Lewis Loud (盧斯達) , blogger-freelancer-radio host, plays into Hong Kong’s more radical circle of the political spectrum.
Lewis Loud’s Facebook account is followed by some 4,000 people. Other’s may rack up bigger follower numbers, but numbers don’t tell the full story of the recognition Lewis receives on major social media outlets and on Passion Times in particular.
Lewis is known for his pro-localist stance, but perhaps even better known for his brilliant writing skills, earning praise from the prominent journalist and political commentator Joseph Lian (練乙錚). He is more commonly known as ‘堂主’, or the ‘hall-master’ because of the name of his blog – ‘無待堂’ (literally translated as ‘the hall of no desire’). He is also a freelancer for Local Press, and hosts a radio show every Wednesday on MyRadio. Hong Kong Indigenous’ Edward Leung (梁天琦) and Hong Kong National Party’s Chan Ho-tin (陳浩天) have been among his recent guests.
Why did you pick ‘盧斯達’ as your pseudonym and ‘無待堂’ as your blog’s name?
Lewis: I started using the name ‘無待堂’ about seven to eight years ago. The word ‘無待’ is a concept from Taoism, which describes a status in which a person has no more desire, leading to ultimate happiness [Ed note: Similar to Nirvana in Buddhism]. I also ran some blogs before that. I first wrote more on life and everyday issues as I suffered from some emotional issues back then.
As for ‘盧斯達’, there is no special meaning behind the pseudonym. I had to come up with a name when I started writing for Apple Daily as a columnist and picked up a pseudonym which sounds close to my English name which still seems like a normal name.
What is your political stance?
Lewis: I feel like it’s harder to align myself to a particular political group. Take Civic Passion for example, I don’t understand why they would team up with Chin Wan (陳雲) to put forth a plan to get into the LegCo and restart the de facto five geographical constituencies referendum. I draw a lot from Chin Wan’s city state theory and other publications, and I know him personally, but I have tried to distance myself a bit from him.
I am the sort of person who can’t feel really comfortable throwing myself into any particular organisation. You may say I lack the confidence and find it hard to fully support certain things. But generally speaking, I am certainly on the side of the localists.
With new political developments will certainly come new organisations. But I’m not sure how attached to politics I’d really want to be. To be honest, I start feeling a bit exhausted on commenting too much on political issues and may take a step backward.
What is your vision of an ideal Hong Kong?
Lewis: In my ideal Hong Kong, people like me will not have to spent so much time on political stuff and can rightfully live as ‘Kong Pigs (港豬 – a term used by the ‘yellow-ribbons’ to describe those who do not care about politics)’.
I also hope that our tension with mainlanders can be relieved. I might have sparked more debates on this particular topics with my articles, but I think those debates are necessary at this moment to clarify how the boundaries of many issues between us and mainlanders should be set.
Whether such a Hong Kong can be achieved through independence or autonomous movement is not an issue for me as long as the means meet the end. Meanwhile, I don’t think using violence in the process is a problem as any resistance against the government will naturally be classified as violence from my point of view. What matters most, again, is the outcome. So you may say I’m a utilitarianist in that sense.
How would you explain your fame on the Internet?
Lewis: I started writing on political topics more often since the establishment of the League of Social Democrats. The party was attractive for young people back then. It was also probably the first political party in Hong Kong to promote itself on an online platform, so it’s very easy to follow its latest development.
I also felt more nonsense happening around me about the time. My conclusion was that there must be something wrong with our society, and hence I became more devoted to commenting on political issues.
I think more people heard about me in the past two years as everything became more ‘politicised.’ It’s delightful to have attracted some attention, but I can’t say I ever paid attention to how many followers I have as I just write what I want to.
With your reputation with your pen, what exactly do you like to write on?
Lewis: Apart from political issues, I also write on relationships and travelling. But it seems that people remember me more of my articles that hit out on others. I don’t deny that I may have a talent for criticising others, but I do so with justifications.