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Showing posts from 2012

Past Events: 2008 - 2012

2008 - 2012 media attention and speaking engagements


2012

Book signing at Blacksmith Book Book-signing Extravaganza
Venue: Bookazine, Prince's Building, Central
Date: 26 November

Became resident blogger at South China Morning Post
Start date: September



Endorsed Matthew Harrison's new novel Benjamin Bunce
Date: 15 August

Became contributing writer for South China Morning Post's Encounters travel magazine and LifeSTYLE/Getaways supplements
Start date: June

Guest speaker at Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)
Topic: "HONG KONG State of Mind"
Venue: SCAD, Cheung Sha Wan
Date: 24 May

Featured in Finnish Radio Station GB Times
Date: 23 May

Guest speaker at Savannah College of Art and Design
Topic: "HONG KONG State of Mind"
Venue: SCAD, Cheung Sha Wan
Date: 8 March

Launched review site The Real Deal
Date: 25 February

Release of As We See It, 2012 anthology by Hong Kong Writers Circle
Contributions: Two short stories "Going North" and "Going Sout…

A Farewell to Arms 永别了,武器

America is a bizarre country. To be an American — or to live in America — is to accept a few things that defy common sense. For starters, pizza is considered a “vegetable” under federal law. Two tablespoons of tomato paste on the dough is enough to make the pie healthy enough to be served at every public school cafeteria. Speaking of health, emergency rooms across the country routinely turn down trauma patients who fail to produce proof of health insurance. Facing skyrocketing healthcare costs, the uninsured are left for dead and the insured are worried sick about rising deductibles and annual premiums. Not bizarre enough? Here's another good one: gun shootings have become so commonplace that the evening news no longer reports them unless they are deemed a “shooting rampage.” And each time after a massacre, gun enthusiasts line up outside Wal-Mart to stock up on assault weapons for fear of tougher gun laws. That’s right, in America you can buy a military-style semi-automatic rifl…

Just Us Two 二人世界

One of the advantages of living in the 21st Century is that we get to choose the way we live our lives. When it comes to love and marriage, some stick to the white picket fence, while others cohabit without ever tying the knot. Still others stay blissfully single for life, free as birds. Same sex couples, ever the scourge of conservative society, can now legally marry in eleven countries and several American states. It is therefore all the more surprising that, in our age of live-and-let-live sexual liberation, one segment of society continues to be stigmatized by a stubborn social prejudice: married couples without children.

I am not talking about infertile people who can’t bear children — they get their fair share of pitiful looks from friends along with unsolicited advice on how to raise their sperm count. I am referring to married folks who, for financial, emotional or philosophical reasons, decide to stay child-free. While no one ever questions why we want children, those who c…

Changing of the Guard 換兵儀式

It’s a once-in-a-decade exercise. Behind closed doors, deals are struck and broken, careers are bought and sold, battles are won and lost. When the white smoke finally rises from the conclave chimney, new kings are crowned and another layer of intervening leadership is added to one of the most opaque political systems in the world.
The 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (第十八次黨代表大會) opened on 8 November and concluded less than a week later. Just as pundits had predicted, Xi Jinping (習近平), the rotund Beijing native and scion of a well-known party elder, emerged as the new paramount leader. To the rest of us on the other side of the door, the National Congress is little more than an auditorium full of men (and an occasional woman) in black suits and red ties applauding on cue. Though that’s not far from the truth, exactly what the National Congress does and how it is different from similarly-named bodies like the National People’s Congress or NPC (人民代表大會) continue t…

New Year in November (Reprise) 十一月的新年(重奏)

Four years ago, I wrote an article titled New Year in November about Barack Obama's historic victory. That's what it felt like — a new beginning, a rebirth – even to a blogger half the world away. Four years flew by in the blink of an eye and the president was up for re-election this month. This time I wanted to be there — in America, in the thick of things. I planned my annual home leave in the second week of November and arrived in New York just days after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast. Expecting the vote count to last all night, I stocked up on junk food in my hotel room in Midtown Manhattan. I had my laptop showing the electoral map and a calculator to tally the votes. I toggled back-and-forth between CNN and Fox News on the flat-screen TV while posting the latest election results on Facebook. I was a ready for a showdown.

I’m not an American citizen and so I can’t actually vote. Even if I were, my vote wouldn’t have mattered much because New York is what they ca…

One Hundred Days of Solitude 百日孤寂

Tung Chee-Hwa, Hong Kong’s first chief executive, had a tough term in office. And it wasn’t for lack of trying. When he took the job in 1997, the ex-shipping tycoon was full of lofty ideas. He tried to rein in property prices by building more public housing. He created Cyberport and proposed a West Kowloon revamp to make Hong Kong the region’s high-tech and cultural hub. One after another, however, his policies fell flat on their faces. Then came the SARS outbreak in 2003 and the collapse of the property market in the same year. His political downfall was so spectacular that paramount leader Hu Jintao (胡錦濤) made a point to dress him down in public. In 2005, Tung stepped down, citing an arthritic leg. Career bureaucrat Donald Tsang took over and began an administration based on a time-tested motto: do nothing, do no harm.

Seven years after Tung Chee-Hwa fell from grace, C.Y. Leung finds himself in eerily familiar territories. The only difference between the two beleaguered chief execu…

Calling it Quits - Part 1 劈炮唔撈-上卷

It’s 9:30 on a Monday night. You are waiting for the bus to take you home after another long, dreary day in the office. Your head droops to the side, your shoulders slump, and your leather briefcase sags with the weight of existential angst. The woman in front of you pulls a soggy pastry out of a wrinkled Starbucks bag and takes a bite. You think to yourself: I can make a better one and sell it for half the price. The dream of running your own bakery and wallowing in patisserie bliss once again rushes to your head. No more 14-hour days, no more suits and ties, no more crowded buses and microwave dinners. Leather briefcase be damned!

What you just read is a familiar scene to many salaried men and women. Tired of the ball and chain of a desk job, you fantasize about a “Plan B” to take you out of the rat race and put your God-given talent to use. If baking is not your thing, then it may be designing jewelry, becoming a wedding photographer or running an event planning service from home.…

Isle Be Back – Special National Day Double Issue 還我河山 – 國慶雙刊

If the Chinese activists who landed on Diaoyu Islands (釣魚台島) last month sound a lot like Arnold Schwarzenegger, that’s because they have stolen the Terminator’s famous one-liner. The half-dozen men who dodged the Japanese Coast Guard and planted Chinese and Taiwanese flags on one of the disputed islands vowed to be back, over and over again. Their fearless (some say reckless) act – the most successful landing by Chinese civilians in 16 years – have set off a new wave of territorial disputes between the world’s second and third largest economies.

The set of uninhabited isles, known in Japan as the Senkaku (尖閣諸島), have little known economic or strategic importance to either side. Claims that the seafloor contains rich mineral and oil deposits remain unconfirmed. The five rocks and three reefs add up to an area of 7 square kilometers, about the size of Causeway Bay. To put things in perspective, China signed a series of treaties with Russia between 1858 and 1883 and gave away over 1,600…