Tuesday, 15 March 2016

A Little Soho Story 蘇豪區的小故事

Ah! Soho! Sounds so Chinese. But the name originated in London, probably as hunting grounds for Henry Number Eight and friends. Nobody’s sure. Gradually, the area was taken over by brothels and bars and restaurants, pleasure establishments favoured by privileged gentlemen after shooting foxes. Since the 1980s, prostitutes have been replaced by high margin shops and posh restaurants. Foxes had been long gone. 

蘇豪這個名字很有中國味道,出處卻在倫敦。據說蘇豪區原來是亨利八號和哥們的狩獵場。貴族獵狐完畢,都要輕鬆一下。於是妓院,酒吧和食肆慢慢蓬勃起來。自八十年代後,貨真價實的妓女雖然佔地不多,也難逃被貨真價不實的高級商鋪取代。不知為何,蘇豪這名字甚受歡迎。紐約抄了之後,香港又抄。美國人抄襲肯定有一番道理,說 Soho 代表 South of Houston 街。於是香港連這命名之術也照抄,話 Soho 代表 「荷里活道之南」 -South of Hollywood 才真。其實 Soho 位置在歌賦街以北,叫做 No Go (North of Gough Street)會較有創意。不過香港的強項是抄襲,和取笑大陸人抄襲,不是創新。 

The name Soho attracts copycats for some reason. It’s been recycled in New York and Hong Kong at least. Soho, after due American justification, means South of Houston Street in NYC. Hong Kong  feels the need to copy semanticity as well, and claims it stands for South of Hollywood Road. But Soho Hong Kong is also north of Gough Street. Why not call it NoGo instead? Too original I suppose. I personally prefer the vagueness of Soho London; truly seminal things tend to be shrouded by time, elusive to definition.

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Trump for President

The US election is a reality show which many outsiders follow as if their own. But non-Americans of the Brave New World should remember there’s no point agonising over the theatric competition. Entertainment is just entertainment. Don’t risk hypertension over it. Moreover, pardon my perennial repetition: Whoever wins makes no difference. That said, I still have an impertinent preference for Donald I over Clinton II, and I’m not even being sarcastic.

Many non-Americans irrationally cringe at the prospect of a President Trump. Well, I confess I wouldn’t want a friend like him. My contact list is full. But the arguments against him, from an outsider’s perspective, are mostly invalid or irrelevant.