Perhaps it's because I am watching these mass scenes of civil disobedience in Hong Kong and want to be there. I grew up amid these streets - and I can't walk out the front door right now. I'm stuck in the US, so I need to read my way through this.
I've hung out with Hong Kong's punk rockers and artists and dancers and I've come to know its soul through my work as an arts writer there - one of ancient fishing village meets Bladerunner futurism. One of killer movie industries, 4am cha cha tengs, financial wizardry, and a resilient and utterly unique culture that has grown from its ancient Chinese roots despite all the crap that colonialism has thrown its way.
A city where in 1949 and the 1950s, artists and painters joined refugees from across China as they fled down from the threat of communism and into the welcoming coves of Hong Kong's islands. Because despite those British colonists being in charge, the city was nonetheless offering a place where people could free their minds. The New Ink painting movement was born, Lui Shou-kwan threw modernism and Zen insight into an ancient craft of ink on rice paper - precisely because of Hong Kong's freedoms.
Maybe I can't leave my Twitter feed because in 1989, I was a young student in Hong Kong. And I distinctly remember sitting on a sofa in our home in Pokfulam and watching the unfolding events on the TV in Beijing. That leaves a certain scar on one's psyche. When that event happened, Hong Kong was the only place in the whole of China where it was legal to go out on the street and bear witness. And the people went, in their hundreds of thousands.