Hong Kong Wong
My Commentary on the Wacky World of Hong Kong Entertainment
So what I meant to say in my previous entry was that this site would be taking a not-so-short hiatus until next summer. Uh, yeah… In any case, we're sort of back with a new site address and some contemporary blogware (finally!). As for new content…well, that's going to take a bit more time—possibly until next summer. But not for lack of material. Indeed, the Hong Kong entertainment scene has not gotten any less absurd. In fact, probably just the opposite. I mean, the absurdity of Edison Chen's blog, itself, is off the charts. Absurd like a self-inflicted punch to the groin. If Erica Yuen wanted to call out someone as uneducated, she might have tried smacking down Chen rather than Stephy Tang. At least Tang admits to reading books, even if it's only a few pages. Based on the atrocious grammar, punctuation, and spelling on his blog, I'm not even sure Chen knows how to read. Oh, and feel free to stop attacking taxis any time, Ed. Yeah, so Hong Kong Entertainment? Still absurd.
Anyway, here's the new site address for Hong Kong Wong: http://www.thewong.net/hkwong Use it wisely.
Oh, by the way, feel free to check out Hong Kong Wong's sister site, Holy & Dangerous: http://www.thewong.net/holydanger It's brought to you by the same snarky folks, just with a slightly different focus.
FYI, this site will be taking a short hiatus for the summer. We’re going to retool and upgrade to some contemporary blogware – hopefully. No more rudimentary HTML circa 1995. We’ll let you know the new address when and if we get there. Pray that we don’t crash and burn…
Courtesy of The Sun
This is superstar Hong Kong television actress and devout Christian Ada Choi engaging in one of her passions in life: pest control.
“I hear termites! I hear termites! I think…
“Jesus, is that you?”
Actually, I have no idea what she’s doing in this picture, which was one of several that accompanied a random feature article about her in a newspaper. As far as I can tell, this, uh, interesting pose has absolutely nothing to do with the article’s content. I’m guessing that if you’re photographed as often as Ada Choi is, then you’ve got to mix up your poses every once in a while to keep things fresh and interesting. Not to mention to keep yourself amused – I know that that’s my M.O. whenever I’m posing for newspaper photographers. I believe she calls this particular pose Eavesdropping on the Al-Qaeda Sleeper Cell Next Door.
See, that’s one of the great things about Ada Choi. Aside from the fact that she’s talented, reasonably attractive, charming, charismatic, honest, pious, wise, genuine, sincere, generally respected by the notoriously vituperative TVB crazies (a.k.a. fans), can run a 4.2 forty, possesses a forty-two inch vertical, and can kill a horse with her bare hands, the woman also knows how to take an absurd photo – a premium life skill in my book.
And she’s taken some doozies over the years. Let’s crack open the Wong Image Repository to illustrate. The following images come from a little collection I’ve labeled “Hong Kong Entertainers with Deadly Weapons.” More specifically, they come from a subset of that collection, a series I like to call “Christian Hong Kong Entertainers with Deadly Weapons and/or Snakes.” Disturbingly, that series is not small. Onward…
I am the NRA.
What the heck is going on in this picture? Clearly nothing good.
I believe that this pose, unleashed from Miss Choi’s personal modeling arsenal, is called Judgment Day: Ada Choi Takes the Law Into Her Own Hands…which must be a sequel to Eavesdropping on the Al-Qaeda Sleeper Cell Next Door.
Frankly, it looks as if she’s about to lead a fashion revolution…literally. Either that or prepping for the apocalypse…or a rampage with a gay vigilante militia.
Actually, this picture was one among many photos produced by Celucasn, a Mainland Chinese clothing brand (I think) that used Ada Choi as the featured model for its 2005 Spring/Summer collection.
(This year, they’re using Kelly “Chicken Chopper” Chen – see below. Next year? With any luck, they’ll be using nobody because they’ll be insolvent. I hope…)
Of the multitude of reasons for finding this picture disturbing, I will only highlight two: (1) what it says about China and (2) what it says about me.
First, China. What the heck does “Celucasn” even mean?? That’s not a word! It’s a random amalgamation of letters! Did Leonardo Da Vinci encode it? Perhaps all those foreign missionaries who’ve gone to China undercover as English teachers should focus a little bit more on the “teaching English” part. In any case, whatever it means, Celucasn is apparently clued in to the secret of successfully selling clothes in Mainland China: take a reasonably attractive HK television actress, uglify her, throw some whacko clothes on her, then arm her.
Look at that gun. It’s huge. What’s it for? To resist being arrested by the fashion police? Probably, because what she’s wearing should be a felony. Either that, or Celucasn’s core customer base consists of assassins and snipers – a huge untapped market on the Mainland, I’m sure. Hey, people who kill other people from 400 yards away have a right to look good, too (if matching t-shirts, tri-colored skullcaps, and pastel ties is your idea of looking good).
And that takes guts. I’m not aware of any foreign company that’s gutsy and/or desperate enough to go after the Chinese sniper market like Celucasn has. Where’s The Gap? Where’s Banana Republic? Nowhere. Why? Because they’re scared, scared to take money from assassins and snipers. I guess Abercrombie & Fitch only have the stomach to push pedophilia and porn. Cowards and weaklings, I say. All of them.
But really…is that how you move merchandise in Mainland China? That’s the formula? What are they teaching in business school marketing these days? If that’s what you learned in B-School, then you went to a terrible B-School. Burn your degree and get your money back. Use force if necessary. Just like Ada.
Personally, I blame the creative director. Was this really the vision? Ada Choi and a Gun? Really? How did that go down? “Hmm...we’ve got the model, we’ve got the clothes, but we’re still missing something…something…something… What are we missing? Got it! Firearms! The model needs a gun in her hands! Get me a gun!!”
“That’s brilliant! That’s brilliant!”
Uh-huh. Brilliant like bankruptcy.
Maybe it’s a Girl Power thing. Maybe the Chinese are so intoxicated by these go-go times that they are experimenting with the boundaries of capitalism (and/or drugs). Maybe they were trying to see how far they could push the marketing envelope and still turn a profit. Maybe they were trying to find the breaking point of the Chinese consumer, to see if they really would buy anything. Or maybe they figured that Ada Choi is so likeable – and she’s very likeable – that the public would still buy whatever she was pimping, no matter what she was doing, including going Lee Harvey Versace on everyone. If so, then China is a far wackier place than I thought.
But here’s the second disturbing thing about the picture: it works for me!
This one picture corrals many of the characteristics I value in the Ideal Woman: talent, diligence, reasonable attractiveness, interest/involvement in HK entertainment and pop culture, hardcore evangelistic/borderline fundamentalist Christian tendencies, large-bore weaponry, and a total absence of any fashion sense whatsoever. What’s unappealing about that?
Wait, here’s an even better picture…
Wow! Hardcore Christian Hong Kong Entertainer with MORE firepower (possibly a Heckler & Koch MP5) AND stylin’ it in camouflage! I think I’m going to pass out.
Finally, if you thought Ada Choi was only about looking fashionable while dealing death from a distance with precision firearms and pistol-caliber submachine guns, then you were wrong. Dead wrong. She can move in close with some hand-to-hand combat, too. Check this out…
The heights of absurdity to which this image reaches are blood-curdling. I’m feeling the effects of oxygen-deprivation right now. What’s this picture called – Ada Choi Enjoying a Summer Day with Her Nanchakus? Note that the nanchakus are fashionably green to complement her “Lethal Mainland Chinese Tourist” ensemble, consisting of a blood-red sun visor and 9-Day Old Bruise Yellow top and neckerchief. Note that they also blend with the Gan-Green background. Further note the image of former kidnapped heiress/brainwashed terrorist Patty Hearst on the front of the shirt. And I don’t know if you can read the writing on the shirt, but it says…
NEW WEAR STYLE BASIC
SPORTS SYSTEM AND RE
So true. Couldn’t have said it any better myself…whatever it means.
My friends are starting to push out babies and make them a subject of their blogs. Recently, someone implored me to – and I quote – “[g]et on the baby bandwagon already.” Unfortunately, I cannot comply. To the best of my knowledge, I have yet to father any children, legitimate or otherwise, nor do I have any plans to do so in the near future. Neither do I have any plans to acquire a baby by any other means – again, legitimate or otherwise. However, in order to accommodate the request as best I can, I now present to you the following photos of Hong Kong actors and actresses with babies…
Courtesy of The Sun
This is Louisa So, filming with a baby on location for the TVB serial Men in Pain (whatever that means). Miss So is something of an aberrance in the world of Hong Kong Entertainment because she formally studied acting, having graduated from the School of Drama at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 1991 with an Advanced Diploma. As a result, she tends to straddle the divide between popular entertainment and the legitimate theater by performing in both TVB serials and stage productions. She’s also appeared in a few films, including a recent Christian movie with distinctly evangelical overtones (a topic for another day). When she graduated from the Academy, she won the Outstanding Actress Award for her class due in part to her performance in Deadly Ecstasy, which is apparently an adaptation of a play by Euripides (possibly The Bacchae). Thus, TVB serials, evangelical Christian productions, and Euripides. And babies.
