THE DARK SIDE OF HONG KONG NIGHT LIFE 1

I have some huge questions about the god person, but no qualms about believing in the power of g.o.d. to shake Hong Kong outta the creative menopause it currently finds itself.

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g.o.d- or Goods Of Desire, of course, first came into Hong Kong consciousness in 1998 by using that quaint Cantonese “F*** You” greeting that is pronounced “diu ley lo mo”- one’s “mutha” is added for extra angst- and turning this into a series of Delay No More merchandising.

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Delay No More established the brand and pushed the boundaries of tight-ass acceptability, hypocrisy and Hong Kong’s pseudo-morality by labeling everything under g.o.d. showed two local entrepreneurs- Ben Lau and Douglas Young- ready to take on the bastions of this city’s Good Taste awards while pushing the creative envelope.

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It’s an envelope that has opened the way for many copyists- especially in advertising- and also those who have seen the g.o.d-like world as inspiration and a re-introduction to a Hong Kong that no longer exists- and, probably, shouldn’t as it would wither against the constant pressure of that much-overused word called “progress”.

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This was a Hong Kong of the $1.80 Ong Lok Yuen box lunch- twenty years before the wonderful Daniel Ng, below, took a punt and brought McDonald’s to a city where, he was told, “the Chinese don’t eat hamburgers”.

REMEMBERING DANIEL NG 1

It was when after 2am and still on Kowloon side, one took a walla walla to get to Hong Kong island as the Star Ferry had stopped and there was no cross-harbour tunnel.

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There were the curries, the back-packers, the drugs and hookers holed up in Kowloon’s Chungking Mansions, the tea dances and nightlife at Mocambo, Bayside and Golden Phoenix, the Scene, Hong Kong’s first discotheque in the Basement of the Peninsula Hotel, the sad, heroin-fueled world that still exists behind the Walled City no local politician ever talks about, Bruce Lee, the cha-cha king of Hong Kong and before any fists of fury broke down stereotypes and a city still taking baby steps and not knowing where it was heading.

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G.O,D. or g.o.d. or Goods Of Desire has managed to tap into what was Hong Kong in the Sixties.

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Like Swinging London and NYC’s Velvet Underground led by Andy Warhol and so many of the city’s poets, artists, and chroniclers of that time, this was when what was once a barren rock that had survived a brutal World War 2 under Japanese occupancy clawed itself back by creating its own identity.

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Visiting a g.o.d. store, looking at the various creations, buying something to remind you that there once was a Hong Kong- a far more creative, entrepreneurial Hong Kong where nothing was real and there was nothing to get hung up about- which just does not exist today.

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Look around and there is no creativity- the Xeroxed nightlife with its tired thinking and everyone moving like lemmings with a herd mentality, but not knowing where they’re heading.

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There’s the music falling on deaf ears, vastly overrated film-makers, get-rich-quick schemes with no tangible ideas, and that age old mistake where the technique and the technology is the idea.

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And then there’s g.o.d.

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Where to now for g.o.d. where copyists have created their own g.o.d-like “parallel universe” and where there’s coming the time where there’ll be too much of a g.o.d thing?

Goods Of Desire, I’m sure will continue, but what’s exciting is thinking where the Ben and Douglas will next take their Next Big Hong Kong Adventure.

Talk of a chain of g.o.d restaurants or back-to-the-past Hong Kong takeaway lunches have made the rounds. Even a Hong Kong street-life art museum. Time will tell.

But, g.o.d is basically, two highly creative individuals, who can only push that creative envelope so far.

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What Big Hong Kong- a Big Hong Kong rocked, raped and pillaged by corrupt government officials starting right at the very top and a Greed Is Good mantra- needs is a Little Hong Kong with a home and- key- the spirit and motivation to help it grow.

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You may say I’m a dreamer, but like that Field Of Dreams, build it and they will come.

As Joni Mitchell sang, we need to get back to the garden.

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