Saturday, 1 July 2006

You say it best...

…when you say nothing at all. I know, I know. That's maybe the only Ronan Keating song I like. But it's come to mind many times during this week. Me mate's here from Taiwan, y'see, only he's deaf and dunt speak. So we get along wi made-up sign language and writing stuff down. It were really good to have two days where I didn't need to actually speak to anyone, just make sure they saw me waving me hands n pen about. Something relaxing about not having to speak to people. Hmm. A break from changin languages all day? Or just the ultimate laziness?

Anyway, haven't been here fer a week cos two very important things have kept me away: the Bernard Cornwell novel "Sharpe's Rifles" and my shiny new DVD recorder.

Ooooooooooh yes, been havin a whale of a time wi these two. First off, my thoughts n feelins on "Rifles" are best kept fer my LiveJournal page, so don't worry that you're goin to get me bangin on about Sharpe yet again. I can feel yer relief from waaaaaaaaaaay over here.

So, me DVD player then. After about twenty minutes o me questionin the poor wee lad in Fortress Spanish Inquisition style, I finally opted for the model I struggled not to race home wi. We went through region codes, PAL/NTSC sync, recording times and options, the miracle that is the 250GB hard disk, and best DVDs to record on etc. And audio leads. And G-code, digital outs, 5.1 audio, aerial leads and finally, where it were made. Call me a learned racist, but I'll not be buying a model made in mainland China again. Me "innocent till proven guilty" theory came crashing down right there, didn't it? Anyway, all deities, major and minor, love the Koreans: this recorder does all the flashy amazing party tricks that the Grundig model next to it ont shelf did. Only it were HK$1,000 cheaper and had one major thing that the Grundig didn't: it were factory-made wi'owt it's own region code.

Don't get me started on region codes. My main gripe bein, seein as how I live right int middle of two region codes, and o course have me own DVDs bought completely legally from HMV down't street, why shouldn't I be able to play all of em? Just fer everyone's general information, DVDs made in Hong Kong (or rather, fert Hong Kong market) do NOT have a region code. Go on, look at the back of any one of em: the wee Panorama symbol for the region code has a big fat ZERO printed on it. Bloody marvellous. Why? I've said it time and time again ~ Hong Kong merchants "are harmless, they just want to sell you things!"
China DVDs (subtitled: American films on quality but cheap-as-chips disks n boxes, but twice the price o Hong Kong films made locally) are region 3, Japanese region 2, and o course my not-so-insubstantial DVD collection also contains region 1 and 2 anyway. All of these are bought legally and after they've been made available to all other regions too, so where's the harm in me playin em? Why can't the US companies/studios just share? Talk about being a five year old about yer toys. The harder they squeeze and try to stop people buyin em or gettin em before they're available in their own region (if they ever are), the more pirate copies 'n original US disks will be sold overseas.

Yeah ~ that's another point right there. Hong Kong doesn't bother makin it's own region version of a US film, cos they can just sell the original US one. Fer example, you can buy The Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy in the UK on region 2 and get some extra makin-of stuff. Or you can buy it on the US region 1 and get different extras (apparently). Or you can wait a month and buy the China region 3 version, and get everything from both region versions lumped onto one disk. Give it a month and it'll be fer sale in HMV alongside t'other two regions.

One thing I have to make clear: Hong Kong and China are NOT YET one country, much as people like to think they are. Actually, it's kind of ironic I'm writin this on July 1st, a territory-wide (yes, "territory", not "nation") holiday, as it were on this day in 1997 that England handed Hong Kong over to China. We have special trade agreements and tax reliefs and shite like that, 'n in 2047 they're lookin at tearin down the border completely and we'll be one big happy family. Ooooh, can you feel my sarcasm?

But we have our own money, our own government, our own laws (adapted from the mess the English left em in), and our own way of doin things that's been as such fer a thousand years and will probably never change. And our own name: Hong Kong S.A.R. (Special Administrative Region) of China. We are not a nation o communists, much as people like to believe, we don't eat dogs or cats, we don't like Jackie Chan (due to him bein an obnoxious, letcherous cunt wi an ego the size of Russia), there is no "chin chin" that people keep sayin at me when drinkin (I thought that were Japanese fer "small boy's penis"), and our language (Cantonese) were around and writing Shakespeare-quality literature before Mandarin (mainland Chinese) had been beaten into a single form by't first emperor o China. We can read and write, thank you, and don't need our dictionary o words re-written to make them simpler, like we're some remedial class int morning school (Simplified Chinese, as opposed to Hong Kong's Traditional Chinese character set).

