Today marks the Singles’ Day or Bachelors’ Day, which I learned from Wikipedia originated at Nanjing University in 1993, but has now spread throughout China and even adopted in the West and highly commercialized. I first knew of the date when my first mentor, Joe, celebrated his 80th birthday some years back and his wife mentioned that it was Singles’ Day. I have just sent Geraldine my birthday wishes for her husband because this once very strong and robust young man is getting on and doesn’t use WhatsApp too well.
Birthdays and anniversaries are occasions for get-together meetings and reunions. In general, people long to meet more frequently as they become older. For example, the St. Marks Form 7 Class of 1965 tried to meet regularly since 2016, but such meetings stopped during the Covid pandemics and even before due to the street violence. We met again this week in Shatin because one of the group members lives there. We quickly reminded ourselves that we hadn’t met for at least three years and most of us were approaching 80, implying that if we continued to meet at this rate, we won’t be able to meet three times more before most of us were gone. Anthony who started the group was more hopeful and offered to organize the next one in about three months. Come to think of it, the dinner Su and I had with her former colleague this week was also a form of anniversary.
This year, 2023, also marks the 60th anniversary of our graduation (Form 5) from Wah Yan College; and we began to organize a Reunion in November since June, comprising a Welcome Dinner tonight, a Greater Bay Area Trip next week (three days) and a Reunion Dinner next Friday. To cut the long story short, there will be about 64 including spouse at the Reunion Dinner, with slightly more than half returning from abroad specifically for the occasion. I would try to make a report afterwards, while I still can and lest I forget.
We were all reminded this week that the conflict and war in Gaza had entered its second month – which would be the first anniversary month – and a friend sent me a link on YouTube of the dialogue on The Jimmy Dore Show aired on 9 November between the host and Kurt Metzger and other friends.
Now James Patrick Anthony Dore (b. 1965) is an American stand-up comedian, political commentator, conspiracy theorist, and YouTube personality. Dore began to host the show in June 2009 as a comedic political talk show on YouTube which was initially broadcast on a public radio station in Los Angeles, but which became independent and streamed live from 2021 onwards on YouTube regularly. His friend Kurt Metzger (b. 1977) is also an American stand-up comedian and a writer and actor, and had won an Emmy Award and a Peabody Award for his work on a TV series.
Dore focused on news reports from CNN and played up the end of the war in Ukraine now that the people and government of United States are all focused on Gaza. He repeated what he said he had said in March 2022 on his show that Ukraine could have negotiated a deal with Russia for better terms if they did it then. He then went on to say, based on what the mainstream media had reported, that the West, the United states in particular, had no more interest in Ukraine and that the country is now left to deal with the aftermath of the war on its own, including negotiating a ceasefire with Russia, implying on the terms of Putin rather than anyone else. This would be a far cry and a gross departure from what the West had resolutely stated before that they would back up Ukraine till the last man standing. It does seem that the career of the former comedian from Ukraine as a politician will end pretty soon, as the future of the Palestinians and their country are mired in blood and gunfire and the heartlessness of the Americans. I learned from an SCMP article that Israel had ordered for 24,000 assault rifles at a staggering price of US$34 million with not a word from anyone in the US government even as they dumped countless tons of bombs and firepower on the Gaza Strip such that children and women were dying every hour and counting.
I would stop here, and prepare myself to meet up with some friends this evening.