• Mon
  • Dec 29, 2014
  • Updated: 6:00pm
My Take
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 16 October, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 16 October, 2013, 2:12am

Democracy is a real religion

I had not met a childhood friend for years, until this week. Ostensibly it's because he has a growing business on the mainland while I spend most of my time in Hong Kong. The real reason is that we simply drifted apart as we grew older and had our own families and children. A bunch of us have been friends since we were classmates at a Catholic primary school and used to have gatherings regularly, to gamble playing cards and mahjong.

But I got bored over the years because our conversation topics were always the same: soccer, soccer gambling, horse-race gambling, other sports, including sports cars, and women. As we got older, we added children and schooling to our conversations. As post-60s children, we never thought much about politics. It was just beyond our mental horizon to protest in the streets and fight with police.

So I was expecting more talks about children and schooling when my friend called me and a mutual pal up this week. We did talk a bit about that, until we inadvertently turned our conversation to Occupy Central. My friend has had a conversion on the road to Damascus! "I am joining it next year," he declared.

"You got your sleeping bag?" we asked, half-jokingly.

"No, no, I am serious. We have to do something. Benny Tai [Yiu-ting, organiser of Occupy Central] is not like 'Long Hair' [Leung Kwok-hung] or Wong Yuk-man. He has a serious aim. So do others who are joining him."

Seeing how earnest he was, my other pal and I started laughing even more loudly. "But you will be breaking the law."

"Fine, I go to jail then. If you do nothing, Beijing will just ignore us and do nothing. We don't want to see Hong Kong 'mainlandised', and become another Shanghai or Shenzhen. You people live all your life in Hong Kong. I have spent half my life on the mainland. I know how things work on the mainland and you don't want Hong Kong to end up like that.

"We may still get nothing with universal suffrage. But at least we are trying. You people are sitting on your *****; you are so shallow."

Last time I saw such fervour was when another friend discovered Christianity.

Seeing my old friend in a detention cell was never a possibility in my mind. Now it is. My friend has just become a lot more interesting. I must not let him out of my life this time.

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This article is now closed to comments

321manu
Indeed, those who are "religious" (well, Christian, anyway) do claim to be able to distinguish between good and evil. Only problem is that said distinction is based on faith, which itself is supported only by a book which some guys have cobbled together over the last few thousand years. I wouldn't take that to the bank. Better to engage what's between one's ears, rather than to rely on something that's unproven. Better still to think for yourself, rather than to rely on the Opinion section.
johnyuan
Please allow me to chirp in one more time. This time is about generation gap. Among my secondary schoolmates who are a decade older than those born in the 50s, none are in connection with daily politics like AL. AL is a journalist and a political kind. So if my schoolmates are a standard of that 40s generation who mostly had spent time in mainland before migrated with their parents as refugees to Hong Kong, it is a generation that mostly economically secured and looking forward for fun in their next school reunion. They are apolitical as far as I can tell. Definitely there is a generation gap with just a decade apart. Can’t imagine the gap between the 50s and the late 90s who are still in their secondary schools how far apart can it be. As for my schoolmates, most likely life is a bit short to disagree with anyone.
pslhk
According to a popular contemporary religious sect
the world is flat, and to share with you what I read
over lunch in International NY Times, Opinion
Today (Oct 16) there are three articles on page 9
Two of which begin thus:
“Americans are obsessed with the supernatural”
“In Ireland, ancestry means everything”
-
So, the world is flat for the propagation of stereotypes
Everybody can be a cultural expert
All that’s required is the nerve to allege:
the Americans, British, Chinese … are …
For the religious, those empowered by the forbidden fruit,
good and evil become distinguishable
-
The third article ends thus:
Sharing is caring
Secrets are lies
Privacy is theft
-
Cactus: I’ve never meant to write poems
just experimenting atomization of ideas for expression
caractacus
Having spent half his life in China, perhaps your friend really does know how bad it can get...
likingming
I would like to know the reasons, together with the benefits, why he opted his first half.
pslhk
Your “friend has just become a lot more INTERESTING”
that’s why
you “must not let him out of” your journalist “life this time”
-
A friend in need is a friend indeed
an interesting source of entertaining news from Damascus to Beijing
-
Geologists and linguists will follow your columns
to analyze pebbles and stone along the track
or the English spellings of all these exotic places
They’re already out working
as evienced in the comments
-
Ce n'est pas bon
Ils ont change ma chanson

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