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Not being a “horse racing writer”, and simply a writer...

Not being a “horse racing writer”, and simply a writer observing everything going on around me and trying to make sense of it all, one makes various pit stops along the way of that constantly changing buffet of life.

One of these pit stops is where horses race. This is because of the people I know who are in the game, some more successful than others. Seeing what’s happening leads to character studies and plots and subplots.

On Sunday at Shatin, one saw what’s often described as “the highs and lows” of horse racing.

Photo: RTHK

It really hits home in many different ways when one sees these lows happen. It brings to mind many other things that have nothing whatsoever to do with what’s going on.

At the place where horses race, there were the superb riding skills of champion jockey Zac Purton and his masterclass of four winners. There was the very popular win of equally popular champion galloper Golden Sixty. And then there were two falls in the ninth race that saw one horse leaving us.

It was something that dimmed the lights of what was a brilliant and happy day of horse racing in Hong Kong.

This, however, is life. One either rolls with the punches or stays knocked down. This isn’t being callous. Guess it’s a built in defence mechanism at work needed to move on.

These past few years have been tough on the world- the pandemic, and the lockdowns. The uncertainty, those mental prisons, the politics, the theatrics, the sanctimonious preaching, and the sudden coven of fraudsters and scammers that have suddenly emerged from Bitcoin city.

Meanwhile, the social media numbers game of buying and selling online fame continues with almost everything really isn’t what many might think it to be.

When Dylan wrote about “people on steeples and all those pretty people doing tricks for you”, this was over fifty years ago.

Photo: Michael Ochs Archives

It was a different world back then and when Beautiful People were only just coming into Vogue.

This is why there was that magazine devoted to them. They deserved it and belonged there. And then there were more and more magazines that promoted a beautiful life, but by now, it was no longer there.

Those steeples carrying the pretty people had crumbled because the groundwork was brittle and it gave way under the weight of bullsh*t.

It’s not unlike nearly every kinda relationship. No solid groundwork and it falls apart. C’est la vie.

Some knew when it was over, but others hung in there and continued believing that nothing had changed and didn’t understand the line, “You’re invisible now, you’ve got no secrets to conceal” and how “Even the President of The United States must sometimes stand there naked”.

As someone who has learned much about life and love and what is known as “the corporate world” from the words and songs of Bob Dylan, he’s an incredible all-knowing, all-seeing song and dance man and observer of life who seemed to know what was coming next.

He saw how that Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall, The Times They Are A Changing, what’s Blowing In The Wind and about the dangers of Tom Thumbs Blues.

He knows when it’s time, to say, Mamma, take these guns off of me. I can’t use them anymore.

Conjuring up all that imagery on, for instance, Mr Tambourine Man and Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands is why Bob Dylan remains one of the greatest journalists of all time and who uses music to get his thoughts across.

He made guys like me understand the futility of continuing to work on Maggie’s Farm, and how, “If for one just one time you could stand inside my shoes, and if for just one moment, I could be you, you’d know what a drag it is to see you”.

This remains one of the greatest kiss off lines ever.

Ironically, it was requesting Positively Fourth Street, and which ends with this line, on a radio programme was what made me win over the only girl who’s really mattered.

She mattered because, well, you’ve come face to face with love and realise that love is the answer and what matters. It really is.

The rest? The rest is just a chocolate soufflé to dabble in with all those other pointy people paddling furiously in the shallow end of the online pool with no point at all.

If going to drown, for gawd sake, do it on your own terms and without owing anyone anything.

“I am alone in the midst of these happy, reasonable voices. All these creatures spend their time explaining, realizing happily that they agree with each other. In Heaven's name, why is it so important to think the same things all together”.

~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Copyright © Hans Ebert, November 2022

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