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  • Aug 21, 2014
  • Updated: 7:44am
My Take
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 July, 2013, 3:44am

Why I can't help sitting on the fence

Someone's got my number. A critic in a blog, which I will call "Small Melon, Various Fruits", describes my column as a "Beijing-sympathetic-but-not-pro-Communist, pluralistic-but-not-pro-dem act." I couldn't have used fewer words if I tried to explain myself to my elderly parents.

For that, he said I surely deserve a Bronze Bauhinia Star. Just bronze? I was hoping for gold, despite the precious metal's price plunge. But I doubt Leung Chun-ying, our government boss, would consider me for the august prize, given the disproportionate number of nasty columns I have devoted to rounding on his government. My fruity critic has a much more impressive routine, though, a sort of "I feel compassion for Hong Kong but only because I'm so much cleverer than the natives". We have plenty of expats with that sort of superiority complex that is constantly hinted at but a social taboo to admit to. That would be too arrogant and possibly racist now, wouldn't it?

As for my sitting on the fence, which a few readers of his blog apparently consider a sin, I can't help myself. Sorry, there are just no real communists in China to join forces with; those who still fancy themselves as such are either nutcases or nonagenarians dozing off in Zhongnanhai.

What about my failure to support the pan-dems? Well, I don't know about you, but I really find it hard to side with such old drama queens as Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, Jimmy Lai Chee-ying and Martin Lee Chu-ming. Perhaps my blogging critic likes and admires those kiddies from Scholarism, as many in Hong Kong apparently do. As a father, I consider it bad parenting to let children spend so much time holding forth in press conferences and fighting city hall.

We live in an age of democracy and there is no rolling back the clock. But as soon as you point out there might be problems, you unfailingly hear the same comeback: "No one ever says democracy is perfect/ideal/a cure-all …." But the way some people fetishise "democracy" and brook no criticism, you kind of get the impression they really think it's godly perfection itself. Well, at least they believe in something.

My dear critic seems to believe, first and last, in his own witticisms and cynicism. There are at least some "isms" he believes in.

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XYZ
biglychee.com
Will.I.Am
"As a father, I consider it bad parenting to let children spend so much time holding forth in press conferences and fighting city hall."
Well said!
impala
"As for my sitting on the fence, which a few readers of his blog apparently consider a sin, I can't help myself. Sorry, there are just no real communists in China to join forces with; those who still fancy themselves as such are either nutcases or nonagenarians dozing off in Zhongnanhai."

Are we to conclude from this that Mr Lo would preferably be seen as a 'real communist'? Is that where his ideological loyalty lies?

What Hemlock was hinting at, is something that has disturbed me as well: a lack of consistency and principles in Mr Lo's musings. One day he will come down hard on Hong Kong police abuse, and a couple of months later he criticises the US State Department report for citing those very same abuses.

You don't have to affiliate yourself with anybody Mr Lo to have a clear set of values. You don't always have to side with a group, but what do you stand for yourself please? Despite reading this column for years, that remains a mystery to me. There are some flares of more philosophical considerations at times, but mostly it appears you take a populist, opportunistic approach to what is right and what is wrong.

Sure, nothing is a panacea. Democracy isn't either. What is? It is a gratuitous statement. We are all well aware of its flaws. But let's get down to business. Do you support democracy of the universal suffrage in Hong Kong, or do you support a continuation of the status quo kleptocracy? Or something else? A simple answer would clarify a lot.
johnyuan
Consistency is a hallmark for western civilization. In fact it gave rise to scientific development, at least in the science of Newtonian world. Inconsistency is always or still thought of as bad. But it is known also exist in the Nature. Chinese civilization consists full of inconsistencies rendering its underdevelopment in science. Nowadays we are witnessing more and more inconsistencies not only in Nature but in politics as well. I am more convinced that consistency is becoming less of a value judgment than a way of doing thing or behaving. An argument once I heard at work in a famous architect office in New York City in the early 80s between a Korean and an American when the former raised a question that if an action taken bore consistency but the end result was wrong would it still be alright? I have been haunted ever since. But I sensed immediately at that moment that the argument had much to do with cultural differences. Today, I am more convinced that inconsistency becomes a necessity regardless you are a Korean or an American. Nature dictates. Here, I am not suggesting Nature is always good for us. Use your judgment., Alex has been doing that all along in his column.
johnyuan
To captam below:
I am sorry you are bored by me. So my sincere advice to you is to stop reading my comments which always signed as johnyuan (real name). There is a saying: one responsible for one’s happiness. So I gather you do find some playing with words. Interesting?
captam
Your inconsistencies are consistently boring
johnyuan
I am sorry you are bored by me. So my sincere advice to you is to stop reading my comments which always signed as johnyuan (real name). There is a saying: one responsible for one’s ow happiness. So I gather you do find some by playing with words. Interesting?
johnyuan
I am sorry you are bored. Stop reading my commets. There is a saying that no one is responsble for your happiness. Or may be you are just playing words for kicks. Interesting.
PS, the mulfunctionig of the website gave me additional thought with my second comment above -- for my amusement not. Apologize to all.
XYZ
Methinks Mr. Lo doth protest too much. Obviously a well-aimed arrow struck home.
johnyuan
So Alex you have a very good job that allows you sitting on the fence. I am glad too or otherwise probably if I am not alert will be snoozing on some dogmatic views. I hope I am old enough not to be brainwashed by your confession for sympathy today. By the way, one of my favorite Shanghainese dish which I can also cook well is ‘Two-sided yellow’ pan fried noodle – crispy ad tasty (just soy sauce added). I can't help to make such comparison with your ' Why I can't help sitting on the fence' for the right reason.

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