On Sunday in New York, hundreds of thousands of people led by celebrities fighting for the future of an ailing Mother Earth turned up for Climate Change. It was a huge event. Was it covered by any of the major television stations? No.
On Monday in Hong Kong, thousands of university students boycotted classes to start their week long protest against Beijing’s decision to restrict voting reforms.
In a lightbulb moment that kept flickering in my head, the expression Methinks Thou Protesteth Too Much kept blinking away.
These days, we tend to hold so many protests as to render them self-promotional publicity stunts, or else, naive bouts in self-indulgent irrelevance.
Sure, there is some great passion behind all these protests taking place every day around the world, and some far more critical than others, but there is also a great deal of grand-standing, which makes the importance and meaning and end game to these come across being either too much of a good thing, or lemmings following without understanding why they’re protesting, where it’s all going to end, and exactly how any of this will bring about real change and not chump change.
After all, many of these protests are not like those supporting Dr Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement, or the protests against the Vietnam War, which brought about sweeping changes in the US, and which impacted the world with the power of music and the songs of people like Dylan, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs etc playing their roles.
Yes, We Shall Be Released ‘cos the answer, my friend, is Blowing In The Wind and The Times They Are-A-Changing.
Perhaps the reason these protest movements brought about awareness and radical change was because of a time in the world, and because they had to do with real causes that needed total honesty.
They were not all those bastard children of Live Aid that have resulted in the lame treacle showbiz politics and cheap charitable efforts of “We Are The World”, and those embarrassing songs during those “Yes We Can” days of a pocketful of mumbles that are sometime promises.
This eventually led to that opportunist Wyclef Jean making clucking sounds on that hollow piece of discardable crap, apparently, “for Haiti” which resulted in that howler of a version of “We Are The World”.
Even the impassioned pleas by George Clooney and his mates- very short-lived pleas- couldn’t help whatever the hell all that Haitian protesting was meant to be other than hearing some new song by Coldplay.
And when it was discovered that Wyclef Jean was using all of this celebrity politics to further his own political ambitions in his home in Haiti, it was onto the next cause de célèbre and the next protest- against Wal-Mart, against McDonald’s, against Wall Street. Against Anything.
We have become a generation of Facebook and social media protesters with, perhaps, too much time on our hands and needing those 15 minutes of fame.
Here in Hong Kong, apart from the student protests, there is the Occupy Central protest planned for October 1 to draw attention to “universal suffrage”. And take on the might of Beijing.
Will any of this bring about any real change?
Aren’t there far more important questions on our very doorstep to ask pertaining to the huge levels of corruption taking place in Hong Kong every day led by the farcical court case against Rafael Hui, below, and his alleged puppet masters?
Here is an appalling case against a man who abused his power when Chief Secretary, the second most powerful man in Hong Kong, who has admitted to being a dithering and doddering old fool who lavished $8m in gifts onto a young lady he met in Shanghai.
All this was done during the watch of former Chief Executive Donald Tsang, who, we are led to believe, was clueless about what his political “wife” was doing. Oh please.
One cannot help but wonder how far down- and how far up- this level of corruption travelled through this administration.
Personally, to clean up the mess and weed out the corruption rampant in Hong Kong- every day and everywhere- I would start up Occupy Rafael Hui and even Occupy Donald Tsang before taking on Beijing.
Hong Kong’s leaders- going back to the city’s colonial days- all contributed towards the mess the city finds itself in today as “democracy” was “systematically” killed off long before The Handover in 1997.
THIS is worth making a song and dance about and unmasking all those politicians and businessmen in every industry- don’t think the music and entertainment industries are innocents- who raped and pillaged Hong Kong, and are now living their fat cat lifestyles while those they “mentored” continue the “tradition of greed and corruption”.
If this doesn’t work for you, do something really useful and go help protect Hong Kong’s pink dolphins.
Chairman and CEO
We-Enhance and Fast Track Global Ltd