On 11th November, it is Remembrance Day for British Commonwealth nations around the world that marks the end of World War One, and it was once a day of commemoration in Hong Kong. Therefore it is somewhat coincidental that on the same day this year that Passiontimes would be celebrating its 5th anniversary since its founding in 2012, as it was first intended to be a platform for politically aware and sensitive young Hong Kongers to gather in their resistance against Chinese tyranny, just as the WW1 legend is about resistance against tyranny. Now, in 2017, Passiontimes have somewhat evolved, not simply just a platform to gather together like minded Hong Kong patriots, but also as an ark of Hong Kong youths, cultures and languages amidst the flood of Chinese barbarity and ethnic cleansing around us, hoping that one day when the flood subsides with the eventual downfall of China, this occupants of this ark would come out and revive the city-state of Hong Kong.
This shift in focus happened after the Civic-Proletariat-Resurgence triumvirate’s defeat in the 2016 Legislative Council election in Hong Kong, at the guidance of Passiontimes’ founder and leader Wong Yeungtat, also the former head of Civic Passion. In his foresight, Wong Yeungtat saw that Hong Kong society will fall even further under the tide of Chinese invasion on a comprehensive scale, whereby not just people would succumb to China’s malicious blight but Hong Kong’s unique cultures would be subject to erasure and extinction; and so, he envisioned Passiontimes being transformed into an ark of people and culture, and less emphasis on political resistance against China and their minions in Hong Kong, although it still continues to watch over and speak out on behalf of Hong Kong.
From a handful of online shows that minister to young Hong Kongers’ cultural interests, Passiontimes now runs almost 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with programmes that seek to reach young Hong Kongers. Besides its monthly newspaper that it publishes and formerly distributes throughout Hong Kong by volunteers and now placed in certain areas where the public can go and take one for themselves, Passiontimes had published printed manga/comics that have went online instead, set up an online shop that sold clothing that its designing team designed themselves, as well as its own books that discussed not just Hong Kong politics but cultural insights and visions. In these five years, Passiontimes also set up a tithing system that was not about voluntary donations but about the audience showing their appreciation for what show hosts and writers have provided to nurture everyone’s learning, and encouraging these show hosts and writers to exceed and improve themselves.
Passiontimes as the hyperbolic time chamber
In thinking about how far Passiontimes have come, a scene from the classic Japanese anime Dragonball Z came to mind, the one where everyone was taking a beating from the perfected insectoid android called Cell and Gohan was being pressured to fight him. For anyone not quite familiar with this anime, Gohan is the son of the main character Son Goku, a Saiyan who was sent to Earth as a baby to laid waste to the planet so it could be sold by a villainous tyrant called Frieza to other alien races wanting a home world. Fortunately, baby Goku suffered an accident that brought about amnesia and later became Earth’s most powerful defender instead. Gohan was born to Goku and his human wife Chi Chi not long before Goku’s older brother Raditz came looking for his baby brother and finish the job of levelling the Earth, thus setting off a new chain of events.
Gohan was molly-coddled as a child by his mother Chi Chi, not allowing him to take after his father Goku as a fighter, so that Gohan has had distaste for fighting and killing from an early age. Through a series of events, Gohan was forced onto the battlefield and both his father and his mentor Piccolo saw his potential to surpass even Goku in power and therefore able to defeat Cell. However, Gohan couldn’t get over his hurdle of not wanting to hurt anyone, much less kill anyone; but Cell having caught wind of Gohan’s potential, was interested and attempted to bring out Gohan’s “inner Saiyan” by any means necessary. Cell brutally dismembered another android known as Android 16, who after his reprogramming found a love of nature and peace instead of war, and in 16’s last moments he taught Gohan that sometimes some people just cannot be reasoned with and these same people love to cause great pains for others, therefore sometimes it is necessary to release one’s inhibition to hurt and must take up the fight. Tired of talking, Cell stomped on Android 16’s head which tipped Gohan over the edge, and in his screams of fury he transcended the ultra powerful Super Saiyan form that his legendary father had achieved before him and became what is known as Super Saiyan 2: a golden spiky hair, green-eyed Saiyan similar to his father’s Super Saiyan form but many times the power. With his new found power, Gohan clobbered Cell to a pulp and almost defeated Cell single-handedly.
However, Gohan didn’t achieve Super Saiyan 2 and surpass both his father and his mentor in power simply on the spot. Prior to his explosive moment, Gohan had to go through a rigorous and painful training regime under his mentor Piccolo, Goku’s former arch nemesis, after his father was killed by his uncle Raditz. Gohan then had to experience a difficult battle with Frieza’s powerful minions and Frieza himself, he then went through a demanding training exercise under his revived father’s tutelage in what is known as the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, a room that linked to a parallel dimension where one hour inside it was equivalent to a year outside. It was through all that and more that Gohan developed his potential to surpass everyone else in fighting power.
For us in the real world, Passiontimes to us is the Hyperbolic Time Chamber to Gohan. At Passiontimes, the show hosts and writers do their best to condense decades and centuries of human history and experiences into a few hours of shows and pages of articles in order to train us to be of use in defending Hong Kong society and cultural heritage. As Piccolo, Goku and Android 16 was to Gohan, so Wong Yeungtat is to many of us working for Passiontimes as its members or its affiliates, rigorously pushing everyone to exceed ourselves and transcend into another level of humanity. For throughout these five years, many people left Passiontimes due to personal reasons but there are those who left simply because they cannot bear the arduous demands required at Passiontimes. So those who are still here can be said to be of an elite force just like Goku and his team of warriors, and at Passiontimes we have people from across the spectrum of society.
