TIME FOR A REALITY CHECK

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
Visit Hans-Ebert.com

It’s about priorities- and finding them again and then, when they are found, the realisation that these are priorities to you and maybe not to everyone else. It’s about being more exclusive and with no need to run with the pack, especially those “met” in the sleepy hollow of the online world who suck you in and lead you down that rabbit hole of nothingness where many live or are stuck.

This has a theme of a dystopian society that has all the makings for what could be a fascinating series on Netflix where Mad Max meets Bladerunner. As the great Quincy Jones might say, “That would be a motherfucker of creative juju juice, man”.

A few nights ago, someone in the real world asked what I thought about Kylie Jenner being pregnant. She is? And even if she is, who cares and why should it matter? What does she even do? According to the numbers- and Twitter numbers apparently don’t lie, right?- hundreds of thousands believe Kylie Jenner being pregnant matters. Hear “Eleanor Rigby” playing in the background? Wonder where all the lonely people come from?

For Kylie Jenner, the investment in having a baby and the business opportunities are worth millions. With two of her stepsisters also about to give birth, it’s not only mana from heaven, it has all come together at the right time to prop up a multi tiered brand that was becoming lost in the shuffle.

The world wasn’t keeping up with the Kardashians anymore just like Taylor Swift has all but disappeared from everywhere after that last record of her’s went nowhere- pfffft despite all the drummed up back stories about reinventing herself and supposedly coming out like someone she’s never been before: real and with something to actually say through her music. She never got there.

Swift and others were also being buried alive by angry hashtags with hundreds of actresses finally realising that, “Hey, I was abused by a fat sweaty pig”. Funny how the backlash against Harvey Weinstein finally happened in Hollywood when it’s been well known in Hong Kong for years, especially during his visits out here and to Shanghai.

Enter #TimesUp and #MeToo over in Hollywood while the world waits to see if Oprah will pull a rabbit out of her black designer dress to keep the promise made during her campaign speech at the Golden Globes. Remember? It seems like an eternity ago.

Today, Uma has taken over from Oprah. Uma, Oprah, Oprah, Uma. As Lennon sang, it’s all showbiz and the peanut gallery buys into the same old bullshit. Over and over again.

Far more interesting to me was seeing a photograph of George, apparently the biggest dog in the world, and who I noticed while trolling through Twitter.

But why choose Twitter over the very real person next to me hoping to have a real conversation before us going to sleep?

This is what I mean about priorities- losing sight of these and becoming involved in the small stuff that’s of zero relevance to life and the life one is supposed to lead according to whatever master plan has been laid out for you and whether you want to make some changes to make this work. Guess it’s about stamping one’s individuality on everything and moving only to the beat of your drummer.

There’s always the fear that this could be a lonely journey. But long before this need to “share” and “engage” and build “followers” through hashtags and algorithms, those who created the very foundations of this world we’re living in today were very often individual thinkers or else those who trusted their friends enough to work with them. They had become friends in the first place because they shared the same dream.

This trust doesn’t exist anymore, or if it does, it’s kept under lock and key usually because of something that’s happened in the past where one might have been shafted. Age and experience make one experienced. When having moved on and actually created and produced in the Now and not living in the Then, one just cannot carry people for old times sake. It’s about intuitively knowing that the marriage isn’t going to work.

What was the wedge that came between the Beatles? It wasn’t the wives. It was big business and the distrust that came with this through new external forces with their own agendas and storm troopers.

For the first time, and without the guiding hand of a manager like Brian Epstein who probably knew his boys had outgrown him a few years before calling time on life, they were lost. They embraced everything and everyone who came their way and fleeced them until those Apple scruffs demons were exorcised and they returned, even though for a short time, to become the friends they once were- brothers in arms with powerful and positive memories of everything they had achieved bringing them back together for one last Fab Four group hug.

Today, I look around, I meet with new people who wish to work together, I meet those from the past who want to hitch their wagon on wherever you might be heading, but there’s always a blurred vision staring you in the faces.

An ex used to call them “the faceless people” who never want anyone to see their “second skin”- reptilian-like lost souls sliding in and out of various doors trying to find somewhere to be with many happy with social media “fame” which numbs the reality of actually doing something or facing the fact that they’re not good enough in their chosen field.

The same ex would openly tell a struggling singer from the UK who struggled even more as a songwriter to try taking up a different career. Like a bricklayer.

The problem with this ex was that for all her ability to see through others and dispense advice, she couldn’t, or refused to see that she was going nowhere and time was running out. And so she did what most women do when there are no other options: she got married to someone who would pay off her debts in return for being a wife. There’s a word for women like this.

Sadly, it happens everyday and is nothing like anything which, once upon an Audrey Hepburn, made one want to be with someone for better or worse without her having to do the maths before putting a ring on it.

All this is what’s bothering and holding some of us back- being eventually disappointed in people by seeing who they really are and seldom finding the right chemistry to create something where you just intuitively know will go the distance. Both are marriages, but what we’re seeing more and more is a very false world with too many happy to survive and drift through life just doing “stuff” with no direction of home, like a rolling stone.

So in the midst of all this nothingness, the great Quincy Jones recently comes out and truly tells it like it is and more- everything about racism, the assassination of JFK, coked out Hollywood, gay Hollywood, the greed of Michael Jackson, the stupidity of Trump.

You smile because you met this motherfucker right after finishing “Thriller”. You spent quality time together. Sorcerer and apprentice stuff. If you’re going to learn, learn by listening to the best and who’s seen it all and done it all.

He told you some of these stories, but now you’re respecting someone who’s 85 years of knowledge and talent and total self-belief who’s shone a powerful light on today’s fake world by forcing it to see where we are today and how meaningless most of Here is. Hopefully, it is a wake up call to look towards new places and people to be inspired.

That Quincy Jones interview is a book of life. At least for myself, it was a reminder of what has been achieved, which no one can take away, and taking that next step without fear of disappointment because new house rules are in place. Experience has taught you the importance of these and to confront whatever isn’t working.

The free lunches have stopped. The generosity of handing out percentages to those who can’t deliver have stopped. Rushing blindly into relationships has stopped. What hasn’t stopped is this incredible need and voracious appetite to create- but create for yourself and not to carry vagabonds and thieves with you thinking there’s a need for company. Only misery loves company.

Creativity needs inspiration. And though inspiration might be in short supply these days, when you see it, when you hear it, embrace it. These days, I’m embracing the upcoming documentary on Eric Clapton, the new song from James Bay and the incredible music of Max.

Yes, it’s about exclusivity and not so giving as in the past with your name, time and money to anything you don’t believe in with total confidence and complete passion. There’s a lot of crap out there. Don’t adopt the strays and keep listening to the inner you without numbing it just to belong.

#quincyjones #ericclapton #jamesbay #music #life #creativity #socialmedia #trust #reality #inspiration #hansebert #dreams #business #relationships

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