Posts by Chris Waugh

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  • Speaker: “Foreign forces”, hope and Hong…, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    while those from the mainland may find what they see in Hong Kong as “old-fashioned” a thing of their grandparents –

    More "sophisticated", I think.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2157 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: “Foreign forces”, hope and Hong…, in reply to linger,

    though a closer (if less extreme) parallel as far as the writing systems go might be if NZ were to adopt American spellings as standard

    Well, yes. As far as the writing goes, we're not talking about a different language or script, just a different orthography. And although there are some cogent arguments for the superiority of traditional characters, what partisans of traditional characters often seem to forget is that the simplified characters weren't simply invented out of nothing, many of them are based on common short-hand, alternative or calligraphic forms of the "standard" traditional characters.

    "Original brand" might not be so far off when talking about the spoken languages, though. The "older", more conservative southern langauges like Cantonese preserved some features of Middle Chinese that Mandarin dialects generally lost (though Jin managed to keep the entering tone). So I'm sure Nickkita can confirm that Tang poetry sounds better in Cantonese than Mandarin.

    As for the original post:

    Why idealise the colonial era? If colonial Hong Kong was so perfectly sweet and innocent, why was the ICAC set up? Care to discuss the political troubles of the '60s?

    Is the situation really as simple as "good protestors Us vs. bad anti-protestors Triads and central government hired thugs Them"?

    And the rampant xenophobia! Wow!

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2157 posts Report Reply

  • Capture: The Colour Of Spring,

    Attachment

    Beijing, where old cathode ray tubes go to become fancy new buildings.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2157 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Terror panics and the war imperative,

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2157 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Terror panics and the war imperative,

    Great show, but each of those three segments left me thinking, "That's all? Come on! More! Give me more of this!" Each segment could so easily have been spun out into a whole show on its own. Which I guess is a sign of the great work you're doing with Media Take.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2157 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Doing over the witness, in reply to DeepRed,

    I also wonder if police speed cameras are less to do with actual road safety, and more to do with gathering revenue

    Oh, bollocks. Speed cameras have been around for ages and the entire time they've attracted whinging about revenue gathering. We all know the speed limits and why we have speed limits and that we are required to obey the speed limits. Now can we get back to the real issues? There seems to be a campaign to intimidate journalists and their sources to not go sticking their necks out. Harmoniously stay in line and don't question the authorities. That's what we should be worrying about.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2157 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Doing over the witness, in reply to Marc C,

    Marc, while I generally agree with you, I find your hyperbole to be considerably less than helpful. Here's an example of how things happen in a real authoritarian state. You may also like to think about how it is you can post comments like yours here without them disappearing and without fear of an unwelcome knock on the door. Is NZ even close to that level of authoritarianism? No. Your comparison with East Germany and Latin American former dictatorships remains ludicrous.

    And apart from finding your OTT comparison a little rude - some of us live in properly authoritarian states and do actually need to think about what we say and write in public - I worry that comparisons like yours make it easy for sympathetic but complacently unconcerned people to write off our worries as the ramblings of loony left nutters. Sure, bad things happen, but NZ isn't like that, and besides, he must've had it coming, because all that abuse of power stuff happens overseas in awful little countries, not here in NZ....

    So, yes, there is much in this case to be worried about, the government is showing a rather dangerous authoritarian streak, we do need to nip this nonsense in the bud right now because it could easily develop into something truly scary if we don't. But please let's keep it all in a proper, realistic perspective.

    Now I've said what I have to say on this particular threadjack. I won't take it any further. Back to Nicky Hager...

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2157 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Doing over the witness, in reply to Marc C,

    Yeah, y'know, I was nodding along in agreement with you until this:

    This is stuff that would have happened in places like East Germany until 1989, like in some Latin American former dictatorships, this is what goes on in such countries in some places still now, but I feared the day would come that this happens here.

    Get a grip. Really. And perhaps acquaint yourself with a few history books, too. Yes, this government clearly has a nasty authoritarian streak, and there is a lot going on that worries me. But East Germany? Latin America? Really? Nicky Hager was bundled into a helicopter and dropped into Cook Strait from a great height, was he? No. In the real world, New Zealand has a very long way to go until it reaches even Singaporean levels of authoritarianism. As bad as things may be, it is still very much Amateur Hour in the NZ National Party HQ.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2157 posts Report Reply

  • Capture: The Colour Of Spring, in reply to Nora Leggs,

    and more purple

    Wow! Astounding!

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2157 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Dirty Politics, in reply to mark taslov,

    I agree. I'm just more inclined to give MFAT the benefit of the doubt than I am McCully or Key, and if Rodney Hide wrote it, I'm inclined to add the kind of grain of salt that would have even the most hard-boiled hutong born and bred Old Beijinger muttering "go easy on that".

    So, sure, if it was an MFAT screw-up - and they certainly do happen - then somebody should face the appropriate consequences. But I'm not convinced it was. Not yet, not from the evidence that's out there.

    A propos of nothing: Was at Chaoyang Park this morning. Patriotic music piped over the speakers. We were up the northeast side, where there was some Cross-Straits shindig going on. S3kurity. On our way out some fresh-faced lad who looked all of 18 and just in from some village on the outskirts of Dachang tried to smile at me as we left. In other circumstances, especially had he not been dressed in 特.警 style get-up carrying a truncheon at a gate swarming with other gu@rds, some dressed like him, others in normal uniforms, checking bags, m3tal detectors, I may have responded other than by glaring at him and walking on. My impression is the situation was more normal in other parts of the park away from the shindig.

    Beijing • Since Jan 2007 • 2157 posts Report Reply

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