Recently, an anonymous person opened a Facebook page targeting the Internet celebrity Bonsai Keiko (a parody character of a news anchor) as well as a drinks product that she endorses. In his response, writer Lewis Loud wrote an article entitled “Has the nation-building camp sunk so low as to destroy Ms Bonsai Keiko’s livelihood?”, in which he accused members of the constitutional reform faction of bullying tactics and unleashed a wave of attack from all quarters against Civic Passion and their former electoral allies. Stepping up his finger-wagging exercise, Lewis Loud then penned another piece in which he resorted to innuendos and expressions like “organisations which boycotted the movies of director Wong Jing and shops owned by pro-Beijing supporters”. This ploy of attacking your adversaries with cloak-and-dagger suggestions while not naming names openly is a tactic widely used in China. As for myself, I will always bear in mind what my parents have taught me, that if you have the guts to point a finger at someone, you should have the courage to do it openly. So, therefore, I would like to say this to Lewis Loud, if you want to slag others off, please name your victims. Further, responding to your recent articles, I would like to make the following points.
Firstly, Lewis Loud wrote, “I have never been a particularly righteous person but, seeing the cyberspace being gripped by such public fear these days, I have no alternative but to lend a voice to those who are too afraid to speak out.” Let me get this straight, Mr Loud: you are not an unknown writer, so there really is no need for you to resort to mawkish language to score points. If you have something worth saying, then say it. Your own personality traits or social status should not even be relevant. And if your view is not worth its salt, then there is no point in publicising it at all, whoever you may be. Unflattering comments made against you, anonymously on Facebook, such as calling you a cat-loving weirdo, should have no bearing on your attempt at meting out justice.
Secondly, Mr Loud writes, “In the past, you have boycotted movies of Wong Jing and businesses of other pro-Beijing supporters. Using the simplistic logic often deployed by leftards, your political aims may have justified your attempts to destroy other people’s livelihood. Now, however, what has Bonsai Keiko done? She has not uttered a single word against your glorious and righteous Basic Law Renewal agenda. So why has she met the same fate as pro-Beijing supporters and bad cops?”
I think we can all agree that Ms Bonsai Keiko has never made any negative comments about the Basic Law reform movement. So why has she come under attack on Facebook? Could it be because of her endorsement of certain commercial products? Or could it be part of an ill-meaning plan to cause her harm? We really do not know for sure. Yet, Lewis Loud deemed it appropriate to point a finger directly at the nation-building and constitutional reform camp, encouraging people of different persuasions to attack those political groups. In a logic-defying exercise, Mr Loud brands himself a defender of Miss Bonsai Keiko, claiming that he is duty-bound to ensure that she does not suffer the same fate as pro-Beijing supporters and corrupt cops. Interestingly, Lewis Loud admits to having trawled the Internet for negative press coverage of the Hong Kong police and then used his findings as ammunition to launch his anti-police diatribes and curses. He then argues that, as Miss Bonsai Keiko has done nothing wrong, she should not be subject to such treatment. While we cannot disagree with that part of his argument, we need to query why Lewis Loud should jump to conclusion and point an accusatory finger at one political group, without any justifiably grounds. By the way, may I suggest to Mr Loud that resisting against bad cops takes more than sitting in front of a computer screen and launching verbal attacks. Perhaps he should spend less time eyeing female breasts online and go out a bit more.
Mr Loud writes, “I don’t know Ms Bonsai Keiko at all, and don’t pay any attention to what she does. Nevertheless, I have no idea how a woman could have single-handedly destroyed the constitutional reform movement of Hong Kong, thereby sabotaging the future of Hong Kong. What has she done to deserve having her reputation dragged through the mud?” So, Mr Loud admits that he does not know Ms Bonsai Keiko at all, so why does he deem himself qualified to speak on her behalf? One should at least have some knowledge of a situation before one jumps in and starts pontificating. Evidently, in his attempt to promulgate his political views, Lewis Loud has chosen to exploit a celebrity, a woman, as a springboard to put across his points. Good grief! As an Internet celebrity, Ms Bonsai Keiko is not known for her politics, so why put the spotlight on her and lead everyone to start examining her political leanings?
Lewis Loud has also cited the examples of Empress Cixi and the Boxer Rebellion to prop up his argument. As this is to do with history, a field that we both specialise in, I feel it is appropriate to take a better look at that historical chapter. I would like to remind Mr Loud that the Boxers went through severe suppression under the warlord Yuan Shikai and it is hardly appropriate to evoke that episode to make a point about events of today’s world. As a history graduate, Mr Loud should be aware of the importance of comparability when plucking examples from history, but it would seem that he has not learnt his lessons properly. Furthermore, one wonders if, when penning those controversial allegations, his ulterior motive was to encourage dissent and in-fighting between Civic Passion and City State supporters. Of course, we have no way of knowing what Mr Loud’s real intention was but, as he has taken the decision to make baseless accusations, we are entitled to call his integrity to account.
The last point I want to make is this. Through his writing, Lewis Loud calls to question the relationship between a political leader and his followers. However, if he really wants a serious discussion about this, then he has shown little respect for the veteran politician who risked his own reputation and that of his radio station when he took Mr Loud under his nurturing wings. As we all know, it was through many years of hard graft that the gentleman in question got to where he is today. Anyone with an ounce of decency would have shown a bit more consideration. Personally, I have too much respect for that gentleman to even mention his name here. Mr Loud, however, decided to bite the hand that feeds him. He saw no shame in toying with the reputation of his benefactor as he engaged heartily in petty slanging matches, branding his adversaries "Bolshevik" and "Communist" and making groundless accusations. Ultimately, he is guilty of the same crime that he so vehemently condemned in the past.
In his book “Youth and Learning”, Chinese philosopher Tang Junyi urges the younger generation to learn the importance of staying upright in life, that young people are naturally filled with a sense of justice and, to become fully developed, a young person needs to remain upright, just like plants and trees which need to remain so to grow properly. With that in mind, it is saddening to see a young writer like Lewis Loud falling so short of that gold standard.
(Translated by Rita Kong)
Original Text in Chinese 中文原文: