GETTING OFF THE TWITTER TRAIN…

By Hans Ebert
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It was my last girlfriend who tried to wean me off it- Twitter. Though pointing out that it was taking over my life and, without me even realising it, detonating any chance of trying to make our relationship work, I refused to listen. I was lost to the clutter of 140 words or less. Instead of there being one less bell to answer, it was adding another empty online junkie’s lament dressed and disguised as some bluebird of happiness. Progress has created some dangerous addictions. It might explain much about a world having lost its way. Lost with no direction of home. Refusing to recognise the tell tale signs.

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HAS HORSE RACING ON TWITTER RUN ITS RACE?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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There was a time when terrestrial television station HKTVB Pearl had an animated character named Freddy to tell viewers what to expect the next day.

Why? Who knows? But every day, Freddy would either melt, or his teeth would chatter and to symbolise a drop in temperature, clouds would fall down over Freddy who would squeal that “It’s faaaaaaaaliiiiing”.

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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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WHERE ARE HORSE RACING’S GREAT STORYTELLERS?

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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A friend in music and I were chatting the other day about everything and more including sex, lies and videotapes. He asked whether, as there once were Rock journalists when a publication like Rolling Stone was relevant, does horse racing have or ever had Horse Racing Journalists.

There are of course some very good and knowledgable racing writers and reporters around the world who know their subject matter and are always first with the news. But is there a place and audience for racing journalists?

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NASH RAWILLER: THE CIRCLE IS COMPLETE. THE NEXT CHAPTER BEGINS…

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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There’s a Martin Scorsese movie hiding in here somewhere with an incredible script, soundtrack and some truly absorbing characters: When Nash Rawiller, below, won on Harmony Hero at Sha Tin on Sunday, what some might not have realised or had forgotten was that fourteen years earlier, the jockey won his first big race aboard Elvstroem, the sire of this now Hong Kong owned galloper who had won both of his races in Australia before being sold to Hong Kong connections for a reported AUS$1.3 million.

Forget Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon. These two wins completed a circle for Nash Rawiller. It also brought back memories of those times when an often underrated galloper in “Elvis”- Elvstroem made his mark. With his rider, they’ve both travelled under the radar. They’ve let the results speak for themselves. Sometimes, others have to speak on their behalf for the words to resonate.

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HORSE RACING AND SOCIAL MEDIA

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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The subject comes up often enough, but as there are no rules, there are no solutions. Simply put in a world that’s lost its way, social media is the genie that was allowed to pop out and can’t be put back in the bottle.

Whether one likes it or not, every delivery platform offers everyone the complete freedom to express themselves. Hiding behind Freedom Of Speech has set a dangerous precedent. Add Freedom Of Expression and entitlement into the mix and it’s created a world with no priorities- a Mad Max type of dystopian lawlessness where everything is out there and available for free- music, movies, television series, pornography and everything else one can hoard. We are seeing a generation of hoarders stuck inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again.

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HORSE RACING, YOU HAVE A PROBLEM

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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It was a tweet sent out from here recently and after the races at Sha Tin half in jest. But also in all seriousness. It was about how horse racing needs a Roger Federer if it’s ever going to be more than what it is today.

Today is an important word, because today isn’t yesterday and nothing can afford to be stuck in the past as there’s so much of everything today and easy access to a buffet of choices called-wait for it- competition. So much competition for the same consumer dollar. Often, many in horse racing seem to think they’re the only game in town and not having really thought through what it takes to be in the game.

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IN SHORT SUPPLY: INSPIRATION AND IMAGINATION

By Hans Ebert
@hanseberthk
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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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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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