I’m guessing the Academy didn’t really have a class for that.
In any case, I love this picture because of the look on Miss So’s face: a mixture of shock, horror, and maybe a little bit of…joy? Hmm, not the usual reaction one would expect from a person who’s looking at that part of a baby’s anatomy. Usually, when looking there, it’s just shock and horror. But joy? Maybe the baby crapped out a piece of gold…
Courtesy of The Sun
Miss So again, but this time with a different baby – a baby so resistant to her efforts to feed him that he’s either on a hunger strike or his country is being occupied by the U.S. military.
And finally, I would like to present to you a little game that I like to call…What Are They Thinking?
Horribly Out-of-focus Picture Courtesy of The Sun
What are they thinking?
Joe Ma: “Look at me! I am Joe Ma, TVB leading man extraordinaire! So devastatingly handsome, so devilishly charming, so unfairly talented! I smirk at you! Again I will say it: I smirk! Haha! And look! An accessory to augment my perfection! A baby in my lap! So safe, so secure, so content! The pinnacle of his existence! He will never experience another moment of transcendent bliss like this ever again! It’s all downhill from here! Enjoy it while you can, little baby! From now on, by comparison, your life will be bleak and dreary, illuminated only by the sole bright light that is this moment! Bask in my afterglow! The rest of you: bow down and worship me! Bow, fools, bow! Haha!”
Charmaine Sheh: “Soooo cute! I want a baby, too!”
Baby: “Kill me. Kill me now! If I have to sit one more minute in the lap of this pompous oaf, someone’s going to die! It’s either him or me! I swear! I’ll do it, too! I will take him out! Now where’s my cocaine? I demand cocaine!! What the?! NO cocaine? None??? Ugh. Then Vicodin! Lots of Vicodin! Anyone? Anyone? Vicodin? OxyContin? Any painkillers whatsoever? No? No painkillers!! Was this not in my contract!? Aargh! Someone get me my manager, my agent, and my lawyer! And my dealer! Plus some alcohol! Lots of alcohol! You! Cow! Stop lactating, stop staring, and stop smiling at me with your stupid bovine smile! Make yourself useful! Get me vodka! I need vodka! No ice! Just the bottle! And no stealing sips, you lush! Now move, cow, move! And more cigarettes! I demand cigarettes!! Helloooo? Does anyone understand what I’m saying? Does anyone understand baby talk? Anyone?? Aargh!!”
Kids grow up so fast these days…
Courtesy of The Sun
“Hey there! Er, down here, on the street! Hello, I’m Bosco Wong, TVB’s Most Improved Actor of 2005. No, seriously, I am.
“On behalf of the Hong Kong Tourism Board, I’d like to personally invite you to come Discover Hong Kong, a cosmopolitan metropolis of gleaming skyscrapers and ultra-sanitary streets…so sanitary that you could eat off of them. Literally. In fact, I frequently do! Why? Because for some reason the roads are also strewn with a bounty of random food products, most of which are edible when chased with an extensive course of robust antibiotics. It’s like a buffet…except with swerving cars.
“Oh look, here’s my favorite: Sidewalk Beefballs! Mmm, crunchy. The perfect morning pick-me-up after a night of hard partying in Lan Kwai Fong…or Wanchai…or wherever the heck I was last night. (Shenzhen?)
“Anyway, another reason to visit Hong Kong is the wide range of accommodations that will fit any visitor’s budget, from the most expensive and luxurious of presidential suites to the always free random sidewalk or street.
“So what are you waiting for? Grab yourself some cardboard, a knife for self-defense, and come Discover Hong Kong…before it discovers you. Whatever that means.
“I’ll save a beefball for you!”
Recently, I read a translation of a great interview with actor Kenneth Ma over at Jaynestars.com, the current king of websites devoted to translating Hong Kong entertainment news and gossip into English. I crowned Jayne king (or rather queen) because her site updates frequently, her translations are coherent and grammatical, and she also throws in some very interesting features – just like that wacky “y” in the middle of her name. Hers is the best of the recent batch of such sites whose numbers have exploded over the last year or so. Before they multiplied, these websites formed a singular, sequential line stretching back to the mid-1990s.
Some still even exist today, though all eventually flamed out in one way or another. Before Jaynestars, there was Em’s excellent TVBspace News site (where now a smoking crater lies); Sanney Leung’s foundational and comprehensive Hong Kong Entertainment News in Review (“The website that reveals more than two points,” and which had an epic, Ripkin-like run from about 1999 until mid-2004, after which it devolved into a soulless collection of links to Asian entertainment-related news items found at other sites, thus becoming an anorexic shadow of its former self); and before that, the infamous SAR Film Top Ten Homepage (still updating after almost a decade, but now minus the Fluff in Color, which was unquestionably the best thing about it).
Anyway, the article about Mr. Ma was great if only because it shed light on this somewhat bland mid-level TVB actor, who is on the cusp of…something. Not exactly stardom, but more like public consciousness: the type of fame where no one recognizes your face except maybe housewives, shut-ins, star-crossed teenage girls, and very confused teenage boys. And even they probably don’t know his name…or maybe don’t want to.
The article revealed a number of interesting facts about Mr. Ma: (1) he’s 32; (2) he graduated from the University of British Columbia; and (3) he studied Mechanical Engineering.
First, he’s 32 years old – 32! To put that in perspective, he’s the same age as superstar TV actress Ada Choi, who entered the industry at 17 and is now at or near her career’s apex. By comparison, Mr. Ma began his entertainment career at 24 and is only now receiving a real promotional push from TVB towards leading man status. I don’t know whether that says more (or less) about Ma and his talent, ambition, political skills, or willingness to crush others on his way up, or more (or less) about TVB’s stockpile of leading men, the majority of which they probably siphoned off from the wandering packs of the insane lured from the streets. Whether Ma can become a bona fide lead actor remains to be seen, but according to the article, his goal is career longevity as a character actor, not ephemeral superstar status. It’s good to keep the expectations low, I suppose.
Interestingly, Mr. Ma was actually part of a previous TVB promotional push: the absurdly labeled “S4” group of young up-and-coming male actors circa 2003. However, he was more fluff and filler for that rather than the primary pushee. In other words, he was Ringo Starr. The primary pushee was Ron “Dead Eyes” Ng, a man who may or may not have an immortal soul, while the secondary beneficiaries were Bosco Wong and Sammul [sic] Chan. As with golf, I guess they needed a fourth so they threw in Mr. Ma to round out the foursome.
S4. Wait, isn’t that an Audi? And did the “S” stand for “suck”? And isn’t “4” the number of death in Cantonese? Odd.
In any case, the absurd “S4” moniker accomplished its goal as Ron Ng received the career booster shot TVB intended, while Bosco Wong followed closely behind. Sammul Chan, on the other hand, evidencing frustration at his comparatively slower development at TVB, has since announced that he’s going to hit the eject button and punch out of TVB in order to try his luck in the Mainland television market. So now TVB is apparently slotting Kenneth Ma into the gap and giving him another promotional push…
[Tangent. The interesting thing about Bosco Wong is how his career was touched by the Paul Pierce Phenomenon, i.e., experiencing a mysterious leap in productivity following a violent assault. As you all know, in 2000, Paul Pierce was stabbed multiple times outside of a Boston nightclub. Despite this, he returned to play a full NBA season for the Boston Celtics, even raising the level of his play to new heights. After one prolific stretch of games in which Pierce averaged well over thirty-five points, one sports talk radio show caller commented that if this was how Pierce responded to being stabbed, then they should have stabbed him more so that he could lead his team to an NBA championship. Sports talk radio is great…
In an eerie parallel, Bosco Wong was in the middle of a July 2004 incident in Beijing where some drunken Northerner smashed a wine glass into his face at a late-night eatery, bloodying him up in the process. The next year, Wong was named TVB’s “Most Improved Actor.”
Had he been hit with a tumbler, a martini glass, or a beer stein, we might be talking about Bosco Wong, TVB Best Actor, instead. And if he had been whacked with a sovereign of champagne, maybe he would have won an Oscar…for Brokeback Mountain…as the director!
The Paul Pierce Phenomenon, indeed. Believe it.
