INSTA ONE MOMENT, GONE THE NEXT

By Hans Ebert
@HansEbertMusic
Visit: www.hans-ebert.com

Difficult to believe, but not too long ago, it really mattered for some to show that they had more followers on Twitter than mere mortals. It seemed to validate their position in the pecking order of the world. It made them feel as if they were standing out from the rest. It was like being a Kardashian- but without the smarts to make billions out of being famous for doing nothing except being famous.

Fast forward to today. All those birds who flock together have migrated to Instagram. Zuck was there way before them. Waiting with open arms.

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HEAR THAT WAKE UP CALL?

By Hans Ebert
@HansEbertMusic
Visit: www.hans-ebert.com

“No, man, please. I really don’t wanna see it or talk about it.” It was a friend telling another friend about something or another he had found on someone we vaguely know on social media. Why did it matter? “But the huge numbers here are bullsh*t”, continued the other friend. “They’re not legit. They’re all private accounts with no previous posts!” Why did this matter?

I sat there and thought about that saying how there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Remember that? These days?

Maybe too many of us have way too much time on our hands and which is why we continue to feed the social media beast.

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LOVE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE

By Hans Ebert
@HansEbertMusic
Visit: www.hans-ebert.com

It was while talking with a small group of people about how that first real love never ever leaves and lives with you forever- even in your dreams-and how love inspires us in so many ways. And just how bereft of inspiration the world is today because love is no longer what it was. And should be.

During this long day’s journey into night and being the only passenger on this mystery train through the past, someone asked whether I’m on Instagram. It was a strange adjunct to the conversation.

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THE MOBILE PHONE: YOU REALLY CAN LIVE WITHOUT IT. PROMISE.

By Hans Ebert
@HansEbertMusic
Visit: http://www.hans-ebert.com

The first reaction is one of panic. Good Gawd, both my iPhones are not recharging! The batteries aren’t going to last for much longer! I have to tell people that this is happening! What if my phones have died on me? What about all my drafts?!!! My photos!!!

So, while having a Yeezy moment, the girlfriend looks at my meltdown and calmly says, “Baby, you’re not breathing. You must breathe. You’re having an anxiety attack about nothing. And can you buy yourself some new underpants? There are holes in what you’re wearing. Never mind. I’ll buy them for you.”

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SLAMMING THE DOOR SHUT ON CLUTTER

By Hans Ebert
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Pulverising the senses with non-stop clutter. That’s how a friend describes it. Life in today’s social media mad driven would where, try as one might to escape the tsunami of information and misinformation and information overload that we certainly don’t even need, it catches up with you. And it’s getting worse. It’s the great plague of our time. It’s what negatively affects us with everything. Yet, many keep going to that well… To the abyss.

Left Facebook and Instagram. Updating both accounts had taken over. Taken over from trying to make my real life relationship with someone go somewhere. It was my compulsive personality running the show. She tried to wean me off it. Go cold turkey. Get out more. Exercise. Sexercise. Cook. But it didn’t work. She walked.

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HONG KONG AND WHEN LESS WAS MORE

By Hans Ebert
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Less is more. Or less was more. And maybe this is where Hong Kong has gone wrong. It’s become Mr Creosote.

Gluttony has taken hold of the city. Perhaps not gluttony so much, but because of not knowing what people want, throwing everything against the kitchen sink and see what sticks. Usually, nothing. It’s just another buffet of odds and sods. Fusion cuisine where confusion reigns as no one is really sure of anything. It’s Dabblers Anonymous.

When first arriving in Hong Kong from what was then Ceylon, there suddenly appeared the…lunch box. It was a brilliant concept. Lunch in a box. For a nine year old, the highlight was a Saturday. Mum would have a half day from work and would bring home a lunch box- either chicken curry and rice or baked pork chop and rice from what was probably the first fast food outlet in Hong Kong: Ong Lok Yuen.

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THE TIMES THEY ARE-A-CHANGING. THIS TIME, FOR REAL.

By Hans Ebert
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It’s signalling the end of an era. It’s heralding something new about to happen. Some of us are wondering what’s in store next.

Some of us are facing our own mortality. And though trying to live life to the full in the allocated time given and move forward, there’s the nagging feeling that the race has been run and it’s time to coast. And so you wait for things to happen. The answer is on Netflix because it’s hipper than Facebook. Really?

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WHEN THE NIGHT LOST ITS FIZZ AND WENT FLAT.

By Hans Ebert
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It’s actually on the snack menu. Meant to be enjoyed with a glass of wine or a glass of champagne. But have an order around 7pm and that’s dinner for the night. It’s on the menu of the Champagne Bar at the Grand Hyatt and comes in six pieces- basically, lobster salad with celery and a little kicker which can be eaten as a spread on toast (HK$350) Goes down a treat.

