A Documentarian’s Observation – Long Hair Revolution from 2004 to 2019

Thursday, 11 July, 2019

 

Long Hair 長毛 梁國雄 2019 on RTHK Headliner 頭條新聞

Long Hair 長毛 梁國雄 2019 on RTHK Headliner 頭條新聞

*** New video to watch with added English subtitles ***

Long Hair 長毛 梁國雄 Leung Kwok-hung kindly gave me permission to follow and film him for about a month in 2004 for my debut documentary film Long Hair Revolution (2005). Now almost 15 years later in 2019, it has been a pleasant surprise and a bit emotional for me to watch the RTHK Headliner 頭條新聞 segment 【聰吧!新中年!】抗爭者言, 長毛 梁國雄) (episode 12, 愛民如子父母官 14/06/2019) featuring Long Hair.

I’ve spent quite a few hours over the last few weeks to video capture the Headliner 頭條新聞 segment【聰吧!新中年!】抗爭者言, translate the spoken Cantonese into English and lined up the English subtitle/Closed Caption text to exactly match the timing of the Chinese subtitle text on the clip. Feel free to let me know if you spot any clear mistakes and have suggestions to better translate things.

I’ve now uploaded my English subtitle enhanced clip onto YouTube, I hope you enjoy watching it: Long Hair – 2019 頭條新聞 RTHK Headliner

*** A Documentarian’s Observation – Long Hair Revolution from 2004 to 2019 ***

I originally planned to write a post call “A Documentarian’s Apology” (in the line of British mathematician G. H. Hardy‘s “A Mathematician’s Apology” (PDF). I’ve now tweaked the words a little and now writing “A Documentarian’s Observation” instead and here are a few of my observations:

  1. Interviewer 羅永聰 was able to ask Long Hair (LH) questions about his ex-wife because they have known and interacted with each other for years. Looking back, it would be very gossipy and uncomfortable for me to ask LH about his ex-wife then and even now 15 years later. I’m glad that Law asked and we got to learn a bit more about that side of LH.
  2. Long Hair’s home was another place that I felt a bit too nosy for me to ask to follow him to film in 2004. In hindsight I wish I had but then I can’t turn back time. Making a documentary is about doing what I can and cannot do. What I couldn’t or felt uncomfortable to do things that could jeopardize the sense of trust between me and LH. His home was one of those places that I instinctively set as “out of bound” for me to film.
  3. Paradoxically, LH has become even more of a statesman (at least in my eyes) in 2019 compare to previous times I’ve seen him on TV or video after he got DQ (disqualified) unjustly by the government.
  4. Hearing LH said in the Legislative Council chamber: “夕陽無限好, 只是近黃昏” “不如欣賞一下…” (“The setting Sun’s endlessly endearing… But the light of Day is disappearing!” “why not admire it a little …”) made me feel sad.
  5. While it is good to see LH in reasonably good health, at different places in the short clip, LH seems also visibly aged and much more tired (definitely compare to 15 years ago but even compare to 2-3 years ago). It makes me feel sad to see his physical health wanes a bit.
  6. (20190704 new update) When I filmed Long Hair Revolution (2005), I felt almost completely safe at all times except, as mentioned in the past, when I was detained briefly at the immigration queue coming back to Hong Kong from Long Hair’s Macau protest trip. If I were making a documentary today in 2019 (which I am NOT), I would likely have gone into the LegCo to record and witness as HKFP report “The writing on the wall: Understanding the messages left by protesters during the storming of the Hong Kong legislature“. If I had gone in LegCo (which I have not), I would have felt totally safe with the protestors (as fellow documentarian Lynn Lee said so well in her Facebook post), unfortunately, I would NOT feel safe at all with the HK police knowing their brutalities. Nor would I feel safe in rally organized by pro-police/pro-government protestors who are often violent even as they claim to be protesting against “violence”.
  7. Thats it for now. I may add more later.

References

Note1: Segment description via RTHK 頭條新聞 第12集—愛民如子父母官 14/06/2019:
//【聰吧!新中年!】抗爭者言
這個星期,很多人都在抗爭,而人群中一定找到他的踪影—長毛,大半生都在抗爭的梁國雄。三十年前,大家都覺得這個人激進得可怕,今天,有人罵他「左膠」,他自己會如何看待這大半生的事業,今年63歲的他,會有退下來的一天嗎?
「成個政治制度,若果你漠視大多數人的權利,大多數人遲早會出聲。」
「DQ、補選失利、戰友入獄、送中…一浪接一浪,我無話可說,社會已變得毫無規則。」
「夕陽無限好,只是近黃昏…」//

Note2: Julian Law Wing Chung (羅永聰) (an older English bio of Law at Reuters Institute) was most known for being former Financial Secretary John Tsang‘s political assistant and Law also quit his job to help run Tsang‘s election campaign for the Chief Executive of HKSAR which Tsang ultimately lost to Carrie Lam.

