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Getting out of the shallow end...and the hypocrisy of it all.

Updated: Apr 16, 2022

It hasn’t been this bad in a very long time- the thud of dulling dullness. Maybe it’s because of taking baby steps after crippling lockdown periods which some are still having to endure.

Frankly, lockdowns are often inhuman and those who have gone through them have “altered states” forever.

With no exit plans in place, what’s been shone is a very bright light on misguided leadership and the fallout from this.

We’ve all been prisoners here and there and not of our own devices either. And we continue to turn the other cheek. But why?

Despite so much happening in the real world and the often unreal online world that have morphed into something else altogether, there is often so much insignificance taking place so quickly to process that everything is inhaled without time to breathe- results of Awards shows that we don’t even knew about or cared who won what, petty celebrity news, photos of Justin Bieber in David Byrne’s hand-me-downs and celebrities and friends suddenly leaving us with no goodbyes and no time for us to mourn their passing. It’s then off to whatever is “trending” next.

There’s a war going on where it’s hard to know how things will end and who will come out the winner though no one ever “wins” a war. But we’re programmed to believe that there is and becomes experts on a subject that has nothing to do with us though we find ways to have a sense of belonging- not that there’s anything wrong with this.

This war could be a preview of a massive global paradigm shift already starting to take shape.

The question is whether power will be replaced by more power and what our roles will be.

Home testing for everything is becoming as common as brushing one’s teeth, whereas the standards of everything everywhere, especially intelligence, continue to fall to new buffoon and bimbo levels.

In the now often quaint online world, depending on which platform one ends up, there’s a regular cast of players either angry with everything or trotting out their “glam” lifestyles from a different time in space.

Apart from showing up slight desperation and ageism, these are, very often, job applications in the faint hopes of gaining employment and trying to remain financially solvent and relevant. Bless.

What’s out there is a noddy mix of stale snap, crackle and pop with nearly everyone secretly asking themselves, “What’s it all about, Alfie?”

A few days ago, I made the time to visit my parents’ gravesites in Melbourne. I didn’t have much to say to them. There was a “Miss you” and a wish that they were happy, and the realisation that I am now very much an orphan.

I left Hong Kong for Melbourne about two weeks ago as I felt my parents were asking for me and I needed to see and thank them for everything they sacrificed to give me the best they could.
They’re buried next to each other in the peaceful surroundings of Springvale.
They’re doing fine. The same can’t be said about their home- and mine- for many years- Hong Kong. Hong Kong is struggling to survive.
To say that this one time fabulous city has lost its compass is putting it mildly.
While many other cities are resuming “normal transmission” and getting back to living, most in Hong Kong continue to be consumed with uncertainty, suspicion and fear. It’s a fear of pretty much everything. Maybe this has to do with decades of being morally bankrupt.
Leaving the city at midnight a few weeks ago and walking through an empty airport was like entering the twilight zone.
I have never ever been more scared. That lonely walk through a once bustling airport has left me scarred and scared. That eerie feeling of being alone will live with me forever.
Speaking to those in Hong Kong, I only hear rattling chains of negativity- and anger and a lack of motivation.
What secrets they’re keeping hid about their mental being is anyone’s guess.
Seeing such a wonderful city left- yes, left- to fall apart and its people receiving little empathy though there’s plenty of hypocrisy from those still hanging in there to make a few more extra millions before they leave is something that reeks of rampant greed.
To write about something like Hong Kong horse racing seems so trivial. What does it even mean to me? Nothing much really other than perhaps having the occasional 6Up bet, and, more importantly, a front row seat to watch the new nouveau riche feeding their voracious appetite for more and more money plus a different view of Hong Kong greed at work.
Being a writer, everything goes into my upcoming book and maybe the words will provide answers and solutions.
Maybe these words will help more than those playing Let’s Pretend...
Will I return to Hong Kong? Not in the near future.
Many left some years earlier with their retirement plans and golden parachutes strapped on before the Big Char Siu Bao Crumble.
Most of my friends recently left or are about to leave. My partner moved to Singapore over a year ago and has no plans to return to where she was born.
The family I once had in Hong Kong are no longer in my life- and me in theirs. So much for flesh and blood.
It is what it was and it’s now what it is. It’s never too late to start living again with those who give your life new meaning and strong love.
Hans Ebert

Who would have thought, but when this fact of life, when even with a partner, catches up with you, it hits you in the face like a Will Smith sucker punch, and a complete mind shift takes place where you evaluate the past to see the value in the present and the future.


