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Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Urgent Need for Typewriter Insurgency in Hong Kong

It's funny the way certain diverse events can somehow become linked in one's mind. When I came across this 2012 Hong Kong stamp yesterday, I immediately thought "Insurgency". And naturally, by extension, "Typewriter Insurgency". But I was, of course, primarily thinking about the Umbrella Revolution, the pro-democracy demonstrations which have been going on in Hong Kong for three weeks now. I'm not necessarily, as Gerard once jokingly suggested, a "bad-mouthing, China-smearing son of ... bourgeoisie", but I am quietly cheering for the mob! Go people power, go insurgency (all very easy for me to say, from the comfort on my own lounge!).
Activists seeking electoral reform want to take things back in time, at least in terms of freedom of choice, to before Britain returned sovereignty over Hong Kong to China in 1997. How far can they go in restoring the past? On my many visits to Hong Kong in the mid- to late-70s, I always used portable typewriters. It never crossed my mind back then that there'd ever be a call for a typewriter insurgency. Or a cry for democracy in Hong Kong, for that matter.
Well, in Hong Kong right now, there is a very real need for a Typewriter Insurgency, to go hand in glove with the Umbrella Revolution. "Parties unknown" have hacked pro-democracy websites, riddling them with nasty malware that attempts to take over the computers of demonstrators. For the full story, see here, here and here. The solution, of course, is quite obvious. It's time for typewriters to strike back! No "parties unknown" can hack into typewriters, and typewriters can facilitate safe communication between these groups. All they would then need is some real mail ... and a stamp.

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