Lin Chen-Chi attempts suicide

Lin Chen-Chi attempts suicide

Peter Nepstad
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Joined: Oct 23 2004, 02:20 PM

Jun 12 2006, 02:29 PM #1

Breaking news from EastSouthWestNorth, Lin Chen-Chi, Shaw Bros. starlet of such films as COHABITATION, just tried to kill herself.

Over "Bus Uncle". If you're not familiar with the Bus Uncle story, follow the link above for more details.

This is the most bizarre turn yet for this story, the mind reels.
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Yi Lee
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Yi Lee
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Jun 12 2006, 02:52 PM #2

Hello,

Three quick comments. First, I wasn't aware that non-Chinese speakers were following this story. And to find polymath ESWN with so much space dedicated to it in English, well, the mind reels at how blogging is breaking down the doors between cultures.

Second, "I've got pressure" is this year's "wassup" in Chinese. I can't tell you how many times this phrase has crept into conversations (this is exam time in Cambridge and Oxford and not a few finalists have got pressure to get a 2:1 or a first for their cushy job in the City or postgrad admission that's still pending.) That being noted, the phrase has this wonderful ablity to diffuse tension. Just YouTube "Bus Uncle" and "I've got pressure" and you to can sort of see the latest pop cultural train-wreck that's coming out of Hong Kong.

Third--and this is related to cinema--you can tell Hong Kong cinema's in the doldrums because if things were well, Wong Jing would have shot at least two movies by now featuring a Bus Uncle-like character or scene.

BTW, I'm not trying to make light of Ms Lin's horrific suicide attempt. I am stunned how strange this cultural episode is becoming, though.
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Bob Cashill
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Bob Cashill
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Jun 13 2006, 11:46 AM #3

An English-subbed Bus Uncle is here; check out the "Adagio with Strings" version, too, elsewhere on YouTube...

Bus Uncle

My wife, who works for The Wall Street Journal, sent me the link. We saw similar scenarios played out when we lived in HK, minus the translation--though we learned the worst of the words early in our stay. :)

I should bring a camcorder onto the NY subway; I could find the new Bus Uncle within minutes...

But I didn't find the suicide attempt story by clicking onto that link; maybe it's fallen off the page? I'd like to see it...
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Peter Nepstad
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Jun 13 2006, 05:50 PM #4

Here's a better link:

Woman attempts suicide over Bus Uncle

The most unbelievable part of the article comes at the end, when her husband replies to the media about the suicide attempt using the Bus Uncle catchphrase, "I've got pressure!"

Also look at short comments on that page: 34, 24, 23, 17, 10, 1, and his interview here and a list of all the different remixes here. Needless to say, Roland Soong's blog is my favorite on the planet.

And as to Yi Lee's comment, I'm disappointed Wong Jing hasn't picked this up yet, too. Surely his next movie will refer to the events, if not just cast the guy in a cameo. If William Hung can get his own movie, I don't see why Bus Uncle couldn't.

-- Peter
<a href="http://www.illuminatedlantern.com/cinema">The Illuminated Lantern</a>
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Yi Lee
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Yi Lee
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Jun 13 2006, 06:05 PM #5

Hello,

I perhaps am fanning flames here (and beating an already dead horse to boot), but for more Bus Uncle blog reports, see more ESWN here:

http://www.zonaeuropa.com/200606.brief.htm

Particularly:

[038] Woman Attempts Suicide Over Bus Uncle
[034] Bus Uncle Gets Dissed
[024] The Bus Uncle Complaint File
[017] 'Bus Uncle' Covers World Cup On TV
[010] Bus Uncle Is A Steak Expert
[001] The Bus Uncle Meets Elvis

Some quick notes. First, wow, ESWN's a pretty neat site. If you don't read Chinese and want to get an inside scoop on the culture in real time, that is, not the three-four year delay that you might get through other media, read this blog. Mind you, a quick perusal of things seems to reveal a slight anti-Taiwan bias (or is that me being too sensitive after a string of Taiwanese girlfriends?) I might start reading this blog to cut down time on all the crap news I usually read in Chinese--ESWN seems to distill the particulars into one bracing jigger of detached cool.

