Friday, January 27, 2006

 

I'm Just a Canary in the Data Mine

I received a really strange comment yesterday on a post I made nearly a year ago.

This past spring my Mother-in-Law was in the last stages of life; dying in a Hong Kong hospital. I wrote several very angry post about her treatment in the hospital and the experience of my wife and myself while going through this situation. After she died I simply let the matter drop. It isn't good to dwell on topics like that. You can't be angry at people forever.

I also had other parts of my naval to gaze into.

What is slightly upsetting about the comment I received yesterday is that it appears to be a pre-recorded message aimed at blog post with words like "Hospital" or "Health Care" in the text or title. It is obvious from the short comment that they didn't read the entry and it is signed by an insurance company.

I guess I should be happy that someone or even something is actually hitting my pages.

So in an effort to obtain even more computerized traffic on my blog I submit the following paragraph.

Viagra, Hospital, Health Care, Sex, George Bush, John Kerry, Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, United States, Animal Rights, Vegetarian, Disease, Iraq, Michael Moore, Feminism, Global Warming, Ozone, WTO, Anti-WTO, Pornography, Jesus, John McCain, Pope, Rap, Swift Boat, Cusine, Insurance, Children, Parent, Hip-Hop, Education, University, History, Google, Human Rights, Poverty, Industrial, Pollution, Save the Whales, Charels the Prince of Wales, Dianna the Princes of Wales, Communist, AIDS, Communism, Prince Harry, Capitalism, France, Rush Limbaugh, Wine, Mel Gibson, Alcoholism, Drug Use, Addiction, Disfunctional Families, Freedom of Speech, Abortion, Satan, Satanism, Politics, Right Wing, Boycott, Left Wing, Erectile Disfunction, Mass Media, Fashion, Exercise, Welfare, Travel, Food, Homosexuality, Gay Rights, Space Shuttle, Nuclear Weapons, AARP, Menopause, Orgasim, Retirement, Castro, Chavez, Iran, Islam, Muslim, Koran, Bible, Veda, Hindu, Buhdda, Jew, Christian, Crusade, Jihad, Real Estate, Fast Food, Health food, Vitamins, Acupuncture, Meditation, The New York Times, Alternative Lifestyle, Alternative Medicine, Cancer, Astrology, Dating, Over population, Birth Control, Anti Christ, Atheist, Dog, Cat, Pets, Fox News, Divorce, Treatment, ADD, ADHD, Cable TV, Learning Disabilities, Autism, Ausberger, Immigration, Guns, Gun Control, Justice, Space Aliens, UFO, Abduction, Kidknapping, Capital Punishment, 9-11, 9/11, Military, Election, Israel, Hamas, Terrorism, Ossam bin Ladin, Al Queda, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Nixon, Nixon Nixon, Hitler, Madonna, The Beattles, ELVIS.

Have fun with this one data miners!

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The Shamelessly Self Promoting Blogger

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

 

Billable Hours

Gee I wish I were a lawyer sometimes

I sometimes read the "Powerline Blog" and boy do those guys have a lot to say.

It makes me feel lazy by comparison because I don't post everyday and I don't write the long detailed post they put up very often.

But then I remember that there are three of them.

Thus each one can write some. Also because they are lawyers they can make a lot of money per case and thus maybe work less. I'd like to have more free time. I show up for work at 7:00 AM and work until 5:00 PM or later. That doesn't give me much time to check, polish and refine my post.

I need to have more billable hours and less actual work hours to write more.


Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The librarian blogger who sometimes wishes he were lawyer blogger.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

 

Apologies

I didn't realize that yesterday was MLK day in the US.

That is not an insignificant day in the scheme of things.

Monday, January 16, 2006

 

Take me out to.......

Today should be a holiday.

At the very least it should be one of those fake holiday's like "secretaries day" or "Moustache" day" that they have in the US where the calendar list it as a holiday but nobody gets time off.

