Just as they got fake tatts, shaved their heads, wore pants hanging off their arses, learnt all the right handshakes and embraced the Hip Hop culture, while either the night before, or after that, they were whiny emo bands, originality in Hong Kong’s entertainment industry has been in short supply.
After jumping on Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” bandwagon, recently this lack of originality has hit a new level of puerile showboating with everyone and their mamas jumping aboard the Ice Bucket Challenge bandwagon that has “gone viral” in the US, mainly as a fund raising campaign to raise awareness and find a cure for ALS, known better as Lou Gehrig disease.
Oprah, the Queen of America, has participated, as has everyone from Bill Gates to Charlie Sheen- not as a crass gimmick, but in the right spirit of donating to ALS- with the latter putting a welcome new spin on it. Winning! Charlie Sheen! Winning!
How many of these celebrities and those others in Hong Kong and Greater China pouring buckets of ice water over themselves and posting videos even know who Lou Gehrig was, what the disease is, and about ALS- Amyothropic Lateral Slerosis? One can only wonder.
Not to be a killjoy, but Hong Kong- and for that matter, the world- has become a dumbed-down clown posse of lemmings, and sheep spending way too much time in Animal House located on the Planet Of The Apes with The Lost Boys, the girls of Clueless and Dumb and Dumber.
It’s a shallow TMZ and E! world of marshmallow shallow media hype, and the entertainment industry’s version of The Peter Principle plus money laundering involved in the churning out of vapid movies, the relentless release of more and more apps for saps, canned laughter-induced television series with the one common denominator being the pursuit of getting laid while there are all those “Bachelors” and “Bacholorettes” who “fall in love” in front of cameras and don’t have any shame in exposing themselves to the world as narcissistic, desperate, morally bankrupt people, totally driven by the money pit that their fifteen minutes of “shame fame” might buy.
In Hong Kong, we are seeing an unmitigated mess consisting of a clutter of over-supply of everything- except anything of real substance-that has made this once-vibrant, entrepreneurial city bereft of ideas and creativity.
That “Made In Hong Kong” sign that once stood for something cheap and nasty is back with the added words, “mangled” “shallow” and “mediocre”.
Even the politics of Occupy Central and anti-Occupy Central have blended into one funny custard pie made up of equal parts naïveté and self-promotion for a cheap shot headline story that should be hidden on page 12 with everyone hoping it all goes away before Beijing loses its sense of humour about all the carrying on and send in the tanks to take away the clowns.
I read the news today? Yep. And I nodded off.
Elsewhere, we continue to see mediocrity in all sectors.
Even so-called “hip” or “cool” brands, along with bars, clubs, restaurants, and those I once thought to be “creative talent” are looking decidedly tired.
Worse, they are coming across as cons who are all talk, no action, and with many new to Hong Kong after exiting their bankrupt home countries in, especially, Europe, falling way short to what’s on their CVs.
Yes, the FILTH is back- Failed In London Try Hongkong.
Then along has come Haim and their brilliant song and accompanying video for “My Song 5″, which, like the music of Adele, Lorde, Lupa J, Malaysia’s brilliant Yuna, and the new generation of young female singer-songwriters, has brought a much-needed narrative to music that’s been missing, or, in lieu of a better term, a message.
On “My Song 5″, Haim- three sisters from LA- Este, Alana and Danielle Haim plus Dash Hutton, son of Three Dog Night’s Danny Hutton- takes aim at much of the “unreal reality” mentioned above through their take on those awful over-the-top “talk shows”- the pod and mothership for every rancid, dumbed down “project” today, gift-wrapped and served as “entertainment” to an audience that’s become the man-eating plant in “The Little Shop Of Shoppers” screaming, “FEED ME!”
“My Song 5″ is definitely a “concept maxi single” and extended video waiting to happen.
It has the crackling creativity I always expected Gorillaz to deliver- but which they never did when the partnership of Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett suddenly- and sadly-imploded.
More than this, the thinking that’s gone into the creativity of projects by these young new artists show a group of talent who refuses to run with the pack and, instead, send out messages like the Beatles and Dylan once did, and make musical statements to make the world get back to thinking and making a difference.
A positive difference that offers hope and how everything is possible when that glass is half full again.
For me, listening to the music- and art- of these artists makes me take up THIS Self Help Challenge:
* Sit out in the sun and listen to “Here Comes The Sun” and dance like an idiot to “Thubthumping”, “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go” and “Unbelievable”.
* Dream without going to sleep and work in creating the world John Lennon started with “Imagine” but never managed to finish.
* Don’t read the newspaper, don’t watch television, completely switch off from social media, and go out on an old-fashioned date.
Leave the cell phone at home or switched off.
Rely on making eye contact and easy yourself back into the art of conversation without having an anxiety attack.
Watch “David Beckham: Into The Unknown”.
It will humble you. It will inspire you to discover what has yet to be discovered around wherever YOU are- and not where everyone else is. Or think they are.
Chairman and CEO
We-Enhance Inc and
Fast Track Global Ltd