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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

A Historical Day

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  4. Appearing, PETER turns on the TV.

  5. PETER (V.O.): Today is August 31, 2021, the deadline date imposed by the Taliban to allow US' troops' safe passage within the Kabul airport.

  6. Peter sees a TV banner: US completes military withdrawal from Afghanistan.

  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, not until the 11th hour? To minimize further chaos and bloodshed?

  8. On screen, we see a green night-vision image of a stone-faced solder carrying his firearm with an airport hangar behind him.

  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): So, UK packed up two days ago, and US a day before time.

  10. Pausing.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The day August 31, 2021 must mean Afghanistan time, and not US/UK time.

  12. On screen, we see images and hear celebrative gun fires into the air.

  13. Act 2


  15. PETER (V.O.): A week ago, a Quoran asked me who determined 30/31 days of months.

  16. Pausing.

  17. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I didn't know, but was interested to find out.

  18. Recalling.

  19. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Our ordinary lives now are actually run on Roman time. The Roman years originally had only 10 months.

  20. Recalling.

  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The 1st month was Mars - the god of war. The names of 2nd-4th months Aprilis, Maius, Junius - names of other gods. The following months are named numerically from 5th to 10th.

  22. Recalling.

  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Later, two additional months Ianuarius and Februarius - names of gods - were added to the beginning of the year.

  24. Recalling.

  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): And later, the original 5th month was renamed in honour of Julius Caesar. And 36 years later, the original 6th month was renamed in honour of Augustus Caesar.

  26. Recalling.

  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As to the number of days in months, it was irregular. That was revealed in a painted wall-calendar "Fasti Antiates Maiores" (created around 84BC-55BC) found in Anzio, Italy, in 1915.

  28. Recalling.

  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): What can be seen in the late Roman Empire calendar are: 28 days in February, 29 days in April, June and August, 31 days in May and October.

  30. Recalling.

  31. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It was hypothesized that Julius Caesar in 46BC made each month have either 30 or 31 days, with the exception of Februarius which had 29 days and gained an extra day every 4th year.

  32. We see a TV banner: Taliban declared victory.

  33. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): At different times in history, Alexander the Great , Genghis Khan, the British Empire, the Soviet Union had wanted to conquer Afghanistan but didn't make it.

  34. We hear a remark on TV:...there's no need for war...US should not invade...

  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): While US may have to learn by its defeat in Afghanistan, the British followed US and was defeated twice.

  36. Pausing.

  37. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I studied History and Philosophy. The greatest lesson one can learn from History is that people have never learned from History.

  38. Pausing.

  39. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Waging wars again and again and expect a different result is insanity.

  40. Pausing.

  41. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): This is dark side of humanity.

  42. Pausing.

  43. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The popularity of video wargames also reflect that too. While virtual lives can be revived in split second, real lives can't.

  44. Pausing.

  45. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Is there a chance that peoples and countries would become really civilized and peace-loving?

  46. Act 3


  48. We hear a TV anchor US troops in Afghanistan...a historic day...

  49. PETER (V.O.): Hongkongers have no need to bother over defence matters. Except for the latter part of 2019, we've been living in peace.

  50. Recalling.

  51. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Whenever I'm about to end my talk, one takeaway message for my audience is: To begin with the end in mind.

  52. Pausing.

  53. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): To begin with, US and its allies' 20 years of acts of aggression and bloodshed towards Afghanistan was illegal under international law.

  54. Peter checks a Quora answer request.

  55. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): "What do you really want your life to look like in future?" That's an answer request.

  56. Reflecting.

  57. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Today is the last day of my 4th year of private practice. In future, I just want my life to be subtle, bright and simple.

  58. Thinking.

  59. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, its acronym is SBS - also an honour after my name.

  60. Having turned off the TV, Peter exits.

  61. FADE OUT.

  62. THE END

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