By the way, I challenge you to find another webpage that has the courage to compare Paul Pierce to Bosco Wong. Nowhere else on the web, baby.
Second, Mr. Ma graduated from the University of British Columbia, which is basically a finishing school for Miss Chinese Internationals. It’s a virtual beauty queen factory that’s uncannily prolific in churning out MCIs. Maybe UBC was also touched by the Paul Pierce Phenomenon. Can a university be stabbed multiple times outside of a nightclub? Anyway, it appears that UBC is now diversifying by churning out mid-level TVB actors like Mr. Ma. But I’m betting Ma won’t be mid-level for long because…
Third, Mr. Ma studied Mechanical Engineering, a.k.a. the god of majors. ME will prepare you for anything. Anything. Engineering, commerce, law, medicine, diplomacy, fashion design, cooking, funeral directing, flower arranging, lumberjacking, etc.
Every single mechanical engineer I’ve ever met has excelled in some field in addition to engineering mechanicals. For example, in college I lived with this ME who was also an NCAA Champion in some sport I can’t remember. All I know is that it involved traversing a large amount of ground in a ridiculously short amount of time. And he was the best collegiate athlete in the United States in doing that – the best! A great guy, too…
There was also another ME I knew in college, a Korean, who I saw playing basketball one day. On a fast break, he made a brilliant behind-the-back pass to another guy – also Korean – who not only caught the pass and made a lay-up, but – get this – went on to become a doctor. Specializing in pediatrics, I believe. All because of that ME’s pass! Killa skillz. Imagine if the ME had also stabbed the guy multiple times outside of a nightclub? Would he have become a neurosurgeon? A cancer-curing oncologist? The possibilities are endless.
Finally, a third ME I knew in college was an officer in the Singaporean Army and was chosen to demonstrate the proper technique for push-ups in a training video. Awesome! Oh, he could also telekinetically crush people...
Thus, each of the MEs I’ve known were accomplished in various ways, and I have no doubt that Mr. Ma will be similarly successful in his chosen, alternative career of acting. Why? Besides the ME thing, it’s because of quotes like this…
I don't like Mickey Mouse because I think he is very fake, always smiling at everyone. In real life, people are not like that. But Daffy Duck is more real, he likes money and is hot-blooded. If I were to act as Daffy, it would be much more interesting than playing Mickey.
First, I think either there was a mistranslation or Mr. Ma confused Donald Duck with Daffy Duck. Isn’t Donald Duck the one who’s temperamental and greedy? (Which I don’t blame him for because, well, the dude hasn’t worn pants for the past 70 years.) Donald’s the hot-tempered duck. Daffy’s just insane – hence the name “Daffy.”
Second, if Mr. Ma really did mean Daffy, then he’s a genius. Good actors study people, figure out their nuances, and get inside their heads. But great actors? They take it to another level and study cartoon characters. Cartoon characters. But Ma took it to a third level by reaching across two corporate cartoon universes to compare the psychological profiles of a Disney and Warner Bros. character. Brilliant! Brando speaks!
Third, I’m glad someone finally had the guts to call out Mickey Mouse because that two-faced rat has gotten a free pass for too long. It’s about time someone publicly challenged him about his fakery and chemical-dependent narco-smile. And it only took a no-name mid-level TVB character actor to do it, too – a no-name mid-level TVB character actor who’s lambasting a cartoon mouse for being fake, and singing the praises of an equally fictitious cartoon duck with anger-management issues. That’s speaking truth to power, friends, and that took cajones. After all, Mickey does rule over kingdoms; I’m sure he’s had more than a few enemies whacked and buried in Fantasyland.
But Kenneth Ma did it – he got into Mickey’s head. He went there. You know why? Because he’s an actor. That’s what actors do. They go to the scary, far-off place and unlock crazy fictitious mental vaults, where they risk being emotionally flambéd. He went inside the Mouse’s head, dissected the essence of Mickey’s dark soul, and then scarfed it down with some fava beans and a nice chianti.
He’s fearless and he’s an Actor. And he may be TVB’s next superstar. That’s Kenneth Ma.
So I’ve been catching up on my Hong Kong entertainment news reading lately and came across an interesting, but somewhat old article about conflict on the set of a recently-released film. The following story and translated quote come courtesy of the 12/22/05 edition of Fluff of the Week at the HKSAR Top Ten Box Office Home Page…
Apparently all was not well on the set of Super Kids, a film which was scheduled to drop on February 16th. It was reported that the prepubescent co-stars, Cho Jeong-eun and Daichi Harashima, had been fighting. Nine-year old Cho is a Korean child actress who played Little Jang-geum, the young version of the lead character in the 2003 hit Korean serial Jewel in the Palace, which rampaged through HK last year. Harashima, of course, is the mop-topped child actor of indeterminate age and infinite cuteness who came to prominence in Hong Kong co-starring alongside Cecilia Cheung in 2003’s Lost in Time. Based on Harashima’s name, I’m guessing that he’s at least partially Japanese…otherwise Hong Kongers have taken their penchant for weirdo names to a whole other level.
(FYI, some writers have a policy of not making fun of anyone in high school or younger. I share that sentiment…except when the subjects can’t read English.)
Koreans and Japanese in conflict? NO WAY. Stunning! Why in the world would Koreans and Japanese ever be fighting? I’m shocked. What could Korean females possibly have against Japanese males? What 60-year old abhorrent imperial Japanese military practice, which subjugated Korean women, could possibly embitter them against Japanese men? I have no idea, but I’m pretty certain that the set of a movie is not the right venue in which to extract justice-by-proxy, unless there’s some vengeance exception that I’m not aware of.
In any case, “Little Janggeum” wasn’t the only one who tangled with Harashima; purportedly her mother took a swing at him, too!
Wow. Does assault constitute fun for the whole Korean family? Isn’t there a better way for a Korean mother and daughter to bond than to smack around a little Japanese boy?
All of this tension came to light at a late-December holiday public function, which both children attended. However, the two performed their charitable/promotional duties apart from one another, with Cho apparently taking center stage. This prompted Harashima’s mother to flip out and level charges of unfair treatment of her son:
“I don't understand why they can't be on the stage together. This is Hong Kong! Hong Kong people made my son a star, why is it so unfair?” She also said that she kept her son company at work until 7AM then rushed over here. As a mother she truly did not want her son to be without rest. She continued to cry, “I [have] had enough. I don't understand why Hong Kong is so nice to Koreans[.] [During the shoot,] Little Janggeum…kicked my son, her mother even hit my son. What about that?” At this time the film company tried to stop her from continuing on. Finally the crew took her away.
What about that, indeed. There are so many absurdities here that it’s hard to know where to start.
First, Daichi’s mother was obviously feeling it. You know someone is having an epic meltdown when “the crew” has to “take her away” – whatever that means. Hopefully, it means heavy sedation with potent pharmaceuticals. (And doesn’t “the crew” sound rather ominous?) But it’s a good thing that she flipped out when she did. At least it wasn’t anywhere inappropriate…like a Christmas event for handicapped children. Oh wait, that’s exactly where she flipped out.
But I’m sure it was not a problem. I hear there’s nothing like an emotional meltdown to infuse handicapped children with Christmas spirit. It truly inspires them to hear mothers moan and complain about their able-bodied “star” children and the absolute, utter “unfairness” they suffer when they can’t share the same stage with another child star. Goodness, is there no justice in the universe? Why???
As for Mrs. Harashima’s question of why the children couldn’t be on the stage together, I don’t know. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that they’ve been, uh, FIGHTING? That’s a pretty good reason to keep the kids apart, don’t you think? And wasn’t it Mrs. Harashima, herself, who personally accused Cho and her mother of assaulting her son? Yet now she wants them on the same stage…together!
She wants her son on the same stage as the crazy Korean girl who kicked the crap out of him? (Allegedly.) That’s stellar parenting right there. Apparently, in addition to “truly” not wanting her son to be without rest, she “truly” did not want her son to be without pain, injury, and/or physical and emotional scars, either. Yes, that’s how to protect your son: dangle him like bait before two Korean piranhas. Perfectly sensical.
As for Mrs. Harashima’s other question of why Hong Kong is so nice to Koreans: I don’t know the answer to that, either. Maybe your son’s fifteen minutes are up? Hong Kong is fickle? Pro-Korean? Anti-Japanese? Just happy that the Korean Imperial Army never occupied Hong Kong like some other army? Your guess is as good as mine.
Anyway, later in the article, Cho expressed that because Harashima was younger than she, she felt like he was her younger brother. And apparently treated him accordingly, i.e., with violence. Hmm.
