Sesame Street over the last 20 years was brought to you by the word ‘heavyweight’. As in ‘pro-Beijing…’.
A quick Google search reveals that the paper (and to some extent other local English media) rely on the phrase to describe a range of pro-Beijing figures who are prominent but do not strictly speaking have real jobs.
It does not refer to intellectual capacity (see the tycoon-groveling Standard’s extensive reporting of Woo’s inanities). Nor does it indicate influence in high places (‘heavyweight Rita Fan’, member of a Chinese rubber-stamp body, parrots the Party line but is no true insider). It doesn’t even have any connection with their physique (for every curvaceous ‘heavyweight Maria Tam’ there is a willowy ‘heavyweight Starry Lee’). It does tend to be used as a euphemism for ‘elderly’, but not always (like the aforementioned girlish quasi-politician Starry).
One thing all ‘pro-Beijing heavyweights’ have in common is that they are bores – but then so are many others who do not qualify for the label.
We can only conclude that the word has something to do with the pounds-per-square-inch exerted by these people when shoe-shining.
Fortunately, Sesame Street can offer a replacement, or at least alternative for occasional variety: ‘Muppet’.
Other 20th anniversary news… You would have thought that, after pro-democracy activists had embellished the Golden Bauhinia the first time, the Hong Kong Police would be alert to possible use of the hideous monument as a protest site, and surround it with barbed wire or something. But no – so the activists go back for Black Bauhinia Episode 2. This is when we are supposed to be under Top Code-Red Terrorist Warning conditions.
And the Chinese Communist Party’s PR/visual design/communications death-wish continues, with the covering of public areas with self-defeatingly ugly patriotic signage, guaranteed to trigger subliminal nightmares about famine, Red Guards, struggle-sessions and anti-rightist persecution.
The international press is churning out its own propaganda, too. For anyone fed up with hackneyed stuff about ‘Hong-Kong-being-crushed-because-Shenzhen-no-longer-a-fishing-village’, here’s a vaguely decent analysis of how Beijing condemns Hong Kong to stagnation and discord.