Hong Kong Orchestra Festival Flash Mob: Ode to Joy 2013
August 10, 2019 10:40 PM   Subscribe

The singing of the free and joyous. A flash mob in a Hong Kong mall, circa 2013.
posted by Slap*Happy (13 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
holy shit that musta been fun!
posted by not_on_display at 11:39 PM on August 10, 2019

Attention holiday shoppers, you are far more than mere consumers.
posted by Chitownfats at 4:30 AM on August 11, 2019

*wipes away tears*
posted by darkstar at 8:35 AM on August 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Flash mobs were such a weird, weird fad...but I loved them. I took part in a few and I still really enjoy watching videos of the older, cooler ones - like this one. Thanks for posting!
posted by Gray Duck at 9:04 AM on August 11, 2019

Things were very violent today. Check out @standwithhkg on Instagram for English-captioned images and video.
posted by mdonley at 12:15 PM on August 11, 2019

How on earth do you sneak tympani into a flashmob?
posted by How much is that froggie in the window at 4:08 PM on August 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Ya know. I got to thinking. What's the PLA's play here?

OK, they declare Hong Kong in insurrection, now what? Yeah, you can level the joint with artillery and aerial bombardment, but this is the financial engine that powers the industrialization of China. Just as a global economic slowdown happens, and Trump is being crazier than usual. I mean, maybe the banks in Shenzhen and Shanghai and Beijing are able to pick up the slack without the longstanding international ties Hong Kong has in every weather... but that's a big maybe.

OK, the game is now to pacify the populace. Just how many tanks can you cram in there? How high does the elevation of the guns go? How many molotov cocktails can you take from anywhere between the twentieth and fortieth floor, where there are easily a thousand residences? How many skyscraper apartment blocks are there? How many molotov cocktails can your infantry support take?

OK, you're the PLA infantry, going door to door, floor by floor. The Hong Kong Resistance has co-opted the building's emergency PA system to blast Andrew Lloyd Weber at you and the neighbors who are now upset with you. The first few hundred or so apartments you breach and secure are just ordinary folk who may now not be so inclined to your cause. And then you hit the first booby-trapped apartment. You have fifty floors to go. In this one building.

You can starve them all out... and kill Hong Kong, the center of Chinese finance, and starve the nation entire.

Instead, his is China's play. They have infiltrated the police and organized crime, and expect once the Hong Kong citizens are duly intimidated, they'd roll over. There is no other option, Beijing made the wrong move at the wrong time and now Two Systems One Country will be enshrined.

The only question is how many tank-support platoons get torched if they decide to toss good money after bad. How many apartment blocks get leveled out of spite.

My prediction is that Xi Jinping chastises and/or convicts some "rogue generals" for violating the Two Systems One Country policy. He has belts and roads to build, and this ain't helping.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:50 PM on August 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

C'mon, let's just maybe dial it back a little on the gruesome urban combat scenarios. I do have family and friends in Hong Kong, y'know?

But to reply to your question, I don't know if the "rogue generals" excuse would necessarily work. The Party spent the last 30-40 years making sure that the military is subservient to the Party and not a rival to it's rule. To even acknowledge that a general can go "rogue", and especially under Xi Jinping, would be kind of shocking. It would be an admission of a weakness in the Party's dominance over the military.

But I don't think that the Party is willing to use the military, because it just don't really make sense. The protesters are contained within Hong Kong and from everything I've read nearly all Mainland Chinese are not sympathetic to the protests, so there's really no risk of some kind of "color revolution" spreading and toppling the Party. I don't really know what the upside is to using the military, but there are a bunch of downsides. You've already talked about how it would hurt the people of Hong Kong and also damage it economically. It would also boost the pro-independence faction in Taiwan, and only help it's chances in the immediate election but probably end any chance Beijing would have at peaceful reunification. And then there's a chance (not big, but still possible) that this would push not only the US but it's allies to put economic sanctions on China. And with the country already in the middle of a trade war with the US, this action could actually destabilize China much more than some protesters in Hong Kong could ever do.

Then there's the most cynical and conspiratorial side of me thinks that it's even possible that the Party may even want to keep the protesters around now, because the image of a"US black hands" backed masked hooligan sowing chaos and wanting to overthrow China by throwing bricks at the police is much easier to hate than steel tariffs.
posted by FJT at 11:19 PM on August 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

Party will make sure there are Rogue Generals to take the blame. The convoy of empty trucks mustered to Shenzhen was almost believable, there will be Rogue Generals to take the blame. Meanwhile, in the Himalayas, where actual real war is an actual real possibility between three nuclear powers... Maybe let Hong Kong citizens say mean things about you? The PLA'S SSF units have come out to play tonight on Reddit. They're not as elite as they might like to think themselves.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:05 PM on August 13, 2019

Well, this just ruined my afternoon:
Mulan: Disney Star Liu Yifei Expresses Support for Hong Kong Police

I've been kind of dreading that the various controversies over the HK protests would be spreading into other areas, like Overseas Chinese communities or stuff like this. The traditional and social media fights are also starting to feel like what happened with the Tibetan Protests/Olympic Torch Relay of 2008.
posted by FJT at 2:00 PM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

It's already spread overseas, from what my parents tell me, the Cantonese-speaking community here is so divided that friends simply do not discuss HK with friends because any discussion will erupt into disagreement. It's a form of self-censorship. There's also a generation gap, the older people are less empathic/understanding of the protests, prone to repeating talking points, etc., even as older HKers they aren't particularly enamored of mainland "communist" china, either.
posted by polymodus at 9:36 PM on August 15, 2019 [1 favorite]

CGTN (like Russia Today but for China) has released a song in Rap, which the kids today like so much:

Hey #HongKong protesters! Chinese mainland rappers have something to say

(link goes to Twitter)
posted by Joe in Australia at 8:44 PM on August 17, 2019 [1 favorite]

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