It was bloody hot that afternoon of my visit, one of my shoes had somehow fallen apart and I couldn’t wait to rest my mind back in the hotel and block everything else out after doing what a friend described as a “tour of duty”.

Maybe that’s what’s wrong with where we’re at today- as mentioned, too much of so much, but extremely little with any substance- and not knowing what there’s to do and with whom that’s meaningful. It’s like being on auto glide and with life support taking on a new meaning.

It makes me think of when first married, happy being one together and enjoying having friends over to our tiny Japanese style apartment in Hong Kong for Cheese Fondue. We really talked, shared ideas and made plans. There was a buzz and it was contagious.

However, in these Groundhog Days of 2022, where the words “contagious” and “positive” are used extremely carefully, those simple things and people that made us happy are gone forever.

Either that, or we have unknowingly forgotten about them because of becoming hoarders of all manner of click bait clutter and mindlessly pressing that “Like” button not unlike those grannies sitting there all day playing the pokies.

Though we might have very mini bursts of small time happiness, we return to the same question: And now what? Sleep? At 4pm?

Personally, I worry about the young who I feel have been lost in the soft shoe shuffle of the surviving we’re going through in a world void of so many real emotions. One has to wonder what exactly kids are taking in and if any of this is any good.

Then again, as an adult who’s been a kid with vivid memories of how I got here and carrying invisible scars, there are similar questions going on in my scrambled eggs head in a world that’s seemingly stalled for everyone.

We’re now left here, most of us riddled with anxiety and knowing that reaching for the bottle is not the answer, and wondering whether the motivation and inspiration to do anything meaningful has packed up and gone somewhere else and is now in the hands of someone else.

Even the art of conversation has become a lost and awkward one where one is often sitting with others making Neanderthal noises. It’s kinda like being in one of Gary Larsen’s Far Side cartoons.

Here in Melbourne, I recently watched a commercial for Toyota in Australia. Used as the music track is the Journey hit “Don’t Stop Believing”. The concept? A family goes camping, and the young daughter has a meltdown after losing her favourite stuffed teddy bear. Everyone has a real bummer of a time until a beefy bloke- dad?- finally finds teddy somewhere and waves it in the air like Rocky as the music builds.

Sheesh. A client actually approved the pitch from an ad agency to produce this piece of crap? What would Don Draper say? Or does it even matter as he had his own problems.

Meanwhile, Matt Damon is endorsing a crypto currency company on television whereas I am wondering why there isn’t any stationery nor a pen or any can openers and why there are no potatoes for breakfast in the not inexpensive suite we’re staying in.

When explaining all this to someone in the hotel, and watching their expression, there was the feeling that I had jumped into an episode of “Seinfeld”. Yes, I was now Jerry and dealing with a number of Newmans whereas back in Hong Kong, I had left behind a gaggle of George Castanzas.

Maybe this is how to live life in the new abnormal: put yourself anywhere where you wanna be, because “here” doesn’t have a helluva lot going for it.

Last week I was “front row at the Oscars” and wondering why the hell any of what was happening onstage should matter. So it’s just about gliding through the life on show-at least in my waking hours.

The real world is probably happening when we dream. When we wake up we’re everywhere and nowhere to remind us that we’re now living in Stupidville and to just enjoy the ride as nothing makes sense anymore.

The more of nothing that’s going on always means that there’s always something more one can do with our time.

How it’s all about looking beyond the obvious and the bullshit and listening to your heart and making that connection with what’s going on in your mind’s eye.

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