Second, the Eastern side of me--particularly the Chinese one--is kinda appalled by all the Bus Uncle coverage. Both in terms of the man's behaviour but also in what constitutes major news over there. I haven't broached this subject with my cousin--who also works for Dow Jones--but I can easily imagine her sharing my feelings about this in both departments. That being said, it's not like we don't have our own share of idiocy (eg Ann Coulter and the 9/11 widows, clothing malfunction at the Superbowl, the general state of 24-hour news in the US so readily skewered by Jon Stewart on a nightly basis, etc.)

Third, if you do follow video ephemera in Asia, this is a good time to be alive. Mobile phone cameras plus other recording devices are giving folks thousands of miles away from the action, so to speak, an intimate look at life over "there," here and now. From "The Bloody Case That Began with a Steamed Bun," which lampoons Chen Kaige's "The Promise," to the morally sickening and controversial video of a woman stomping a kitten to death (leading to weeks of heated debate on the woman's nationality--if you follow the region's politics you know what I mean. BTW, haven't seen this one and don't intend to), to all those videos online featuring protest clashes with riot police (including the ones in HK with the Korean farmers)... the age of AV reportage is on us. Abandon all hope, all ye that enter.
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Yi Lee
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Yi Lee
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Jun 13 2006, 06:19 PM #6

Hello Peter,

Ah, beat me to the draw. That being noted, I must say this series of events has the weird power of watching a train wreck in progress. I want to look away and yet can't. And this thing is pervasive too. Taiwanese cultural critic Long Ying-tai (Lung Ying-t'ai) has even written a few erudite pieces that mention Bus Uncle. Just imagine if the late Susan Sontag or Joan Didon doing something similar in English.

But can't you see them getting either Tats Lau or Lam Suet to do something crazy like this for a movie? Or Miriam Yeung in her next film (I would simply adore that).

(To everyone else): That being noted, I don't think that many of my mainland friends know about Bus Uncle yet. But since they're surrounded by the Great Firewall of China, well, there's a lot of stuff they don't get to follow up on. Mind you, there's the parallel internet on the other side that archives the stuff that gets deleted on the inside (riots, clashes with police, etc.) It's all vaguley very Matrix-ey.
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Marty McKee
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Marty McKee
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Jun 13 2006, 07:05 PM #7

I have no idea who/what a Bus Uncle is, but I'm finding this thread somewhat intriguing.
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Bob Cashill
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Bob Cashill
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Jun 13 2006, 08:37 PM #8

Poor woman, but that photoplay reenactment of the near-tragedy is a hoot...
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Yi Lee
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Yi Lee
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Jun 15 2006, 12:32 AM #9

Hello,

This is off-topic to the original theme of Mrs Lin's suicide. Rather, there seems to be more interesting stuff on ESWN about unintentional product placement in "Mission Impossible III." See:

http://www.zonaeuropa.com/culture/c20060614_1.htm

Although I read Chinese entertainment forums, this is something I'd normally bypass because I don't have any interest in reading Western entertainment news in a non-Western language. But ESWN's correcting that. The site really is a bridge between cultures.
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elif kaya
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Joined: Oct 21 2004, 10:13 AM

Jun 15 2006, 08:30 AM #10

I watched the Bus Uncle video and I'm once again amazed at the huge differences between the cultures. It was weird (to me) to watch that no one reacted when that guy is swearing to that poor kid's mother.


But I have no problem in understanding how "I got pressure" is a phrase that is quickly caught on.

one of the polls at lovehkfilm.com is who would you cast as "Bus Uncle"?

My vote went to Eric Tsang (because I just can see him perfectly giving that hint of terrible desperation)
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Kim Greene
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Joined: Nov 10 2004, 10:28 PM

Jun 15 2006, 05:16 PM #11

I read about that whole "bus Uncle" incident in the Wall Street Journal last week--believe it or not it was a front page news story---found it to be very interesting and kind of funny--as a comment on the pressures of daily life in HK.
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Lance Tooks
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Joined: Feb 26 2006, 10:58 PM

Jun 27 2006, 11:53 AM #12

I caught that BUS UNCLE clip a couple of months ago... he is the very picture of sanity compared to my fellow New Yorkers... not to mention unarmed!
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