Today marks the point where we are 30 day from the beginning of Baseball spring training.

I need some hotdogs. And some peanuts. And maybe some lukewarm watery beer! Lousy ballpark nachos would be welcome about now. Crackerjacks, oh my God, crackerjacks!

It is time to celebrate. Ball-night, bat-night, cap-night, jersey-night, refrigerator magnets and all the assorted major league swag are on their way.

It is time to remember watching Charlie Hough throw his knuckleball. It is time to remember Billy Martin. It is time to think that maybe even the Tigers, Cubs or the Rangers could win the World Series.

I can almost hear Eric Nadel right now. I can remember Dick Rizzenhover with his tremendous homerun call; Mark Holtz and how he sounded like the guy next door. I'd even settle for those homers that call the Yankee games

I remember Jose Canseco having a flyball hit him in the head. I remember Willie Horton punching George Brett in the jaw during a brawl down the third-base line. I remember listening to Kenny Rogers throw a perfect game. I remember two of Nolan Ryan's no-hitters.

There's nothing better than base-ball on the radio. It starts in a month.

Oh boy, this is a good day.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The always wanted to be able to throw a knuckle-ball in the major leagues blogger

Friday, January 13, 2006

 

For a while

I'll return next week.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

 

Response to Mr Lee

This post is a response to a comment. You can see the comment below but as the response was very long I decided to post it as a post.

There also appears to be something wrong with my browser that is mangling words.

Mr. Lee,

Thanks for being polite. Let me take your points one at a time.

You Wrote
First of all I agree that hunger strike is a futile gesture unless they were willing to go through with it, which they didn't because it only lasted for 4 days(?)

I'm glad we agree on something.

Please read my previous post on this conference. I am not necessarily a supporter of the WTO but I like the protesters even less. Indeed, I could in no way shape or form be called an advocate of big or world government

You Wrote
But you seem to be suggesting that the Korean farmers wanted to come and destroy HK. Understandably, many HKer's had this view thanks to the climate of fear the media had created, not to mention the violence from past WTO meetings such as Seattle & Genoa. But if you really knew what was going on and instead of feeding from the one-sided reporting from the likes of TVB and tabloids you would have a far more objective view. Fortunately, a sizeable bunch of HKer's did go and see for themselves and rallied to support and applaud the protestors as they marched by. Good to see a bunch that weren't entirely ignorant & not brainwashed by TVB reporters

I live in Causeway Bay. Right across the street from Victoria Park, next to the public library; I had to walk through the protest to go to and come home from work. Therefore, I am not just reporting what I saw on TVB. I am writing about what I saw and walked through. Indeed, the TV stations here tried to present the protest as a party, using terms like "Festive atmosphere" to describe the back end of the protest.

I did indeed make it a point talk to them. What I found was that they would not tolerate any deviation from their party line. If that is unfair then I'm sorry that is how they present themselves. Kind of anything goes unless you disagree with me. I spent quite a while on Monday evening in Victoria Park. I talked with them.
More than that. I am old enough to have talked with them for a long time. If not these folks then other with more or less the same agenda.

These protesters may not have wanted to destroy Hong Kong but I don't believe that the Koreans didn't want violence. At the very least they came here planning to cause trouble. The riots they started are not a one off event. They do it every time. I also believe they were looking for trouble because they said as much before hand. They came expecting trouble. You cannot say, in effect., "We'll come prepared for anything" and still call yourself a basically peaceful protester.

Starting about Tuesday I saw the Korean farmers wearing what looked like body armor made out of some sort of sack stuffed with straw. They had helmets. They were openly carrying big sticks, bamboo poles and other objects that could be used as clubs. They were wearing painters mask and face shields. If they were not expecting violence then why wear that? They WERE at least to this passerby, behaving in a very passive aggressive manner. It was not very pleasant to stand at the crosswalk with them. Think about it. If they didn't start anything the police wouldn't have either. To say any thing else is simply unbelievable.

