ANGRY? NEED TO TAKE to the streets to protest? Then remember to take essential protesting aids such as a bunch of flowers and a bag for litter.
Demonstrations in Asia are often ultra gentle. There’s just been one in Tokyo (above, pic by SMH.au) at which demonstrators marched in “V For Vendetta” masks and picked up garbage.
In the West, demonstrators burn down McDonald’s, here we just do a little tidying up.
Of course even us mild-mannered Asians DO get out of hand sometimes. In Hong Kong, police recently warned that protestors were becoming dangerously rowdy, after one “stuck stickers on a police motorbike” and another “blew a whistle near a police officer’s ear”. Whoa, shocking stuff.
(Recent Hong Kong demonstration – note the British Hong Kong flags, a unique example of a de-colonized place wanting old rulers back)
Hong Kong police might like to check out the general rate of public violence in the West.
In New York, if a driver fails to respond instantly to a green traffic light, enraged motorists burn down the city. And that’s on a good day. Other times, the US invades a small country.
A reader sent me a news cutting from the Chicago Sun-Times about a bid by do-gooders to cut the rate of violence in the US. Last month they offered US$100 cash to gun-owners for each weapon handed in for destruction. A pro-gun lobby organized the delivery of old, rusty firearms—and then used the cash to pay for a youth camp to promote weapon ownership.
In most of Asia, gun-violence is rare, as we are strict about all sorts of things, sometimes too strict.
Which leads me to comment on the news that Singapore has just announced that it is dropping its famous mandatory death penalty for drugs crimes.
I’m delighted, for one reason: I hope it means that the unnerving airline announcement one sometimes hears flying into that city-state will be dropped:
“We are now beginning our descent into Singapore. And remember, if you have drugs, you will be executed. Thank you.”
THE NEWS that China is to build a Tibet theme park excited reader Dan Kubiske. Instead of the famous Disneyland ride where voices sing “It’s a small world after all”, at the new park they can sing “It’s all our world after all.”
He said: “You could get on a boat and ride through scenes of happy peasants and state-sponsored monks singing the same song over and over. And instead of animatrons acting like real people, they’ll have real people acting like animatrons.”
Dan foresees the Beijing politburo creating an attraction called The Splittist Log Flume Ride. “Riders decide which route to take,” he said. Those who pick the correct way see an artist's rendition of life under the glorious leadership of the Communist Party. Those who choose the wrong path go to jail.
A MAN RECENTLY barricaded himself into his hotel room in the US state of North Carolina and demanded that the authorities bring him pizza and Paris Hilton, not necessarily in that order. Police pepper-sprayed him and “took him to hospital for a mental evaluation,” the police report said. Why, because he asked for pizza?
THOUGHT for the day:
Ninety percent of the things you worry about never happen, right? So that proves it: worrying works.
HOW’S YOUR FRIDAY? I’m posting this at the crack of dawn (well, got to office at 7 am, which is early enough, as it’s a long journey from home to office) and then, in two minutes, I am off to the second last day of a business conference I have been hosting this week…. Next week, will be travelling to Ireland and France. The bad news is that I have to get through Olympic-riddled London on the way. Anybody planning to be in France in the next few weeks? Give me a shout.