The Examined Life
[Total Pages: 2]
Page 1

"You have pressure! I have pressure!"
- Chan Yuet-tung

IN HONG KONG, THE CURRENT MEDIA SENSATION involves the young, mild-mannered Elvis Ho and the irascible oldster Chan Yuet-tung, who will be known forever more as the "Bus Uncle." Whilst riding a local bus, Mr. Ho requested Mr. Chan to speak on his cell phone in a lower voice, prompting a six-minute tirade that was immortalized by an onlooker's cell phone camera (the full subtitled video is on youtube.com - search for "Bus Uncle").
    The incident's dimensions have expanded past simple anecdote: Bus Uncle was revealed to be a former (and dubious) candidate for Hong Kong Chief Executive, both nutty and avuncular. His uncensored rampage has become a symbol of the urban life: coiled rage and charmingly

incoherent invective, unleashed at the most unexpected moment. The quotation that heads this piece has entered the vernacular as the wearied citizen's battle cry against anything and everything. But even as this kernel of the human condition has been pored over, the local media, clenching the story in its jaws, has aided and abetted Chan's exploits, including magazine-funded debauchery sessions at the local karaoke bar, and an impromptu meeting with Mr. Ho at his place of work (Mr. Ho was not amused).
    The Bus Uncle saga serves as both comfort and warning. It reminds us that in an age of prepackaged formulae and look-at-me reality-TV theatrics we can still recognize and appreciate acts that stem from the tide of life being lived. However, the subsequent feeding frenzy shows us how thin the line can be between authenticity and and marketed simulacrum. When reality and