The fact that there was not more trouble is not that the protesters didn't want it but rather that Hong Kong took rather extraordinary measures to insure that the situation would not get out of hand

Most of the local Hong Kong people that I could see at the protester were actually spectators. There were not that many participants Though there were some. Certainly when it really got violent many of them left.

You Wrote
How can you criticize someone that you haven't talked or interacted with. From my time spend with the Koreans, they were a friendly courteous bunch, they would've been more happier if they haven't been pushed to the brink of poverty. And that goes for the Phillipinos, Indonesians, Mexicans and other nationalities.

As I said above. I talked with them and more than that I look at who they are. Once again I refer you to my previous post. You had groups at this protest that wanted diametrically opposing things. Some, like those from Indonesia wanted greater access to markets in developed countries like Korea and Japan. Others, like the Koreans want their country to maintain high trade barriers to keep lower priced goods from less developed countries out. It appears to me the protesters from Zimbabwe should have been battling the protesters from South Korea. It also tells me that they either don't know what is going on in the WTO or they have another agenda.

I did interact with them and I did talk to them. I made it a point to do so. I've written about this in previous post.

It is also simply untrue to say that the Korean farmers have been "Pushed to the brink of poverty" It is simply a lie. They admitted as much when ATV interviewed them. They have an income of well over USD $50,000. The truth is the have a good living because Korea keeps its trade walls in place. That impoverishes people else where. Besides, if they were in poverty then how did they afford the travel expense? They show up at all of these meetings. If I were in poverty I'd have better uses for what little cash I had than to fly around the word protesting? I saw them complaining about their debt load. Well, I come from a farming area. the debt load they talked about does not seem that much different from the US farmers I used to bail hay for in Texas as a teenager. Depending upon the size of the farm USD$1 million debt might not be excessive for an income of $50,000 a year.

That income, incidentally probably places the Korean farmers in the top 10% to 15% wealthiest people in the world. Hardly poverty strickened. Operation debt for a business and poverty are different things.

You Wrote
The so-called 'terrorists' you claim didn't touch one single HK citizen. (Did you also notice the hundreds of HK protestors?)

I called the protesters terrorist thugs because they were attempting to influence political events by violence. Yet they are not part of an official army or national militia. Here is a definition of a terrorist I pulled out of dictionary.com
Terrorist
adj : characteristic of someone who employs terrorism (especially as a political weapon); "terrorist activity"; "terrorist state" n : a radical who employs terror as a political weapon; usually organizes with other terrorists in small cells; often uses religion as a cover for terrorist activities.


Just in encase you don't know what terrorism is here is a definition

Terrorism

n. The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons.

That is exactly what these people are trying to do. They are by definition, terrorist. That doesn't mean they are Ussama bin Laden but they are terrorist never-the-less because they are trying to threaten or intimidate governments through the use of force but are not part of a national army. But, ok we can use the term bullies if you like.

You wrote
Not one single store window was smashed. They picked up their own rubbish after a rally. They even gave back the police their riot shields.

There were no windows broken because the stores were closed and the rolling storm doors pulled down and locked. If you were at the protest you would have seen this. To not mention it is disingenuous. Other buildings had their plate glass windows boarded up with plywood.
I have pictures posted of this in previous post that prove this.

The bricks used in Hong Kong sidewalks were GLUED together so that they could not be pried up and thrown. They are still glued down go look at them

The overhead walkways were covered with chain-link fence to protect the automobiles below.

With the crowd control measures in place by the police it would have been difficult for the protesters to do more damage without lots of work. But, is that a reflection of the protesters or the preparations of the Hong Kong police?

Let us also not forget that there are something like 30,000 PLA troops in Hong Kong. While they were not needed (thankfully) the fact that they could have possibly been called upon may have had some deterrent effect. More likely it was the preparation and diligence of the Hong Kong Police. I have no doubt that if the police had been less resolute the protesters would have caused more problems.
Or, have you forgotten Seattle?