The film company later clarified that the kids had been playing on the set, but as kids were wont to do, started fighting amongst themselves. Then the parents got involved and now the world is one step closer to World War III. Wonderful.
Frankly, this sounds more like a tiff between psychopathic stage mothers than between the kids, themselves. Kids have short memories and forgive easily. They only become supremely embittered and vengeful of petty slights after they become adults. Maybe the adults in this case should settle their differences UFC-style: in the Octagon. Maybe they can form a tag-team against some crazy tennis fathers. Maybe the film company can put this on pay-per-view.
Somehow, I don’t think the film company would sweat the publicity. In fact, I think that there’s a strong possibility that the film company fanned the flames of discontent on the set by having production assistants whisper racially charged words into each of the child actor’s ears. Wouldn’t that be something? Wouldn’t that be very Hong Kong? Let’s hope so…
(Stay tuned. Another update coming “soon.” Topic? Hong Kong television actor psychoanalyzes cartoon characters: lambastes Mickey Mouse for being a two-faced freak. Until then, feel free to occupy yourself with my politically-charged ramblings on the results of the 2006 Miss Chinese International Pageant. Or not. But thanks for reading this far.)
Donate money or this chicken gets it.
(a) “Hi, I’m Hong Kong superstar Kelly Chen. Do you know what is the scourge of the earth? No, not the gypsies, you fool. It’s poultry. That’s right: chickens. Why? Three words: Avian Flu Pandemic. Oh yes, it’s coming, it’s inevitable, and it’s going to make the Black Death look like Disneyland…only with more corpses. Hey, rather than sitting on your sífāt at home in a psychotropic haze, flitting in and out of consciousness whilst you wait for Death to take you, why don’t you do something about it. Did you know that a disease has difficulty jumping species if one of the species is extinct? True. So grab a cleaver and join me in humanity’s battle for survival against the poultry scourge. Together, we can meet the challenge of the chickens head on and eradicate them before they eradicate us. Let’s do it for the children…for future generations…for humanity’s very survival! And if that’s not enough of an incentive for you, then let’s do it for vengeance. Because if we go down, we should take as many of those [*bleeping*] chickens with us…and deny the cats the planet! Thank you.”
(b) “Hello, I’m Hong Kong singer-actress Kelly Chen. With rampant music and film piracy, today’s media marketplace presents a challenging climate for me and my fellow HK entertainers. As our livelihoods and standards of living continue to be threatened, we’ve had to evolve and adapt by developing new skills and talents. That’s why I started Kelly Chen’s Celebrity Chicken Choppers, Ltd. If you’ve ever finished cooking a chicken and thought to yourself that the only blade worthy to chop it up was one wielded by a HK celebrity, then KCCCC is the company you need to call. For a very reasonable fee, I (or an HK entertainer of comparable caliber) will personally come to your home and chop up that chicken for you with the skill and deftness you’ve come to expect from those who are uglier, fatter, and less famous than me and my celebrity associates. You supply the chicken and we’ll do the rest. I’ll even show up in elegant eveningwear complete with color-coordinated splatter-proof apron. Plus, if you call right now, I’ll sing you one of my hit songs…absolutely free! So if you need a chicken chopped, I’m your gal. That’s Kelly ‘The Butcher’ Chen, Chicken Chopper Extraordinaire. Call 1-800…CHICKEN!!! That’s 1-800…CHICKEN!!! I also do circumcisions! Have a nice day.”
Okay, so what do you think is going on in this picture? Has Hong Kong singer-actress Kelly Chen finally flipped out? No, not yet. It’s just another HK television charity show. As you all know, for some reason televised charity shows in HK like to feature performers engaging in wacky antics that either humiliate or endanger themselves…preferably at the same time. Here, Miss Chen is about to butcher a roast chicken on international television. Humiliating? Surely. Dangerous? Absolutely. (I wasn’t joking about the avian flu pandemic.)
In any case, this is the second instance that I’m aware of where Miss Chen’s participation in a charity show consisted of culinary activities. In 2004, she made egg rolls alongside fellow singers Miriam Yeung and Gigi Leung. And now she’s chopping chicken. Apparently, something about seeing Kelly Chen engaged in domestic activities – and not singing – prompts Hongkies to give money for charitable causes.
In this picture, Miss Hong Kong 1996 Lee San San is…
(a) Showing off her new boyfriend.
(b) Whipping out her snake.
(c) Off her meds.
In this picture, pop star Aaron Kwok is…
(a) Confirming rumors that he’s dating Miss Hong Kong.
(b) Promoting the benefits of inter-species relations.
(c) Demonstrating the evils of drinking.
Courtesy of Oriental Daily, Ming Pao News, and The Sun
This is singer Vivian “Kelly” Chen. In Hong Kong, she is often cited as the ideal of feminine beauty: big eyes, borderline anorexic, jacked-up fashion sense. Apparently, she loves beer, too. In other words, your prototypical HK pop idol.
For the love of God, Kelly, put down the beer and eat something!
Swords, apparently, are the trendy fashion accessory of the moment in Hong Kong. Swords, crazy fur hats, and jeans that thunder-size your thighs.
Notes: she went to high school at the Canadian Academy in Kobe, Japan, and graduated from the Parsons School of Design at New School University in New York City. Interesting.
Courtesy of The Sun
In this picture, HK superstar Andy Lau is: a) acknowledging the crowd at his concert; b) saluting the Fuhrer on behalf of Chinese Roman Centurions for Hitler (Sieg Heil!); or c) coming out of the closet.
The October 13, 2004, “Formerly” Daily Fluff in Color (HK Top Ten Box Office Home Page) had a report about Andy Lau’s recent concert in Chongqing. In it, Lau told a story from a few years back when a fan of his sold his own blood for cash to buy a ticket to his concert. When he found out about this, Lau scolded the fan for risking harm to himself just for Lau’s concert. The fan sent a letter of apology, stating that it wouldn’t happen again. The letter was written in blood.
Notes: Lau is obsessed with bowling.
Courtesy of The Sun
The October 12, 2004, “Formerly” Daily Fluff in Color (HK Top Ten Box Office Home Page) reports that actresses Bernice Liu and Shirley Yeung worked on a preview/sales presentation clip for a potential TVB production entitled I Want to Fly High, “a show about three young people who struggle hard to achieve their dreams – mime, dance, and singing.”
Miming? Miming?? That’s your dream? Singing and dancing I can accept, but miming?
“I don’t want to go to college! I want to mime!”
If that’s the case, I Want to Fly High is an appropriate title for this series. You’re already flying pretty darn “high” if your life’s ambition is to mime. I think the writer was flying high, too. For coming up with that storyline, TVB should fly his butt into unemployment.
And look at this picture. What kind of sick mime routine is this? What’s this supposed to be called? “Sexually Harassing the Statue of Liberty”? Well, at least Bernice Liu seems to be enjoying it. Absurd. By the way, nice chompers, Bernice. You could trap bears with those things.
If you were wondering whether Yeung’s hand is really on Liu’s chest, the answer is probably not. It’s just the angle from which this picture was taken. The perverted HK paparazzi/tabloids are notorious for trying to snap/publish “accidental exposure” or lewdly suggestive money shots, and this is probably one of those.
It doesn’t take long for the ravenous Hong Kong tabloids to pounce on fresh meat. Less than a month into the reign of Kate Tsui, the newly crowned Miss Hong Kong, the gossip rags have started to chew on her, publishing a story alleging that she once had an abortion performed in America.
An abortion? Nice. The tabloids have now played the abortion card. Wow, couldn’t see that one coming – not from a million miles away. If the tabloids are right, haven’t the past, like, 20 Miss Hong Kongs had abortions? Even the ones who were supposed to be men. Like Michele Reis. In fact, isn’t having an abortion a prerequisite for entering the pageant? For entering Hong Kong, even?
So predictable, yet so absurd.
If the tabloids are saying she had an abortion, that pretty much guarantees that she hasn’t. Furthermore, you can probably assume the diametric opposite is true: not only did she not have an abortion, but she was probably a welfare mother with 14 kids. And a crack habit… That’s how wrong these tabloids can be.
Boy, ya gotta love the abortion rumors. Well done, tabloids, well done. Any day now, we should be getting reports that Kate was also two-timing the alleged father.
Hmm? What’s that? That news has already dropped? They’re reporting that the father was allegedly her boyfriend and that she was also cheating on him at the same time she was having the abortion?
Wow! We’re ahead of schedule! Very impressive, HK rumor-mongers. Bravo. Well, that’s another item we can check off the official Miss Hong Kong Slander Checklist.
