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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Easy Talk

Updated: Jul 10, 2020

  1. FADE IN.


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. SLEEPING ROOM - DAY


  4. Waking up, PETER grabs his phone to surf the web.


  5. PETER (V.O.): The older interviewee demonstrated his quality and potential when young. He performed very well in his studies. Through practice in his legal field, he became very experienced.


  6. Pausing.


  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The younger interviewer was also very well educated and won a prestigious scholarship. Through practice in his journalistic field, he became very experienced too.


  8. Pausing.


  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd) : But is it meaningful to have a talk on TV explicitly on Hong Kong politics, but implicitly on world politics?


  10. Pausing.


  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): To talk is a civic culture. For the governing institution, it's a form of public engagement. For the media, it's for their audience's consumption.


  12. Pausing.


  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But questions loaded with misinformation or prejudice don't lead to any constructive exchange of interpretative frameworks.

  14. Act 2


  15. FLASHBACK


  16. INT. STUDY - NIGHT


  17. Peter is watching TV.


  18. We hear: ...a draconian national security legislation, ... death of one-country-two-systems....suffocating the life of Hong Kong's special status.


  19. PETER (V.O.): The interviewer sets the negative and emotive tone of the talk.


  20. We hear: ...blatant violation...


  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The interviewer is attempting to undermine and belittle the interviewee so that the interviewee may overreact and appear to be unreasonable.


  22. We then hear: Let me finish. You can't bully me into accepting your position...


  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Not just the interviewer, but the interviewee has to be heard. The interviewer interrupts the interviewee again and again.


  24. We hear the interviewer saying:...ten years to life imprisonment....even death...,and the interviewee responding:...I resent that...you are not listening...questions on a false premise...


  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): A false premise is an incorrect proposition that forms the basis of an argument. Since the assumption is incorrect, its conclusion is false.


  26. Pausing.


  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But those who have holes in their reasoning can't tell why a logically valid conclusion is false.


  28. We hear the interviewee demanding:....simple questions based on facts...,and then the interviewer interrupting the interviewee again by reciting others' opinions.


  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): That isn't a question, but the usual language of the implicit anti-China political groupthink.


  30. We hear: ...I have not finished.... You should be ashamed of yourself... You don't give me an opportunity to answer...


  31. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): He's absolutely right in saying that no country should bow to political blackmail based on lies or misinformation.


  32. We hear: Your problem is, of Hong Kong, or of Beijing... countries aren't listening...


  33. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The interviewee reiterates his point that no responsible government would succumb to lies and misinformation...International criticisms are totally unjustified.


  34. We hear: ...defend Beijing come what may...


  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The interviewer is attacking the interviewee as a person instead of attacking his argument.


  36. We hear:... reciting of political rhetoric against the interest of Hong Kong and China...don't cut any ice with me.


  37. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): That's cool. But those who are anti-China no matter what would like to hear the echo.


  38. As the TV talk ends, Peter is reflecting.


  39. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When I studied Philosophy, theories of Logic, Knowledge & Ethics are mandatory subjects.


  40. Pausing.


  41. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But in politics, few would take reason, knowledge and morality seriously.


  42. END FLASHBACK


  43. Act 3


  44. INT. SLEEPING ROOM - NIGHT


  45. Putting aside his phone, Peter lies down in bed.


  46. PETER (V.O.): Any unmediated public talk is like a moral trial in which the prosecutor-judge cross-examines a defendant unfairly, stating the prosecutor-judge's bias and prejudiced verdict.


  47. Pausing.


  48. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Such a talk isn't hard, but easy. What's worse is that, it's unfair and undemocratic in nature.


  49. Pausing.


  50. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): For potential interviewees to such an easy talk for the interviewer, they should avoid it, as it makes the interviewee angry, and any hopeful gain is limited.


  51. Pausing.


  52. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Before retirement, I was duty-bound to take such interviews too. I had to keep cool, not wanting to rock the boat.


  53. Pausing.


  54. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): In the pursuit of domination, human groupings like to bewitch others if they don't affiliate with their group values and identity.


  55. Thinking.


  56. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When a person or an entity can't control a person, or political entities like Hong Kong, China, or China, the former will try to control how others see the latter by feeding others with lies and misinformation.


  57. Reflecting.


  58. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): To talk about politics is literally meaningless.


  59. Peter sleeps.


  60. THE END


  61. FADE OUT.


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