I also freely admit that if I were Donald Tsang I would have used the PLA to supplement the police.

You wrote
The majority of criticism comes from their actions on tnightghS 17day 17th717th7th. It was a clash that nobody wanted. (sic). A Korean even restrained an Indonesian because the stick he used to hit the Police was too big & dangerous. . I did see a few that chose my violent measures such as throwing projectiles at unarmored officers, but when you stageneralizinging a group by a few individuals' actions then that would be ignorant

It is not, in my experience true that the violence was primarily limited to Saturday night. What is true is that the HK police did a very good job keeping violent people under control. There was violence every day.

Let's not even talk about the first day of the protest when the Korean Farmers set a big sign or alter looking thing on fire and then used it as a battering ram to try and break the police cordon. Is using a burning battering ram against a police barricade minimal use of force? Would the body armor worn by police keep them from getting burned? That was on the first day. But you obviously don't remember that.


The truth is there were a series of escalating and increasingly violent action planed and initiated by the protesters, primarily the Korean farmers, throughout the week. It was planned and thought out. It was obvious to anybody who watched it. Day one violent, day two peaceful march day three, more violence, day 4 less. What the protesters were doing is trying to wear down the Hong Kong police. The protesters could rest or even go shopping. The police outnumbered 4 to 1 were working 12 hour shifts and had to be on guard 24 hours a day. That is why the major push came on17th, because they'd hoped that the police would be tired. The non violent people played their part in this by staging protest all over Hong Kong which stretched the police lines and made it potentially possible for the violent ones to break the cordon. Indeed, why did the non-violent people not go to the front of the protest and interpose themselves between the police and the violent minority? That would have stopped the violence. It would have also made the point that they were were NOT passively supporting the violence.


I looked I didn't see this happen. Were they perhaps afraid of the Koreans? The non-violent people like that goof in the chicken suit or the woman dressed liMinnienie Mouse only appeared after the Violent break through attempt had failed.

Remember. I was there.

You Wrote
Instead the Koreans chose to use brittle plywood which wouldn't penetrate the riot poliarmorour & shield

If the Koreans were so intent on not hurting the police they should not have hit them with anything at all. Your argument is simply silly on that point. They could have marched up to the police line presented their demands and then sat down and say 46 verses of "The Internatonale" or play cards. It would have made the police look silly and gotten their messaacrossoss with greater clarity.

By the way, Let me hit you with a brittle piece of plywood. Wear a Kevlar vest if you want. Let's see if you think it hurts.

That some of the people engaging in terrorism were not willing to go as far some of the others is beside the point. The fact that it might not penetrate armor doesn't mean that it could not cause bodily harm. It was an act of violence that was intended to cause harm or provoke a more violent response from the police. Hitting someone with a ply wood club is assault.

You Wrote
The Koreans wanted to make their voices directly heard to the WTO delegates, while the Police needed to protect the delegation.

Once again, I refer you to my previous post, if these people are upset with the trade policy of their country then they should elect leader who support those positions. Korea, despite being a some what repressive place does have an elected government and multiple parties. Membership in the WTO is voluntary. So Korea doesn't have to follow its recommendations. But, South Korea also appears to me to be a rather violent place as there have been a number of violent labor riots there over the years.


Indeed. This is how I feel that trade agreements should work. I don't like extra governmental organizations like the WTO. There are a host of reasons, some of them more valid than others that a nation might not want to let the goods of another nation within its borders.

If these farmers want their voices heard they should do it at the ballot box in their own country, not with a club against the helmet of a Hong Kong police officer; period, full stop, end of argument. What they did is beyond the pale and was a criminal act.

You Wrote
Therefore violence occurred, not because the protestors wanted a fight.

B.S.


It is as simple as that.

