20190812 Director new preface re the word “Revolution”:
The title of my debut documentary “Long Hair Revolution 「長毛革命」” was decided in 2004, so 15 years ago. The rationale is similar to “industrial revolution” or “internet revolution”, ideas for improvement. Nothing to do with violence.
It saddens and pains me that Hong Kong today has deteriorated so badly that the word “Revolution” has now been twisted by both the HK and BJ governments to mean violence and the guaranteed and international recognized free speech right is almost gone in HK.
可憐今天的香港, 還是逃不了中國幾千年以來皇帝”以言入罪”, 沒有”言論自由”的悲哀。
Director/producer/independent reporter Kempton Lam has made three full-length documentaries from 2004 – 2015. Kempton’s debut documentary Long Hair Revolution 「長毛革命」 has been collected by the Canadian National Archive since 2009. The three documentaries are collectively known as “Revolution Trilogy” 「革命三部曲」 and are in Cantonese with English subtitles (廣東話、英文字幕). You can watch the three films at this YouTube Playlist (beautifully projected on your big screen HDTV or on your computer). Enjoy!
Here are two IG posts from #Tokyo2020 Olympic Champ Maggie Mac Neil herself plus some news articles I read and found very insightful. I’ve include some memorable or touching excerpts along with the full article links.
“Outside the pool, MacNeil keeps a fairly low profile, not boasting her status as one of the world’s top swimmers. Other than her block ‘M’ backpack all the athletes wear, she could be any other student.
On campus, no one really knows who MacNeil is. She likes it that way.
When MacNeil was growing up, one of her mom’s rules was that she could never get a tattoo. But her mom, Susan McNair, didn’t want to seem like a complete stick-in-the-mud, so she added one condition. MacNeil could get a tattoo of the Olympic rings — if and only if she ever got to the Olympics. “Knowing full well that I would never have a child who got to the Olympics,” McNair said.
Back then, McNair’s thought process was sound. MacNeil wasn’t one of those kids you always knew might be destined for the Olympics. She was good, yes. Good enough to go to nationals-level meets at the age of 12, good enough to be selected for international events like the 2018 Junior Pan-Pacific Championships, good enough to be recruited by top NCAA programs. But MacNeil hadn’t hit the level of some other swimmers her age, and because of that, most of the pressure on her was pressure she put on herself.”
Before she could walk, or for that matter crawl, Mac Neil was jumping head-first into water. Her mother, Susan McNair, remembers the first time she brought baby Maggie to parent-and-tot swim lessons at a local pool in London, Ont.; she could barely keep a hold of her little girl. “She would spontaneously jump out of my arms, dive her little body underwater and come back up laughing,” recalls McNair, who is a staff physician at St. Joseph’s Family Medical Centre in London and a former Ontario provincial coroner. “She was completely and utterly smitten with water.”
Lessons were a must for safety, not sport. McNair calls herself anxious by nature—perhaps on account of the five years she served as coroner, when she reviewed too many aquatic mishaps. When the family moved to a house with a pool, she wouldn’t risk either of her two girls sneaking to the backyard without adult supervision. Mac Neil, with only a touch of hyperbole, estimates her mom had eight locks on the back door of their home.
Still, the pool became a place for Mac Neil to make friends, and every year those friends had more trouble keeping up with her in the water. She joined the London Aquatic Club at the age of eight, and soon staffers were urging the club’s head coach, Andrew Craven, to step away from teaching the teenagers and watch the new kid.
“The coaches were telling me Maggie was something special in the way she floated in the water,” Craven remembers. She seemed at home in the pool—moving through the water with ease, while staying highly engaged in each lesson. During practice, coaches asked for a minimum of three underwater butterfly kicks—also known as underwater dolphin kicks—after every push off the wall. Some of Mac Neil’s peers occasionally treated those underwater kicks as optional when they were tired, Craven says, but young Maggie would complete the full set after every single wall during every single practice. “If you’re really good at it, that can really become a weapon,” Craven says, “and Maggie is now regarded as one of the best in the world.”