The team at Passiontimes and its affiliates have parents that can bring important insights into raising the next generation of Hong Kongers in being immune to China’s propaganda; lore keepers and teachers that are repositories of historical knowledge that can counter China’s alteration of historical realities; writers who has mastery of words that can bring the greatest impact and insights to their audiences; near-professional gamers that can attract Hong Kong youths into being interested in what else Passiontimes can bring for them; reporters that know how to make Hong Kongers aware of social and cultural trends before the rest of Hong Kong; designers and copyrighters who know how to make the greatest impressions and inspirations just from; and martial artists that can teach Hong Kongers how best to defend themselves from pro-China goons such the nefarious “Blue Ribbons”. Passiontimes have a lot more talents than I can readily recount and that is what makes it a force to be reckoned with, but all these couldn’t have came about without Wong Yeungtat’s foresight and vision.
We are all Gohan
Gohan before his ascendance to Super Saiyan 2 had shown great potential as a fighter that surpassed Goku and Piccolo even as a toddler, when he suddenly rose in power, flew across air and space to head butted his uncle Raditz in defence of his father. In his training under Piccolo, Gohan in one moment had managed to fire off an attack that even his mentor had to take him seriously for a while. In his “SEED explosion” moment so to speak (see the anime Gundam SEED for what I mean), Gohan’s exponential rise in power scared even the powerful Cell, who was a bio-mechanical amalgamation of traits from all the powerful warriors that ever existed on Earth since Goku was a child. In comparison, many Hong Kongers are a Gohan unto themselves.
We Hong Kongers had shown great potential in ushering great change and topple the current evil regime during the 2014 Umbrella Revolution despite its eventual failure, during the 2015 Reclaim Movement, and in the 2016 Mongkok Uprising , just like Gohan had in injuring the more powerful Raditz. We had even given the Chinese regime a reason to pause and be wary of what we would do next, forcing them to react rather than us. We had shown the power we can muster in unison when we all shared the same vision and resolve, a power that even the cops and criminal elements were afraid of. But just like Super Saiyan 2 Gohan having let his guard down in fighting Cell, thus allowing the former to kill his father and almost turn the table back against the defenders of Earth, we Hong Kongers had let our guard down in allowing the leftards and pseudo-democrats in Hong Kong revive and pulled the carpet from under us, in turn allowing pro-China forces in Hong Kong to revitalise itself and almost routed the localists to complete annihilation. This is because we Hong Kongers, similar to Gohan, were raised to abhor fighting; but as Android 16 advised Gohan, Hong Kongers must realise that sometimes some people cannot be reasoned with and we must be resolved to fight to the bitter end in order to protect the Hong Kong that we love. As Wong Yeungtat pointed out on one of the episodes of Passiontimes’ Good Morning Hong Kong, a true revolution requires that one moment where all sense of reasoning and prohibitions are abandoned in one scream of fury, as Gohan had in ascending to Super Saiyan 2. Passiontimes is a platform that can bring about that ultimate transformation.
An Ode to Passiontimes
Citing another cultural reference, Passiontimes and its founder Wong Yeungtat are like the character Eikichi Onizuka (coincidentally both Onizuka and Wong sport a really closely cropped hairstyle) in another Japanese classic anime, Great Teacher Onizuka, who was not above using unconventional and rather questionable methods to teach important life lessons to his delinquent students, and the opening theme song for the live action drama version of the story, Poison ~iitai koto mo ienai konna yo no naka ja~, has a verse that summarise the reason why Passiontimes exists: “We do not want to be in a world where we cannot say what we want to say, which is poison.”
While I haven’t written any article in the Han language, I would like to offer a parody of the song 刀光劍影 (meaning “Light of the Blade and Shadow of the Sword”), one of the theme songs from the Hong Kong movies series Young and Dangerous starring Ekin Cheng, itself a parody of a song by the Hong Kong band Beyond titled 歲月無聲 , in tribute to Passiontimes’ contribution to Hong Kong these past five years. It must be mentioned that the movie series Young and Dangerous is iconic within Hong Kong cinema history and is based upon the Hong Kong manga Teddy Boy, whose author and chief artist are currently under Passion Time’s flagship and are contributors to the manga version of Wong Yeungtat’s own novel 金錢師 (“Money Master”). The parody song lyrics below is titled 最強頻道 (“Most Powerful Channel”), Passiontimes’ slogan from 2012-2016, to the music from the song 刀光劍影：
香港網媒網台界我玩曬 (“We top Hong Kong’s online media”)
時報獨當一派 (“Passiontimes is in a league unto itself”)
報紙、書本與漫畫都搞曬 (“We’ve done newspapers, books and manga”)
課金最高境界 (“Tithing is the peak of our state of performance”)
論時事我不會歪 (“We don’t stray in discussing the times”)
論駡戰我不言敗 (“We won’t admit defeat in verbal bouts”)
香江困境 (“Hong Kong’s predicatment”)
讓我闖，為熱時顯本領 (“Let’s me break the barriers, showing may skills for Passiontimes”)
招聚班精英 (“We gather a bunch of elites”)
為我港對抗北京 (“Resisting Beijing for the sake of Hong Kong”)
讓我家鄉可留下來 (“So that our homeland can continue to exist”)
Please continue to show your patronage and encouragement for Passiontimes and its role in Hong Kong by continuing to tithe towards our show hosts and writers, and buy a ticket to the Passiontimes’ 5th Anniversary Celebration held on the 11th November, 2017.