They said before hand and have said at each of these meetings that they would refrain from violence only if all of their demands were met. You said yourself that the Hong Kong police did not engage in police brutality. Ask yourself, "Who started the violence?" It wasn't the police. Thus it must have been the protesters. So if they didn't want to be violent then why were they violent?

Did TVB or maybe the CIA pay some thugs to start something and blame it on the Koreans?

You Wrote
In fact both sides wanted to use the least amount of force.

In a sense you are correct here. The terrorist, excuse me, bullies, wanted to use only so much force as was needed to achieve their ends. The police wanted to use only so much force as was needed to keep the terrorist, eh bullies, from achieving their ends.

You Wrote

I also say that there was no police brutality involved except how they treated them in prison

I don't actually know if I agree or not. I don't know what went on in prison (actually a jail as a prison is for those who have already been convicted) However, I do from my days as a college radical know that anytime you were arrested at a protest you yelled brutality. I find it difficult to believe that the police would show so much restraint at the protest when they could have justifiably used more and then got mean when nobody was looking. Maybe it happened but I am not going to take a terrorist word for it. However, I don't know.

You Wrote:
They were charged with "illegal assembly"', as were 900 others! And not all were Koreans. So why was it whittled down to these 14? They seem to be scapegoats to me.

A couple of things are important here. It appears to me that Hong Kong uses somewhat archaic legal language. In the US or Canada or many other places the charge would have been more like "inciting a riot" or maybe, since the arrest were made about 3:00 AM "Loitering". They may have also been arrested for something they were accused of having committed at an earlier time. We will have to wait until their day in court today.


I will say this, though it may not be true, it does appear that the judiciary in Hong Kong drug its feet. Two weeks is a long time to wait for an arraignment. But, maybe that is the way it always works in Hong Kong.

More than this, what would you be saying today if they had detained all 900? Would you then be calling the police NAZI pigs accusinging them of using excessive force? Does Hong Kong have the ability hold that many people. Maybe they do maybe they don't, I don't know.

The ones they held may have been held because they were organizers or leaders rather than simply guys in the crowd. Once again, we'll have to wait until today when they have their court appearance.

As I said above I don't have much argument on this point. However, I am not sure that foot dragging before an arraignment rises to the level of brutality. I do think the Taiwanese student should have been retained. I would bet a dollar to a doughnut hole he will not ever return for his day in court.

However, it is the South Koreans who are the organizers and leaders of these protests. So maybe, the HK government is trying to just prosecute the big fish.

I think that the arrest were made because a significant percentage of the protesters started a fight and had been identified as being at that meeting I don't think it is any accident that the final night of the WTO meeting was relatively violence free. I think most of the terrorist were in jail.

You Wrote
Your example of being arrested in South Korea for the same thing is contradicting. It is a different scenario from HK because as you saS. Korearea is indeed a autocratic state in disguise so you would get your ass severely beaten. Assaulting the police? Only if you manage to really hurt them.

Ok, insert any country you wish. If I break the law in Canada should Canada be unable to prosecute me because I am a protester from another country? What about Australia, France, England, the US? I know for a fact that countries like Mexico and Thailand have lots of non-citizens in their prison systems. There are a fair number of Mexican nationals in US and Canadian prisons. I personally know of one Hong Kong citizen who is in a Canadian prison. Singapore hold expatriots and even executes them. If these people broke the law, whether in a protest or not, they should be hauled before a judge and have their charges reviewed. If they are guilty of breaking a law in Hong Kong then they should be rehabilitated or punished under Hong Kong law.

Hong Kong cannot simply dismiss their charges and say "Oh well" because it would undermine the entire legal system.

Read up on the law my friend. As far as I know if you threaten someone in such a way that they believe you have the intent to harm them it is assault whether you actually wound them or not. The charge may be mitigated with a word like "attempted" but it is still essentially the same thing. When the protesters hit the police shield wall with sticks they committed assault of some form.

You Wrote
100 million worth of damage? Like the few fences that were broken here? Only if they're expensive diamond plated fences.

