Wednesday, June 07, 2023


White folks singing karaoke does not further the progress of civilization. Usually the opposite. It's only a matter of time before someone does "Sweet Caroline", and like Godwin's Rule, that signals the end of musical dialogue. But it starts with "Country Roads". It always starts with "Country Roads". Everything goes down hill from there.

Neither the book seller nor I do karaoke.

We did not become the men we are today by doing karaoke.

On the other hand, watching Any Lau (劉德華 'lau tak wa') doing his crazy shiznit on screen, and somebody courageously singing along to the aged Hong Kong ponce-meister, is grand entertainment. Though sadly, tonight there was none of that.

Also, Van Morrison is spinning in his grave.
He got slaughtered.

There was one music video shot for no discernible reason in Holland or Denmark, which reminded me that we can always tell who the American tourists are; they dress funny.
The evening started off, as always, with a pipe full of tobacco while wandering through the alleyways. In Hang Ah Alley (香雅巷) a streetperson was watching a bright little fire in front of him while a basketball game was going on in adjacent the playground, Spofford (新呂宋巷) had more refuse than it normally does on garbage night, because a disorganized person is dossing down there, and in Ross Alley (舊呂宋巷) the Christian Mission was devoid of the evening staff doing paperwork who are often still there. The doors were closed, which indicates that the resident cat had not asked to go out. But the lights were still on.

Years ago there had been many rats in Spofford. Tonight there weren't any. I miss them. Inquisitive goal-oriented critters, spunky and determined. The prospect of a bubonic plague outbreak may have penetrated to the high minds at city hall, who normally ignore Chinatown till it's time for re-election. "Well hello there, little people, I care about you, vote for me!"

Basically, since Rose Pak (白蘭) passed away, there's no one to force politicians to actually do things for the community. It took the threat of stuff hitting the proverbial fan to get the city to re-examine their berserk mass fining of shopkeepers a few months ago for awnings that had been up for several years (in several cases more than a decade), and to make damned sure the neighborhood has a police presence at all times. Neccesary after a crime wave against the Chinese by whites, blacks, and Latinos during the pandemic.

I've always felt safer in Chinatown than elsewhere. I distrust many majority-population teenagers, and dislike their tendency to be totally unique individuals, as expressed by clothing choices, meaningful tattoos, piercings, and Bart Simpson-like skateboards.
And very obvious ignorance. Most twenty-somethings aren't much better.

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