Even when she wasn’t in the water, Craven remembers Mac Neil showing the mental strength needed to excel. When she was 12, she botched a race at the Eastern Canadian Championships in Montreal, standing oblivious after the announcer called her name for the 50-m butterfly, even though her mother was waving frantically from the stands for her to move to the starting block. She stood at the end of her lane and watched her heat go. “I don’t know if it was [me not understanding] people speaking French or if I was overwhelmed, but I completely missed the race,” she says.
But for Craven, the missed heat stands out less than what happened next. Mac Neil didn’t cry, or even sulk. In fact, it didn’t seem to phase her at all. The next day, in the 200-m butterfly, Mac Neil smashed the provincial record for girls 12 and under, a record that had stood for 32 years.
Comments Off on To #Tokyo2020 Champ Maggie Mac Neil’s mom, “Lessons were a must for safety, not sport.” | HK | Permalink Posted by kempton
Here is a sad & funny story: Many people had the pleasure to have heard Fou Ts’ong #傅聰 played in his lifetime. The opposite thing happened to my better half. Mr. Fou actually heard her played a few times when she was little! You see, her piano teacher lived upstairs & was mahjong partner of Fou. So when Fou visited HK and performed in Hong Kong, he would come to play mahjong, they would hear her practicing downstairs!
Possibly “sad” for my better half and her teacher. Possibly “funny” for #傅聰 and us.
“Fou Ts’ong, the first Chinese pianist to win global acclaim and success, has died aged 86 after contracting Covid-19.
Fou died on Monday in London, where he had been living since the 1950s.
His death was confirmed to the BBC by Jianing Kong, a professor at the Royal College of Music and student of Fou’s.
Responding to the news on Tuesday, the renowned Chinese pianist Lang Lang described Fou as “a truly great pianist, and our spiritual beacon”.
Fou was born in China in 1934 to a family of China’s intellectual elite. He first heard western classical music at a young age when his father, the renowned translator Fu Lei, returned to China after several years living in France.”
Comments Off on Legendary pianist Fou Ts’ong #傅聰 (1934 – 2020) passed away in London due to #Covid19 | China, UK, world | Permalink Posted by kempton
Vidkun Quisling was a Norwegian army officer who in 1933 founded Norway’s fascist party. In December 1939, he met with Adolf Hitler and urged him to occupy Norway. Following the German invasion of April 1940, Quisling served as a figurehead in the puppet government set up by the German occupation forces, and his linguistic fate was sealed. Before the end of 1940, “quisling” was being used generically in English to refer to any traitor. Winston Churchill, George Orwell, and H. G. Wells used it in their wartime writings. Quisling lived to see his name thus immortalized, but not much longer. He was executed for treason soon after the liberation of Norway in 1945.”
Colourful Dresses & Colourful Flowers – A 2020 Mother’s Day Poem
by Kempton Lam
Mom loves colourful dresses and colourful flowers
I love colourful shirts and colourful flowers
Mom makes friends with restaurant helpers, store keepers, neighbours and strangers
I make friends with restaurant helpers, store keepers, neighbours, and strangers
Mom is stubborn and steadfast with friends
I am stubborn and steadfast with friends
Mom has taught me many things by her actions and by her words
I listen, I filter, and I learn. And sometimes I do
Mom hasn’t often heard the Chinese word for “LOVE” 愛 because my generation of HongKonger parents and children don’t say “LOVE” 愛 to each other
I changed and learned to be better. And I made sure I told mom I “LOVE” 愛 her
Mom loves me and always sees me as a Little Boy
I remind Mom there are very few over half-century old Little Boy
Mom helped create a nice & loving world for us
I, in our challenging time of WW3 Covid19 Age, am determined to try to make our world a better place than the one we found thanks to all the lessons and ways she shaped me and powering me with Love
Mom loves me and want to see me doing well
I love mom and want her to Stay Safe and Stay Healthy
Mom loves to instruct and is no fan of “Talking Back”
I love to listen and see “Talking Back” as important communication
Smashed into thousand pieces & yes, those are deer hair!
