This charming man
February 16, 2005
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.
Geez, that Phooey guy is certainly a... well, let's just say a very annoyed individual. However, his total lack of effort in even attempting to understand and appreciate the local culture (like, for example, maybe the comics over here are targeted towards a more mature audience, like in Japan?) certainly makes me feel that even trying to reason with him would be a futile effort.
Come to think of it, how does he even know that the people he encounters are really local people, and not simply some mainland Chinese tourist? (Not trying to be racist here BTW, if you know what I mean.)
Posted by: spacehunt | February 17, 2005 at 03:43 AM
I don't think anyone finds it too hard a task to separate the Hong Kongers from the Mainland tourists! Also, how many Mainland tourists are they on the same bus going to work each morning?
Culture? I think his point is that there is no culture - it is an empty void.
Posted by: banal | February 17, 2005 at 08:32 AM
Agree with spacehunt. Phooey expresses total loathing and disdain for the people who, in effect, pay his salary and enable him to enjoy a lifestyle far better than he could enjoy in the UK.
Posted by: observer | February 17, 2005 at 09:45 AM
Seems to me the author of HK Phooey haven't travelled very much. All major cities in the world exhibit similar behaviour and some additional characteristic of its own.
Rudeness, in a hurry, ... try London, New York, Paris, ...
Ah well, there are always explanations for the kinds of behaviour he has sometimes greatly exaggerated and refused to find out, because he's all high and mighty about it.
For example, about cell phones being put on tables in restaurants or being strapped around their necks, this is simply to make sure they hear their phones ringing in noisy places. How many times have we gotten missed calls because we didn't hear them.
I feel very sorry for his students having a very unsympathetic and patroinising person for a lecturer.
Posted by: blogging | February 17, 2005 at 11:09 AM
One cretin says, "maybe the comics over here are targeted towards a more mature audience". Maybe indeed. But I think that is HKP's very point!
The same cretin then goes on to ask himself how "does he even know that the people he encounters are really local people, and not simply some mainland Chinese tourist". This is clearly someone who is a newbie to HK and who has never lived on the Mainland, and thus someone who still believes all the crap about everything bad in HK being as a direct result of the big bad "Manlanders". The fact that HKP often presents papers in both Mandarin and Cantonese at conferences around the Mainland I think would allow him to distinguish between the two!
Don't worry cretin, this starry eyed phrase won;t last.
The stalker (whose (Netvigator) IP address is now available for anyone who asks HKP for it) then agrees with himself and suggests that he knows what salary and conditions HKP can command in the UK! Absurd! Besides, even if those offered in HK were 'greater' so what? What is his point? Is this hideous little turd suggesting that - if this is so - HKP ca not write his thoughts about HK? I suggest this cyber pschyo sticks to stalking and leaves writing to the adults.
The next idiot suggests that HKP has not travelled much. This is blatantly false as all academics travel a LOT for conferences in and around SE Asia. As understand it, HKP has lived in some 15 different states and is WIDELY travelled; certainly more so than this idiotic poster. Again, even if true, so what? What would this cretin's point be exactly?
The same loser then mentions "cell phones being put on tables in restaurants" and "being strapped around their necks". WHERE, on HKP's blog, does he mention the latter? WHERE? You are MISQUOTING. If you want to comment on his work then do so, but make sure you are commenting on HIS WORDS and NOT someone else's.
The piece of turd on the bottom of your shoe then says "this is simply to make sure they hear their phones ringing in noisy places." Rather begging the question, isn't it? Why is it so damn loud in the first place moron?
He then asks "How many times have we gotten missed calls because we didn't hear them." Not enough would be my reply. Besides, what the hell do you have a cell phone for? Are you a doctor on call?
HKP can stand up for himself and he won't get involved in this stuff but I feel he is being misquoted and attacked by little childish cretins with no logic and intelligence.
Posted by: [email protected]@mimi.com | February 17, 2005 at 11:36 AM
Can I just say hurrah and stir it up a bit? Pip, pip!
Posted by: Blogwatch | February 17, 2005 at 02:35 PM
[email protected]@mimi.com is obviously HK Phooey himself. Look how the lady doth protest. How does he know Phooey has lived in 15 states? How does he know observer has a netvigator account? Phooey has not mentioned this on his blog at all. Previously he has claimed to have had email contact with Phooey - again, Phooey does not provide his email address on his blog and there is no obvious way of contacting him.
Admit it Phooey, you've blundered about revealing where you work, people are onto you, and now you're shit scared. You've even stopped updating your blog.
What a sad, pathetic, little loser you are.
Posted by: III | February 17, 2005 at 02:43 PM
Whoa, calm down. Maybe I shouldn't have commented on HKP as I was falling asleep this morning. Come to think of it, I don't even know why the hell I'm replying to this right now...