Hmm, let’s consult the list and see what “lies” ahead… Oooh, multiplication! Yummy. According to the list (and a quick cross-reference with the Tabloid Manual of Lies), it looks like they’ll be reporting that Kate not only had one abortion, but several – two, three, ten. And why not, right? After all, it took place in America, Land of Assault Rifles and Frivolous Abortions. Wait, there’s more. Not only will the tabloids report that she was two-timing her boyfriend/father of her abortion, but also three-, four-, or five-timing him, too. Yeah, that sounds about right.
And that will occupy the tabloids until…oh, November. There’s nothing like squeezing out two solid months of tabloid coverage by calling the latest Miss Hong Kong a skank whose womb is a fetus killing field – basically, a feminist’s dream. That’s journalistic integrity, friends. At least for a Hong Kong tabloid. From there, I’m sure the tabloids will make one final effort to wring the last drops of amniotic fluid from this story by reporting that she sold the embryos to midwife/dumpling-pushers, who were passing them on to Miriam “Forever” Yeung. Motivation? Probably to support her gambling-addicted mother or something.
But seriously, tabloids, slow down. An abortion? Cheating on her boyfriend? Pace yourselves. You guys risk running out of material long before Kate’s reign ends next year. And you wouldn’t want that to happen. That’s 11.5 months away! You don’t want to be there in April, with all your stories about her past lesbian experimentation, her being “kept” by a rich businessman (or three), her patented Cocaine Kate weight-loss program, already printed, and you’ve got nothing left in the shed. And then what are you going to do? Where are you going to go?
Crazyland, that’s where.
Crazyland, where Kate and Coolio kick it with Freddy Adu, Mark Hamill, and the Lollipop Guild. Crazyland, where Kate knife-fights with Joan Collins, Natalie Portman, and Jenna Bush on a nightly basis over crackers and glowsticks. Crazyland, where Kate and Osama Bin Laden team up to take on Chairman Mao and Satan in a table tennis match to end all table tennis matches. Using gerbils.
In other words, Crazyland (Population: Bai Ling).
Bai Ling? Now there’s a nutcase…
Or, rather, a publicity whore. That would be a more apt description. Late last month, she was making the promotional rounds for Dumplings: Three Extremes, her first Asian film in, well, maybe ever. Aside from dressing provocatively, the “open” and “wild” Bai’s antics included kissing startled co-star Miriam Yeung on the lips, confessing that she goes clubbing every other night for exercise, and stating that she has had 50 boyfriends, including Chris Isaak, and therefore was a sex expert. Uh, yeah. Not only is she a publicity whore, but a tabloid’s dream – the Anti-Miss Hong Kong. And quite possibly a walking STD…
Way to go, Hollywood C-Lister!
The August 17, 2004 edition of Fluff in Color (published at the Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong) Film Top Ten Homepage) leads off with a story about the film Dumplings: Three Extremes getting slapped with a Category III rating, basically Hong Kong’s equivalent of the NC-17 rating here in the US. The horror film stars singer-actress Miriam Yeung as a rich wife who is willing to eat embryo-stuffed dumplings to maintain her youth. The role is something of a departure for Yeung, a box-office draw in HK who typically stars in romantic comedies as a chaste, lovable, goofy underdog, or some variation thereof.
Departure? Yeah, I’ll say. It’s quite a leap to go from lovable goofball policewoman/martial artist/Chinese princess/whatever to embryo cannibal.
In any case, the producers were shocked – shocked! – to get slapped with the Cat III.
Roughly, here’s what producer Peter Chan had to say at a press conference called to discuss the movie’s ratings (and to milk the publicity for all it’s worth):
“From the beginning, we never thought the film would get a Category III rating. If we did, we wouldn't have gotten Miriam to be the lead actress. We wanted to make this movie for viewers above the age of 15. It makes many points about abortion and cannibalism. They have a right to know, to understand. I really don't understand why so many films about murder and the underworld can get away without a Category III rating, but a film about eating embryos can’t. Do we [as a society] only approve of ideas with which we are familiar?”
Um, basically, yeah.
Are you kidding me???
Peter Chan, you are an idiot. Unequivocally. A straight-up tool.
This film has many important things to say about abortion and cannibalism? You were aiming for the over-15 crowd? You don’t understand why a film about eating human embryos as part of a cosmetic regiment – let alone for any reason whatsoever – would get a Cat III rating? They should have ground you up and fed you to Miriam Yeung.
A horror movie that has something meaningful to say about abortion and cannibalism will be the first. I mean, what’s there to say? It’s wrong. It’s bad. It’s sick. What else is there? I’ve yet to hear someone make a really compelling case for eating embryos and I have my doubts as to whether your film is going to be the first to do so, Pete.
Isn’t the Cat III the same rating they slap on soft-core pornos and movies about serial-killing, ebola-spreading cannibals? Gee, can’t really see why they’d categorize Dumplings with those films. Clearly it doesn’t belong. Clearly.
And what kind of a sicko thinks that eating embryos is an appropriate subject matter for 16 year-old movie-goers? You must have thought The Passion was the feel-good movie of the year! A nice family flick! What rating would you give a movie about bum-fighting? Category I? If Peter Chan thinks embryo cannibalism is a Category IIB, then what’s a Category III? What subject matter would you restrict to adults-only-viewing, Pete? I mean, what could possibly be worse than the eating aborted embryos?
Actually, I can think of a couple of things, but I won’t mention them because this page, unlike Dumplings, isn’t rated Category III. It’s Cat IIB. So.
But you know what? I’m kind of intrigued now. Really. I really want to see this movie. Can’t wait to illegally download – ER!!! – I mean, rent it when it gets released. I hope you all illegally download – ER!!! – rent it when it comes out, too. Because we all need to support Hong Kong films, especially those that are about abortion and cannibalism. There hasn’t been a really good Hong Kong film about embryo cannibalism since…well, ever. And you know, if there’s one thing that this world needs – more than world peace, more than happy, healthy children, more than unconditional love, even – it’s more movies about embryo cannibalism.
I can see it now: the next hot genre in HK cinema. Embryo cannibalism! Next thing you know there’ll be films about honorable triad embryos in trench coats blasting other embryos away with double-fisted firepower…embryos who do their own stunts…drunken embryo fighting…invincible evil androgynous embryos…embryos who retire from acting to marry rich businessmen and have embryos of their own…
Courtesy of The Sun
Andy Lau needs a woman. Fast.
Thanks to my recent subscription to the Jadeworld package on DirecTV, I’m watching the 2004 Miss Hong Kong Pageant as I’m typing this.
Holy crap! Is that Bernice Liu doing a pole dance!? Yikes. What is this, Miss Hong Kong or Showgirls? And isn’t Liu a Christian? Uh, praise God…
Speaking of Miss Liu, TVBspace News Roundup recently posted a translation of a short article in which Bernice talked about how her father tried to teach her how to drink when she was a teenager because he was afraid she would “lose out to other people.”
Yeah, I’m sure if I had a hot daughter, I’d liquor her up, too, so that sketchy guys wouldn’t be able to ply her with hooch, get her drunk, and then take advantage of her. I mean, you’ve got to build up their alcohol tolerance when they’re young or else they’re just going to get screwed. Literally. Way to go, Papa Liu. That’s good parenting. Unfortunately, despite your best efforts to kick your daughter down the path towards alcoholism, she states that she’s “still really weak and can’t take even a little alcohol.” But at least you tried, right? Crazy Canadians…
By the way, I love how they refer to Canada as The 51st State and “America Junior” on The Jim Rome Show. Tremendous.
Okay, sorry for that digression. In any case, because the Pageant’s broadcast is tape-delayed here on the West Coast, I already know who the winner is: Contestant Number 6 Kate Tsui Tsz Shan. Although three of the 18 contestants are surnamed Wong, none of them placed in the top three. Bummer. The three Wongs are Number 13 Eunice Wong Po Wai, Number 16 Emily Wong Wai Man, and Number 18 Jacqueline Wong Yee Man.
Eunice Wong did win Miss Friendship, though, one of the many supplemental prizes the Pageant organizers give out. Not surprising, really. We Wongs are very friendly people. Almost like country folk, opium addicts, and docile cows.
The Pageant had a lot of production numbers where a ton of Western songs were covered. Actually, I’m not sure if they’re covers or if they’ve just rewritten the lyrics, but the melodies are definitely recognizable as songs from Mama Mia! and West Side Story, the Beatles and Don McLean. The songs included Mama Mia!, America, Tonight, American Pie, and Can’t Buy Me Love. All sung in Cantonese. Leonard Bernstein must be flipping around in his grave. Don McLean, too.
What’s that? Don McLean’s not dead? Oops. I must have mistaken him for his career. Sorry about that, Don.
