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IAIN LAFFERTY: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

TV commercials on public transport are making Lafferty livid. He is threatening to commit mayhem on a minibus

Did I miss a meeting or something, because as far as I’m aware, the great travelling public of Hong Kong were never consulted over the introduction of television screens into the minibus fleet? Consequently a commute by Public Light Bus can now resemble an experiment in marketing as travellers sit strapped into their seats, like Alex in “A Clockwork Orange”, being brainwashed by a contrived audiovisual diet of nonstop propaganda.

Prior to this unsolicited invasion of a public space, passengers would often chat, read or engage with electronic devices in a variety of activities of their own choosing. The conversational ambiance on the 1A to Choi Hung may not have been as erudite as a South Bank Parisian café, but it was convivial and unobtrusive. Unlike the digital advertising that now swoops down from the ceiling mounted T.V. to invade my peripheral vision and bore a hole directly into my neocortex.

The repetitive content of these “entertainment” loops consists mainly of big budget adverts for low budget movies, interspersed with music videos, featuring either scantily clad teenage girls miming to puerile Canto-pop tunes or dull middle-aged men crooning about how they don’t understand why their girlfriend left them. (I’ll tell you why she left you mate, because she was sick of your banal overly sentimental posturing!)

To give the illusion of public service a pre-recorded one-minute tabloid news show is broadcast ever so often, although the effect is somewhat compromised by the screen being half obscured by an advert for a well-known carcenogenic anti hair-loss shampoo.

Relatively recently the Police have shown themselves to be rather over zealous, if a little inept, at clearing the streets of human, mainly student, obstructions. Yet they seem to have no interest in ticketing illegally parked cars doing exactly the same thing. Therefore is it any wonder that most motorists choose to take their chances of a $300 fine once in a while rather than cave in to the extortion of every Wilson or Shroff.

Take a look at this: Who can blame Lafferty for threatening mayhem on a minibus?

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