Don't get me wrong, I too am pretty annoyed by the behaviour some people exhibits in HK. I totally agree with HKP with the general dim-wittedness of recent university graduates, the way people totally avoids the stairs like the plague, etc etc. My point was that HKP could have presented it in a less confrontational tone, and that some of his points are IMHO more to do with differences in cultures. There are logical reasons for some of the seemingly anti-social behaviour HKP points out, believe it or not.
My frequent travels means I spend more time elsewhere, including parts of mainland China, even though I was born in HK. So maybe you're right, I am a newbie to HK.
Posted by: spacehunt | February 17, 2005 at 03:03 PM
I'm tempted to believe that "Mimi" is actually someone trying to make HKP look stupid by defending him in the most childish manner possible.
Just a thought - calling people losers and cretins is not the best way to win an argument!
"Blogging" said that it seemed that the author of HK Phooey hadn't travelled very much. Defending him by saying that he is widely travelled is hilarious.
Posted by: Chris | February 17, 2005 at 07:23 PM
I dunno, I always like to give people like "Mimi" the benefit of the doubt, even though I've been told YHBT all too often...
Posted by: spacehunt | February 17, 2005 at 09:19 PM
"...purely a result of the Filipinos' not squandering their pennies on skin whitening products"
What planet is this guy from?
Posted by: Adam George | February 18, 2005 at 01:00 AM
Well, if Hong Kong Phooey is racist as you claim, then so too is the Economist. The article he references in his latest piece describes the HK Chinese as being "famously cranky and often rude".
In fact, is it just me that sees some similarities between that article and Hong Kong Phooey's own writing in terms of style?
A guy (?) above says that HKP has stopped undating his site. Well, erh...no, actually. He did not update it for one day; hardly unusual for bloggers in HK, is it? He also claims that HKP does not provide an email. He does not now, but he did at the start on his profile page. He said he took it down though after getting loads of hate mail from 'the Observer'. These he passed on to me. He also passed on to me two separate IP addresses - most likely of the Observer. A simple web search shows they are the domain of Netvigator (HK).
So everything he says is false with a capital 'C' and people can see it.
I'm laughing and so are all my friends.
Posted by: Dragon chaser | February 18, 2005 at 01:02 PM
Dear Mimi/Dragon Chaser,
Many thanks for being less hysterical this time around, but saying that people are "cranky and often rude" (as an aside) is totally different from HKP's sustained attack on the behaviour of Hong Kong Chinese people.
Are Parisians rude? Are New Yorkers rude? Many people would say so, and I doubt that anyone would take offence.
As for the email address on the HKP blog, I can't see it, but maybe you'll be putting it there later.
Posted by: Chris | February 18, 2005 at 01:26 PM
Come off it! It's clear to us in my office that what's happening here is someone is trying to make Adams and Hong Kong Phoey look silly. It doesn't work of course as why would either of them write here in a silly way when they can both write so well on thier own sites? No, we don;t accept it.
Most of the people above just make themselves seem silly as they say things that HKP does not say.
Posted by: Mimi | February 18, 2005 at 01:32 PM
Can anyone here read or are they just being stupid on purpose? One person says:
"He does not now, but he did at the start on his profile page. He said he took it down though after getting loads of hate mail from 'the Observer'."
Then someone says:
"As for the email address on the HKP blog, I can't see it"
Would someone care to explain?
Posted by: watcher | February 18, 2005 at 01:35 PM
Dear Mimi/Dragon Chaser/watcher
I did misread your comment about email, for which I apologize. I am amazed that anyone would setup a deliberately provocative blog, publish an email adddress and then remove it when they get exactly the reaction they should have expected. Still, it could be true.
Posted by: Chris | February 18, 2005 at 02:37 PM
Re: Phooeys email address. There was never a mailing adress on his site: merely a tagboard where one could post messages anonymously which were then displayed on his site.
dragon chaser a.k.a mimi aka the guy who also posted several long messages on the previous thread is obviously hong kong phooey himself - anyone can see this.
what a sad, irritible, little petty man you are.
Posted by: hmm | February 18, 2005 at 02:45 PM
Dragon Chaser, can you copy and paste the messages from 'observer' here please, together with your correspondence with hkphooey. this would go some way to silencing the doubters, would it not.
Posted by: curious | February 18, 2005 at 02:47 PM
No more comments please. I'm getting bored, particularly with the person who is posting repeatedly under different names, agreeing with himself and picking holes in everyone else's comments.
However, if HKP or one of his "friends" want to send me any of this "hate mail" or other supporting evidence/information, my email address is there for anyone to use.
Posted by: Chris | February 18, 2005 at 02:47 PM