Comment, Prose

Finding the Rainbow Connection

by Martin Yip ‘Rainbow Connection’ is the opening song of the 1979 film The Muppet Movie, performed by Kermit the Frog. Kermit’s laid-back performance did not prevent his song from inspiring generations of viewers over the years, as it contains a profound message of optimism and empowerment that will resonate for years to come. Why […]

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Comment, Prose

Commonplace Insanity

by Martin Yip Insanity tends to be more salient in the mind than sanity. After all, being sane seems to be the default and thus unworthy of comment; any significant deviation from this default, however, merits attention. When Taiwanese basketball player Jeremy Lin took the NBA by storm in 2012, the phenomenon was dubbed ‘Linsanity’. […]

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Prose

Introspection

by Martin Yip ‘Have I told you about my egg?’ asked my counsellor, in the middle of a session.  “No,” I said.  My counsellor took out a piece of paper and drew an egg-shaped oval. She then drew a horizontal line across the middle of the oval. She wrote the words “reason” and “emotion” in […]

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Comment, Prose

To Infinity and Beyond

by Martin Yip ‘Progress’ is one of those words like ‘peace’. Like peace, virtually everyone agrees that progress is desirable to have. Yet, like peace, there is no clear definition of what progress is, to the extent that many thoughts and actions may be justified on the grounds of a certain convenient definition of ‘progress’. […]

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Comment, Prose

Lines Must Be Drawn

by Martin Yip ‘Imagine there’s no countries / It isn’t hard to do / Nothing to kill or die for / And no religion too.’ So passionately sang John Lennon in Imagine. The imagery of peace and harmony was appealing: if only the physical and psychological barriers between people could come down, we would all […]

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Comment, Prose

Border Maintenance

by Martin Yip Someone (in)famous once said that borders were very important. Millions of people were rushing across the border every day. They were bad, bad people. They commit so many crimes, tremendously many. They are a threat to security. So, he said, we must BUILD A WALL to protect the borders. Across the globe, […]

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Comment, Prose

Pondering Plentiful Perspectives

by Martin Yip History is written by the victors, they say. I spent much of the past summer in two interesting locations – Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic, and Beijing, the capital of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Both countries share a history of communist rule which are, interestingly enough, depicted from […]

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Comment, Prose

No Sacrifice Too Small

by Martin Yip On 1 October 2019, the People’s Republic of China celebrated its 70th anniversary. In Beijing, the largest ever military parade was staged. Fifteen thousand troops marched across Tiananmen Square with armaments that were all made in China. ‘Patriotism and pride swelled among the Chinese as they celebrated the country’s seven decades of […]

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Comment, Prose

The Ghosts of Protests Past

by ZX and Martin Yip ‘Nostalgia’ has two meanings. Originally, it meant ‘homesickness’. Today, it means ‘longing for the past’. For Hongkongers living in the UK, both meanings are apt. On Sunday 9th June, huge crowds filled the streets of Hong Kong to protest against a proposed law that would allow anyone in Hong Kong […]

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Culture, Prose

Heartless Love

by Martin Yip The Chinese writing system is one of the most beautiful currently in use. Compared to alphabets, whose characters are phonographic (meaning they represent sounds), Chinese characters are logographic: each character represents a word or phrase. The result is a system that elegantly condenses information, and rich in aesthetic value. Around two millennia […]

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Comment, Prose

Realising Desires

by Martin Yip In Hong Kong there is a saying that there are five things every university student should do: that is, study, date, live in halls, join committees of clubs and societies, and work part-time. Some might conform to this apparent social norm and desire to do all five, as if that would affirm […]

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Comment, Prose

How Revolutions Matter

by Martin Yip I was first introduced to Les Misérables in seventh-grade music class: whenever our music teacher had time to spare at the end of class, he would go on YouTube and play us clips of its musical adaptations. I was captivated, and when a few years later the film adaptation was released, I […]

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Comment, Prose

Fortune – A Fresher’s Perspective

by Martin Yip Would you agree with the claim that all freshers are fortunate? Each year, about 3200 undergraduates are admitted to Oxford, which comes to a 17% admissions rate. That percentage is slated to decrease, as the number of applicants has been increasing over the last few years, while the number of places has […]

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Prose

The Night is Darkest Just Before the Dawn

by Martin Yip The night is darkest just before the dawn. That was a quotation that Edward Leung purportedly took from a Batman film, as shown in the documentary Lost in the Fumes. Leung was a student from the University of Hong Kong who majored in philosophy. More importantly, he was and remains a figurehead […]

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