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small red square "Not a panic, not a crash, but ugly" - an insider's comment about today's stock market drop (the Dow fell about 150).

small gray square Absorbing a new CD I got at a used record store - it's actually a "Not For Resale" CD-ROM for the current Yo-Yo Ma PBS Inspired By Bach - I believe this is the 'electronic press kit' for the mini-series. It's great - not only does it contain the tune I wanted, but it comes with its sheet music on-screen, each measure highlighted as it plays.

small yellow square The good songs by a group called Wire:

  • Used To
  • the 15th
  • Outdoor Miner
  • French Film Blurred
  • I Am The Fly
  • Blessed State
  • 40 Versions
  • I Should've Known Better
  • A Touching Display

small blue square Just before I started this journal I was trying to get more information about Kowloon Walled City - an area on the mainland opposite Hong Kong Island. It was originally a walled fortress from the Qing Dynasty which was left out of Sino-British leasing agreements: a 7-acre gray area. "Known as 'the Cancer of Kowloon', it housed criminals for nearly a century, notably Triad gangs that ran the opium dens, brothels, casinos and live sex shows that flourished in its maze of rat-infested alleys and dark stairwells." <1>. Eventually the walls were replaced with buildings built out to the perimeter of this 'free zone', estimates approximate 350 buildings with 50,000 people living there - it was near the end of the Kai Tak airport runways. In 1992 when I visited Hong Kong it had already been evacuated and was being demolished. The big fights in that Van Damme "Bloodsport" movie happen there, maybe even filmed inside? It was supposed to be really grim earlier than the 50s, but then lightened up to some degree in the 70's & 80s - for example you could find the good dentists there - real ones from the PRC, but black market because not licensed to practice in Hong Kong. The closest I got physically was at the airport, where I leafed through a postcard book in one of the myriad gift shops: Goodbye Walled City. I should've bought it, but all the color photos were brown. You can find some amazing material about it at this site, and there's a virtual reconstruction in the latest Gibson <2>.
For me, Hong Kong was a place I'd always wanted to go to, but once I arrived I discovered that I really couldn't stand it.

PRC - Peoples Republic of China

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<1>U.S. News & World Report Oct 21, 1991 Back

<2>Idoru Back