Interview with the Bus Uncle
May 31, 2006 10:45 AM   Subscribe

This is not resolved! I was depressed that night. I was worried that my girlfriend would leave me. I wanted to kill myself. Whenever I am unhappy, I would call the Samaritans to talk to them in order to reduce the stress. But while I was talking, the passenger behind me tapped my shoulder to tell me not to talk!
posted by klue (45 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
(There are only two links. The link to the previous mefi post is merely interrupting the first one.)
posted by klue at 10:47 AM on May 31, 2006


Muh.
posted by interrobang at 10:50 AM on May 31, 2006


I've pressure! You've pressure! Shake Hands!
posted by shoepal at 11:00 AM on May 31, 2006


The Memes have stopped pretending we are more than their vectors - empty vessels for their propagation; vehicles on roads we cannot see to ends we know not.
posted by freebird at 11:02 AM on May 31, 2006


Ceiling cat watch you fuck you mom.
posted by StarForce5 at 11:12 AM on May 31, 2006


The previous thread was all about trying to explain why the guy acted like he did. Then a few days later an in dept interview with the man in question is published in China and translated into English... I thought this was a good read. I'm sorry if it troubles you, freebird.
posted by klue at 11:17 AM on May 31, 2006


Poor old bastard.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:18 AM on May 31, 2006


I think that there is a little bit of bus uncle in every one of us.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:19 AM on May 31, 2006


The other thread is still open.
posted by jack_mo at 11:19 AM on May 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


Interesting and sad article.
posted by bhouston at 11:23 AM on May 31, 2006


sad and interesting you mean?
posted by bernardrudden at 11:32 AM on May 31, 2006


I'm sorry if it troubles you

Nothing to be troubled by - Genes have been using us as their conduit down the generations for millenia; now we don't even need even that much physicality to serve as the vessels for data. Being troubled by our increasingly incidental role as Meme vectors would be akin to being troubled by Gravity, Evolution, or the Inevitability of Death: entertaining at parties and religious revivals but pointless in the long run.
posted by freebird at 11:37 AM on May 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


Interesting tale. Gotta feel bad for the guy, even though he was being a dick.

Maybe someone can get him and the subway shit girl together for a reality TV show based on hated people.
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:41 AM on May 31, 2006


Chan described his prison in detail to the reporter. He provided the name of the prison accurately to the reporter. And Tom Jones' song is obviously about homesickness.

Well, I guess that's proof enough!

Could the reporter confirm any of these (ludicrous) details? Chan's story seems like a crock of shit.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:43 AM on May 31, 2006


Wow, Bus Uncle is a weird guy. Even if his story is false, it would still make for an interesting book.

However, the question remains - why the hell would you call a suicide hotline while riding on a bus? Wouldn't you want some .... privacy?
posted by Afroblanco at 11:51 AM on May 31, 2006


klue: thanks for the update. I would have missed it if was tacked onto the other thread. His cell phone ringtone is a song called "save face?" You can't make this stuff up. And if you did noone would buy it.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:58 AM on May 31, 2006


Afroblanco:
The suicidal are probably not the best group to expect rational behaviour from.
posted by batmonkey at 12:03 PM on May 31, 2006


The suicidal are probably not the best group to expect rational behaviour from.

Nor is the non-suicidal. Just sayin', is all.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:15 PM on May 31, 2006


Surely lies.
posted by reklaw at 12:25 PM on May 31, 2006


Bu..but...what about all those t-shirts and coffee mugs and movie deals? There is some serious money at stake now! It can't be resolved! This is not resolved! THIS IS NOT RESOLVED!!!!
posted by rinkjustice at 12:33 PM on May 31, 2006


So does that guy get a share of the profits from all the merchandise? I'm guessing - no. Poor sad old bastard.
posted by puke & cry at 12:35 PM on May 31, 2006 [1 favorite]


"...She is the first woman to appreciate my fruit plate."
I'm sure that's true.
posted by rough at 12:52 PM on May 31, 2006


It is obvious that most of his story is made up.

I believe the being unemployed part, but carving fruit for the king of Belgium and the stuff about the election ... yeah right.

Can anyone confirm that there really is a magazine called "Next Magazine" in HK and that it ran this story? If so, is there any possibility that this is some sort of spoof, some of the humor of which got lost in translation?

Also, when I say the photo of Shirley, my first thought was That can't possibly be his girlfriend. Or can it?

This is not resolved! ... Thanks.
posted by sour cream at 12:55 PM on May 31, 2006


and the ring tone was the same in the video clip: the Twins' old song "Lose face."

Interesting that so many of the comments in the Mefi thread were to the effect that his behavior was about "saving face".
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:00 PM on May 31, 2006


even though he was being a dick.

Was he? In a culture that values 'face' what that kid did was just being a smartass for the sole purpose to provoke. Of course, the kid's intentions are never considered it seems.

This screams hoax.
posted by skallas at 1:08 PM on May 31, 2006


Faint of Butt:
Unreservedly true. Why, I have been known to completely leave rational thinking behind from time to time, myself. ps: I've long found your 'nym hilarious, so thanks for giving me the opportunity to write it!

