Under “paid sponsorship with Puma”, there are a series of photographs these days of (singer) Selena Gomez on Instagram with over 6.5 million “likes”. One of these “likes” was by Puma.
My friend was watching something or another on television and I nudged her and showed what I had seen. She looked at it, smirked and carried on watching whatever it was that she was watching. She couldn’t be bothered and was no doubt wondering why I should be.
Didn’t I know about Covid-19? Had I washed my hands? We’re all different…
At the end of it all, we come here alone, we leave here alone and we do our best to fill in the middle bits with things that have something of us in it. Guess this is what’s called a legacy.
I ended up in the creative field possibly because my mother was a painter, my father was a singer and pianist and I was left handed. Where I was born- Colombo in Sri Lanka- being left handed meant that one had inherited the devil’s hand.
It was a challenge and a random exercise to see how much we had changed along with the world around us. A friend asked me to open a Twitter account saying that my old and fairly popular horse racing blog Racingb*tch was back as Racing Buzzfeed, follow a few people and see how I felt and what might happen.
That was at 8am on Sunday. By noon, I had grown bored with it. There were a few followers, I had tweeted a few innocuous messages, and that was the extent to this exercise in futility. It wasn’t just stupid, it brought back memories of those who were continuously lampooned on Racingb*tch- and who are still there and doing the same old walk of life.
It really doesn’t matter. Nothing really matters, because there’s nothing we- you and I- can do about any of it- Facebook, all the many ills plaguing what was baptised “social media” and which all the time was Rosemary’s Baby grown up and in control of malleable minds feeding them with more and more and more clutter until priorities became lost in the shuffle.
The Bill Cosby trial, Trump, the Russians, the Chinese, Fleetwood Mac. Whatever it is that interests others are doing, but which might not be on the same page as the hymn book from which you’re singing is often just more clutter- if you choose to allow all this randomness in. It would be boring as hell if we all fell in line and became lemmings following the Pied Piper of Hamlyn. There’s a necessity to move away from the sheeples. It’s called survival and it took a houseguest to remind me of all this. It was the wake up call needed to still “belong”, but also remain detached enough to focus on individual thinking. Leave the sheeples behind. They’ll be fine. Like misery, mediocrity loves company.
“Being John Malkovich” is one of my favourite movies. John Malkovich is one of my three favourite actors. And so when seeing John Malkovich trending on Twitter, I feared the worst. Thankfully, the best was yet to come- John Malkovich in a brilliant role as himself for an advertisement for CBS and the AFC Championships.
The decision to cast Malkovich was a stroke of genius. The script and concept seems to have come from someone or a team who have been through the wars with “difficult” clients- you know, those who hire proven professionals in their respective fields, but insist on reducing these people to toadies and order takers and “create” what they think is “advertising” because it’s something that they’ve seen before which must mean that it’s okay.
It’s very tough going writing this, but there seems to be an invisible force pushing me to finish it as if it’s my last will and testament. Maybe it is. Nothing matters more to me than saying what I have to say. Perhaps it’s about living on borrowed time where I have to be totally honest with myself and try the best I can not to hurt anyone in the process. But I will because the truth hurts. We try to escape it, but it always catches up with you no matter how hard you try to mask it.
Bottom line: You come into this world alone and you leave this world alone. The filling in the rest of the sandwich is just stuff that, in the end, was given way too much oxygen until it suffocated you.
Married life with Trina was more than good. It was everything and more. As a young couple, our combined salaries were around HK$5,000, and this was fine. We were still in our little Japanese style apartment in Park Road and were even able to save money. Living together there was like a Graham Nash song: Perfect.
This was a very different Hong Kong to what we have today where people talk in millions and billions while those who can’t live detached lives on social media where fantasy and reality often come together to create emotional clutter.
As for Trina and myself, she was busy working for an arts magazine called Orientations whereas apart from working as Creative Director with the same local ad agency, I was making a little extra money writing an entertainment column for the SCMP and reviewing records for the TV and E Times.
The accidental drug overdose death of my best friend since school Steve (Tebbutt), below right, had me reeling down inside and it was only now having Trina (Dingler) in my life that gave me the emotional support needed. We weren’t living together, but spent as much time together as possible.
I was still sharing an apartment with local radio disc jockey Mike Souza in Arts Mansion, below, which was like some big crash pad and waterbed for many in Hong Kong just starting out adult life or trying to figure out where we belonged and what was in store next. Kitty, my much-loved cat was as always there for company.
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.
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.