06 August 2006

Chris Patten

"Junk is the ultimate merchandise. The junk merchant does not sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to the product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise, he degrades and simplifies the client." William S Burroughs

Chris Patten is the last British governor of Hong Kong. What did he bring to Hong Kong after years of "serving" his people? People may not be able to recall any, either because he seldom walked the talk, or because he's not a great governor at all. However, almost everyone can relate Fat Pang, Patten's nickname, to egg tart.

Exactly what is the relationship between politics and egg tart, a popular Chinese pastry?

Politics is about making and doing shows. Any artist can do a great job. Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger are some good examples. Politicans who are poor actors have difficulties winning their people's hearts. People are shallow and too lazy to think, so what they see is what they get. As long as the show is entertaining, they'll just love it. Politics does nothing to help improve the economy's performance, but can do everything to hinder economic growth. But how is politics related to food?

Snacks are nothing but junk foods. Junk refers to things with almost zero value. It is usually created and developed with no specific meaningful objective in the first place, which further explains why the deliverable is junk. Another reason is that the deliverable is not of relevance to the receiver. When the deliverable is not relevant, it simply has no value even though it may possess enormous economic importance. That's junk.

Both unrelated things may have one thing in common: The Ultimate Merchandise!

The poor owner of Tai Cheong Bakery Mr Au Yeung never stops taking the opportunity to shine shoes in the hope of getting market attention, and Patten never stops trying to milk his last-dime from the old colony.

Mr Au Yeung may have adopted a wrong marketing strategy. Patten is not a food critics, and his taste doesn't represent the taste of others. After all, he is a westerner, and has different taste buds. It's pathetic that Fat Pang didn't have any egg tarts during his recent visit to promote his books Not Quite the Diplomat because he was "too fat".

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