當筍盤淪為地產霸權？Our homogenous society
How am I going to translate this? The art of translation lies in not only in one's command of languages, but more importantly, translating one culture into another.
Lately I've become a TV addict - I'd watch anything ranging from soap to infotainment programmes. But one of the things I've spotted lately isn't how dumb HK's terrestrial's TV has become (that's old news anyway). It is how popular TVB actor Moses Chan has become: he's the spokesman for a variety of consumer goods - coffee, dessert, Internet broadband, credit card......you name it. Very soon he will be speaking for all the consumer goods found in every chain store.
Those who do not read Chinese language entertainment press or watch TVB might have no clue who Moses Chan is. Here's a bit of background: Chan is a model-turned-actor. He started acting in films but his showbiz career didn't take off until he joined TVB, playing a wide range of roles from good guys to bad guys and even retarded guys. Moses Chan is a household name.
Like many females in Hong Kong, I also like Chan. He's got great looks - handsome enough but not intimidating, and he's also a versatile actor. After the break-up with fellow TVB actress surnamed Liu, Chan was named by Hong Kong's entertainment press crowned him as "the most eligible bachelor". We have a special term for it in Cantonese, and that is "shun poon", a remarkable piece of property sold at a great price. Perhaps because of such a great image, Chan has become the hottest star in the eyes of advertisers. Rumour has it Chan now commands more than HK$100,000 for making an appearance at a 30-minute event, much higher than other TVB actors ask for.
There's nothing wrong with Chan's soaring popularity, but the more I'm being bombarded by the ads and the entertainment news, the more homogenous Hong Kong appears to me: Chan is the MOST eligible bachelor in town, the only reference for Mr Right, albeit at an unattainable standard. It's just like those so-called luxurious flats built by those property developers - there's only ONE choice for properties sold at unattainable prices. Looking for quick fix for food, go to all chain fast food restaurants, as they are the only ones that can stand the soaring rent. In need for daily necessities? Go to all those chain supermarkets, where most of them are subsidiaries of property developers. Wet markets? Sorry, there are less and less of them because property developers are buying them out for "re-development" into "luxurious" flats. Want to shop for clothes? Again, to go chain stores at malls, and eventually everyone wears virtually the same clothes in the same style. Once people got used to this, they will stop questioning the lack of choices.
We are still living in the feudal age run by a handful of property developers, who have become the modern day feudal lords, running not just our lives but also our minds. Without them, would there be more choices for us?
It's heartbreaking to see Hong Kong becoming such a homogenous society.