----
As far as the article goes, now that I've had a chance to read it ... I'm kinda leaning toward thinking it's satirical or a goof by any other name.

I'd love to be wrong, though, being one of those admirers of moments when reality proves to be stranger than fiction.
posted by batmonkey at 1:08 PM on May 31, 2006


The most endearing part of this update is this revelation:
51-year-old Roger Chan has one small batch of hair that has grown especially long. From the back, it looks like an octopus.

Or, what one might refer to as a mullet. You know, business in the front, party in the back.
posted by SteveInMaine at 1:14 PM on May 31, 2006


btw, I didn't state it clearly in my last post but I think it is clear, if the article is true, that the Bus Uncle guy has fairly significant mental illness and most of what he is saying is a combination of fantasy and reality -- he seems mildly psychotic.

Assuming that this is the case, this viral video isn't that different from provoking and then filming an interaction with one of those mildly-schizophrenic homeless people downtown.
posted by bhouston at 1:19 PM on May 31, 2006


"Foul language is like hors d'oeuvres. If you utter three foul-mouthed phrases, you will need to throw one punch less because you have released your anger already. If you don't use foul language, you may have to bring out a knife already."

I think I've finally found a principle upon which to build that religion I've been meaning to start.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 2:15 PM on May 31, 2006


Right at that instant, his first-generation 3G mobile phone started to ring, and the ring tone was the same in the video clip: the Twins' old song "Lose face."

If that's not Ironic I don't know what is.
posted by delmoi at 2:59 PM on May 31, 2006


What's a "first-generation 3G mobile phone" anyway?
posted by sour cream at 3:03 PM on May 31, 2006


sour cream : "What's a 'first-generation 3G mobile phone' anyway?"

The first 3G mobile phones put out by each company. For example, the W21CA was Casio's first generation 3G mobile phone, and the W22CA was their second generation 3G mobile phone.

And, yes, that's awkward as fuck phrasing.
posted by Bugbread at 3:12 PM on May 31, 2006


Er, or, rather, the first 3G phone put out by any company is just their first 3G phone. The collective set of the first 3G phones put out by all companies is the first generation of 3G. So the W21CA is Casio's first 3G phone, the W21P is Panasonic's first 3G phone, and the W21SA is Sanyo's first 3G phone, and the W21CA, W21P, and W21SA (and those of other companies) collectively form the first generation of 3G phones.
posted by Bugbread at 3:31 PM on May 31, 2006


This is cool.
posted by cellphone at 3:48 PM on May 31, 2006


The Memes have stopped pretending we are more than their vectors - empty vessels for their propagation; vehicles on roads we cannot see to ends we know not.

i will spread the word of how these memes travel.
posted by 3.2.3 at 3:52 PM on May 31, 2006


3.2.3 : "i will spread the word of how these memes travel."

Very nice. Well played.
posted by Bugbread at 3:55 PM on May 31, 2006


i find it fascinating that so many people find this story fascinating.
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 3:58 PM on May 31, 2006


Was he? In a culture that values 'face' what that kid did was just being a smartass for the sole purpose to provoke. Of course, the kid's intentions are never considered it seems.

I think the stream of invective and admonitions that Bus Uncle was fucking the guy's mom went well past acceptable face-saving. To say nothing of the fact that he loses face considerably by these actions.

IMO, the kid was probably justified in asking the B.U. to lower his voice a little, and a little tap on the arm to get B.U.'s attention was reasonable.
posted by Kickstart70 at 4:14 PM on May 31, 2006


Yes, Next Magazine is a real publication.

As for the translation of the article, Roland Soong is known for being accurate.
posted by bwg at 4:16 PM on May 31, 2006


By the way , if anyone is interested in the kid's side of the story, you can read it here.

Apologies for the self-link, but the article comes from the unlinkable South China Morning Post.
posted by bwg at 4:21 PM on May 31, 2006


Can anyone confirm that there really is a magazine called "Next Magazine" in HK and that it ran this story?
Next Magazine
posted by tellurian at 5:09 PM on May 31, 2006


Also, stuff about the election ... yeah right. here.
posted by tellurian at 5:17 PM on May 31, 2006


Next Magazine is the ne plus ultra of tabloid magazines in HK and Taiwan. Their weekly cover pics of bikini-clad models makes my twice-daily stops to 7-11 that much more exciting.

解決了!
posted by alidarbac at 9:00 PM on May 31, 2006


From tellurian's link To qualify as a candidate, a nominee must be a Hong Kong permanent resident aged 40 or above, a Chinese citizen with no right of abode in any foreign country, and has ordinarily resided in Hong Kong for a continuous period of not less than 20 years before the polling day.

does that square with him travelling the world's prisons and meeting the king of belgium?
posted by criticalbill at 2:33 AM on June 1, 2006


does that square with him travelling the world's prisons and meeting the king of belgium?

I think it's quite clear that Bus Uncle's story is a tissue of fabrications. That doesn't make it less interesting. Thanks for the post, klue.
posted by languagehat at 5:38 AM on June 1, 2006


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