Violence

I really can’t take gory violence in any way, shape or form. Suspenseful, off-screen, more psychological violence is another matter. I do love cop shows: Law and Order, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Sherlock Holmes with Jeremy Brett or Basil Rathbone, Columbo, The Closer, and the extraordinary Sherlock and Luther.

But there’s a line that’s been crossed — and the idea of people accepting pain in a psychologically disastrous way– is it. This season, sad to say, The Good Wife has crossed this line with their story of Kalinda, the investigator. She’s a tough woman and often saves the day.

This season we’ve had to see her sadistic ex-husband return and mess with her. She tries to stay away, but she also toys with him and enjoys some of the masochistic activities. It shows her as partially liking them so it turns my stomach.

Otherwise the show is smart and engaging, but I can read or watch something else. To continue down this seedy path just isn’t good for my psyche or soul. I hope this storyline soon plays itself out. Then I’ll be back.

I’m also struggling to watch two Asian films and the violence gets to me. The Korean film The Housemaid chronicles the story of a somewhat innocent, somewhat not woman who take a job as a housemaid for a very cold- hearted, rich family. The wife is materialistic, vacuous consumer, the husband a heartless, womanizing consumer. They’re both users, cold blooded users. The wife is pregnant with her second child. The daughter is about 6 or 7 and she’s like a little robot.

There’s also a middle aged stern woman who manages the household and eavesdrops for a cold hearted mother-in-law. The husband makes sexual advances towards the housemaid, who’s interested in him, though he treats her like a prostitute, like dirt. The mother-in-law finds out the maid is pregnant and “accidentally” kicks over a ladder the maid is on so she falls two floors. It’s manipulative, vicious and reptilian.

Though the film is beautiful and I thought a way to learn more about Korean culture. I paused it a week ago and can’t bring myself to watch more.

After pausing The Housemaid, I started watching The Drummer from Hong Kong. The image on Netflix made it seem like it would be a film about a traditional drummer.

Nope. It’s about a rock star who sleeps with a gangster’s girlfriend. The gangster finds them together and assigns the drummer’s father to bring him his hands. Yep, small world, the drummer’s father is a gangster, who works for the cuckolded king pin. The drummer goes on the run and his father tracks him down. The scene where the father goes to his daughter’s vet clinic and roughs her up, breaking a few of her teeth, was too much for me. Good Lord.

I remember a conversation with a Chinese man who said in China violence is viewed as beautiful, like a ballet. Whoa. Now you’ve lost me. Just like a scene with a father beating on his daughter so she could tell him where he could find his son to kill him is too much for me. And I’m fine with that.

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Hong Kong – Extended

I live a stone’s throw from Hong Kong. Well, a two hour train ride and a 45 minute bus ride is more like it. Before I got here, I figured I’d visit once a month. Hong Kong’s a great city. Well, I hadn’t been yet and that had to be rectified.

I tried coming on Friday, but got a late start in the morning. Refusing to give up, I tried again on Saturday. I got to the Guangzhou train station a little after 9, and bought a ticket on the 10:39 train. I tried to buy my return ticket, but the ticket agent didn’t speak English or my particular brand of sign language. Oh, well. I’ll get one in Hong Kong. No problem.

I enjoyed the relaxing train ride and just the feeling of being on the road. When I got through customs, I headed to the ticket agent to get my ticket home. No deal. A sign said, “TICKETS TO GUANG ZHOU SOLD OUT.” Really. Oh, boy.

But was I really in a hurry to return to Guangzhou? Was there anything pressing in Jade Green Island? Certainly not. So I embraced this as a Godsend. I got a ticket for the 16:35 train on Sunday and went off to decide what to do now. I walked out of the station and towards the heart of Kowloon. I’m glad I know Hong Kong pretty well. I stopped in a hotel that seemed midrange, and they were booked solid. Oh, no. Was this going to be difficult?

Since I was starving I grabbed some food. I’m chagrined to mention I stopped at Burger King, but they have free wifi and it’s easy, when the restaurant possibilities make your head spin.

While I didn’t have toiletries, pj’s or much of anything, I did have my laptop. One of my goals was to find an Apple store where I could get my Mac looked at. Since Wednesday, the screen had looked distorted and sometimes flickered oddly, very oddly and I feared death was near. An untimely death as my laptop is my lifeline.  I went online and found a hotel. I decided to splurge a bit rather than  go frugal. I figured (note my frugal upbringing requires that I justify this) I live very simply and have been having a tough time with this transition. I knew if I planned a trip to Hong Kong, I’d stay somewhere sensible, so why not embrace a more “what the heck?” attitude.) I wound up at the Intercontinental and they were so nice and the elegance was soothing.

Though I miss my camera, it’s been just a fun city week. Hong Kong and I are in sync. Finding food is a breeze. There are good bookstores here and the occasional Chinese temple to remind you where you are. I happened on to a great string of  BBC and CNN shows last night and this morning caught a decent chic flick. After the film, I went out to church, not knowing the schedule. The Church of the Rosary was just starting mass as I walked in. Later I got breakfast and got a free cappucino. I checked out and then just walked around. I turned a corner and happend on a drum and bagpipe band consisting of all Asians in full Scottish regalia. How cool? (Don’t you wish I had pictures?) Now I’m enjoying a lunch before I wander a little more and get the train.