Americans make for a lonely lot

Tuesday 13 June 2017, 8.00pm HKT


AMERICANS leave their parents’ house when they become adults. Even their divorce rates are relatively higher than anywhere else. Doesn’t that make Americans a lonely bunch?


Well done for spotting this.

Everybody knows the average person in American society is the loneliest in the world because of the way their people as a whole treat their family, neighbours, etc — and the way they let other Americans treat them back.

When I say ‘everybody,’ I mean in a relative way (but not a loose way). A lot of people (including a lot of Americans) are okay with me about this — because everybody can see this around them enough times in real life.

Many of the works of the Beat Generation authors were exactly about this facet of the modern postwar American psyche — they were already talking about this in the late 1940s and early ’50s.

Look at the heroes in many American novels and movies — they’re singularly SINGLE toughies:—

private detectives like Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe and Mike Hammer, etc

superheroes like Superman, Batman, The Avengers bunch, and practically all characters in the DC and Marvel universes

rebels like Cool Hand Luke (1967), the various Americans like Steve “Cooler King” McQueen in “The Great Escape,” etc

kick-ass cops like Dirty Harry (1971–88), Frank Bullitt (1967), Frank Serpico (1973), etc, who don’t talk, walk or even listen like the rest of the government-issued cops do

lots of villains and common criminals like Walker (played by Lee Marvin) in “Point Blank” (1967)

They’re all loners or lonely people. They’re all loved by Americans in one way or another.

The real-life ones are exactly the same.

Look at the heroes and villains in European society. Look at the same in Chinese, Japanese or any other society around the world.

Michael Caine’s character Harry Palmer in “The Ipcress File” (1965) EVEN AS A LONER had family and friends and Harry was doing it for their common good.

Look at the heroes in “Scaramouche” (1952) and “The Prisoner of Zenda” (1937, 1952). Many French heroes did it for friends and family, not for some abstract notion of ‘justice’ or personal Dirty Harryesque tough-guyness.

Look at oddball London criminals like Dom Hemingway (2013), who did it for his estranged daughter and grandson. Or try Jack Carter (“Get Carter,” 1971) who rubbed out vicious English gangsters to avenge his murdered brother.

Even an obvious loner like the unnamed cocaine dealer played by Daniel Craig’s in “Layer Cake” (2004) wasn’t without real mates.

They’re completely different from the American lineup.

It couldn’t get any more obvious than one the factor of loneliness and being a loner.

When Judge Dredd the comic book first came out in the UK in 1977, it was a different sort of ‘hero’ for the British.

Judge Dredd was a loner and a LONELY loner.

The British comic-reading population sat up and took notice because Dredd wasn’t the kind of hero people were expecting, and that lonely psychological quality was important.

I am in some position to talk about this. I grew up in 13 different countries around the world (corporate urchin, not military brat), including the USA and the UK. This is a thing that my folks and I see all the time.

Take this post at face value and try not to read anything into it. Your conclusions ought to vary from mine.

signature tnl transparent


© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 13 Jun 2017. (B17062) Shortlink:

Images: Lonely Lot via The Weather Network • Serpico via Obscure One-Sheet • Together via Wikipedia • Judge Dredd via Wikipedia

That time again – Lunacy Festival!

Friday 20 September 2013, 5.50am HKT

10.35pm local time, 28°C (82°F), some rain patches

RIGHT ABOUT NOW, my funkless soulless siblings and niblings, it’s Midautumn Festival. That means the loonies are coming out of the woodwork tonight.

Let me tell you my own family’s understanding of this festival before everything goes to pot in the midst of time and Internet space.

chinese eight fifteen

(Shoutz and belated happy birthday to my longtime reader Ed H.)

Updates marked in red made on 2013-SEP-2013.

Read the rest of this entry »

Bad influence

Thursday 30 August 2012, 12.30am HKT


People who see practically everybody or everything as a bad influence don’t realise just how much of a bad influence they themselves are to others.



© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012. Image via Rate My Funny Pictures. (B12275)

Choggie new year follow-up

Thursday 26 January 2012, 11.09pm HKT

8.45pm local time  / 13°C (55°F) at 88% relative humidity

YESTERDAY WAS the third and final day of the Chinese New Year holidays in Hong Kong.

I couldn’t post a follow-up yesterday as promised, mainly because:

  • I was lazy because of the rich meals I was having
  • my camera conked out
  • managed just now to salvage some pictures from the camera memory card

* * *

Here’s what happened yesterday (Wednesday, 25th January):

Just kidding.

Actually, this happened:

That’s a friend’s iPhone screencap. You don’t even need to know Chinese to realise it’s pretty high on the WTF-ness scale.

