The SCMP today has what promises to be a lurid tale, one that few could resist reading. ”Free drinks, young models a volatile mix at nightclub.” Club being singular there. And you’ve probably already guessed that the club in question is Dragon-i. But my question is, where is the story here? Ostensibly a report on under-age models drinking alcohol in this club, we are offered no examples or proof and denials (duh) from the club manager and the police.
So where’s the spice? Ah-hah!
Glamorous though it sounds to get free alcohol in a trendy nightclub, Maria, 20, from Estonia told a cautionary tale.
Ooooh! A “cautionary tale?” Tell me more!
A few weeks before a guy bought her a bottle of champagne in Dragon-i and she gladly accepted it. The models get free drinks but also get it bought for them – a bottle of champagne is normally the libation of choice.
However the customer started getting a little too friendly for Maria’s liking. She had experienced this kind of thing before and just finished her glass of champagne, thanked the guy in question and moved away.
Wow! I’m flushed with excitement now. You mean to tell me that some guy actually spent a grand or two on a bottle of champagne for some presumably hot girl he just met? And then he propositioned her? And she turned him down? And walked away? Be still my beating heart.
Actually, the whole thing reads to me as if writer John Carney wanted to hang out with some of the supposedly beautiful people that flock to this joint on a nightly basis. He couldn’t get in for free, flashed his press card, paid $150 to enter, bought a few over-priced drinks and then found some way to get reimbursed by his employer.
Far more news-worthy and frightening is this tale, also in today’s paper:
Two big pieces of art inspired by the Tiananmen crackdown were hastily thrown up in the Times Square piazza yesterday, prompting dozens of police to haul them and the organisers away after a hygiene official labelled the exhibition unlicensed “entertainment”.
Organisers linked hands at one point to stop officers from getting at the artworks, one a replica of the “Goddess of Democracy” statue built by students during the mainland democracy movement in 1989, and the second, a six-metre long relief titled Tiananmen Massacre. Police scuffled with the group, members of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, and arrested 13 of them, including lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan, before quickly taking down the installation.
The alliance says it was exercising freedom of speech in a public space, but the department viewed the activity as amounting to entertainment, which requires a permit. The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department rarely steps in to prosecute organisers of events at the piazza: yesterday was the first time in the past six months. It is a public use space, open to non-commercial activities and overseen by the mall management, Wharf (Holdings).
As soon as the statue was erected, an officer from the department told the group it did not a have a license for the exhibition and was in violation of the Places of Public Entertainment Ordinance. Police condoned off the area with crime-scene tape then replaced it with metal railings. The conflict escalated when Lee challenged the police’s decision to take the sculptures away. Members of the alliance stood hand-in-hand, blocking officers’ access to the art pieces.
Secretary for Food and Health York Chow Yat-ngok rejected claims the prosecution was political in nature. Officers from the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department were following existing rules, York said.
The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department? Really? This is the arm that the government chose to stifle a political protest? Freedom in Hong Kong isn’t getting just a quick bullet in the heart, it’s more like death from a thousand tiny wounds.