‘Parallel universes’ — or there are better reasons for hating TVB?
The multiverse is a theory in which our universe is not the only one, but exists in a state in which many universes exist parallel to each other. These distinct universes within the multiverse theory are called parallel universes. While a number of conflicting but equally probable theories lead some physicists to formulate a multiverse viewpoint, not all of them really believe these universes exist — even fewer believed it would be possible to contact these parallel universes.
While the gibberish of science is hard to comprehend, a casual glance at our city here would suggest these parallel universes do actually exist. It is obvious that, for example, one exists on the news page and another one on the entertainment page.
On the news page lives the self-righteous and the politically correct. These people are doctrinaire and humorless. Here, the concept of a joke is never heard of, let alone told.
Nearly a month ago, when the licensing issue of free-to-air TV grabbed the limelight, an episode of TVB’s talk show Scoop allegedly gave a biased view of HKTV (the only station that was denied a license). Sympathizers of HKTV quickly converted their contempt for the Hong Kong government to TVB and staged a boycott on the station’s 46th anniversary. All eyes were on the ratings of the anniversary variety show as an indicator of how disgruntled Hongkongers are with what has been described as TVB’s “hegemony” over the local television market.
Despite all the hype and the like on Facebook, TVB’s anniversary Gala program maintained stable ratings, peaking at 31 points with an average of 29 points, excluding viewers on mobile and online platforms. The righteous and politically correct were bewildered by the outcome: Why couldn’t all the hype from their Facebook world make an impact? Little did they know, this was a rare moment when two parallel universes came into contact.
In the other parallel universe in question, which exists on the entertainment page, are legendary creatures of the “silent majority”. Few from the universe of the righteous ever saw one of them, but their existence can be seen by the mysterious outcomes of elections and TV ratings.
Supposedly catering to the taste of the “silent majority”, the entertainment page made a fuss about photos of TVB starlet Sire Ma kissing mainland businesswoman Wang Ziqi around the time when the righteous protested against TVB’s alleged “hegemony”. The photos were said to show “the women locked in a passionate kiss on the lips, clearly indicating they were more than friends.”
After the photos made their way on to the entertainment pages, TVB quickly relieved Sire Ma from duty. Virginia Lok Yi-ling, TVB’s production and resource director, told the press Sire needed some time to rest and rethink her sexual orientation. After a month, Sire held a press release to announce, in tears, that she realized she had made a mistake, that her relationship with Wang Ziqi had ended, and that she would like TVB and the public to forgive her.
The soundness of TVB’s decision to nip in the bud Sire’s passion for people of the same gender is reflected in the robust ratings supported by the “silent majority”.
The issue would have been picked up by the righteous TVB haters and Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) gay right activist York Chow Yat-ngok, if not for the fact that they live in another universe.
These parallel universes showcase our society’s deep-rooted contradictions. There are politics on the streets and politics in the lecture rooms, but they pale in comparison with the politics that is lived — which is immensely cultural.
While it may take us a small number of EOC chiefs to make the city the most progressive in the solar system, our city remains profoundly conservative. Women labor participation rates in Hong Kong rose to 49.6 percent in 2012, edging up from 48.6 percent in 2002. Our archrival Singapore advanced to 57.7 percent in 2012, from 50.6 percent a decade ago.
When York Chow returns home at night after making grand speeches, perhaps he can have a look at who is holding the TV remote control.