THE DARK SIDE OF HONG KONG NIGHT LIFE 1

In the space of thirty minutes today- New Year’s Day- I was hit by two very different pieces of “creativity” in Hong Kong that made me mutter to myself, “Homantin, we have a problem.”

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One was seeing for the first time an old video produced by a local Hip Hop group called 24 Herbs. The video was for an original by them called “Fashionista” which was being shown on a television show that was so old and so outta touch that the absolutely awful hosts were talking about the marriage of Katy Perry and Russell Brand and how the two would be making a movie- “soon.”

As for “Fashionista”, it had the most tepid, wannabe, try-hard, stupid rhymes heard in a very long times.

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24 Herbs is a pretentious enough name, but these wannabe passive upper class “gangstas” must have been smoking some bad weed or not inhaling when recording this piece of crap. And that’s the problem with Hong Kong: Readily accepting and tolerating mediocrity and, often, even applauding it like trained seals.

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How can a terrestrial television- one of only two in Hong Kong- be allowed to air a show featuring “current” music videos that’s over four fucking years old? And who on earth at the Hong Kong Jockey Club approved the weirdness below that would be at home in a Monty Python skit? With all the money it has, this is the best it can produce?

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One can now understand why the Umbrella Movement became the force that it was and is very much bubbling under the surface: Frustration, anger and saying, “Enough is enough” to being sold a pack of lies by everyone from politicians to fat cat businessmen with their own agendas, and everyone meant to just roll over and accept it all without asking the hard questions like the generations before had done- and which is why Hong Kong is so deeply divided between the Haves and the Have-Nots.

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Hong Kong is full of gibberers who can talk the talk, but cannot walk the walk in every industry. It’s a city that has always accepted- without asking- some of the world’s worst conmen, and when it comes to music, those who no longer have any relevance.

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The fawning recently for some bloke who played guitar for Amy Winehouse? Why? Her songs required 3-4 basic chords- tops. That guitarist- Robin Banerjee- below- couldn’t get arrested in the UK. Yet in Hong Kong, he is treated by many as if he were Hendrix, Steve Lukather, Jimmy Page, Chet Atkins, Django Reinhardt and Les Paul, combined.

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Like those who claim to be “DJs” when they wouldn’t know BPMs from BMG, these ordinary or average talents are welcomed and given bear hugs by those overnight hipsters with “SUCKER” tattooed on their foreheads.

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Hong Kong is a city where mediocrity is promoted- and funded- especially in what’s passed off as the entertainment business, which many know is all about money laundering. It’s about backing all the wrong horses and knowing and hoping they’ll lose.

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It’s one big ponzie scheme like the setup in Hong Kong a few years ago of that members club called M1NT, and where Alistair Paton, below, and his two lieutenants legally screwed over investors and shareholders in Hong Kong and Shanghai by feeding on their egos, and then did a runner going, “Wee wee wee” like those three little piggies all the way to the bank.

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How many clubs and restaurants and other businesses in Hong Kong today are not fronts for money laundering schemes? There is a reason why losing businesses are allowed to continue in some of the most expensive locations in the city.

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In his song, “God”, John Lennon sang about everything he no longer believed in, including God and the Beatles, and how all that mattered to him was him and Yoko.

John Lennon

It was typical John Lennon- acerbic, bitter, irreverent, brutally honest and stomping on some sacred cows along the way.

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We should do the same, and like Jesus driving out the prostitutes and gamblers from the temple, turn our backs on mediocrity and charlatans.

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My New Year Resolutions when it comes to the local entertainment industry, those involved in it, others on the periphery and part of Hong Kong’s nightlife, are as follows- in no particular order of importance:

* Switch off the television whenever a Karen Mok video is screened. Like Coco Lee, Karen Mok is a perfect example of mediocrity being promoted.

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* Give the two-finger salute to any club or restaurant that tries to pimp me into coming in. It’s a cheap, tacky and nasty way of trying to get customers. It screams out DESPERATION.

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* Refuse to applaud wildly after every tedious “Jizz” solo or be wowed by some mediocre singer just because they can hit a high note. I’d rather stand up and yell out, “That was shite!”

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* Ask to see the bottle of house wine, question its cost and mark up and insist on visiting the kitchen and speaking to the chef/cook before, literally, breaking bread.

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* Listen to anyone waffling on and on about everything and everyone and look them straight in the eye and say, “Stop the bullshit. Please.”

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* Walk away from anyone who uses the words “Dude”, “bitches”, “in da house” and anyone anywhere who sings a James Blunt song- especially, “Beautiful.”

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That’s enough for starters.

Look forward to your list.

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