the point of absurdity.
Two examples will suffice.
- We all know that people here are heavy users of mobile phones, but if every member of an extended family group were really on their phones continuously throughout a dim sum lunch that certainly isn't typical.
- Yes, people do tend to sit on the "aisle seat" on buses and minibuses, but it is patently absurd to say that they "always - without exception" do this.
The other problem is the implied racism. It stands to reason that in this city, people who behave in an anti-social way will probably be Chinese. However, that doesn't mean that all Chinese people behave boorishly. Or are stupid, or lazy, or whatever insult you care to choose. Yet this blog refers throughout to the behaviour of Hong Kong Chinese people, as if people of every other nationality living here always behaved impecably.
I just wonder what the reaction would be if a Hong Kong Chinese visitor to the UK were to write something similar about life in London? Probably wouldn't go down very well.
That's not to say that there isn't some interesting analysis here, but it comes across in such a negative and arrogant way that many readers will simply switch off. In short, what it lacks is the lightness of touch that allows Hemlock (for example) to make similar comments in a much more entertaining way.