The actual figure is HKD$250,000,000 paid by the government. I don't know how much of that went to security designed to keep protesters away from delegates but less than half is a fair guess. Some of the restaurants on Lockhart Road were loosing HKD $20,000 a day. Damage is not only property damage. I'm being generous


You Wrote
Furthermore, I noticed the newspaper's use of the word 'threaten' which is exaggerated. It makes it seem that 1000 farmers will descend on HK to mount a commando-rescue operation. Utterly bad journalism and fear mongering

Indeed! Just exactly what about the behavior of these protesters would cause me not to be afraid they were going to cause trouble? I saw a Korean man making the threat on a news broadcast. The threat was that if any of the arrested Koreans serve jail time or have to pay fine they were coming back and that they didn't want trouble but...... Once again TVB may not be the most reliable news station in the world but it is hard to say he was misquoted. I guess the translator could have misquoted him. If so I'm sorry

You Wrote
WAKE UP PEOPLE AND STOP BEING LIKE SHEEP
I say: Prophet, heal thyself

Until Next Time
Fai Mao




Tuesday, January 10, 2006

 

The Anti-WTO - One last time (Hopefully)

The 14 terrorist arrested by the HK police during the Anti-WTO protest two weeks ago are awaiting their day in court. They want to be released without charge and be able to go back to Korea to continue with their farming job. But, they can't leave because the HK government is holding their travel documents. They are out on bail and sitting in a booth dressed like peaceful Buddhist monks doing the hunger strike thing.

That's fine with me. I don't care if they are hungry when they appear in court. I don't care if want to wear funny clothes either. This is the kind of things little kids do to try and their way. "If you don't let me I'm gonna hold my breath"

It does bother me that they are now trying to pretend to be so non-violent when they were arrested for inciting and participating in a riot.

What a bunch of juvenile cowards these people are!

I disagree with these people but I'd have some respect for them if they didn't wimp out like this.

If they were sincere about their protest they'd view their incarceration as a badge of honor. If they truly believed in their cause they be willing to pay the price.

Hey as a child I used to watch civil rights marches in Alabama on the TV news. The people trying to revoke Jim Crow didn't try to avoid the punishment of the corrupt government they were trying to over throw. They reveled in it.

I'm sorry guys Thoreau not only went to jail but he refused to let others pay his fines. That is the essence of a civil-disobedience protest. He didn't hurt anybody, he didn't fight and he didn't beg for mercy. Maybe they should read Walden Pond. When you engage in violence you are a terrorist thug.

More than that, if you or I could avoid prosecution for a crime by simply claiming "I was protesting" then no laws could ever be enforced, ever. Crime would not only pay but would be come the norm. It doesn't matter what their nationality is or where they committed their crime. These people came here and broke a law that I, a Hong Kong citizen would have been jailed for breaking. They should be equal, not more than equal to me before the Hong Kong law.

Covering yourself in a protest flag does not absolve guilt. Trying to not be responsible for your actions because you were protesting does make you look like a coward; or maybe a paid operative.

Think about it. These thugs planned to come to Hong Kong and cause lots of trouble. But, because they were protesting they feel that they should be let off the hook for the property damage and lost business to the area merchants they caused. They have even had members of the South Korean legislature here begging for clemency. Worse, the legco member Martin Lee came to their defense!

Gee. Maybe I should go to Korea protest something, assault the police, cause millions of dollars of property damage and then claim "I was engaged in a protest so you can't prosecute me!" I could use taped footage of the South Korean Legislators asking for these freaks to be released as evidence.

If someone from Hong Kong engaged in this type of violence in South Korea would Martin Lee go to Korea and beg that they receive special treatment because they claimed to be protesters?

I've got news for Martin Lee, if you support these thugs you cannot be a supporter of democracy in Hong Kong or claim to favor the rule of law.

