Quit Holding on to ‘Upholding Umbrella’ Style of Failure, Build our ‘Village of Solitude’

Passion Times

2nd January, 2015

Quit Holding on to ‘Upholding Umbrella’ Style of Failure, Build our ‘Village of Solitude’

留戀撐起雨傘式失敗 不如先建好獨家村

The song ‘Upholding Umbrella’ won the My Favourite Song of the Year award at the 2014 Commercial Radio Ultimate Awards (in Hong Kong). During the award presentation, a group in the audience held up their umbrellas to show support. The cheers from the audience made it sound like there was something worth celebrating. It was like a bad joke in an unwatchable movie.

The surgery was successful, but the patient died – is what this award means: ‘Upholding Umbrella’ won the favourite song of the year award, but at the same time Umbrella Revolution was crushed. I can’t think of any reason that we should be cheering at the award ceremony, except mawkishness.

The 79-day-long Umbrella Revolution led to zero progress on political reform in Hong Kong, but instead gave birth to white terror on a massive scale, and infected the generation who dedicated themselves in this revolution with a huge sense of failure. The Communist HKSAR regime is still standing. It continues to mobilise its pawns to arrest citizens on groundless charges. At this moment of life and death people should be reflecting on the failure and planning their next move. Only weak people with no backbone would celebrate the failure of a revolution – just like a doctor celebrating the success of an operation in which the patient died. And only shameless politicians who seek nothing but fame (to secure their victory in the next election, in the hope that the majority of Hong Kong voters will blindly vote for them who ‘stood alongside the pro-democracy protestors’), and peacefulness-obsessed and politically idiotic Hongkongers would celebrate by joining in with the singers on-stage. They were celebrating at a funeral!

As part of the mainstream media, Commercial Radio of course had to be part of the propaganda machine. However, it is taking this further by pretending to support the younger generation. By making ‘Upholding Umbrella’ popular, the trite images it evokes can be revived again and again, garnering them support from the people who support democracy. The radio channel also benefits by being seen to support the people’s movement, at the same time warming up those who are neutral to the movement. It’s a sure win approach! Supporting ‘Upholding Umbrella’ is a strategic business move.

The important thing to understand is that the spirit of ‘Upholding Umbrella’ is that of maintaining the status quo, not fomenting a revolution. The song endorses the tried and failed protest culture in Hong Kong: peaceful, rational, non-violent and non-verbally-violent (PRNN): When one faces teargas and police batons, one only needs an innocuous and inoffensive umbrella to defend oneself. Following the Umbrella Revolution, PRNN has once again been proven to lead to nothing but failure, and the totalitarian regime’s true identity has been exposed to the world. At this point, praising ‘Upholding Umbrella’ as if it was a victory song is not only to be blind to the struggle Hongkongers have endured and will continue to face but, far worse, to endorse the (pan-democrat) propaganda and to support of the status quo.

The Umbrella is a totem of the movement, and it is the halo the singers of this song will wear forever: The tonic that ensures the pro-China-colonisation camp’s (i.e. many of the pan-democrats) and Apple Daily’s everlasting dominance of the democratic theme (in Hong Kong. ‘Upholding Umbrella’ is only a by-product of the pro-China-colonisation industry. Commercial Radio merely took part in this by chance and benefited from it. If we are not careful, the umbrella totem will impede the democratic process of Hong Kong for another thirty years. The survival of Hong Kong will be determined in the next three to seven years, and we have no time to waste.

The sprit and core of ‘Upholding Umbrella’ have not moved away from the touchy-feely and tried and failed begging style protest: it tries to move others by emphasising the unjust and highlighting the humble demand a group of weak, peaceful and rational victims (highlighting the contrast between themselves and the powers-that-be). However, besides column inches, nothing can be achieved. Hongkongers will forever indulge in the forceful emotions of self-pity about this failed revolution because the song is the totem that represents the ‘awesome nature’ of Hongkongers. Kay Tse’s song Village of Solitude, however, offers a completely different perspective. The song may seem like a love song, but if you study the lyrics, you can see it is a metaphor for Hong Kong’s political situation. Village of Solitude is about the importance of Hong Kong splitting from China in order to preserve and safeguard the independence and principles Hong Kong stands for. Unlike ‘Upholding Umbrella’, which is not about making a political stance, Village of Solitude is not about only pretentiously expressing emotions, but a strategy of realpolitik: safeguard our village of solitude without compromise and surrender, and don’t be afraid of being misunderstood or being defamed. The song ended: We will go separate paths from now – it’s a test, but no one would know whose path leads to a better future. I won’t regret for the fact that although I couldn’t change you, I didn’t lower myself to your level.

 

 

Village of Solitude

Lyrics: Albert Leung

Melody: Christopher Chak

Singer: Kay Tse

 

I only count on myself, believe in my uniqueness

You’ve got no spine and kowtow to power, I wish you good luck

This tiny shop’s like a sweet dream, won’t bend down to beg for mercy

Life may turn harsh and poor, I still have my dignity

You said I don’t smile for you, and not flexible to changes

Yet it’s better than your lack of principles, breaking promises – let the love die

Blind love and self-love are mutually exclusive, let me end this for good

I had to let go as I can’t pretend that everything’s fine

And defend my village of solitude

The dream I had about you and I has come to an end, let me fulfill my long cherished dream on my own

Regardless how you defame and mock me for being arrogant, I won’t give up my dignity

Enough of your threats that I’m gambling my future away

We might be sharing the same bed, but we don’t speak the same language anymore

Perhaps I just can’t compromise anymore, I’m about to perish

I wouldn’t let myself wither to beg for your respect and love

Since our views are different, I’d rather stay in solitude

Dignity means everything to me, money is all you care about – how could we ever reach a consensus

I only hope for peacefulness rather than wasting my life with you – it is the end of our relationship

Blind love and self-love are mutually exclusive, let me end this for good

I had to let go as I can’t pretend that everything’s fine

And defend my village of solitude

The dream I had about you and I has come to an end, let me fulfill my long cherished dream on my own

Regardless how you defame and mock me for being arrogant, I wouldn’t give up my dignity

Enough of your threats that I’m gambling my future away

Hard to have selfless and self-respect at the same time, let me call it an end

If such “love” continues, one day it would end nastily

Oh! How I deserve to be in solitude

I fear being weak, giving in to your power and being forever on my knees

In exchange for survival, yet gutted to be a coward

Call me a self-important idiot or extremist as you please

I’d rather preserve my purity than be ruined by your evil kiss

We will go separate paths from now – it’s a test, but no one would know whose path leads to a better future

I won’t regret the fact that although I couldn’t change you, I didn’t lower myself to your level

 

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