Symphony in green and grey

March 4 2012

Storm approaching Hong Kong, though no signal seems to have been hoisted. Tweeted by Chien Mi Wong, retweeted by Andrew Cover.

But it seems the word “hoisted” is no longer used. Another piece of old Hong Kong gone.

Wikipedia: “In the past, the signals were physically hoisted at many locations in Hong Kong; there were 42 signal stations around the territory in the 1960s. However, as radio and television weather reports became increasingly effective, the need to hoist physical signals diminished. The last signal station, Cheung Chau aeronautical meteorological station on Cheung Chau, was decommissioned on 1 January 2002. Accordingly, the observatory has replaced the word hoist with issue in its official terminology, although the phrase ‘Signal No. __ has been hoisted’ is still widely used by the public and the mass media. Weather authorities in Macao, however, still use the term ‘hoisted’ when issuing their tropical cyclone warnings, the system of which is based heavily upon Hong Kong’s.”

So what is now “issued” is a warning, not a signal. The official term is tropical cyclone. The informal word in East Asia is typhoon. Hurricanes, unromantic, are American.

4 Responses to “Symphony in green and grey”


  1. Talking about China, what gets at me is the statements of Zhang Weiwei, the Chinese scholar and author in an interview with Al Jazeera a couple of days ago. The ideas expressed by this Chinese who has fully embraced the American way of life and totally Western habits are frightening for anyone who lived in Hitler’s times. This man expresses the ideals and principles of the German dictator.

    His ideas about China or in defence of China are based on Nazi-Fascist principles. “The Chinese are not so concerned about human rights, but about social stability,” says the “scholar”. He also defends the unelected leaders of China by saying that “throughout history China has had good dictators and bad dictators. So it happens in the Democratic world: you have had Bush (giggle) for example”.

    The idiot forgets that Bush has been voted out, whereas a bad dictator cannot be voted out. But obviously he is not interested in democracy. To him democracy is a bit of a joke of Western culture. He forgets that he has embraced the Western way of life. He said that China is a peaceful country, his Empire is peaceful since it is made of peoples who recognize the superiority of the Chinese and want to join China, whereas for example the Roman Empire conquered other countries with the sword. China kept its enemies out not with war but with a wall which prevented war. Not only is this man stupid, he is misinformed about the bloody history of China. This event and this person would not matter, were it not for the fact that many Westerners would agree with him. Like the defunct Soviet Union, today’s China functions and exists by virtue of the people who support it in the West, since no one supports it at home. Like Zhang Weiwei, practically all Chinese emulate or would like to emulate the American life-style. If anyone has any doubts about it, please check on the ground.

    The much-hated American Empire will live forever since, unlike China, everybody emulates the American life-style, even those who say they hate it. Personally I am one of the very few people who does not follow or try to follow the American way of life. I spend no time in a car – I don’t have one. I don’t live or wish to live in a detached house with garden and a garage larger than the living quarters of the house. I do not watch TV or American movies, other than vintage movies. I am not a hedonist, I have a spartan life-style. I like work and hate free time. I am following the Chinese life-style, unlike Mr Zhang Weiwei.

    I thought I would say this to get things off my chest.

    • davidderrick Says:

      Giovanni, thanks. But surely the problem is that the American lifestyle can be sold to people who do not live in democracies. You can have a middle class without having a democracy and its members can have large houses and cars and watch American movies. You admit this with China. So I agree with much of what you say, but not “The much-hated American Empire will live forever since, unlike China, everybody emulates the American life-style.” But I suppose you meant cultural empire.

  2. davidderrick Says:

    Zhang talking to Al Jazeera:

  3. davidderrick Says:

    He is an apologist for current arrangements and is of about the same calibre as Fukuyama, whom he keeps quoting. He repeats the idea, sometimes presented to appease the West, that China will see a kind of Cambrian explosion of political experimentation in the coming years, out of which different models of accountability will emerge, not the every-four-years accountability of the US. This really means there will be a pyramid, with easier and easier removal of officials the lower down the pyramid you go.


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