Reading my friend thanking her car for 8 years of great services got me thinking of our last car, a very loved & trusted Saturn (we call it Saturn車車). Almost exact two years ago today (May 4th, 2018), Saturn車車 saved me one last time! We are not into getting new cars, so we kept maintaining/fixing it and driving Saturn車車 for an amazing 23+ years! And as my and Saturn車車’s luck had it, in her final days, a young deer (the famous Bambi Assassin) ran into our Saturn車車. Bambi Assassin broke the rear passenger (driver side) window glass into a thousand pieces, bounced off the car, and ran away! Bambi Assassin and me got out of the mess relatively safely with big thanks to Saturn車車!
As my friend said well, it “sounded like a scene in a Nordic film.” Totally, Bambi Assassin on the road in a city with one million plus population! And I totally agree that “Cars might be our angels!”
Yes, that May 4th day might hav been quite an action horror film starring Bambi Assassin & me! I still vividly remember that day! There was a traffic jam that day on the main road near our home with traffic stopped with cars on the road with incoming traffic. Without any warning, Bambi Assassin just jumped out between the gaps in the cars as I was driving in ~50km/hr speed on my side of the road!
If I was slower by split of a second, Bambi Assassin’s head would have been right inside the glass of my driver’s window. At a minimum, likely taking out my option left eye and adding a few character-building scars to my left face IF I was lucky. If I was NOT lucky, the massive head and body of Bambi Assassin (~200lb easy) could have knocked me out, given me a concussion while bleeding me out, all very cost effective in creating nice scenes in an action horror film. Not that I’m a fan of action horror film, especially one starring me in real life.
I hadn’t shared these pix before because they were a bit too close and scary to look at. But now two years have passed, may be I can be a bit more reflective. Some days I like to think/pretend I was a good man so it was my good karma. Some days I think I was just plain lucky!
Does near death or almost being killed in a car accident or #Covid19 or … change our perspective on life or how best to live our lives? Maybe. At least, I hope so. For nearing death (almost accidents or almost #Covid19 or almost …) sometimes shine light on what are the more important things in our lives.
We each must find our own ways and meanings to our lives. But I do think the two popular “meanings” #fame and #money cannot be the simplistic ultimate goals in our lives because no one, on their deathbeds, ask how #famous they are (e.g. how many Facebook/IG/Twitter/etc etc followers the have) or how much money they have in their bank accounts.
Well try it as a #ThoughtExperiment and ask yourself what would YOU care about on your deathbed? Here writes a man whose better half will confirm he is neither rich nor famous in any measurable way! #LifelongLearning
Yes, those are deer hair!
Auto glass smashed into thousand pieces
Comments Off on Bambi Assassin and my Optional Left Eye | HK | Permalink Posted by kempton
Hi, We just had a rather #awful Costco Wholesale Canada membership renewal experience this past Friday. Ended up spending ~30 minutes talking to three (4) different customer service employees/manager with one of them even threatened me to stop writing down her name (I said I might want to complain about my experiences at some point). I was told I’m not allowed to remember their names in order to properly complain if I wish to. Is this normal and standard operating procedure of CostCo employees to threaten members who may want to complain with precision?
Can someone explain why does CostCo treat loyal customers WORSE than brand new customers? Shouldn’t renewal NOT be taken “for granted”? Is it wrong to think each renewal should be treated as EARNED?
— Calgary Zoo example
In stark contrast, Calgary Zoo does things right and treat each member who decides to renew (some don’t renew) with full respect and work hard to earn each renewal. As a start, the zoo treats a renewing member EQUALLY as a new member and would NEVER shortchange/disadvantage a loyal existing member!
— CostCo: a multi-billion dollar entitled company?
Now back to CostCo, please correct me if I am wrong. When a NEW customer decide to take out a NEW membership on November 1st, his/her membership will expire in 2020 November 30th, correct me if I am wrong?
Now when we renewed on November 1st, we were told that our membership expired on September 30th! Major #fail with CostCo! In fact we were further explained, for ANYONE who “renew” within three (3) months of their previous membership expiration date, their membership expiration is the OLD date! So for example, members who decide to renew 89 days after expiration will have their membership shortchanged with 89 days LESS!