That was 4.8°C (40.6°F) at 7.10am in the suburbs yesterday. In the urban areas, it was 8°C. It was 10°C in London.

The bottom of the screencap says we can expect this Saturday to rise to a maximum of 19°C (66°F). Some rise, huh?

* * *

I forgot to post these food pictures on the last day of the Year of the Angry Rabbit (Sunday 22nd January), so I’ll just leave these here.

Hotpot dinner of lean beef, fatty beef, mushrooms, meatballs, fishballs, mussels and greens.

‘Popcorn’ the housecat … not part of the dinner gig.

* * *

And yesterday (25th):

No home is without snacks during Chinese New Year — especially pistachios (underneath the Doritos and crisps).

Australian beefsteak, seared on the outside and rare on the inside.

That’s just MY portion (four pieces).

All the other pictures can’t be salvaged from the memory card. (Grumble)

* * *

Street scenes from yesterday:

It was pissing down all day yesterday and the traffic was chockablock everywhere.

Like I said, it was around 8°C to 10°C (46°F to 50°F) yesterday in the urban areas. People stood practically motionless in the street, so adding to the general chockablockness.

After two full days of being locked indoors because of the cold, everyone was dying to come out of the woodwork by the third day yesterday.

As expected, our overimaginative but under-promiscuous pouty chicks refused to wear anything but miniskirts in the face of low temperatures and rain. (Sorry, those pictures didn’t make it out from the memory card.)

Possibly the world’s most expensive shop space (Swatch timepieces) stayed open throughout the three-day holiday. And going strong even at night.

* * *

And today (26th):

With mefolks this afternoon.

(Guess which one of them is slightly loopy.)

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012. All photos by me.

Choggie new year again! (More?)

Wednesday 25 January 2012, 10.30am HKT

10.20am local time

8°C (46°F) in Hong Kong / 10°C (50°F) in London

THAT’S RIGHT, peep’l, we’re finally more brain-damaged than our previous rulers. It’s now colder and wetter in subtropical Hong Kong than it is in temperate London.

Today is the third and final day of our Chinese New Year holidays.

It’s the Year of the Water Dragon — but you and I know already it’s really the Year of the Salamander.

I’m just about to hit the streets, so stay tuned for pictures later.


Kung Hei Fat Choy

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012. Image via Linlithgow Liberal Democrats.

It’s still choggie new year! (Part 3)

Tuesday 24 January 2012, 6.00pm HKT

From Part 2

Updated 25 Jan 2012 (correcting typos).

This is the final part for now.

I realise Part 2 was a bit brain-damaged, so here are more of the same.

The pigeons having their new year’s feast.

Officially, we’re not allowed to feed pigeons. but what the hell. Live and let live!

This tree is 15 years old.

(Yeah, everything is fast-growing here in Hong Kong.)

The last tree on the same site was 120 years old, then it kicked the bucket in a tropical storm. I fetched bits of the old one back home, and I love it.

They’re still suffociating the tree with these concrete barriers!

The lone white pigeon stared at me non-stop. It was eery.

The groundsman  at the nearby cricket club threw some bread crumbs to the birds, saying “Happy New Year to you guys!”

Awww, that’s nice of him, wasn’t it?

The hated crowd-control barriers.

We’re having 23 minutes of fireworks tonight around eight o’clock.

Hate it. I used to love fireworks, but not since after living in Beirut.

Now, I get really scared when they crank up the fireworks because they sound exactly like artillery fire.

© The Naked Listener’s Weblog, 2012. All images by me.

Diary of a Psychokiller

take a trip with me to the darkside

Lipsync Lawyer

Stop bitching and know your law differently

Daring Fireball

Hearing ordinary lives talk

Girl in Florence

A Tuscan Texan immersed in Florentine life: passionate about food & wine | random moments | and travel

One Drawing Daily

I've been drawing and painting and learning (almost) every day since the 9th September 2014

An English Man In SF

a diary of life as an immigrant

MB Forde

Ghosts, Legends, Folklore and Writing

Motorcycling in Hong Kong

On two wheels in Asia's World City


Making her way back to Neverland one day at a time...

The Naked Listener's Weblog

Hearing ordinary lives talk

Basti in China

Random stuff from Hong Kong and China

Making Maps: DIY Cartography

Resources and Ideas for Making Maps

Pointless Diagrams

A new, meaningless diagram drawn daily, just 'cause.

This Blog Needs Words

The greatest site in all the land!

The London Column

Reports from the life of a city, from 1951 to now, compiled by David Secombe

Vintagerock's Weblog

Just another weblog

%d bloggers like this: