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My Take
PUBLISHED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 3:19am

Scholarism and I just don't get along

BIO

Alex Lo is a senior writer at the South China Morning Post. He writes editorials and the daily “My Take” column on page 2. He also edits the weekly science and technology page in Sunday Morning Post.
 

The children from Scholarism refuse to have dinner with Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. That was the headline news. Frankly I am at a loss as to why that was considered news. It's a bit like "Long Hair" Leung Kwok-hung starting another protest. But it did interest me as I am one of the other guests.

Scholarism convenor Joshua Wong Chi-fung said the group turned down the invitation as any meeting with officials should be "open and transparent". Okay, whatever Josh. Unlike those kids, I'm a sucker for a free lunch, or dinner. I am also a big eater. Maybe I will just take Josh's portions if I may, Mr Chief Executive. There is no point letting good food go to waste. Leung's wife, after all, is involved in a controversial food-recycling firm.

The dinner is part of a series of informal meals Leung is hosting to gauge views on political reforms from a cross-section of society. I have been, strangely, grouped with the "scholars". Actually, if the kids had bothered to do some language research, they might find their name means rather the opposite of what they intended it to mean. It does not mean scholastic or scholarly. Another example of declining English standards, perhaps? To find a full exposition, check out this amusing blog called, "Learn English or Starve". But who needs proper English when you can have full democracy? Let's all vote on the meanings of words. Dictionaries are so elitist - dictating what words can mean!

Anyway, as many people know, Scholarism and I don't get along. Just in case you are not from Hong Kong, the group was launched by several secondary school kids and came to prominence in their successful fight against the government's attempt to introduce national and moral education in public schools. I wrote a nasty column about the protest they led last year outside Leung's office in Admiralty. It went viral, and overnight I became public enemy No1. During the rally, the kids refused to meet Leung, who had offered to meet them. Later, they put a chair on stage for Leung and demanded he meet them there and then.

Now the kids are branching out and frying bigger fish: full universal suffrage. If Leung really wants to meet Josh and his gang, I suggest he invites everyone but Scholarism and go on TV to declare he will never, ever, meet them.

The kids will be clamouring for a meeting in no time.

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This article is now closed to comments

gracetodd
That Josh whoever is just a kid who happened to shoot to celebrity through a reality TV show type of anti-whatever campaign. When rising to fame with a big fan base too fast too soon too easily and on a moral high ground, that's what we'll become! Maybe it takes time for a kid like Josh to be less childish but it's okay too if he remains so for the rest of his life. Some people learn and grow up and some never. That's what makes every individual different. If Josh is happy with his life, then let's be happy for him too...at least one more happy soul and one fewer case of teenage suicide!
whymak
Look at the picture in this link: www.scmp.com/comment/insight-opinion/article/1297832/has-hong-kong-lost-its-mind . Aren’t these the ugliest children you could find anywhere? And I don’t mean physically. Now I ask what you can do about them.
For sure generation gaps always exist. So let’s talk about our shared Hong Kong experience.
Before the age of 12, I thought my father was infallible. Then I realized he couldn’t do algebra.
Having been brainwashed in Chinese culture, I saw nothing wrong with filial piety and deference to elders. Into my 20s, I was full of myself and shared all that was cool with friends, yet I was thankful for parents and family. Yes, I felt my generation was superior to my parents’.
As we advanced past the first big hurdle, a tenured track or group leader job, we realized what our parents had to struggle without all the hoity-doity education, for which they had sacrificed so much for us.
With two generations behind us, we know this generation gap could be constructive because it keeps alive the social mutation of the human species.
But there is another constant we learned from our parents and experience. Without fundamentals first, one couldn’t contribute to a career, let alone to society at large.
Scholarism brats are mutants. Our educators say critical thoughts require no knowledge and logic. Yes, 未學行先學走 is the correct approach.
Joshua is ashamed of your company 恥與為伍 because you are antediluvian.
Why don't you just suck it all up, Mr. Lo?
johnyuan
You sham what you truly saw. It is physically ugly. I always find Hong Kong’s protests visually not pleasing no matter what issue is being raised. Perhaps education in Hong Kong failed to teach aesthetic appreciation in schools. I can’t stand this very primitive sight of anger being displayed. Just plain ugly.
chaz_hen
What's shocking is the pontificating, pompous a_s_s "pslhk" was not invited to give his usual unintelligible 2 bits to such an in-depth discussion to gauge the winds of HKs progress.
Perhaps the fear of death-by-boredom or inane, self delusional grandstanding by someone who obviously thinks his station is so stratospheric was so great that it led the CE to overlook this rectal thermometer with his readings of how subservient and grateful HK people should be to the CCP?
pslhk
I checked “like” because
if nothing else, every heartfelt criticism represents
some strong personal feeling
This’ a discussion forum
Some readers’ comments are so silly / bigoted / antagonistic
that I won’t waste any of my feelings over irrelevance
Thanks for the feelings which
if only scientists could help us capture and sublimate
tennisboy
Whether these kids have sprout out due to Hong Kong's educations system, the influence of media, or just simply poor parenting; it is kids like these that have become a driving force for parents to leave Hong Kong and raise their children overseas.
Byebye
Are all children like these from the Scholarism? Seriously, can Hong Kong get something constructive out of such warped minded individuals? Surely, this Josh or whatever does not represent the majority children in Hong Kong; if so, really sad for HK parents. Such Josh type of youth may think they are so needed and the self-importance that they think the world revolves around them may have twisted their mind to an extent it is now ineffective. It seemed like the toddler's tantrum syndrome has not left these youth. Why not invite those scholars / balance students / achievers who have a more positive outlook and concern for HK recommended by schools or societies to join the dinner?
mh0908
An empty stomach is not a good political adviser.
Albert Einstein
dascaldasf
I am sure that with age, one matures. Outdoor ruckus do not achieve anything other than getting publicity. Once that is achieved, it's time to lay things on the table and see what the outcome would be. That is maturity. [Opportunity wastes no time but the other way round.]
pslhk
Three anecdotes to show things to and not to learn
from newbuds of the BNW of tomorrow
-
They coined “scholarism” and define it with their actions
which are for us to observe, describe and understand
Our mind is freed whenever something new appears
How may the world progress if we respond to new new things
merely by measuring how they match old labels
chuchu59 has offered a good definition of scholarism
HK has a moral obligation to expedite English mutation
-
They called where they assembled outside Central Government Offices
“People’s” Square or Plaza
while newspapers brainwashed by colonial irrelevance
sticked with the what-the-hack “Tamar” moniker
-
Politics and social movements are NOT the arena
for newbuds to exercise leadership
Those who praised the organization skills of newbuds
should have lamented the imbecility of their admiring adult followers.

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