Last update: 20190711


Lee Iacocca (1924-2019)

Wednesday, 3 July, 2019

 

My 1986 copy of

My 1986 copy of “Iacocca: An Autobiography” which I used for a high school English class assignment/book review. This is one of the autobiographies that got me onto the path of lifelong learning form insightful people’s biographies.

Goodbye Mr. Lee Iacocca (1934-2019), you will be dearly missed.

Thanks to my high school English teacher for letting me use Iacocca‘s best selling autobiography for one of the book review/class assignment which got me on a lifelong path of reading and enjoying autobiographies and biographies of many people which got me to learn valuable life lessons and teachable moments from them.

CNN, “How Lee Iacocca became an American icon” (bought back so many good memories)

Jun 2017, RegularCars, “The Legend of Lee Iacocca” (hope this is good)

xxx


Anna Maria Tremonti’s final edition of The Current (with a new Quote I LOVE)

Friday, 21 June, 2019
20190619 Anna Maria Tremonti's final edition of The Current

20190619 Anna Maria Tremonti’s final edition of The Current

I’ll miss Anna Maria Tremonti very much as I listen to the final edition (full text transcript) of The Current. AMT is one of the best broadcasters in Canada (if not the world). I totally admire her and see her is a National Treasure! Looking forward to her new podcast.

I highly recommend you have an enjoyable listen to AMT‘s final edition of The Current.

AMT, best of luck to you from a confessed listener since The Current started in 2002!

Here is an excerpt from the last interview of AMT by Carol Off, the departing host being interviewed on her show! (emphasis added, transcript mistakes fixed and link added)

AMT: […] To be able to do that story, to be able to say to The Current I want to take half an hour of prime time morning radio and I want to talk about the rape of women in war. And the bosses say: Okay. What do you need? We’ll let you do that. That’s the gift of The Current as well we have been able to tackle those kinds of stories at a time of day when people would go ‘Oh we’re not so sure about that’. And you know what the listeners have said thank you for that. And that’s really been important to me.

CAROL OFF: Because that’s the gift of Anna Maria Tremonti because what you do with that story is that you don’t make it so horrific that no one can bear it. You tackled it as into the humanity of those stories and that has been your hallmark no matter who you talk to, no matter where you’ve gone, you have made it a hallmark of your empathy of being able to draw those people and I think what people remember most about what you have done for these 17 years is that you have made Canada your hometown. You have been from coast to coast, talking to people on the line but also going to town halls everywhere. You have connected with this country. What does that meant for you?

AMT: A lot. You know when I became a foreign correspondent it was Joe Schlesinger who said now that you’re foreign correspondent you better think about what you’re going to be when you’re not. And I thought about coming home because when you’re foreign correspondent you never want to come home. It’s a great life. And the people you answer to are far away and asleep. So it’s perfect.

And here I’m adding a new quote to my long list of Quotes I LOVE,

“For 17 seasons you have been my partners in listening. In fact the most important thing I have learned in hosting The Current is how to listen, not how to talk, not how to ask questions, but how to listen. How to say nothing even and hear what someone else is really saying because I learn not in the asking but in the hearing. I learn about someone or something in the words that are spoken and then how they’re spoken and the words that are used in the exuberance, in the hesitation, in the emotion. Even the silences tell me something and they tell me something loudly.

At a world where so many people are shouting at each other, where so many refuse to hear anything but their own voice, the ability to hear another side to think differently, to question yourself, to learn something new, that is a gift.” – Anna Maria Tremonti (1957- ) (AMT’s final edition, timecode (~1hr 08min 38sec))


The moral is to have [no referendum] at all. – New Quote I Love

Thursday, 30 May, 2019

Recently retired UK Supreme Court justice Lord Jonathan Sumption has been giving the 2019 Reith Lectures in the last few weeks. BBC Radio has broadcasted two out of five episodes so far. Check out my earlier post “2019 Reith Lectures by Jonathan Sumption” for links to the lectures.

Here is a particular section that I got a new entry to Quotes I Love from (Lecture 2, In Praise of Politics, timecode 40:01)

BH: (BBC radio Host): If representative democracy is so effective as you argued that it is.

JS (Jonathan Sumption): I accept that it is not always.

BH: But parliament decided on a referendum when it came to Brexit.

JS: Yes, parliament can do many things that are unwise, that are inconsistent with the way democracies ought to work. I’m certainly not suggesting the referendum was unlawful. I’m simply suggesting that it was extremely unwise and that the last three years are an illustration of quite a lot of the reasons why.

BH: OK, you are not a fan, I get that.

JS: I’m not a fan of referendums, full stop.

