THERE’S NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT

By Hans Ebert
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Many more will leave us. Friends, some more famous than others, musical heroes, music icons, political heroes, sporting legends and everyone in between. It’s the inevitability of life. Death catches up with everyone so it really comes down to what one does in the Now and in the Living. Without wishing to sound like a Hallmark greeting card…

Looking back isn’t the answer as it always means coming up against a wall of regrets. But there’s no time for regretting. The past has packed up and walked out the door. It’s now all about what can be done today which segues into tomorrow and knowing that something positive- no matter how small and insignificant- has been achieved.

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THE RUNAWAY TRAIN THAT IS MUSIC…

By Hans Ebert
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One friend was wondering if we’d ever hear what he termed “real songs by real songwriters”- tunesmiths like the teams of Elton John and Bernie Taupin, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and Lennon and McCartney.

There were then those songwriters who wore their hearts on their sleeves led by Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Jimmy Webb, Brian Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, the musical stories of Dylan, the Brill Building commercialism of Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Sedaka and Greenfield, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Boyce and Hart, Neil Diamond and so many others.

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IF THE MEDIUM IS THE MESSAGE, HOW MANY MEDIUMS REALLY WORK FOR HORSE RACING?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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Twitter has made everyone think they’re a “writer” though many still don’t know the difference between “they’re”, “their” and “there”, which, one supposes, is no different to many calling themselves “musicians” because they can tap a few keys on their laptop to “create” some sounds.

It’s become a push button world where everything has been reduced to being accepted by those with a minimum attention span as there’s just so much of everything and this voracious appetite to inhale it all in and damned the torpedoes of selectivity and exclusivity.

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VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR AND TECHNOLOGY HAS KIDNAPPED CREATIVITY

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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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.

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WHERE EXACTLY IS HORSE RACING HEADING?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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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.

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TIME TO LEAD AND NOT TO FOLLOW

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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Gawd knows where we went wrong, but we went wrong and many are still going wrong because they really think everything is going alright. Oh, but it’s not.

She is definitely not without her faults, but my daughter is grounded enough to know fact from fiction and has done extremely well for herself in the real world. She’s never yearned for fame, but has been successful with what she has achieved- tangibles and not this time wasting exercise of buying the illusion of fame- through hard work.

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TIME FOR A REALITY CHECK

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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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.

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WHY EVERY INDUSTRY- EVEN HORSE RACING- SHOULD MAKE THIS COMPULSORY VIEWING

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

“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.

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CANTO POP AND WHY HONG KONG NEEDS THE NEXT SAM HUI

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Believe me, we’re trying to change things around. The question is whether we’ve left it all a little too late and are happy to just coast, because it pays the rent. And as no one’s getting any younger, to many, that’s life’s main priority. Maybe we don’t want to change the world. That’s not our job. Maybe we just want to survive in our own little corner of the world and put on that happy face everyday and try to kid ourselves and everyone else that all is cool.

I might be writing about Hong Kong, but I could be writing about anywhere. I might be writing about music, but I could be writing about any of the arts or any business or even life itself. And music is entertainment and much about life, but it’s also a business. Those days of playing for free for “exposure” should have ended when playing with one’s first school band and performing at tea parties.

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DEAR CHIEF EXECUTIVE CARRIE LAM AND HER COMMITMENT TO INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY. SERIOUSLY?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

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.

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