ARE YOU ON THE FAR SIDE OF NORMAL? 

By Hans Ebert
Visit: www.fasttrack.hk

Personal tastes have changed so much in the past year. Of course, there are the constants- for myself, Audrey Hepburn, the Beatles, Fred Astaire, The Far Side and a couple more on the personal side of the hurdles of romance. But the one-time buffet spread laid out has been streamlined.

Taste is becoming more exclusive. Not everyone is invited to the party. There are no more free lunches. At the end, someone has to somehow pay the piper. Words that matter are not for everyone. Maybe this was the way it was meant to be.

No regrets, but was there too much wasted time? The Eagles sang about it. Wasted time. Not bothering to see this while living what were outwardly good time. But despite Grandfather Time ticking away, when, what and who mattered was allowed to slip away. Fools were allowed in and entertained.

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Who knows?

By Hans Ebert
Visit: www.fasttrack.hk

Frankly, posting stuff like this on Facebook and having a presence anywhere on social media is not going to make a helluva lot of difference to my bank account. What it does is help me keep my writing chops going and see where they lead. Sometimes they lead to a song or a short story or some clarity as to what’s waiting round the bend for me with my Huckleberry friend.

This leads to a recent late night conversation with a former colleague. We were chatting about nothing in particular except for marketing and she suddenly said, “No one cares. It’s just something thought to be necessary. But if one were to ask even the coconut right at the top of the tree, they’ll say the same thing: None of what is passed off as ‘marketing’ has any real impact on the bottom line. It’s just another layer added for the sake of it”.

Heading up corporate communications in one of the biggest entertainment companies in the UK, she was talking about what we used to do and why.

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WHY WE KEEP GETTING BACK AND COMING TOGETHER WITH THE BEATLES

By Hans Ebert
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Today, they’re everywhere. Conspiracy theories. It’s what especially social media has wreaked on the malleable psyche of the world.

Like all the other online clutter, it’s what feeds our head today. It’s definitely not the same White Rabbit that Grace Slick was singing about all those years ago.

Once upon a Beatlemania, the only conspiracy theory that mattered was whether Paul was dead and replaced by Billy Shears.

After all, the clues were laid out for us, especially on the Abbey Road album cover. There were the Beatles crossing the road with Paul in bare feet, apparently the Greek way of burying their dead, whereas George in denim symbolised the grave digger, Ringo being the priest and John, all in white representing- I think- the angel.

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When social media just doesn’t add up…

By Hans Ebert
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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…

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BUT WHO’S LOOKING AFTER THE FUTURE OF CHILDREN?

By Hans Ebert
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There are those days when you feel you’re in the middle of one of those trailers for a black and white movie where a manly voiceover would scream out things like, “MORE FEARFUL THAN FEAR ITSELF!” and “A CITY UNDER SIEGE!” and “WHERE IS BATMAN?”

What Hong Kong has been going through for over a year is its own rocky and wobblyhobby horror show- peaceful demonstrations that morphed into violence and split a city apart.

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SOCIAL MEDIA: HOW EFFECTIVELY IS HORSE RACING USING IT? REALLY.

By Hans Ebert
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There was a time not really that long ago though time often flies on unexpected wings at a worldwide music conference in Munich when us executives listened to a panel of young Facebook execs explain how we could use the social media platform- very new at the time- to sell more music. To work closer with music fans. Introduce new music much more cost effectively. And with more pinpoint accuracy. How MySpace was finished. But never ever thinking that this thing called “social media” would get off the ground, we never listened.

Ignorance and arrogance came into play and most of us saw their presentation as a break to grab some chocolate muffins and chat up one of the Facebookers.

We -the music industry- had successfully sued illegal file sharing site Napster and co founders Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning and believed that nothing was going to change our world. The six star lifestyle was going to continue. So much for that dream.

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IT’S JUST ANOTHER GROUNDHOG DAY IN THE BLUE TICK TWITTERVERSE

By Hans Ebert
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You can’t even get your favourite Madras Chicken Curry from Jimmy’s Kitchen in Hong Kong anymore. So how the hell does one expect to be inspired enough to continue with everything else? But one still does. Trudging up those steps. Asking for forgiveness. Seeking redemption. Always searching for that elusive burst of inspiration. Settling for mediocrity because creativity is in such short supply. Listening to talk leading nowhere.

Gave up on reading Bob or Bill’s Big Book years ago that was going to lead to finding that higher power. That was a wasted journey. Cracked. Just another crutch.

Yesterday I went through eight business meetings. All in the same place. Only one made any sense. Why? He was smart. Knew his music. Can write. Really knows this thing called social media. Still excited about new musicians. Like artists from Mongolia. Told me things I never knew. How Hip Hop existed in Mongolia over twenty years ago.

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COX PLATE DAY AND WHEN IT TRULY WAS GOOD FOR RACING…NO HYPE NEEDED.

By Hans Ebert
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Good for racing. It’s an expression bandied about sometimes almost too liberally. That something or another is “good for racing”. Most times, it rarely is.

Yesterday at Moonee Valley, everything and everyone came together. Even those who weren’t privy to have been there. That international audience. Like many in Hong Kong who were seeing the magic of Winx for the first time. It really was good for racing.

Social media, especially Twitter, where often bile spills over into a feeding frenzy of negativity, was filled with positivity. No one tried to crash the party and dampen the mood with the usual handwringing. None of that now tiresome self righteous indignation. Those sour grapes of wrath. There was no bringing up of the usual cornflakes of personal agendas. No trolls allowed. Only positivity.

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HOW EFFECTIVELY IS HORSE RACING USING SOCIAL MEDIA? (AND THANK YOU, MICHAEL RODD)

By Hans Ebert
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Got a pocketful of dreams
And lotsa hope in my heart
Hope my ship comes in
In the shape of a horse
Lost my mind and lost my soul
Somewhere along the way
Will just kick back now
Let Mother Nature make my day

Gotta a lot of numbers
Just hope they all add up
Don’t wanna see them fade
Into a discardable paper cup
No time for looking down
And letting negativity get in the way
No need to go back into darkness
When it’s all about looking up…

HE

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KEEPING IT REAL

By Hans Ebert
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Something is wrong. Very wrong. It sounds like a murder of crows out there. But they’re the sounds of silence. The noise is emanating from the online world. You know, the one divorced from reality. The one with very little sense of humour. Or no humour. And where extremely angry people have an opinion about everything. Politics. Music. Hashtag movements. And of course, sports. Everyone is unfair game.

This online world is where anything goes. It’s a dysfunctional world that hides behind Freedom of Expression. And Freedom of Speech. But what exactly does this mean? And what are its side effects?

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