Okay, they’ve announced the winner and have rolled the credits. Now I’ve flipped over to NBC and am watching the Olympic opening ceremonies. Hong Kong’s delegation was the second-to-last group to enter, just ahead of the host Greeks. Nice going, Hong Kong.
I love Ada Choi.
Have I mentioned this before? If not, let me state this for the record: I love Ada Choi. Why? Because of stuff like the following, which was mentioned in the July 15, 2004 Fluff in Color and published at the Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong) Film Top Ten Homepage…
Ada Choi Siu Fun yesterday went to Taiwan to promote the television series SHUI YUET DUNG TIN (WATER MOON CAVERN SKY). Ada said, "I never mentioned that I have a boyfriend. Even if caught on film, I absolutely won't talk about it." Choi Siu Fun then proceeded to preach the gospel when the press mentioned [ex-boyfriend] Nicky Wu (Ng Kei Lung). She also stressed that she will marry a Christian in the future.
A celebrity’s personal life is Topic Number One for the Hong Kong/Chinese/Asian tabloids. They consistently hound stars and conjecture about whom they are or might be dating or even if they’re dating at all. Miss Choi, a bachelorette, has decided to neither confirm nor deny her status in dating in an attempt to shut the tabloids out of her private life and keep them focused on her professional activities. What struck me, of course, was the line “Choi Siu Fun then proceeded to preach the gospel.”
Proceeded to preach the gospel? Proceeded to preach the gospel?? Right after the press asked her about her ex-boyfriend! I guess her faith isn’t part of her private life…
That’s great. She proceeded to preach the gospel.
She’s either a lunatic or the godliest celebrity since Jesus. I could be wrong, but I can’t recall ever flipping through People Magazine or Entertainment Weekly and reading about some Western celebrity preaching at the tabloid press. I guess it happens in Asia, though, and Ada Choi is doing the preaching. Bold.
Can you imagine how that went down?
Reporters: Ada! Ada! Tell us about your new boyfriend! Tell us about your new boyfriend!
Ada Choi: What new boyfriend?
Reporters: Your new boyfriend! The one with whom you’ve been photographed! The guy in the photographs with you!
Ada Choi: I’m sorry. I’m not going to talk about my personal life.
Reporters: Well, how about your ex? Nicky Wu? What are your thoughts about him?
Ada Choi: Have you guys ever heard about Jesus?
Reporters: Jesus? Is that your new boyfriend’s name?
Ada Choi: God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life, you know. He created you and me to know Him personally. Did you know that?
Ada Choi: But we’re sinful and separated from Him, so we cannot experience His love.
Reporters: So you and Jesus broke up? So now you aren’t seeing anyone? Is that what you’re saying?
Ada Choi: Jesus is God’s only provision for our sin. Through Him alone can we be reconciled with God.
Reporters: Huh wha–?
Ada Choi: We must individually receive Jesus as savior and Lord and only then can we know God personally and experience His Love. Oh, and watch my new TV series. God bless!
I’m sure if I ever met Choi Siu Fun face-to-face, her supercharged holiness would be pretty annoying, but from this side of the newsprint, I just find her boldness appealing in a wild-eyed fanatical sort of way. The life transformation fueling it must have been mind-blowing – enough to rocket spaceships into orbit, I’m sure. Who needs the Star Ferry? She can just walk across Victoria Harbor.
Again I will say it: I love Ada Choi.
Courtesy of Oriental Daily
Here’s a picture of Spiderman 2’s Tobey Maguire, Venus Lam, and her father Dion Lam, the film’s action choreographer. He’s also been the action choreographer for many a HK film. You may recall that little Venus had a cameo as the girl Spiderman rescues from a house fire. The odd thing about this scene (as with all fire rescue scenes involving children) is how Venus ended up in the closet of a burning building, while her parents ended up outside on the street, safe and sound. I can think of several scenarios of how this came to be, each progressively more disturbing than the last.
First, everyone is at home, but parents step out for a moment for whatever reason. Fire starts, quickly engulfs building. Little girl seeks shelter in closet. Spiderman comes and rescues little girl.
Second, parents are out, little girl is with babysitter, who promptly flees once the fire starts, maybe because he thinks the girl is out already or he’s drunk, negligent, or just a bad babysitter. Girl seeks shelter in closet. Spiderman rescues.
Third, parents are out, little girl is home alone. Fire starts, girl seeks shelter in closet. Spiderman rescues.
Fourth, parents lock little girl in closet so she won’t wander while they’re away. Fire starts. Spiderman rescues.
Fifth, everyone’s home, fire starts. Parents abandon girl, who seeks shelter in closet. Spiderman rescues.
Sixth, everyone’s home, fire starts. Parents abandon girl, who lives in closet. Spiderman rescues.
Seventh, everyone’s home, fire starts. Parents toss girl into closet, lock door, then flee. Spiderman rescues.
Eighth, everyone’s home, girl has been imprisoned in closet by parents since birth. Fire starts, parents flee. Spiderman rescues.
Ninth, everyone’s home, parents have imprisoned girl in closet since birth, purposely start fire for insurance purposes. Spiderman rescues, inadvertently thwarting their plan, but returns girl to parents, a.k.a. her hell on earth.
Way to go, Spiderman. Way to go.
Deep Ng’s arrest for possession of cocaine last month prompted East Week magazine, a tabloid in Hong Kong, to publish a breathless article outlining alleged “scandalous” drug use within the entertainment industry. The article didn’t name names, but only used nicknames, some of which were highly suggestive. Other nicknames were more mysterious and sparked a measure of speculation among the general HK population and drove other tabloids into a panting, witch-hunting frenzy. Apparently, this nickname business is common practice in the world of HK tabloid journalism, where toeing the line on libel is an art.
A fellow by the name of Miles Crew translated and posted most of the article at the Mobius Asian Cinema Discussion forum with the disclaimer that it was a “trashy little piece of indeterminate journalistic credibility.” I’d have to agree. However, I’d go a little further: the reporters, editors, and publisher of East Week magazine are nothing but a bunch of liars, cowards, slanderers and pussies.
Drug use in the entertainment industry? Drug use in the entertainment industry?? Come on! No freaking way. There ain’t no drug use in the entertainment industry! Nobody in the entertainment industry uses drugs! Ever!
Especially musicians and singers. They would never be caught dead with drugs. Never. Well, except for Janis Joplin…and Jimi Hendrix…and Elvis Presley. But that’s about it. Oh yeah, and Sid Vicious. But these people are clearly the exception to the rule (oops, forgot Keith Moon). Exceptions. On the whole, I’d say musicians and singers are among the cleanest, most drug-free people on the planet, next to boarding school teenagers, professional athletes, and crack whores. They would never smoke marijuana, snort cocaine, or pop ecstasy.
At least not in Hong Kong. (I can’t really vouch for Johnny Sitar’s predilection for crank over there in Bombay) And in HK, since the terms “singer” and “actor” are virtually interchangeable, saying that the HK music scene is drug-free is akin to saying the same thing for the acting scene. And from there we’re just a sniff and a snort away from the whole HK entertainment industry shebang. Woo-hoo! Drug-free entertainment shebang, baby!
Well, except for Deep Ng.
And Roy Chow.
Oh, and William So from two years ago.
Anya, as well.
Plus the late Pauline Chan…
But other than that, I’m certain that HK entertainment is a drug-free workplace. Absolutely positive. So stop lying about the industry, East Week magazine, you libelous, slandering pushers of high-priced crap-wipe.
And don’t try to hide behind cutesy nicknames when you’re defaming Singer X or Actor Y with false tales of their rampant drug use. We know who you’re talking about and it’s no use. If you had any guts or honor, East Week, you’d be straight and name names when you lie about people, regardless of the consequences.
For example, the section about “Thousand Gold” footing the tab for a drug buffet blowout consisting of marijuana, uppers, ketamine, and cocaine? We know who you’re talking about. The hints are obvious. Super-rich daddy? Mediocre-looking entertainer? Birthday around Christmas? You couldn’t possibly be talking about Josie Ho, could you, East Week?
If that’s who it is, why don’t you just say it? What are you afraid of? So what if she is the favorite daughter of Macau casino tycoon Dr. Stanley Ho? So what if he reputedly has ties to triads? They say that about every HK tycoon. What? Are you afraid you’re going to get whacked? Come on! Like drugs in the entertainment industry, triad hits don’t happen in Hong Kong! In fact, I would even question the very existence of triads! Fairy tales and bedtime stories! Besides, isn’t your honor and reputation worth far more than the cost of your lives, you cowards?
And I noted that your source for this part of the story was a single unnamed bartender. A bartender? More like a wannabe model/actor. Very trustworthy… You make the National Enquirer look like The Wall Street Journal, East Week.