Indeed, I would expect that if I went to South Korea and broke the law, especially in a premeditated way that I would be jailed. Given that South Korea appears to me to be a some what semi-fascist police state, I'd expect to be severely beaten as well.

To their credit the HK government other than Martin Lee has said that they will not let their judicial decision be influenced by non-citizens. I hope they don't back down on this one. Donald Tsang needs to show he has a backbone and the police need to stop apologizing for their treatment of these thugs.

The South Korean farmers socialist union thing has threatened to send 1000 farmers to protest if these baboons (Apologies to real baboons) are sent to jail or fined. I think the HK police ought to simply say "Molon Labe."

Bring it on guys. It's time to crack your heads and throw your sorry butts in jail.

Until next time
Fai Mao
The increasingly belligerent anti-anti-WTO blogger

Friday, January 06, 2006

 

Pavlov's cat

Quick question.

If Pavlov had used cats would he have had the same results?

If the results had been different, how much would education look different?

Now if Shrodinger had used a dog the results would not have changed at all.

But, Pavlov and cats. I don't think so.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

 

Sweet Home

While recuperating from the flu over Christmas I was stuck in the house. Not having anything else to do my wife and I doped up on cough syrup and walked down to the video store and purchased a bunch of old , older and not so old movies. All in all, sitting on a recliner, drinking Chinese medicinal tea and watching movies is not a bad way to spend a Christmas vacation, even if you are sick.

One of the movies we saw was The Big Fish which is a Tim Burtom film about a man who returns to Alabama for his fathers' death and funeral. The man's father was someone who enjoyed telling telling tall tales and overand over and over again. Over the years the fathers stories had alienated the son who grew tired of his fathers' embellishments. The father reminded me of my grandfather who had so many wild tales that he told over and over again until we all knew them as well he did. Unlike the son in the movie I never grew tired of the tall tales. What made the movie special was that at the funeral many of the people who the son thought were fictional creations actually came to pay their last respects at the funeral. There were the giant, the dwaven ringmaster - werewolf, the siamese twin Chinese singer and many people from the town of "Spectre." The son realized that perhaps his father's life was a little more eventful than he had come to believe.


Strange for a Tim Burton film, this one made me cry. I was lonely for the voice of my grandfather. I was homesick for Alabama.

It made me think. Is there any other State in the US that that can provoke such evocative images in literature as Alabama? It is a small and fairly insignificant place. Yet when you look at the literature that takes place in or is written by authors from Alabama it is a giant.

I did a search of the library of Congress and found just a huge list of things using Alabama as a Subject. I'm sure that other larger states have similar amounts but I was surprised by this number of entries.

What is truly interesting is how so much of the literature set in Alabama has the good and evil set so close together. Atticus Finch against the unjust court system in To Kill A Mockingbird. The happy little girl who gets polio in My Last Days as Roy Rogers, are two that come to mind. Forest Gump is another one that comes to mind. Helen Keller was from Alabama as was Bull O'Conner. I think that is how it is in our real lives. We all, each of us live double lives. We all have to deal with our predudice and yet are all concerned and wishing for the best for our fellows.

I think that one of the reasons that these images strike me so directly is that I see how close they come to mirroring my family experience. It is really strange. People who are not from Alabama have a negative image of the place. But, it is my experience that the image is false. Maybe it is just jealousy. Maybe ignorance. I don't know. All I really know is that the movie Big Fish made me want to move back to Alabama. But, my Chinese wife would rise up in armed revolt if I tried to move there.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The blogger who sometimes wishes he were in Alabama rather than Hong Kong

 

Fear and Trembling and a Sickness unto Death

I was sick over the Christmas New Year holidays.

I mean really, really, really, really, really, sick.

If this is the flu that coming this year look out.

I was in bed from December 18th through December 28 and was sick a week before and still haven't cleared completely up.

Look for a longer post tomorrow.

Until Next Time
Fai Mao
The recovering from an illness blogger

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