— More Training (not punishment) & Will CostCo start treating Loyal/Renewal customers with respect??
I will NEVER want anyone be punished for my stupid complains. Life is too short. Training may be. I want other customers be treated much better than I had been.
I take time to complain not just to benefit myself (sure, I want my complains fixed) BUT I take time to publicly complain in order to raise issues that I think companies like CostCo should think seriously and consider fixing.
I’ve laid out my complains and the issues (hopefully clearly and factually). Will CostCo review your corporate policy and START respecting all Loyal/Renewing customers reminds to be seen. Don’t take my words for it, Google or ask Calgary Zoo how they treat their renewing members and if they treat their loyal renewing members as good as their new ones and if they also shortchange their members because many are too busy to ask?
Disclosure: I decided not to ask for permission as I want her to have “plausible deniability” and this story doesn’t really identify her clearly. Anyway, I left this following comment in her post:
“HongKonger strangers helping each other in these dark hours is what makes HK so loved. Stories like yours are the “brakes” that is slowing HK police/gov’s “push” on the slippery spiral to hell.“
P.S. I believe our loved ones never “leave us” as they live on forever as stories in our hearts and minds. And this 呀姨 will live on in the poster’s mind for sure. And now, with her sharing (and my sharing), live on in more people’s minds.
In a sense, HK has experienced decades of 錦上添花.
Now these days and months of 雪中送炭 is making HongKongers shine.
I just hope HKers’ hearts and minds won’t be engulfed by anger and hate after all dust are settled. As it will be a tragedy if “HK democracy won” at the end but democratic HKers’ hearts and minds were “filled with anger, hate and desire for revenge“.
If HKers acted and behaved like people they despise now (mainland Chinese blinded by patriotic propaganda), then that “democratic victory” would be a “hell (poisoned hearts and minds)” that HKers can’t easily escape with some serious soul-searching.
P.P.S. If the friend sees this post and would rather I NOT share the story, I will of course remove it.
P.P.S. If the friend sees this post and would rather I NOT share the story, I will of course remove it.
In life, I believe we can and should take stock and learn from #TeachableMoments whenever we can. I don’t play tennis but I see lots to learn from 2019 US Open Champ Bianca Andreescu (and her interaction with 23 times grand slams and multiple US Open Champ Serena Williams)!
pix 00 – 2019 US Open Bianca Andreescu vs Serena Williams
I went to a pub and it was a ton of fun watching Bianca played and won live with other Canadians! But I learned a lot more from her many post-game press conferences, news articles and off the court behaviours (who can forget her Rogers Cup on court moment (see video) with Serena?!) and desire to inspire the next generation of tennis players (especially Canadian female players).
Bianca is so talented and look at what she achieved in just one year! What an epic year! I LOVE quotes, and there have been much online talks of attribution/misattribution of quotes involve underestimating/overestimating what one can achieve in one year or five/ten years. But another way of looking at it may be to simply give Bianca‘s visualization process (?) as mentioned in the news and her press conference a try. In fact some Twitter user pointed out that Bianca writing herself a cheque for winning the US Open when she was young and her visualization process was not unlike what fellow Canadian Jim Carrey did (see Jim’s video interview with Oprah). (NOTE: One day I may write more about why this is important to me but that can wait for now.)
“My eyes were wet when I rewatched Bianca & Serena courtside uncensored talk a few times+their press conf twice each. Best in sport moments transcend technical skills, winning/losing & become #teachablemoment re how to treat other w empathy & respect, try2be better versions of us.“
I may still add/update this post to share a list of my own #TeachableMoments from these last few weeks and months from Bianca. Until then, the following is a list of most of the raw sources that I learned those #TeachableMoments from. Enjoy and have fun!
Here are a bunch of interesting podcasts from Hollywood Reporter (THR) starting with Sacha Baron Cohen, one of my most favourite and insightful comedians, and the one that started me on this interesting journey. Have a listen of any one or more of these podcasts as I copied and pasted from THR. Enjoy!