By the way, I wasn’t able to figure out who Flashy Dresser and his Model Girlfriend were. Or Rock Girl. Or the Two Young Beauties. Feel free to enlighten.
On the other hand, the identity of the Valley Bottom King, who you claimed was a major abuser of ecstasy, uppers, and cocaine, was quite obvious. Let’s see: studied in Canada…shot a film with the New Director about “school violence”…dated the Personality Queen…hangs out with the One-Ball King. Hmm, who could these people possibly be?
The New Director must be actor Stephen Fung, who made his directorial debut this year with Enter the Phoenix, and co-starred with the Valley Bottom King in 2001’s My Schoolmate the Barbarian. If ever there was a title for a film about school violence, I’m guessing My Schoolmate the Barbarian would probably be it.
As for the Personality Queen, she must be Valley Bottom King’s on-again, off-again girlfriend “Frosty” Faye Wong, so-called for her frigid relationship with the press.
The One-Ball King is Valley Bottom’s buddy Eason Chan, who during an April 2002 concert in Taipei fell off the stage while performing in an “ill-advised” dance routine and injured his right testicle. After three days of hospitalization, Chan reportedly commented, “I now have a little more than one testicle and a little less than two.” Knowledge to be treasured, I’m sure. Thanks for making that public, Easy. Shouldn’t it be One-and-a-Half-Ball King, then? And in case you were wondering, EZ’s Boy’z are functional as he’s managed to impregnate his girlfriend Hilary Tsui. They’re expecting in September or October.
With all that, the Valley Bottom King must be the bad boy of HK entertainment, Nicholas Tse. You wouldn’t happen to be blasting him with that nickname because his career is currently tanking badly, would you, East Week? First of all, that’s not harsh or cruel at all. Second of all, that’s what comebacks are for. Careers go into the crapper, okay? Particularly after you’ve been convicted of a crime called “perverting the course of justice.”
Hey, East Week, if you’re going to pile on top of a convicted pervert like Nic Tse and lie about his supposed drug habit, why don’t you at least name him? So what if he’s been known to assault the occasional reporter? What’s the worst thing that could happen? He crashes his Ferrari into you and has someone else take the blame. No big deal, you chickens.
Also, it was very nice of you to slander Tse’s other ex-girlfriend, the Sparerib Queen, by fabricating an incident where she allegedly overindulged in ketamine. You guys aren’t even trying anymore, are you? It’s clear you’re talking about actress Cecilia Cheung. Why the fear in naming her? She looks borderline anorexic. Are you afraid she’s going to cut you with her forearms or something? And just because her father, Mustached Yung, is a triad, doesn’t mean you forsake every shred of your journalistic integrity, you hacks. Besides, as I’ve already said, there are no such things as triads. Only Chinese patriotic organizations that employ extortion, drug-trafficking, and prostitution for the cause of overthrowing the Qing and re-establishing the Ming.
Next, you made up some lie about the “unhealthy” Ironing Board Queen and her Kitchen Lover. Obviously, you’re referring to the flat-chested asthmatic singer-actress Sammi Cheng and her ex-boyfriend Andy Hui, who upon being named the Best Male Singer of 2001 made oblique references to an inspirational kitchen conversation he had with a person widely believed to be Cheng. Too bad their rumored longtime relationship has since crashed and the ensuing wreckage exploded into an apocalyptic fireball of destruction and pain. You’re sympathetic, I’m sure. Thank goodness for their drug habits, right? At least, they can self-medicate. Hey, there’s a plus side to being hooked on uppers after all! Allegedly. And if you’re wrong, East Week, at least slandering them can help take their minds off their breakup. Way to go!
Sickos. I’m surprised you didn’t claim that that kitchen conversation was taking place while they were cooking up some crystal meth…
Okay, we all know what’s going on here, East Week. You guys are taking the controversy du jour and dropping a handful of A-List entertainers into that maelstrom and hoping that that will translate into increased circulation numbers. So tabloid typical. Either that or it’s you guys who’ve got the drug problem because the things you’re writing are clearly the product of some heavy hallucinogens.
I mean, drugs use in the entertainment industry? Get outta here…
Courtesy of The Sun
Look at this picture and tell me what the heck is going on here. WHAT THE HECK IS GOING ON HERE?!
According to the June 26, 2004, edition of Fluff in Color, published at the Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong) Film Top Ten Homepage, this picture was snapped at the filming of a commercial by the Twins, HK’s preeminent girl group of the moment. The product they’re hawking? If you said milk, you’d be wrong. It’s Cup O’ Noodle.
If two Chinese girls wearing cowboy hats and tending to a pregnant cow lying spread-eagle in a barbershop chair with a conveyor belt jammed up its uterus and birthing bottles of milk doesn’t make you want to go out and buy some instant noodles, then I don’t know what will, you cold-hearted cow-hating scrooges.
What ad agency was responsible for this concept? Clearly a bad one. Yep, I think someone’s going to get fired for this. They’d better.
Can you imagine what that brainstorming session was like?
The Scene – Cut-Rate Ad Agency
Ad Agency Peon: “I got it! I got it! We’ve got the Twins, Charlene Choi and Gillian Chung…and they’re dressed like cowboys!”
Ad Agency Boss: “Okay, I’m with you so far. Go with that.”
Peon: “There’s a pregnant cow…”
Boss: “I’m sorry, did you say a ‘pregnant cow’?”
Peon: “Yes, pregnant cow–”
Boss: “Love it. Go on.”
Peon: “…and they’re all in a maternity ward…”
Boss: “Mental ward? Did you say mental ward?”
Peon: “Maternity ward.”
Boss: “Maternity ward? Can it look like a kitchen? Can the maternity ward look like a kitchen? I mean, with refrigerators and everything?”
Peon: “Uh, sure. If that’s what you want. Sure. Absolutely.”
Boss: “Okay. Go on…”
Peon: “So the pregnant cow is giving birth. It’s giving birth…get this…to milk bottles!”
Boss: “Awesome! Awesome! Pregnant cow birthing milk bottles! Awesome! What are the Twins doing?”
Peon: “Uh, Charlene…well, she’s tending to the cow…she’s wiping the pregnant cow’s sweat…”
Boss: “Cuz cows sweat a lot! Animals sweat! That’s what they do!”
Peon: “Right. Especially when in labor…”
Boss: “Especially when in labor!! Go on.”
Peon: “And Charlene’s holding the cow’s hoof to comfort her. Meanwhile, uh, Gillian is…uh…is examining the newborn milk bottles.”
Boss: “Sleevelets! Can they be wearing sleevelets? Can the Twins wear black, leather sleevelets? Can we go with the sleevelets?”
Peon: “Cowgirls wearing sleevelets? Uh, sure. Sleevelets. Twins. Cowgirl Twins wearing sleevelets. Why not?”
Boss: “Why not, indeed. Brilliant! It’s Brilliant! It’s a GO! Go, go, go!! Uh, who’s our client, again?”
Peon: “Cup O’ Noodle.”
Boss: “Ah, they’ll love it.”
And apparently they did. Weirdoes. I would have loved to have been at that pitch meeting…
Cup O’ Noodle Executive: “I’m sorry. Maybe I’m a bit dense, but what does all this have to do with noodles?”
Boss: “Absolutely nothing. However, our market research shows that the public loves the Twins, cowboys, dairy products, sleevelets, and maternity wards.”
Executive: “And our product?”
Boss: “Not so much. However, we believe the Twins are SO popular that they can sell anything. Anything. They can sell a product by just appearing in a commercial, even if the commercial has absolutely nothing to do with the product!”
Boss: “No. We have no clue. We’re just guessing. But, hey, this is Hong Kong! We’re gamblers! Let’s gamble!”
Executive: “Mmm… Okay.”
What’s next? Sammi Cheng selling cosmetics with pineapples? Andy Lau selling beer with Preparation H? Deep Ng selling diapers with cocaine?
The Twins are out of control…
On June 24, 2004, EEG singer-actor Deep Ng, 21, was arrested after police found 1.2 grams of cocaine in his possession. He was charged and released on HK$5000 bail and will report back to the police in late July. Reportedly, he had recently fallen in with some “bad friends” who have been detrimental to his life and career.
Really? You think?
Actually, I think Deep’s problems began way before then. Like when he took on the name “Deep.”
Deep? Deep?? What kind of a name is Deep?
Yeah, yeah, I know. HK artistes are notorious for having jacked up English names. It’s not like America where bad parents will jack up their own kids with some screwy, left-field name that the kids will have to eventually undo legally and psychologically (see Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter). In HK, people name themselves. Because of that, you’d think they’d give themselves a proper name. You’d think they’d give themselves something cool or respectable. You’d think they wouldn’t humiliate themselves. You’d think so, but you’d be wrong.
