Occupy Central, coming soon to a theatre near you | South China Morning Post
  • Tue
  • Mar 31, 2015
  • Updated: 5:57pm
Public Eye
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 27 August, 2014, 6:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 27 August, 2014, 6:00am

Occupy Central, coming soon to a theatre near you

BIO

Michael Chugani is a Hong Kong-born American citizen who has worked for many years as a journalist in Hong Kong, the USA and London. Aside from being a South China Morning Post columnist he also hosts ATV’s Newsline show, a radio show and writes for two Chinese-language publications. He has published a number of books on politics which contain English and Chinese versions.
 

Occupy Central: the final frontier. We are about to boldly go where no Hongkonger has gone before. Our mission is to scare the hell out of our Beijing bosses by shutting down the city's business district to make them bow to our demands. So buckle up. Take-off could be any time after this Sunday. That's when the National People's Congress Standing Committee decides what kind of democracy we are allowed. If we're allowed only the kind that even aliens would spurn, then it's all systems go for blast-off.

At the helm will be the brash Benny Tai Yiu-ting, captain of the civil disobedience ship Occupy Central. At his side will be a crew of 10,000 cuckoonauts. All 10,000 will beam down to Central. They will lie down to block traffic, stopping all other life forms from carrying out their normal activities.

Central will indeed look like a strange new world. All the brand-name stores will have their shutters down. Want to buy a Gucci bag for your mainland mistress? Forget it. Have high tea at the Mandarin? Think again. Seek treatment from pricey Central doctors? Don't get sick. You're just a mainland visitor wanting to take pictures with the HSBC lion statues? Go ahead, but watch out for the tear gas. Yes, tear gas. There's no way 10,000 cuckoonauts can blockade Central peacefully. Criminals could manipulate the protest easily - stoke trouble, smash windows and loot shops. We saw that recently in Ferguson, Missouri.

Just don't expect the police to tolerate an indefinite blockade of Central. If the cuckoonauts let themselves be dragged away without resistance, it'll be over in a day. Beijing will double over, not in a bow, but in laughter. For there to be even a remote chance of Beijing giving way, the blockade will have to last long enough to do serious damage. And that's when the tear gas canisters will rain down. So hang on to your seats. It's going to be a wild ride.

 

Don't get too dogged over the death of a dog

So a dog died. It's tragic. No dog - or human - wants to be run over by a train. But get over it. Let the poor mutt rest in peace. But no, we have outrage that's so out of proportion, it's comical. Hundreds march in a funeral procession. More than 90,000 sign an online petition. About 100 protest outside government headquarters. Public Eye even heard three radio hosts browbeat MTR union officers on radio, as if they were being interrogated in court.

It's a dog, for goodness' sake. How come we didn't see such outrage when a falling tree killed a pregnant woman in Mid-Levels? We had every reason to be furious because experts had long warned the government about rotting trees. How about last weekend's poll findings that tens of thousands of children in our super-wealthy city live in subdivided flats, some as tiny as 40 sq ft for a family of four? Why aren't we marching in the streets? Have we gone completely out of whack?

Michael Chugani is a columnist and television show host. mickchug@gmail.com

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