By Hans Ebert
The Boomtown Rats once sang how they don’t like Mondays. This past Monday, one kinda understood why.
In cricket, Australia won The Ashes and, quite rightly, Australian pride needed to be released and quieten the wonderful Barmy Army. Though rooting for neither team, I felt for England captain Joe Roots. Ashes to Ashes and all that.
In Hong Kong, Kei Chiong, the city’s only female jockey, announced her retirement. On Instagram. A surprise? Not really. It’s competitive enough for brilliant sportsmen to succeed in the pressure cooker world of horse racing. For a young Chinese girl to compete, especially against world class international riders, the odds were always stacked against her.
Of course even thinking this would be tantamount to treason in such a politically correct world where knowing right from wrong has become grey.
In Los Angeles on Monday, the Golden Globes Awards were being held and Queen Oprah made a speech about racism, female empowerment and took the #MeToo and #Timesup hashtags to another stratosphere. And because this speech came from such a powerful figure with The Force on her side, Queen Oprah reached social media sainthood with many wanting her to run for the American presidency in 2020. Why should a queen want to be a president?
Who won what at the Golden Globes? Oprah scooped it all up along with every actress who wore a black dress to show solidarity during this post Harvey Weinstein era.
Why has it taken this long to fight power with fire and brimstone and hashtags and sudden jolts to the memory bank overflowing with stories and more stories? Even Rod Serling wouldn’t know. But it’s finally happened just as it did for Bill Cosby and all those in the entertainment world who are no longer here to face the music. So, Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey have become the old new poster boys for Men Behaving Badly.
Queen Oprah’s speech was something else to start trending on Twitter with everyone wanting to have their say by repeating the same lines of adulation and anger that became a global mantra for the masses who share everything and follow others like lemmings.
Forget individual thinking and keeping certain things to one’s self. Today, there’s this yearning, and desperate need to share and belong and be part of it all, whatever this “it” is. It reminded me of that Oscar speech by Sally Field where, after winning the award for Best Actress for “Norma Rae”, she blurted out to Hollywood, “You love me, you REALLY love me!” It was beyond cringeworthy.
It reminded me of Obama telling everyone, “Yes We Can” with Oprah standing next to him on the campaign trail and offering up her powerful support. Whatever happened to Yes We Can? There was an awful song for the campaign promise written and recorded by will I am until this disappeared and it was time to Make America Great Again.
The recent speeches by Meryl Streep against her one-time friend Harvey Weinstein, and now, Queen Oprah come across being equal parts sanctimony, hypocrisy, and, most of all, showbiz. But it’s very American and extremely precious. It’s tough for someone in Hong Kong to really absorb it all and see where it’s all leading. Maybe because it’s variations on a theme? It’s McHappy Meals with sound bites for adults.
Remember the outrage at Candidate Trump for his “locker room talk”? And where did that lead? It led to him becoming President Trump and Yes We Can Make America Great Again By Building A Wall.
That night at a dinner after watching the Golden Globes awards, those sitting at the table mentioned the Oprah speech over and over again until I had to ask why it meant so much to them. After all, most of them engage in blowing air kisses to the Beautiful People in pretentious five star restaurants where everyone wishes to be part of a tribal gathering of socialites. How had this speech by Queen Oprah impacted their lives in Hong Kong? No one had an answer other than it was “about time”. About time for what?
With what’s happening now during this post Weinstein era and post Kevin Spacey and House Of Cards time’s up time, one has to wonder where everything is heading and how much is real and how much is showbiz.
Germaine Greer, Jane Fonda, Billie Jean King, Thelma and Louise, Minnie Mouse, Cat Woman, Eleanor Roosevelt, and, more recently, whether just for effect, even Beyoncé and Taylor Swift have all fought for equality amongst the genders. There’s also been a whole slew of hashtags- #blacklivesmatter #whitelivesmatter #alllivesmatter etc etc. It’s clutter and overkill.
The fight has never, however, taken on such showbiz proportions that only Hollywood can turn into a Cecil B DeMille of a production as what happened on Monday in Los Angeles. And when this production is handed to Harpo aka Oprah, it takes one on a journey of biblical righteousness. One forgets that over the years, Oprah has backed some wrong horses.
Watching the Golden Globes everyone, especially host Seth Meyer, seemed to be walking on eggshells to ensure no one would be offended and that everything went according to script. Nothing ever does and one had to wonder why during this showcase for all kinds of equality, the show was being hosted by a man- and a white man at that.
Seth Meyers? He was happy to be the muppet and bitch for all the women in black making their haute couture statements, some better than others.
It was a wild ride. And now what? What’s going to bring about change and what will this change look like?
Personally, one hopes we learn to simply be again. We don’t need the fakery of Hollywood to be the teacher. It’s time not to be what you think others want you to be, but where you’re happy being yourself and with those who make you happy as opposed to trying to be who you’re not. You dig? Frank did.
#HarveyWeinstein #QueenOprah #GoldenGlobes #GoldenGlobes2018 #SethMeyer