“There was a place near an airport, Kowloon, when Hong Kong wasn’t China, but there had been a mistake, a long time ago, and that place, very small, many people, it still belonged to China. So there was no law there. An outlaw place. And more and more people crowded in; they built it up, higher. No rules, just building, just people living. Police wouldn’t go there. Drugs and whores and gambling. But people living, too. Factories, restaurants. A city. No laws.”
—William Gibson, Idoru
It was the most densely populated place on Earth for most of the 20th century, where a room cost the equivalent of US$6 per month in high rise buildings that belonged to no country. In this urban enclave, “a historical accident”, law had no place. Drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes lived and worked alongside kindergartens, and residents walked the narrow alleys with umbrellas to shield themselves from the endless, constant dripping of makeshift water pipes above….
Kowloon ‘Walled’ City lost its wall during the Second World War when Japan invaded and razed the walls for materials to expand the nearby airport. When Japan surrendered, claims of sovereignty over Kowloon finally came to a head between the Chinese and the British. Perhaps to avoid triggering yet another conflict in the wake of a world war, both countries wiped their hands of the burgeoning territory.
And then came the refugees, the squatters, the outlaws. The uncontrolled building of 300 interconnected towers crammed into a seven-acre plot of land had begun and by 1990, Kowloon was home to more than 50,000 inhabitants….
Despite earning its Cantonese nickname, “City of Darkness”, amazingly, many of Kowloon’s residents liked living there. And even with its lack of basic amenities such as sanitation, safety and even sunlight, it’s reported that many have fond memories of the friendly tight-knit community that was “poor but happy”.
“People who lived there were always loyal to each other. In the Walled City, the sunshine always followed the rain,” a former resident told the South China Morning Post….
Today all that remains of Kowloon is a bronze small-scale model of the labyrinth in the middle a public park where it once stood.
This isn’t to say places like Kowloon Walled City no longer exist in Hong Kong….
i think my brain just exploded
science side of tumblr, please explain
Air on bottom go woosh. Air on top go woosh. Air on front go woosh. Little plane stay still.
Thanks science side of tumblr
Miles Davis covered in blood after an altercation with police
"Altercation" sounds so polite, like it was a mutual thing and not one man getting assaulted by the police. Miles got beat up by the police.
The cops assaulted Miles because he was black. He was standing outside Birdland where he just performed and was taking a break. His name was on the marquee. They saw him escort a white female friend from the club into a taxi and then they approached him after as he was taking a smoke break. The cops told him to “move on”. Miles said he was playing at the club and was on break. They weren’t hearing any of that. One cop then punched him in the stomach, while another one cracked him on the head with a nightstick. That’s why he’s covered in blood. He was a victim of police brutality.
This is something that slips past the Western viewers- it looks like it’s reaching out for Chihiro, in a malicious way, to the Western viewers. It’s what I thought growing up.
However, now, that I know that it’s a way of signalling for someone to ‘Come here!’ in Japan, the scene takes on a whole new meaning.
That spirit knows that if Chihiro doesn’t eat the food, she will disappear. And it knows if it offers the food, she cannot be cursed as a gluttonous pig because it wouldn’t have been stolen.
Just a unique take when you have all of the context.