By Hans Ebert
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…
Maybe Hong Kong did have its mojo working during the mid to late Eighties when there were people creating things that were original- creating award winning work in advertising, creating a new club scene, creating new restaurants, new fashion, independent movies, and more than anything else, there were those who dared to think outside of the $1.80 Maxim’s lunch box.
Of course, all this was happening in the real world and not that online world where so many outstay their welcome and end up looking like fools. No one wishes to work with fools except other fools. That’s not going to get Hong Kong, or the world for that matter, very far. Everything is reduced to a meaningless hashtag because Google says it’s needed. Not us. Google. Google is telling the world how to get noticed? Isn’t the Long Tail wagging the creative tail?
Did Dylan, the Beatles, Hitchcock, Polanski, Hoagy Carmichael and every creative original who has passed this way before need to buy views to boost their work? People can decide for themselves, can’t they? Or is this thinking, too, being controlled and manipulated by some online version of Orwellian Big Brother?
Once upon a few decades ago, Hong Kong had real entrepreneurs like Daniel Ng, below, with whom I was proud to work, and who didn’t listen to the naysayers who told him that Chinese only wanted to eat rice and to forget about bringing McDonald’s to Hong Kong as it was bound to fail. Riiiiight.
There was Alan Zeman who saw gold in a rubbish dump and turned it into the only cool part of town and called it Lan Kwai Fong. There was Gordon Huthart who stood up to the infamous Special Investigation Unit that targeted homosexuals in Hong Kong by opening Disco Disco where everyone was welcome- gays, straights, bisexuals, celebrities, fun people. Ideas people.
Disco Disco opened the doors to clubs like Canton, Manhattan, and Hot Gossip, all of which created a chain reaction of Change and crackling Rosie creativity.
This really didn’t last as long as it should have nor did it inspire others to be as creative, as daring, and as inspired except for David Tang and what he gave to Hong Kong starting in the late Nineties. He is already sorely missed. Sir David was Hong Kong’s last man of vision.
This is why Hong Kong is where it’s at today: Stunted and going nowhere with too many lightweights weighed down by fragile egos because the truth is too hard to handle.
Sorry, but being a regular fixture on Facebook “live” with its abominable sound quality is not exactly being cutting edge. It’s where I see dead people, wannabes and never-ever-will-bes same as I do in many of the bars, clubs and restaurants in town. After years of fooling myself that this was just a silly phase these people were going through, it’s all become beyond boring. It’s now embarrassing.
It’s boring as hell out there because most of the people are not only tedious one trick ponies, they’re so caught up thinking they know their way around social media that they’ve lost touch with reality. They’ve lost touch with life’s priorities that are needed to understand how everything must come together in order for anything to effectively work and be financially viable. Why work to just break even? One can achieve the same thing by doing bugger all.
There’s also no teamwork for the simple reason that those who have seen better and travelled further in life cannot find those on their wavelength and who they believe can bring something really new to a city in the throes of mediocrity and drowning in a sea of incompetence, bollocks and terminal waffle. It’s quite nauseating.
Other than some very good restaurants brilliantly designed and serving great cuisine and the city’s low taxes, there’s really not much here except for the Central escalator and Gao’s Foot Massage parlour in Caine Road.
There might be some pretty good musicians, but are they creating anything original? Playing within the repetitious doodlings of turgid Canto Pop makes the mawkish ballads of Michael Learns To Rock sound exciting. It’s all as crass and superficial and bland and formulaic as attending a Canto Pop concert where the real stars are the hairstylists and costume changes.
Yet, all this is accepted with open arms by trained clapping human seals whereas at the cheaper end of the spectrum are things like Open Mic Sessions in struggling cafes and bars that only expose the dearth of talent, and massive egos that are way outta whack but never short circuited. Why? They’ll just pop up and keep rocking in the free online world of “likes” and other fakery.
Hong Kong, I love you, I hate you, I love you, but you dearly need a damn good whacking and reality check. Even Singapore is leaving you for dead. How sad is that?
#Hongkong #entrepreneurs #creativity #Facebook #GordonHuthart #DiscoDisco #DanielNg #AlanZeman #DavidTang #Cantopop