BH: Well, that answer the second thing. To get us out of this mess, do we need a second referendum.

JS: Well, I don’t think we should have the first.

BH: But we had it now. So now how do …

JS: Let me finish my sentence. I don’t think we should have the first. But having had the first, it may well be that the only way that we can get out of the mess created by the first is to have another one. But the moral is not to have as many referendums as possible. The moral is to have none at all.

 


2019 Reith Lectures by Jonathan Sumption

Wednesday, 22 May, 2019

 

2019 Reith Lectures by Jonathan Sumption - Screen Shot 2019-05-22 at 10.41.25 AM

I’ve been looking forward to listen to the 2019 Reith Lectures by Jonathan Sumption who recently retired from the UK Supreme Court. Lord Sumption “argues that a decline in the willingness of politics to engage with divisive subjects has been accompanied by an unwelcome rise in the power of the courts.

While I may not agree with everything Lord Sumption says, the ideas he expressed are almost always thought provoking and worth considering even we may come to agree or disagree with him. Incidentally, the Q&As after each lectures contain some rather interesting questions so make sure you listen to that too.

BBC is putting up the 2019 Reith Lectures by Lord Sumption one lecture a week, here is the list of lecture(s) already posted:

(21 May, 2019) 1/5. Law’s Expanding Empire – Jonathan Sumption argues that the law is taking over the space once occupied by politics (~56 minutes)

(updated: 28 May, 2019) 2/5. In Praise of Politics – Jonathan Sumption explains how democracy can accommodate opposing opinions and interests (~41 minutes)

(updated: 4 June, 2019) 3/5. Human Rights and Wrongs – Jonathan Sumption argues that courts have usurped power via human rights law (~41 minutes)

(updated – 11 June, 2019) 4/5. Rights and the Ideal Constitution – Jonathan Sumption assess the pros and cons of written and unwritten constitutions, comparing the US and UK. (~42 minutes)

(updated – June, 2019) 5/5. Shifting the Foundations – Jonathan Sumption argues against Britain adopting a written constitution (~42 minutes)

Above links for all five insightful episodes have now been updated. What an enjoyable series!


#GameOfThrones series finale was aweful (Veep, Big Bang Theory, Sopranos ended things much better!)

Tuesday, 21 May, 2019

Major Spoilers Warning!

20190521 Dragon can understand symbolism now?

Game Of Thrones TV series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss (D&D) for HBO was well loved by millions (me included) for 7 seasons. Sadly the show fell apart on its final season 8 with the series finale (s8.6) being an epic cluster beep!

How bad was GoT series finale (s8.6)? We went grocery shopping, ate dinner while watching other TV shows before we actually watched the finale at 11pm EST (2 hours after the show started) before we just had no expectation left. And the finale did turn out to be a #ShitShow in my eyes. A cancelled S8 would have been better for fans. 

Just as comparisons, Veep and The Big Bang Theory also had their series finales and they generally garnered praises! Witness:

IndieWire, 13 May, 2019 “‘Veep’ Review: The Series Finale Is a Terrific Ending America Better Hope Doesn’t Come True
IndieWire, 17 May, 2019, “‘The Big Bang Theory’ Review: Series Finale Delivers an Ending True To Itself

From Vice, “‘Game of Thrones’ Ended in the Worst Way Possible In ‘The Iron Throne,’ the final episode of ‘Game of Thrones,’ nearly every decision was the wrong one.” Here is an excerpt, Read the rest of this entry »


I. M. Pei – Great minds of our time

Friday, 17 May, 2019

I M Pei - Pix 01.jpg

RIP I. M. Pei 貝聿銘 (2017 – 2019). I picked up my copy of “I.M. Pei: A Profile in American Architecture” in the early 90s as I began my lifelong love of beautiful architectures. So thanks to Mr. Pei for your inspirations.

I like to remember the recently passed with their own words if I can, here he talked about the various challenges and ideas in redoing the Louvre.

I. M. Pei at MIT – Tech Day 1994

American Architecture Now: I.M. Pei, 1980

I. M. Pei: A Centennial Celebration – Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD)

Video description: //The GSD is proud to celebrate the 100th birthday of Ieoh Ming Pei, MArch ’46. Both I. M. and his wife Eileen Pei GSD ’44 studied at the GSD, as did their sons Chien Chung (Didi) Pei, MArch ’72, and Li Chung (Sandi) Pei, MArch ’76. Pei was also an assistant professor of architecture at the GSD. This event, with guests including Harry Cobb AB ’47 MArch ’49, moderated by Mohsen Mostafavi, dean of Harvard GSD and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design, will focus on the formative years of I. M. Pei’s career as well as some of his special friendships, influences, and projects.//

P.S. There are some archival news footage of the building of Louvre in this clip.

(Hopefully more to be added later.)


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