And so she said, I want to change you- exchange, re-arrange and kinda mentally mangle and manage you. I wanna hold you and fold you and bend you till you’re not who you are. But who you will be according to the rules, you will play according to me.
It now happens with such monotonous regularity that it has become meaningless. It’s a subject that also raises more questions than answers. It brings back some bad memories and becomes irksome because we should not be where we are today- a tired creative community waiting and praying for some fairy godmother to pull us out of the mire.
So when relatively new Chief Executive Carrie Lam, below, announced last month that her government was going to overhaul the image of Hong Kong as a creative hub by bringing in “overseas talent” to help turn this city into a centre for innovation and technology, one might have heard a low humming sound. Those were the sounds of yawns being stifled.
Trina, the girl I married, called this morning to express her displeasure at being mentioned in the autobiography being written and published as a blog on social media. But, why, I asked? I had only written about her with the utmost respect. About being the wonderful human being I was fortunate enough to have met, the girl with whom I fell in love for all the right reasons, married for richer or poorer and with whom we had a beautiful daughter. But, she didn’t want her nor her daughter mentioned on “the Internet”.
Her reaction was disappointing. Extremely disappointing. And once people disappoint me, there’s no point in keeping up false pretences and holding hopes for any kind of reconciliation.
There was a summer of change ahead. Kids who had left Hong Kong were back for a few months, there were newcomers to the city, Cat Street, the coffee shop at the Hong Kong Hilton, was the place to meet at night with afternoons usually spent hanging out at the restaurant at Dairy Farm. There was a great deal of hanging out…and just plain hanging in there.
My best friend Steve was dating a number of older girls who were mainly in local bands until settling for Irene Ryder, below, a stunning Eurasian Go Go dancer and later a popular singer before her life went through a number of bizarre twists and turns.
I’ve been telling as many people in Hong Kong as possible recently how I wish I could bottle the city and take it to places like Tokyo, Amsterdam, perhaps Taipei, Copenhagen, certain parts of Melbourne, but away from the usual suspects in horse racing, and if one can stand the pollution, Beijing and Shanghai. Why? To try and bring Hong Kong’s mojo back- that is if it ever had a mojo. To see where and why it’s lost the plot and needs to start all over again with a new mindset. Seriously now…
There were a couple of very weird years- not as weird as my first acid trip- but weird nevertheless. For example, there was an American kid at KGV whom we called “Fuzzy”. His real name was Bruce Barron. He was brash, he was cocky, he was supposedly extremely rich and was one of the first kids to have his own drum kit- a Ludwig drum kit. But no one wanted him in their band.
Fuzzy Bruce was almost always being beaten up for mouthing off. But when his father was shot dead one New Year’s Eve while working alone in his office in Star House- his murder still remains unsolved today with word being that it was a hired hit man from the Philippines- the helter skelter lifestyle took a brief pause. Very brief.
If it wasn’t for the fact that it’s part of my job responsibilities and being paid quite nicely to be part of it, I would just press delete and detonate my presence on social media. And more and more, it’s all too obvious that I am not the only one considering doing this.
Friends are closing their Facebook and Twitter accounts as the initial thrill is gone. Seeing way too many nobodies trying to be somebody when no one cares is aggro no one needs in an already aggressive world getting angrier and full of hate every day. Keyboard warriors forcing themselves to be heard above the rest of the din don’t help.
“If we’re going to have dinner, I want you to turn that bloody thing off.” “What did you do when you didn’t have a mobile phone? Surely, it didn’t incapacitate you? Surely, you still went out, had a good time with friends and with no need to constantly check if you missed out on anything?” “I refuse to reply to you with text messages when I can just call you or you can call me. If we’re going to move this relationship anywhere, I don’t wish it to be based on some emojis.” Smart woman. Definitely not from or in Hong Kong, some of whom judge you by the size of your, well, iPhone. Seriously though, in Hong Kong, your phone is like an invitation to join Mensa.
There were more, but these were just a handful of remarks received about being iPhone dependent and this becoming an invasion of privacy, and stunting interpersonal skills. There’s also a fast-growing backlash against that oxymoron known as social media. And don’t think millennials are not part of this move. Most are leading the revolt. Many have tired of what they see and read on social media and are hopefully returning to more simple and honest times.