Oh dear. Just look at that. Where did this "we" business slip in then? Everyone here knows I am NOT Chinese by any way or means, I guess I've just been here too long, eh. Beat Drake's Drum 'n I'll be ont side of the English alright, but when the mainland starts getting all demandin makes me want to join in the democratic demonstration marches that snake through't city on public holidays. Like today, in fact. But it's not really my place, is it? I mean, I'm just an ex-pat, what do I know? I feel like I shouldn't really be getting involved ~ it's not my country, it's not fer me to argue the toss on behalf of the people whose business it really is. After all, I know how I'd feel if foreign workers in England got all patriotic and demonstratin' about the British government, when they'd only been int country fer a few years.

Aaai, this has turned into a novel. And I haven't even got onto "The Dark". That can wait. Or maybe I'll put it on me Chinese-language blog, just to be perverse [chuckles].

Apologies fert pics here which have no relevance to't topic, just trying to brighten up a dull rant. Hope they did the trick. Best go, eh. I have a DVD recorder to play wi!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


* (asterisk) said...

Surely you can make your recorder multiregion, though?

I bought one with built-in HD, too. Great invention. Made it multiregion and all. Got to, haven't you? My collection contains discs from regions 0, 1, 2, 3, and 4. (Can't remember about 5 and 6...) Got to get those releases of HK films before they even hit the cinema over here, if ever: Infernal Affairs, Hero, etc.

Bloody noisy machines, though. So noisy, in fact, that I kept my DVD player for watching discs and use the HD/DVD recorder just for recording.

granny w said...

you can make them multi region but only if your selfish friend who normally deals with all new fangled technology for you doesn't fuck off to hong kong leaving you at the mercy of "help" desks - all desk no help!

Soupdragon said...

Mine's not too noisy, lucky there I spose.
What did you reckon to Hero then? I just watched it for Tony Leung Chiu-Wai, LOL, but liked the re-tellin o the story, like that episode o Moonlighting where they argue about who killed the nightclub singer and keep dreamin all the different ways ROFLMFAO

Infernal Affairs 1 and 3 were ace; 2 were a bit pants really.

Nice to know someone else appreciates proper HK film.


An' 'ey there Granny W, when you coming to HK then? It were press menu and 19 or summat, right?

granny w said...

i don't know i wasn't listening when you told me the first 72 times! if i get my promotion i'll be with you b4 xmas if not probably april-may. unless monkey boy is pushed under a train making me a rich widow. then as soon as i can get a flight out of this hell hole! can you tell i miss you yet. sorry about the lower case i'm half cat and can't be arsed xxx

Soupdragon said...

get on yer house phone right now, wench! i'm trying to call you!

granny w said...

I'm at home - your phone is shite young dragon!!

* (asterisk) said...

I thought Hero was lovely to look at (obviously), but that the story was incredibly slight, albeit good. Infernal Affairs disappointed me slightly, probably because it was so hyped: y'know, the saviour of HK cinema. But there are bits that I really liked and I'll probably watch it again. Haven't bothered with 2 and 3, but heard 2 was shite.

I see you like an Aaron Kwok fan... When the hell are they going to release a good disc of The Bare Foot Kid? That was the film that got me into HK cinema, back in the mid-90s. On a double bill with A Better Tomorrow II.

And I'm sure I went green first! Wasn't yours still black yesterday (Sunday)?

* (asterisk) said...

"you like an Aaron Kwok fan"; didn't edit that proper, did I?

Soupdragon said...

The Bare-Footed Kid???
You are a man after me own heart!! I've seen this on really crappy VCD about 5 times, each time wi sound so shite it's hard to hear what they're saying, and each time the cover says there are Chinese subtitles (no English) ~ but they lied!
So I've never really understood what goes on... Been lookin fer a proper copy fer fuckin YEARS, man!!

Now Better Tomorrow 2 were alright, but Hard Boiled ~ now there's a biscuit fer dippin'!

Crikey blimey Charlie, someone else who's seen Bare-Footed Kid....!!

*will grin fer a week*

* (asterisk) said...

Great movie, really liked it. And Ti Lung is great in it too. I've always shied away from VCDs, and I definitely won't buy this one now. But when is the DVD coming out?

Love Hard-Boiled obviously, but ABT2 will always have a special place in my heart.

I'll check out Divergence.

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