By Yining Su
Ducks! They are pretty great. They are way better than rabbits. They taste delicious.* They have really crazy reproductive systems.
All in all, no reason to dislike a duck. Especially if you are the South China Morning Post and someone has installed a 16.5 meter high inflatable rubber duck in Hong Kong harbour.
The SCMP is so excited about this duck, you guys. It is so excited that it has so far run nine articles on its website about the duck.
Now, as SCMP restricts visitors to its website to just four articles a month, you want to be sure that you don’t waste your clicks on the wrong giant rubber duck articles.
So, without further ado: The Shanghaiist Guide to SCMP’s Giant Rubber Duck Coverage.
“Rubber Duck waits in the wings for Hong Kong trip” – March 23, 2013
The earliest coverage of the duck that I could find on the SCMP website. Introduces us to the idea of a giant rubber duck. Introduces us to Florentijn Hofman, the Dutch artists who makes lofty claims about the duck: it “knows no frontiers, doesn’t discriminate against people and doesn’t have a political connotation… The friendly, floating Rubber Duck has healing properties: it can relieve tensions as well as define them.” Let’s us know that the duck has previously been installed in other countries.
“Florentijn Hofman’s Rubber Duck comes to Hong Kong: no need to avoid this bird” – April 22, 2013
A picture of the duck being inflated, with a short blurb about the duck and its inflation.
“Prep time for rubber duck at Tsing Yi before debut” – 24 April, 2013
A short blurb on a trial installation of the duck. Not very interesting, but it does contain the line “A Marine Department spokesman said they would vet the duck soon.”
“Giant inflatable Rubber Duck set to sail into Victoria Harbour next week” – April 25, 2013
An article previewing the arrival of the duck. Contains remarks from Hofman. Probably the most worthwhile read, if only because Hofman “was surprised and overwhelmed by the excessive enthusiasm”. See, even the guy who says the duck has “healing properties” thinks it’s a bit much.
“Bath time in Hong Kong: Rubber Duck out and about” – April 25, 2013
A blurb, updating us about the duck. It is being tugged around the harbour.
“‘Friendly’ Rubber Duck makes a splash in Hong Kong” – April 25, 2013
A short roundup of some social media coverage of the duck. Some people are excited. Some people are not. One guy is trying to turn the duck into a political rallying cry. Also contains the ludicrous quote from the artist, Hofman, about the “healing properties” of the duck.
“Meet Florentijn Hofman, the man who’s sent Hong Kong a little bit quackers” – April 26, 2013
An interview with Hofman, the 36-year-old man who has brought the duck to Hong Kong. Amazing insight: he was inspired by a bath toy duck.
“Rubber Duckie, we’re awfully fond of you” – April 29, 2013
This one is an opinion piece, in which the writer heaps praise upon praise on the duck. He praises it for bringing lightheartedness to Hong Kong. He praises it for its technical complexity. I have no idea how serious he is.
“Rubber Duck meets public at Victoria Harbour unveiling” – May 2, 2013
An article about the unveiling of the duck. Yes, it may seem like all of Hong Kong has already seen the duck at this point. But, no. It is just now being unveiled. More social media roundup, mostly from one of their own journalist’s tweets.
“Hong Kong greets giant Rubber Duck” – May 2, 2013
A video. Of the duck.
Oh, do you seriously want to read more about this duck? Forget about the duck.
In a tangentially related story about ducks and Hong Kong: Once, I told a person from Hong Kong to duck. “Duck!” I shouted at him. He got very offended and called me a chicken. Later, my mom told me that, in Cantonese, “duck” is slang for male prostitute and “chicken” is slang for female prostitute.
Oh shit there’s another SCMP article about the duck today! It’s a substantial one. It’s got a quote from a social scientist theorising on why people like the duck. A 13 year old says she used to bathe with the duck (not “a” duck, but “this” duck). They talk about how so many people came out to see the duck yesterday even though it was the coldest day in May since 1917. The temperature yesterday was 16 degrees, AKA cardigan weather. I know, because I am in Hong Kong and I wore a cardigan over a t-shirt all day yesterday. Apparently, more than a thousand people watched it come into the harbour.
*I am a vegetarian but I remember how duck tastes and it is amazing.
(h/t: Hong Wrong)