After that it was probably 9 or 10pm, the resident singer and friend Maricel was singing (except on Sundays), and the once popular 5-star bar, hardly the meeting place that it was, plodded on. Where is anything like what it was when Hong Kong today is bulging with choices? Where things get wobbly is that none of these choices are much good. But if at the Champagne Bar without any great expectations, like one of the regulars- an extremely attractive female lawyer who just wants to chill out, not be bothered by inebriated desperados, and take in the music- it’s a safe, pleasant night out. Expensive to many, but when in any five star venue of a five-star restaurant does one not expect to pay five-star prices? This isn’t McDonald’s.

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WHERE DID THE LOVE AND TRUST AND THANKS GO?

By Hans Ebert
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You’re judged by the company you keep. My parents drummed this into me and I kept along this path for years until ego got the better of me and it became an adult version of being with the cool kids. But when swept along by enablers feeding off wherever you can take them, the company become strays and false friendships are formed and last long past their Use By date. And in this day and age of “engaging” on social media, “followers” become “friends” until you reach that point where you’re hit with a large dose of reality and jolted into the land of common sense.

It’s about taking stock of your life and prioritising those who really matter. It’s not about taking in strays and for reasons that make no sense undertaking various acts of kindness other than feeling pity. Are these ever repaid? Of course not. They’re taken for granted and always detonate along the way. There are of course also those acts of kindness that can take one into some extremely perilous and dysfunctional relationships.

If looking back on the friendships made after a career in advertising, journalism and music, there would be less than ten people I would consider friends- those one can trust and who’ll be there for you. Really be there and not just the false promises. The rest? Acquaintances at the most and really not very important ones.

Having reasonably recently been involved in the horse racing industry- involved as opposed to being in the thick of it- there are probably two and a half individuals who would be considered friends. Again, plenty of acquaintances, but where there’s no trust, and no engaging in the real world, and too many cliques and click baits, even with all its problems, there cannot ever be the chance of a friendship. No one even passes Old Kent Road.

As for social media, there are zero friends. One might enjoy the company of a few people actually met in “real time”, but the rest are only names with nothing else there. It’s like online dating. A few acquaintances have jumped headfirst onto online dating sites where some have even married those found there whereas others show photos of the new someone in their lives even though they’re still to actually meet.

One such person has been seeing the same girl for eight years. They’re still to meet. She’s a single mother in Kiev and he’s penniless in Paris.

A couple of girlfriends I once dated are with men they’ve met on online dating sites and who have become marriages of convenience. They have bailed them outta financial problems and offered them security. These are sugar daddies. It’s no different to being a highly paid escort.

It is what it is and it works for both sexes as the male of the species who’s down on their luck is also looking for that emotional and financial security. So what you have is this fake world of make believe and with everyone carefully keeping up pretences.

Whatever happened to meeting someone, eyes meet and where one knew from holding hands that this was meant to be and that there couldn’t be a day that went by without being with each other? Those days are gone because romance is gone. Romance is gone because honesty has been replaced by games and pettiness.

Once upon a love, there was someone in my life who would say, “Romance me.” The feeling was there, but that simple action was put on Hold. I always thought it could wait. It couldn’t and that time together faded to black.

It’s still about believing in romance, however, and how much music plays in this dance of life. The problem is that it takes two to tango but the right partner is becoming someone almost impossible to find as, again, technology and sites and social media platforms have ripped out that much-needed emotional quotient. The heart of the matter.

It’s become all about the challenge and the conquest rather than working to make sure it works with the right one. About remembering where the first one went wrong and not bludgeoning the same mistake to death.

Like collecting online “friends”, we’ve stopped being choosy or are so locked into whatever happened when you pressed Enter that’s become the rest of your life.

Our parents had it right. We’ve been lousy students. We’ve also been childish adults. Shame on us.

MEANWHILE, BACK IN THE REAL WORLD…

By Hans Ebert
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It’s about sheeple. Gawd knows where we took the wrong turn, but we did and all individuality and independent thinking has gone out the window.

It’s now all about conforming, but this new “conforming” has to do with aimlessly following some invisible Pied Piper of Hamlyn who’s taking us everywhere and nowhere. It’s like an old Jeff Beck hit called “Hi Ho Silver Lining.” “You’re everywhere and nowhere, baby, where did you go?” I really don’t know.

It’s become a chore to find people one wants to be around, let alone work with to create The New. Everywhere, and no matter where one travels, it’s listening to those who say they “get you”- but they don’t- and others who blabber on while you order another drink and try to numb the pain of listening to, well, stuff. Irrelevant stuff. But it’s the only stuff around.

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