Yellow Peril by Tze Ming Mok

Big Brother is watching, but we're not watching Big Brother

The fingers of Mainland China's cyberpolice state are reaching into Hong Kong, with an HK activist discovering Mainland hackers have been monitoring his emails for over a year. I'm freaking out, given the inflammatory content of my correspondence with Glutter, Hongkie democracy activist extraordinaire.

I feel ill thinking about what would happen next time I'm in China, if the Chinese government has been monitoring our emails - emails which would have demonstrated to them how we have both so truly earned our places on banned Singaporean film-maker Martyn See's Asian Freedom Blogroll.

Given that they'll be on the Public Security Bureau files anyway, here are the most incriminating excerpts.

from: tzemingdynasty@[xxxxxxx]
subject: INXS Idol
I just saw the advertisement on New Zealand's state broadcaster! And instantly thought: what must Glutter be thinking? The show hasn't started here yet... I'm in dread and wonder at the same time. I think Jarvis Cocker would be great. But he already has a band. [...]

from: gluttergirl@[xxxxxxx]
subject: re: INXS Idol
Jarvis Cocker??? Nah. he's too intellectual for Inxs. I mean come on. The band needs sex appeal. I mean down and dirty sex appeal, not the difficult standing in the corner loner sarcasm appeal. Eddie Vedder is sexy. Jarvis Cocker is sexy if you spend time with him talking....

from: tzemingdynasty@[xxxxxxx]
subject: re: re: INXS Idol
[...] I think rocking with INXS would be the perfect vehicle for Jarvis to let loose his inner beast. There is a sexy rock-god in there, just waiting to be unleashed, I just know it - it's the way with all the overintellectual ironic indie-popsters... He'd be great on the show, going through rock-transformations, shedding layers of self-consciousness and irony, being coached in that self-discovery 'America's-next-top-model' way, until he bursts fully formed from a PVC shell to set the world's loins on fire...

from: gluttergirl@[xxxxxxx]
subject: re: re: re: INXS Idol
[...] You seen Better Luck Tomorrow? It's a good film, I know some of the people in it, so it's very dear to me.[...]

from: tzemingdynasty@[xxxxxxx]
subject: re: re: re: re: INXS Idol

We are so totally screwed.

While we're exposing shameful secrets, I am now loosely associated with a website that uses the word 'pundit' as a suffix. It's a dirty, dirty feeling. Representing occasionally for the diaspora, here's my first post from the other week: ironic pretend 'asian invasion' loses ground to 'actual' pretend asian invasion.

Coming soon: the Asian Freedom Slagroll

bonus additional serious bits
I had twenty times the friends in Egypt as I do in London ...and the same number of friends in Darfur, Afghanistan and Liberia as I do in London. It sometimes feels like in New Zealand, I worry about people in those places on my own.

Most New Zealanders won't care, in their guts and in their media (given that media is now as influential an internal organ as the spleen) as much about the Sharm el-Sheikh bombings, or Iraqi civilian casualties, or the impending Niger famine (let them eat yellowcake?), or the Gaza withdrawal, as they did about the London bombings. Even if they don't know anyone in London. There's something very wrong about this. And there's little I can do to change it. You can't nag people into empathy, god knows I've tried. Perhaps the tactic of almost completely avoiding the topic until the end is just as effective.