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.

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THE CRANKINESS OF BEING EARNEST

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
Visit Hans-Ebert.com

Once upon a Tomorrow Never Knows, many of us couldn’t wait to grow up, spread our wings, gain our independence and fly off to unknown lands where there were uncharted waters and adventures to be discovered and lived. We couldn’t wait. We took walks on the wild side. Some of us survived, a few fell through the cracks. We moved on and often took some bravely stupid steps.

We fell in love, we fell out of love, we stayed in love and got married. We had children and became domesticated. Domesticated. It’s a funny word. Often it means giving up and becoming what you promised yourself you’d never become. But you did, yes, you did, yes, you did and the penny finally dropped. There was the realisation that you had become everything you never thought you would be: Boring. But having made one’s bed, there was a need to lie in it at least for a while. Guilt pangs surfaced when wondering if this was just living a lie. Often it was- a lethal cocktail of falling in lust, thinking it was love until that train dropped you off at the right station. It was fun while it lasted, but it was just a U2 song.

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IN SHORT SUPPLY: INSPIRATION AND IMAGINATION

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
Visit Hans-Ebert.com

Watching the recent spate of awards shows supposedly to acknowledge and celebrate the arts- films, film makers, actresses, actors- please, Natalie Portman, note that actresses were mentioned before actors- musicians, music etc etc, what one has been exposed to is a Hollywood made chain reaction of politics, sermons, self righteous indignation, and hashtags. What the hell was Hillary Clinton doing appearing at the Grammys? There’s Bruno Mars and then there’s Hills reading from the book “Fire And Fury”? Enormously stupid move.

Instead of taking a break from #MeToo and #TimesUp, these award shows have become another platform to pummel the senses with speeches and sideshows that often ring hollow as it is more of the same- the same old crocodile tears on the same background, the . same old same old with no answers, no solutions, and no answers to And now what? Time’s up is a nice enough term for a hashtag, and the message behind it, but surely it must be more? How is this hashtag and rah rah speeches from celebrities going to achieve what everyone hopes they achieve?

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CONFUSED? ON OVERLOAD? #METOO

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Let’s call it The Hashtag Generation. Gawd knows where it started, but I’m guessing it was in a galaxy not that far away called the online world and not that long ago when it was de rigeur to embrace social media and talk about SEO’s- Search Engine Optimisation- and how the “right” hashtags would, or could. elevate one’s “status” on Google, which meant ease of discovery that would result in more visitors to one’s website. Or something like that.

Today, we’re drowning in hashtags- #blacklivesmatter #whitelivesmatter #policelivesmatter #alllivesmatter- and with “metoo and #timesup now leading the charge with Queen Oprah of America in the starring role and ably assisted by aides Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and others with that almighty Star Power.

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HOW SOCIAL MEDIA IS STUNTING THE GROWTH OF HORSE RACING

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

Recently, more and more people following the world of horse racing are taking sabbaticals from social media, mainly Twitter. Some never come back, Why? In order to return to the real world. Even with all its faults, it’s somewhere with small pockets of beauty and intelligence and the chance to escape from relentless stupidity, triviality and where the terminally needy have found somewhere to belong. Twitter is like an old Barbra Streisand song about people needing people. The difference is that it’s an often irrelevant world that doesn’t really exist nor brings us human beings closer together.

The problem with whether being on Twitter or Facebook is that many of these people who are part of this social media community- and usually hiding behind pseudonyms thinking they can’t be found out, and authorities on everything and everyone and damned be if one were to disagree with them- appear on your timeline, meaning one cannot help but read their Wikipedia knowledge and self obsessed tripe. This creates a chain reaction of negativity.

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THE UNREALITIES OF SOCIAL MEDIA

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

If it wasn’t for the fact that it’s part of my job responsibilities and being paid quite nicely to be part of it, I would just press delete and detonate my presence on social media. And more and more, it’s all too obvious that I am not the only one considering doing this.

Friends are closing their Facebook and Twitter accounts as the initial thrill is gone. Seeing way too many nobodies trying to be somebody when no one cares is aggro no one needs in an already aggressive world getting angrier and full of hate every day. Keyboard warriors forcing themselves to be heard above the rest of the din don’t help.

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SWITCHING OFF, TUNING IN

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

“If we’re going to have dinner, I want you to turn that bloody thing off.” “What did you do when you didn’t have a mobile phone? Surely, it didn’t incapacitate you? Surely, you still went out, had a good time with friends and with no need to constantly check if you missed out on anything?” “I refuse to reply to you with text messages when I can just call you or you can call me. If we’re going to move this relationship anywhere, I don’t wish it to be based on some emojis.” Smart woman. Definitely not from or in Hong Kong, some of whom judge you by the size of your, well, iPhone. Seriously though, in Hong Kong, your phone is like an invitation to join Mensa.

There were more, but these were just a handful of remarks received about being iPhone dependent and this becoming an invasion of privacy, and stunting interpersonal skills. There’s also a fast-growing backlash against that oxymoron known as social media. And don’t think millennials are not part of this move. Most are leading the revolt. Many have tired of what they see and read on social media and are hopefully returning to more simple and honest times.

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SOCIAL MEDIA AND MUSIC: THE GOOD, THE EMBARRASSING AND THE LEGENDS IN THEIR OWN LUNCHTIME

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It’s not death we should fear, it’s wasting the time we have in this particular world. And when one sees the amount of pontificating and self promotion that goes on in one of the most anti social and time wasting mediums to be embraced by so many called “social media”, apart from shaking my head in disbelief at how real life priorities have taken a backseat to a mixed bowl of nuts made outta hot air, it makes me realise where music has gone wrong. Social media amplifies the total absence of what could be called “real music” because of the avalanche of clutter.

Fortunately, many of us travel through YouTube and Facebook hoping to re-discover what has come before when it comes to music- and it’s a minor miracle that so much of it can actually be found. Perhaps some of us were too young to know those early recordings by the Jazz greats, most of which are available now- and not just the sound recordings, but the original videos.

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LET’S JUST REBOOT THIS LIFE, SHALL WE…

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk

It wears you down. Yes, it eventually wears you down because how much is enough? And when you do let it all go, there’s nothing left. U2 is still singing, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For when actually you know you what you had, but you let it go for damaged goods and gypsies, tramps and thieves. Live and learn and move on…

Birthdays are always a time for internalising and hoping that tomorrow brings about some clarity and removes the clutter. And so, this birthday, I shut myself off this “regular” world, switched to my telephone without all the apps and decided to get away from everything and everyone that’s crept up and become part of what passes off as life in Hong Kong- and elsewhere. It was The Big Kiss Off to all this “sharing” where very very few actually give. Don’t they realise how obvious this is? How small it makes them look?

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