Reaffirming reel life with a blockbuster
In case you are an England soccer supporter who has had your head buried in the sand since Wednesday, quite a bit has been happening in these parts this week.
Heavyweight dignitaries with daunting delegations turned up in their droves to mark an airport opening, closer Sino-American relations and, oh, some handover thingumajig that happened about a year back.
Strangely, amid the political parade that has graced our shores, nobody in Hong Kong seemed to get terribly worked up about it - except those impossibly happy-looking children gathered on the tarmac to greet President Jiang Zemin at Kai Tak on Tuesday.
We're trying to work out why everyone is so subdued.
Surely it has nothing to do with the fact their shares are worth a third of what they were a year ago, or that the unit they bought at top dollar in June or July 1997 is unsaleable in the brave new world of July 1998.
It's only money, after all, and normally when Hong Kongers start losing money, they just get up and make more of the hard stuff.
No, we figure the source of the glumness must be something much more basic.
Perhaps it is the lack of excuses for a party: like mega-fireworks displays and laser shows to celebrate the anniversary of the handover.
A few months back, fireworks displays for just about anything seemed to be as common as hairstyle changes by Faye Wong.
How things change! The Government now deems that frugality is the way of the future, and the reunification with the motherland is something that should suddenly be celebrated in moderation.
Hence the complete absence of pyrotechnic extravaganzas on July 1 - this would have been an absurd thought a year ago.
We have another theory: people were so stunned by the sunshine in the lead-up to the handover anniversary, they forgot how to celebrate.
The handover, and, indeed, most of Hong Kong's big events in the past, seem to have been held in driving rain.
We'd suggest locals - expecting to don raincoats and umbrellas for the anniversary - were driven into sudden inactivity by the unexpected appearance of the sun.
Meteorological matters did return to their normal state of affairs with the heavy rainstorms later in the week. But by then, people were too sun-struck to notice.
And okay, we admit it: maybe the economy has had a small part to play in the change of Hong Kong's behaviour.
We have to concede that when residential prices on The Peak have troughed, companies with names like Cheerful Holdings have disappeared from the scene and the US dollar peg is in danger of becoming unhinged, perhaps you cannot expect people to be quite as buoyant as before.
Whatever the case, we think we have the solution: Viva Hong Kong! - a gloriously happy blockbuster movie about a city where things never, ever go wrong.
The stock market never falls, the Hong Kong dollar is worth US$2 and Donald Tsang wears tasteful bow ties.
Let's face it: in real life, the last two options are roughly equal in probability (ie: nil) - but in the glittering world of the big screen, anything can happen.
We could also do some rewriting of history, and pretend that the skies were full of stars on handover night, instead of about to dump thousands of gallons of water on Hong Kongers.
And another thing: we could make our politicians colourful through our choice of actor.
Now, Lai See suggests we go for a bit of mass-market appeal, and tee up an unparalleled line-up of Hong Kong and Hollywood stars for the cast list.
We want it to be bigger even than that glorious mainland flick on the origins of British rule in Hong Kong released last year, The Opium War - where the Chinese were superheroes and Westerners were villains.
Tung Chee-hwa could be played by Jackie Chan - with a buzzsaw haircut, of course, but also an unparalleled array of martial arts at his disposal to ward off any evil Hong Kong dollar speculators.
Anson Chan Fang On-sang could be played by Michelle Yeoh - again with extensive hair modifications. On the evidence of Ms Yeoh's recent encounter with James Bond, the two women share one very obvious trait: a natural talent for kicking heads.
We suggest a tough guy be organised to play Donald Tsang Yam-kuen - Chow Yun-fat might be the best - to properly portray his battle to the death to master markets.
To load the cast up with a bit of star power, the supporting cast could include Jack Nicholson as Jiang Zemin (big Jack did play the president in Mars Attacks!, after all) and Jim Carrey as the laugh-a-minute Chinese Premier, Zhu Rongji.
Any Western bit-part players - like Chris Patten and Bill Clinton - could be played by the first person you could pluck from off the street.
After all, we don't want them looking too good, next to our Chinese superheroes.