Deep?? What does that even mean?
Deep? As in how far down your head was stuffed into that bag of cocaine when the cops busted you?
Deep? As in the breath you were inhaling through that joint?
Deep? As in how far the heroin needle was jammed into your arm?
Deep? As in your opium-induced stupor?
Deep? As in the amount of $#!% you’re in now, pal?
My Wife is 18 (2002): stars 30-something Ekin Cheng and 20-year old Charlene Choi, playing an 18-year-old who’s going on about seven. This movie is as creepy as it sounds. Writer-Director James Yuen also wrote and directed Every Dog Has His Date, probably the only romantic comedy of 2001 that flirts with bestiality and in which the line “If I love my master, God will strike me down!” is uttered. Yuen is a very sick individual. Any day now, I’m expecting My Lover is a Dead Donkey to drop into a Hong Kong theatre.
Necrophilia, James. Why not, you perv?
The June 6, 2004 edition of Fluff in Color published at The Special Administrative Region (Hong Kong) Film Top Ten Homepage had an interesting blurb about the Twins, the reigning Princesses of HK Pop, in which their legs were described as being of “Division A Female Soccer” quality. In other words, they’ve got thick legs.
We’re not talking about thickness at the level of some second-tier league like America’s Major League Soccer. We’re talking about Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, or Bundesliga-level quality here. That’s thick.
The report didn’t mention from whom the criticisms came, but I’m guessing it was the HK tabloid media, the typical tormentors of HK artistes (“artistes” is the en vogue term for a “performer” or “entertainer” in HK, I think).
Charlene Choi, the taller, sassier, lower-voiced, and more annoying Twin responded, “What do thick legs have to do with singing and acting?! I am not singing with my legs. I am not selling my body.”
Wow. There’s so much that one can learn about HK entertainment in just these three sentences that I’m feeling woozy and lightheaded just at the thought of unpacking it all.
What do thick legs have to do with singing and acting?!
First of all, Charlene’s absolutely right. What do having thick legs have to do with singing and acting? Nothing, really. In a perfect world, we’d all judge singers and actors on their technical and interpretive skills, and not on their appearance. It should be all about the talent, all about the talent, all about the talent…
But it’s not.
Especially in Hong Kong, where “should” and $39.95 will buy you a Mainland orphan and not much else.
Charlene, you do know which entertainment industry you’re working in, right? Hong Kong’s, remember? The day that talent triumphs over appearance in Hong Kong will be the day pigs rise up and revolt against being char-siued. In other words, it ain’t happening. Last time I checked, talent was about eighth on the list of things that go into making someone popular in the HK entertainment business, right behind consciousness and just ahead of flossing. That’s not how it ought to be, but that’s how it is. For better or worse, in HK entertainment, an attractive appearance is crucial unlike in, say, high-fashion modeling.
So, Charlene, you’re right, but you’re also wrong: thick legs have nothing to do with singing and acting…unless you work in HK. Which, unfortunately for you, you do. In principle, you’re right; in practice, you’re wrong.
I am not singing with my legs.
In essence, she’s saying, I’m a singer, so why would the thickness of my legs matter? The talent card, again.
And yet again, Charlene’s right – it is about talent. Or at least it should be.
But are you sure you want to go there, Charlene? Are you sure you want to play the talent card? If we were to judge you and your fellow band-mate Gillian Chung on the basis of talent alone, then that would not be good for you guys. At all. I don’t think you and Ah Gil of all people want to be playing the talent card. I’ve heard you guys sing – in fact, I own two of your albums (a topic for a later date) – and for all I know you might have been singing with your legs. Really. I wasn’t sure which of your body parts was making those noises. It might have been your legs – I mean, maybe. In fact, your legs probably had a better chance of being on key since you couldn’t have possibly been any more off it.
Being that off-key is really a talent in and of itself, you know. Large Mainland Chinese farm animals were being incapacitated at the sound of your singing. They were being stunned into immobility. It’s a gift.
This is just a guess on my part, but perhaps your critics had to give up on your guys’ vocal abilities and resort to critiquing other things, like your legs. Your vocalizations were so non-compelling that their attention wandered until lured to those massive tree trunks you call “legs.” Just my hypothesis.
I am not selling my body
Uh, that’s not what they’re saying online…
Alright, time out! Time out!
Let’s pull back from this rant for a moment. Too mean? This webpage is kind of my little experiment with bringing the aggressiveness of US sports talk radio to Hong Kong entertainment…
I recently purchased an MP3 player/receiver, which you can program like a VCR to record radio at certain times, and thus I’ve been listening to a lot of The Jim Rome Show lately while I exercise. He rants a lot. If you transcribed the rants and simply read it off the page, he would come off as highly bitter and mean-spirited. However, Jim Rome’s gift is in his delivery, which drips with exaggerated sarcasm, so much so that it really becomes quite funny and hilarious instead of bitter. It’s influenced me a lot, almost to the extent of Jack Benny, the Genius of Old Time Radio.* Unfortunately, conveying irony and sarcasm with text is a little harder than with one’s voice. So if anything in this entry strikes you as too mean-spirited, try reading it in the most exaggerated, sarcastic tone possible. I was probably trying to write it with my “Jim Rome” voice, but my ability to satirize still needs work (hence, this page for practice).
* Yes, I just referenced Jim Rome and Jack Benny in an entry about the Twins. How’s that for random? William Wilberforce just spun around in his grave.
I could have followed the old adage “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” but, frankly, I’ve never been a fan of the Nazis and their propaganda. Plus I need to practice mocking people. I’d rather write it first, then feel bad about it later. And I do feel bad about making fun of the Twins, who are sometimes too easy of a target. At least a little bit.
I felt particularly bad after reading Sanney Leung’s English translation of The Sun’s March interview series with Gillian Chung, the shorter, higher-voiced, more introverted Twin, which was recently published at his Hong Kong Entertainment News in Review website. In the interview, Chung comes across as just a normal human being, with her own hopes and dreams and regrets in life. It really fleshed out the one-dimensional image of this ultra-popular HK girl group that gets by on marketing and cloyingly cutesy perkiness and conveys a sense that deep down, beyond all the publicity and spin, their hearts beat like anyone else’s. Of course, that interview might have been another exercise in spin itself, but whatever.
The Twins may be no-talent hacks who made morally-questionable choices to get to the top (allegedly), but that’s the sacrifice they made for a shot at fame, fortune, and a better life for their families (or so they say). I harbor no real ill will towards them. In fact, I wish the best for them and their thick Division A female footballer legs. Just please don’t kick me.
Let me preface my comments by saying that I have nothing but the highest regard for actress Ada Choi as a person. As far as I can tell, she’s a great, great human being and a very devout Christian. Furthermore, as an actress, she’s very talented and hasn’t received nearly enough of the recognition or the opportunities that she deserves, particularly in film. Finally, I am by no means the most fashion-forward guy on the planet – bottom tenth at best – so how can I say anything critical about anyone? However…
What THE HECK is she wearing here?? Obviously, I’m talking about the taller person on the right in this picture (courtesy of Sing Pao Daily News) who is standing next to actress Yoyo Mung at a Valentine’s Day promotion for their then-about-to-debut TV serial, Armed Reaction IV.
Incidentally, what marketing genius decided to promote a TV show about policewomen on Valentine’s Day? Yeah, nothing says “I love you” like an Armed Reaction. Note the red gun and bullet directly above Choi’s head. The floating pink hearts on top of the baby blue background are a nice complementary touch.
Now I realize that some promotions staff person probably instructed the actors to dress to blend in or match with the background and the Valentine’s Day theme. But look at what Choi is wearing!
First, the top: a hot-pink, sleeveless number, with a strange man’s face on the front, possibly Bob Dylan. Maybe Tom Petty – the sunglasses throw me off. Then there’s some random zipper action going on along the bottom – don’t know what the heck that’s about. She pairs this with a blue plaid ultra-ultra-micro-miniskirt that is shorter than the eighth word in this sentence. Next, maybe to compensate, she sports thigh-high black leather boots with stiletto heels. Finally, to top it all off, she’s wearing stripey rainbow-colored sleevelets. Sleevelets?! Wasn’t that fashion’s attempt to assuage the jealousy felt by forearms during the legwarmer craze of two decades ago?? I think so…
There comes a point in every Hong Kong actress’s life – say, around the age of 30 (hint, hint) – when she needs to fight the urge to pick clothes out of Hilary Duff’s reject pile.
Um, Ada, you’re cool and everything, but 1983 just called and Cyndi Lauper wants her look back.
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