[I'll insert here a gratuitous plug for Miles' fine book "CineEast - Hong Kong Cinema Through The Looking Glass", in which he interviews some of HK's top directors and actors. See the FAB Press site for details -- and between this and the Rockbitch piece, I have given FAB more than enough free publicity. I hope head man Mr.Fenton is appropriately grateful.]
Secondly, there's a lengthy follow-up from Mal Aitchison, who is the guy who pointed me in the direction of Ceefax P.576 to start with:
It would take a much longer letter to list all my initial reactions to the Litany of Hate editorial, as well as the several semi-considered responses to it. Even this reply is being written in the after effects of the catatonic shock your cataclysmic edict induced in the very core of my soul (how's that for literary hyperbole?). Apart from the worryingly New Ageish slant to comments like "it is only by confronting your demons that you can control them" - not if they're built like brick shit houses you can't - I don't think aversion therapy or whatever you were alluding to was intended to address issues like people "who put their bags on seats, walking three abreast, with umbrellas" etc.Hell, I though the bit about demons was more Nietzche than new-age -- unless new-age has toughened up a lot since I last noticed it massaging its crystals. As for aversion therapy, sadly, I'm too psychologically stable to suffer from any addressable issues. He continues:
Don't take this personally, although you can if you want, but having read more than enough P576s (i.e. more than one) I think I'm well qualified to say that you are wrong about these lists. On the whole they fall into two categories (ie when produced by sane people, I'll stick with my original assertion about the majority of 576ers); boring, self-important whinging by humourless bastards or, even worse, really laboured attempts at humour which fall somewhere between tautology and cliche (I'd be very surprised if "waiting for a bus, then 3 turning up at once" type comments had never been posted on Ceefax). I'll give you the benefit of the doubt and put you into the rare 3rd category - people who produce great zines and are therefore allowed the occasional lapse of taste.Interestingly though, it's still produced more immediate feedback than any other editorial I've written - not hard, admittedly - and I reckon this goes to prove the power of the underlying concept. I would at this point go on to discuss how it addresses fears of alienation by allowing people to realise that they are not alone in their hatred of, say, milk-cartons, but I'll just get accused of being new-agey again.
I'll finish now, I'm going to meet a couple of mates so we can stand three abreast on the left hand side of escalators, under the shade of the umbrella we nicked from an outdoor cafe table, while buying milk with a credit card and selling the Big Issue etc etc etc...Hah! Knew I'd forget something off my list: irritating blondes... Renee O'Connor still sucks, Hudson Leick is god. Dead, but a god... :-) [The previous sentences will not make a blind bit of sense unless you watch Xena: Warrior Princess. Sorry.]
Of course, all the above is really my attempt to avenge your disparaging comments about Renee O'Connor during the TC World Cup ;-)
Elsewhere, I was temporarily cheered to hear of the election of former pro-wrestler Jesse Ventura to be governor of Minnesota, thanks to the biggest turnout in the election. The American two-party system is even more screwed than ours, so for anyone else to break through is a major feat. And can you really see Giant Haystacks being elected to anything here? [I should mention there is a precedent in Japan, where pro wrestlers are held in a lot more respect] However, what largely seems to have escaped notice is that the "Reform Party" which backed him is the one started by H.Ross Perot, the loony computer mogul who made a failed run for President. Perot, head of EDS, is a very scary man. Maybe the two-party system isn't so bad after all. But let's give ex-Navy Seal Ventura a chance: he may or not break the mould, but it should liven things up a bit at the very least.